© 2011 By Eve Greenberg, Staff Reporter, Explore! Journal
Within the last 20 years or so, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, a homeopathic medical doctor in India, developed a very different style of homeopathy from that which was currently practiced, and called it the sensation method. In this approach, a client is guided into describing their ‘inner experience’ that is related to their symptoms. Sankaran homeopathy includes all the principles and practices of homeopathy as developed by Samuel Hahnemann. It is based upon the understanding that our behavior and feelings stem from something much deeper in our beings – a sensation felt in the body and mind simultaneously, a sensation that is constant in how it threads through many of our life experiences and colors our whole experience of life. The practitioner prescribes remedies according to what he or she observes in the patient. This article will discuss the principles of the Sankaran method of homeopathy, and as described by Sankaran homeopath Donna Lozito CCH, nationally certified in Classical Homeopathy, Prescott, AZ, and will include comments by Robert Zieve, MD, MD (H) of Pine Tree Clinic, Prescott, AZ, where Donna practices as his Homeopathic Medicine Assistant, and descriptions of my own life-changing experiences as one of Donna’s clients.
Donna Lozito began her study of homeopathy at the New York School of Homeopathy. The director of the school had been studying Sankaran’s work. In a need for congruence between her practice and her teachings, she introduced it in Donna’s second year of study. Donna experienced the sensation method right along with her classical homeopathy studies. Donna subsequently studied with Dr. Sankaran in New York, and travelled to India to study with Farouk Master and Frederik Schroyens, who are also Masters in the work.
Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 1800’s, Donna explained. The main form of practice is called classical homeopathy. It was an amazing discovery that he made in the late 1700s in Germany when he postulated a healing principle: “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms.” This principle, like cures like, became the basis for an approach to medicine he called homeopathy. He first used the term homeopathy in his essay Indications of the Homeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice, published in Hufeland’s Journal in 1807. Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body’s ability to balance itself and move towards wellness by giving very small doses of highly diluted substances.
Provings were developed by giving small doses of medicinal drugs to healthy people on a daily basis until symptoms were elicited. A proving is a testing of a substance to find out which symptoms the substance is capable of producing and hence curing. They are conducted on humans only who are in a reasonable and balanced state of wellness (provers) and have no knowledge of the substance they are taking. Repeated doses are taken until the provers begin to experience the symptoms of change in their state of being. The provers record everything they experience, whether physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual. At the end of the proving all records are collated and compared to find the symptoms of their states of mind, feelings and experiences which they all had in common as a result of taking the remedy. These can be attributed to the emerging signature and together these form a symptom picture of the remedy. The detailed records of the symptoms produced during the provings are compiled in reference books known as materia medica. Repertories catalog thousands of symptoms and are indexes to the information found in the materia medica. Each symptom and characteristic of the patient is discerned in a process that sometimes takes two hours, and is matched to these records to come up with the remedy that best fits the person.
There are basic principles in homeopathy that make it unique. Homeopathy operates on the principle that there is a therapeutic correspondence between processes in nature and illnesses in people. Homeopathy discovers this correspondence through what is called “The Law of Similars.” The principle “Law of Similars”, (or “like cures like”) which
means, that a disease in an unwell person, can be cured by a substance that produces the very same disease in a well person. This idea can be traced back to Hippocrates and was further developed by Hahnemann after he repeatedly ingested cinchona bark, a popular treatment for malaria. He found that he developed the symptoms of the malaria and
concluded that the drug’s power to cure the disease arose from its ability to produce the symptoms of the disease itself.
The clinician takes an extensive history, much more than is seen in mainstream medicine. The practitioner then looks for what substances in nature will produce this similar composite picture when given to a healthy person. These substances are then administered in a potentized form to the ill person to promote healing. The idea is that every illness has a counterpart in nature that will awaken a therapeutic process. This is why so many poisons become powerful therapeutic agents of healing when used homeopathically. Homeopathy cannot harm us. It either helps, or there is no effect.
