CONCOMITANT symptoms are very important in deciding a similimum, since they will be always very peculiar to the PATIENT. Never ignore concomitants if they are peculiar. In most cases, concomitants will lead us to a right remedy or group of probable remedies. During case taking, we should be very careful for not to miss these valuable indicators of SIMILIMUM.
CONCOMITANTS mean potentially independant symptoms that appear as ADDITIONAL symptoms, along with or accompanying with a BASIC symptom. ALTERNATING SYMPTOMS as well as EXTENSIONS also may be considered as concomitants, as they also are ADDITIONAL symptoms appearing DURING, ALONG WITH or RELATED WITH the main BASIC symptoms. Concomitants are most helpful indicators for individualizing the patient by identifying the exact molecular errors working behind a particular symptom group, and for identifying the exact molecular imprints required to remove those molecular errors.
Concomitants are always explained by the patients as well as in repertories using terms such as ‘accompanied with’ ‘along with’, ‘during’, ‘alternating’, ‘extending to’, or ‘concomitant with’ itself.
For example, VOMITING during HEADACHE- here vomiting is a concomitant of headache. If it is HEADACHE during VOMITING, headache is the concomitant of vomiting. NAUSEA during headache, YAWNING during headache, BACKACHE along with piles, DIARRHOEA with COLIC, ABDOMINAL pain extending to back, ASTHMA with URTICARIA, ASTHMA alternating with URTICARIA, CORYZA during EATING, CHEST PAIN extending to FINGERS, HEADACHE with SLEEPINESS- we can cite thousands of examples for CONCOMITANTS from our repertories. Study them with special care, to be a successful prescriber.
MODALITIES are different from CONCOMITANTS. Modalities are not additional symptoms like concomitants. They are only factors such as CONDITIONS or TIME that ameliorate or aggravate certain symptoms. In some cases, CONCOMITANT symptoms may also MODIFY the basic symptoms by aggravating or ameliorating it. Such MODIFYING CONCOMITANTS are far more helpful in selecting a similimum even more than pure concomitants or modalities.
Some homeopaths claim that they can prescribe “without all these things”, on the basis of “behavior, temperament & personality” only. Can anybody decide the “behavior, temperament & personality” of a patient without observing and studying his SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE symptoms? ‘Concomitants’ need not be always ‘physical’ or particular’. It may be ‘behavioral’, ‘temperamental’ or abnormalities in ‘personality’. If patient shows some ‘change of mood such as violent outbursts, weeping or anger during headache’, the mood changes are CONCOMITANTS of headache. If a patient ‘desires to sit in solitude’ during headache, ‘desire solitude’ is a CONCOMITANT of headache. If it is ‘weeping’ during ‘dysmenorrhoea’, ‘weeping’ is a CONCOMITANT of ‘dysmenorrhoea’. There is no scope for any confusion in this regard.
Any ABNORMAL objective and subjective symptom, that reflects any ABNORMAL molecular processes happening in the body that have to be corrected by using a medicinal agent, are to be considered by the homeopath in deciding an appropriate remedy for that patient. If anything ABNORMAL is there in his ‘behavior, temperament or personality’, it will of course provide a strong indication to an appropriate remedy. But remember, it should be an ABNORMAL one, or DEVIATION from normal, to be of worth consideration. NORMAL ‘behavior, temperament or personality’ indicates NORMAL physiological processes, where as we are looking for what is going ABNORMAL in him.
When I use the terms SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE symptoms, that no way disregards ‘behavior, temperament or personality’. Every general, particular, mental, or physical symptom, including those of ‘behavior, temperament or personality’ come under the purview of ‘subjective and objective’ symptoms.
Some people accuse BOENNINGHAUSSEN has ignored mentals, generals as well as ‘behavior, temperament or personality’ aspects while defining TOTALITY in terms of ‘causations, locations, sensations, modalities and concomitants’. This accusation arises from incorrect understanding of boenninghaussen’s approach. CAUSATION may be physical or mental. LOCATION includes generals and particulars. SENSATIONS comprises of all SUBJECTIVE symptoms, including general or particular sensations as well as mentals. MODALITIES also include mental and general aspects of aggravations and ameliorations. CONCOMITANTS may be general, mental, physical, or particular. Boenninghaussen’s method no way disregards or ignores ‘behavior, temperament or personality’, but explains and classifies them with a different approach, more systematic, specific and scientific.
I have felt that boenninghaussen ignored or did not give due consideration to the PRESENTATION or APPEARANCE aspects of symptoms, such as general and particular physical appearance, type of discharges, type of eruptions, lesions, skin changes, hair, gestures, gaits, facial expressions etc etc. That is why I include a new category PRESENTATIONS along with CAUSATION, SENSATION, LOCATION, MODALITIES and CONCOMITANTS schema of boenninghaussen. I also want to stress the importance of ALTERNATING SYMPTOMS and EXTENSIONS under the category of CONCOMITANTS. By this way, I think I have updated boenninghaussen’s schema into more perfection.