Remedy keynotes play a big part in any prescription but they must be used with care. Often in the course of learning homeopathy we are encouraged to study the keynotes of many remedies. This is a good way to learn a little about remedies but never speak to the totality of the remedy energy.
Yasgur, in Homeopathic Dictionary, describes keynotes as "a symptom that is so apparent, or striking that it strongly suggests or points to a single remedy. For example, pain in the right shoulder blade points to Cheledonium." Guernsey describes the keynote as "the predominating symptom which readily directs attention to the totality."
Rarely in case-taking will the client give his story and all of the sympotoms fit in the totality of a single remedy. Often during repertizing we will have 10 or more remedies covering the symptom of a case. If we were to prescribe on keynotes of the remedy only we would still have to choose one or two remedies that cover the most predominate symptoms.
It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the case in order to use keynotes. Often if we look at only the most predominate symptom but fail to see the whole of the case, we will probably be led to prescribe the wrong remedy. Those symptoms that are strange, rare and peculiar often carry more weight in revealing the essence of the case than predominate symptoms.
If keynotes are used as a reference to Materia Medica study they serve us well, but they are very dangerous if used as basis for prescribing. If the homeopath prescribes soley on keynotes he may, and often does, remove the most conspicuous symptoms. This often confuses the case and leads to an obstacle to cure distorting the picture of the patient himself.
I many times use keynotes as ways to confirm a case but only after understanding what is "asking to be healed" in the client. Keynotes can be used to support the remedy only when the essence of the remedy fits the case. Often times it does and will support the simillimum remedy. But never forget the client. Always understand the essence of the case before selecting a remedy.
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