To potentize a remedy, substances are diluted successively and then vigorously shaken in a repeated rhythmic motion. This preparation process releases energies that have been held inactive in the chemical bonds of that substance. These dormant or sleeping energies are brought to life. They are then turned into a pellet or liquid that may be taken safely.
The second basic principle of homeopathy is the microdose. The smaller and more diluted the original substance, the greater its capacity to invoke a healing response in a person. This is because the process of both diluting and succussing (vigorous rhythmic shaking) releases from the original substance an energy field that resonates with a person’s illness. The quantity of original substance has no bearing upon the capacity to heal. The more of the original substance that is broken down to release trapped energy, the more healing capacity there is in the remedy. The principle of dilutions (or “Law of Minimum Dose”) which means the more diluted the homeopathic preparation, the greater its effectiveness. In homeopathy, substances are diluted and shaken vigorously between each dilution. This process, referred to as “potentization,” is believed to transmit some form of information or energy from the original substance to the final diluted remedy. Most homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the substance remain; however, in homeopathy, it is believed that the substance has left its imprint or “essence,” which stimulates the body to balance itself (this theory is called the “memory of water”).
All of these principles are included in Dr. Sankaran’s sensation method.
Within the last 20 years or so, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, a homeopathic medical doctor from India, developed a very different style of homeopathy called the sensation method. It is a way of leading a patient deeply into describing their inner experience, and then determining the patient’s remedy from this process of interviewing.
“The essence of the Sankaran work lies in the concept that our behavior and feelings stem from something much deeper in our beings. This basic, inexplicable experience, unique to each of us, is neither emotional nor intellectual; it is a sensation felt in the body and mind simultaneously, one that is constant, one that colors our whole experience of life. This sensation is our constant companion, the “other song” that keeps singing within us. And this song resonates with something in nature, be it an animal, plant or mineral.” Rajan Sankaran, Homeopathy for Today’s World: Discovering Your Animal, Mineral or Plant Nature, 2008.
This awareness is not an intellectual understanding or an observation of a behavior or thought pattern in ourselves. It is not a flash of realization, or an interpretation by someone else. It is a process of going within oneself, letting go of the mind, exploring one’s experience over and over again. It is a nonverbal, nonintellectual process that allows us to hear that “other song” and become aware of how it has shaped everything in one’s life.
This is also classical homeopathy; however case analysis changes from a primarily intellectual exercise to observation of sensations. There are two ways to enquire about the nature of things, according to Sankaran:
- “The way of reasoning and understanding. This involves thinking, surmising, using logic, postulating, and so on. It seeks to find the cause of things and to label and classify these things;
- The way of pure observation. This seeks to just witness what is, without thought, analysis, or attempt to find the cause or the category. The observation is pursued as deeply and as finely as possible. The totality of the observation is accepted as the knowable truth.”
Donna shared a story that is often told by Sankaran. He explains that cats are not allowed on buses in India. But he had to get a kitten somewhere by bus, so he put it in a covered basket and took it for the ride. The bus was crowded. Every now and then the kitten would push up the lid, poke his head up out of the basket and let out a big meow — then disappear into the basket again. Everyone on the bus would look around wondering where the sound came from. Then the kitten would do it again. That, he says, is the sensation. The kitten speaks up; we don’t see it, and we usually don’t go looking. So we need to pay attention, because the kitten is giving away the true state of the client, and the true remedy.
If we poke at the basket and the basket opens up, the sensation is very evident. It has very little to do with how we are and who we think we are in the world. It is important in the interview to get the client out of their head because the head is very good at denying. People try to think themselves to wellness. They might say “I don’t have that anymore.” Then the question becomes, “Where do you think it went?” Because it doesn’t go away, explained Donna. If you take the top of the plant away, the roots are still there. It’s the same principle.
Sankaran developed his method from observations from daily life and his practice, confirmed by colleagues all over the world. These concepts are universal, he explains, and can be applied to any field of human development. His chosen path is homeopathy, and so he has applied these concepts to the field of homeopathy.
People react to the same situation differently. The sensation method accesses the body/mind connection primarily through variations of a single question: “How do you experience that in your body?” This sensation can be one of pressure, or a desire to escape and be free, for example.
Dr. Sankaran assumes that the general disturbance is described by Hans Selye’s general adaptation syndrome. Disease is a blockage of the spirit. A compulsion is when the person still acts as if the blockage is there. This is a delusion. If you perceive that people are always attacking you, this is likely not real, but is a delusion. Disease is a restriction of vision and awareness can remove delusions. Meditation, philosophy and psychoanalysis create awareness. A remedy puts you in touch with the original delusion. Normal stress that causes a disturbance makes the person feel okay. A disease state causes the person to feel separated and negative in a special way. The process of change happens when the body becomes aware of the cause of the overreaction.
The client is initially asked to complete an intake form, and then to select the issue that they most want to change. The assumption is that the symptom that the client determines is most important to them is the entry point into finding the client’s sensation, which will surface in different areas of the client’s life and will lead to the client describing characteristics of the remedy that they need.
The aim of case taking now is to reach sensation levels in the client. Briefly the map of case taking is as follows:
Level 1 – Name
The name, the diagnosis, the label
Question: So what exactly is happening?
Level 2 – Facts about Facts
What it is, qualified and peculiar.
Question: How do you feel? How does this affect you?
Level 3 – Feeling
What it is? (Common feelings, anger, fear, sadness.) Feeling qualified. (Feelings further described.) Feeling peculiar. (Peculiarity in the feeling.)
Question: How does it feel like? What comes to your mind? A situation that had a big effect on you? How did that feel like?
Level 4 – Delusion
The situation. How it is experienced? Dreams.
Question: What sensation do you experience in that situation? What are you showing by that gesture of your hand?
Level 5 – Sensation
Kingdom–(Sensitivity/structure/victim-aggressor); Subkingdom/family–(Precise nature of the issue); Source–(Precise degree, depth and quality)
Level 6 – Energy
Observation of energy patterns. Energy is represented by movement (movement in itself has speed and direction); sound (sound includes music); and color (color includes art). We live and express our own individual energy patterns but its energy level is much deeper than both mind and body and is beyond conscious perception.
Level 7: The seventh
The seventh, or deepest, level is like a blank canvas on which a pattern or picture can take form. It is individual and specific to the energy pattern that is going to manifest itself on the canvas. The seventh level is the part of us that is there from birth to death, where our energy pattern, sensation and various delusions, emotions, and pathologies play out. It is the part of us that is healthy.
Patients do not always give the case one level after the other. When a patient is unable to go beyond a particular level his level of experience is usually the previous level; this also determines the potency he needs. For example: if he cannot express feelings then he is stuck at the previous level of fact, and to get beyond the level of fact the following questions are asked: What are the feelings he does not feel, what are the feelings he felt in the past, etc.?
The client describes, and often behaviorally expresses, the energy and qualities of the remedy they need that matches their own energy and qualities. If the client is not local, Donna records the interview on Skype where she can easily view the client with all their gestures and nuances while they are speaking.
Homeopathy teaches that disease begins in energetic state before the physical state, explained Donna. So unwinding it goes the other way. Cancer is end result of very imbalanced problem. The disease is the energetic imbalance. That is the premise of homeopathy. Sensation method goes to deepest level of being, located in the limbic system of the brain where we are completely unaware.
Homeopathy reaches into spiritual realm. Mind body psychotherapy cannot get to the depth that this process goes.
Homeopathic remedies are mainly derived from animals, minerals and plants. A single remedy, dictated by the symptoms, is drawn from a particular animal, mineral or plant. People who need remedies from each of these kingdoms differ fundamentally in the way they perceive and react to reality.
• Plant Kingdom: Sensitivity and reactivity
• Animal Kingdom: Comparison, competition and struggle for survival
• Mineral Kingdom: the formation or loss of structure
Each kingdom has its unique basic sensation. With the mineral kingdom the basic sensation is structure. In the consciousness of each mineral substance this basic structure sensation is expressed in a unique way. With the animal kingdom the basic sensation is survival and this is experienced differently and unique to itself. With the plant kingdom the basic sensation is sensitivity, and each plant family has its own specific sensitivity.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared from plant/animal/mineral sources among others, and when these substances are potentized to a degree far beyond the material, there remains in them nothing but the spirit or energy of the substance. These remedies, when administered in accordance with the Law of Similars, are capable of bringing back the altered state of man’s consciousness to a level where he is able to achieve the ‘higher purposes of his existence’ – in this way health is restored.
A person whose remedy is from the mineral kingdom talks about his symptoms in terms of structure at the deepest level. He will use words that apply to minerals, such as pressure, density, solid, light, heavy, cold, dissolve, empty and so on. This deep inner sense of structure is his sensation.
The theme of survival of the fittest is true for all living creatures, and it is most evident in the animal world. Survival is seen as an issue of comparison and competition. A person whose remedy is from the animal kingdom is very alert and very quick to react.
A person whose remedy is similar to the energy of a plant is sensitive. He is influenced by many things and constantly adjusts and adapts to them. Emotionally he gets affected very easily. His hands often move in all directions as he expresses himself. He may have abrupt mood changes.
When a remedy is right on, Donna explains, she often hears a patient say, “I never thought I’d see this part of me again. I had forgotten it. I reclaimed myself.” This is energy that was at the bottom of the client’s metaphoric apple cart. The remedy goes into the apple cart and starts digging it out and shakes it up, leaving all the apples in the air. The client’s vital force places the apples back in order of events, from in to out, from top to bottom. The client’s vital force will organize what is the most important to the least.
The remedy doesn’t make you better, said Donna. The remedy contains the information that the vital force needs for this action. Imagine a pendulum which should hover in the center representing a balanced state. When we are influenced by disease the pendulum’s swing is suspended all the way to one side and cannot flow. The remedy supplies the information for the vital force to reclaim that freedom of movement, the ebb and flow of life.
Since every cell has memory, the cells carry the information of what our experience dictates. The remedy assists the body in releasing the memory or changing the distorted perception that creates the memory in the first place. This creates somewhat of an emotional cleanse, which is the opposite of suppression caused by medication, for example. The memory or imbalance shifts to a more balanced state and releases from in to out and from the most important to the least important.
I have been a psychotherapist for many years, focusing on transpersonal, action-oriented, body/mind psychotherapy. It has always been my professional opinion that deep healing comes not from understanding, or from tapping or from machines or from something that someone does to us – it comes from engaging in a process of actively accessing and releasing those deep elusive parts of ourselves. I always actively engaged in the processes I practiced, and so for the last twenty years I have been working on myself. No matter how much therapy I did there has always been a layer of anxiety that was underneath everything that I have never been able to access.
So when my colleague and friend Robert Zieve, MD suggested that I try a homeopathic process with Donna Lozito, CCH, I jumped at the chance. He told me that this method specialized in accessing and helping the client find the core constitution for each person that threads through every life experience and gives a homeopathic medicine that helps that person to become stronger in their core. Subsequently, as a result, many of the conditions that most of us see today in our practices improve, or begin to resolve, because that core has been touched with a well chosen remedy.
I took this process very seriously. I spent a lot of time with the intake form. There had been many traumas in my life and I outlined them all. Donna received the intake form ahead of time so she had a chance to look at it. My interview was on Skype so she could see me.
To my surprise, my interview was not about what I had written in the intake form, but about the sensations I had felt through the traumas I had experienced in my life. I stepped right into my body and Donna could see my body react as I allowed the sensations of my experiences to come forward. I wasn’t even aware of how much I was shaking, and how I would often hold my arms criss-crossed as though I would lose myself if I didn’t. When Donna brought that to my attention, I took it in – that elusive anxiety — I was able to describe it for the first time – a sensation of shattering, like my ends would dissolve and I would disappear. That’s why I had to hold myself the way I did. I knew instantly that this shattering sensation was underneath all my motivations, all my behaviors.
It took Donna a few days to come up with the remedy, which was Pearl, from the animal kingdom, and she was right on. She described it to me. I actually started to feel the energy of the Pearl begin to work before I had even taken the remedy. I began to feel calmer. I took the remedy which was one dose, Pearl Immersion 1M.
There was a co-worker at work who had been nasty to me for a while and I had been ignoring her (characteristic of the old me). The next day after taking the remedy, she was nasty to me and I walked right up to her and said “Don’t you ever speak like that to me again. “ It was spontaneous. I didn’t even think about it.
This happened again and again over the next several days. For the first time I began to notice how people were speaking to me and I began calling them on it if they were disrespectful. I had never done this before – being able to recognize disrespect and assertively calling people on it.
I began to realize that the layer of anxiety that had been a permanent part of everything I had experienced and how I reacted to those experiences – it was gone.
A week later in the middle of the night I developed a fever and sharp pain. As the days went on the pain intensified and kept moving to parts of my body that had experienced trauma through my childhood. Even the fever I was experiencing was related to my childhood. My mother was a holocaust survivor and created the chaos of her childhood in my home life. I had learned at a young age that getting a fever was not okay and I willed myself not to get fevers. Having this fever now was an amazing experience. Donna explained to me that this was an aggravation. During the three weeks that I experienced this aggravation, Donna encouraged me to check in with her every day and it was very helpful to receive her support.
As the days went on the pain intensified and Donna explained to me that what I was feeling was how I had experienced the pain of my childhood, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I became in awe of what I had survived from my childhood. I had deep respect for myself that I had never had before. The pain focused for a while in my thoracic area, which Donna explained was the area of the heart. She suggested that I let myself cry. I got in touch with a lot of deep grief for what I had lost not having a loving childhood environment and I cried very deeply. Now instead of fear, I alternate between anger, appreciation and peace.
The pain was intense as it moved from spot to spot, my body became very tender in places that were reminiscent of my childhood experiences, and then one day I woke up with swelling in my right cheek. I thought it might be a dental problem but then the swelling moved to my lower lip, and I now had a fat lip and a swollen cheek, and then at the end of the day my right cheek was swollen too. This was not a dental problem. If I was not a believer, I certainly was then. This was a clearing of trauma from my face. By the middle of the next day the swelling was gone.
The pain lingered in my left foot for a long time. Eventually it went away. I had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in my left leg, primarily in my left foot, after an injury back in the 80s. It left my left leg weaker than my right leg. When I returned to exercising after the fever and pain were gone, the weakness in my left leg had disappeared.
Weight has always been an issue for me. My body held on to weight no matter how healthily and intelligently I ate. Over the last few weeks, the last few pounds of weight that I wanted to lose have just melted away.
As a child, my mother was much wounded from her experience as a Holocaust survivor. As a result, I never had the experience of having a mother. The remedy fills that gap, giving me the support I never had. Until I received this support, I didn’t know it was missing.
So now my life is very different. Everything is different. Friends tell me I look lighter and that I look younger. The layer of anxiety is gone. My choices and decisions are much more thoughtful, I think things through rather than impulsively react to situations, I move more slowly and I feel and experience myself as much stronger. It’s not me against the world. There’s a solid core in me now. I do not shake at all and have no need to hold myself as I did before. Before I was a mouse, eager to please, taking on other people’s stuff, and now I am more solid within myself. I speak my mind. I have become my own advocate. I wake up optimistically hoping for the best. I know where I end and other people begin and I am making much better decisions and choices for myself.
The remedy has even worked on a spiritual level. On Yom Kippur in a meditation I was visited by the Divine Mother who said to me clearly, “I am your mother.” She reached out her hand and I moved into her arms and she held me in an embrace. I got to feel, for the first time, what a mother gives to a child. I have given that to my children, but I had never, until now, been able to feel that for myself.
I am on a different dosage of Pearl now, which I take daily. Once in a while I still experience the shattering sensation. I know what it is now, and I take time to explore it and what it is communicating to me. As I look back now with different eyes on previous experiences I feel, not fear as before that I am going to lose myself, but healthy anger, peace that I have never been able to attain before and a deep appreciation and optimism for the future.
Ahead of the Curve
“To me,” said Robert Zieve, MD, MD(H), “the Sankaran approach is a key medicine for the future healing of humanity. The Sankaran homeopathy approach is ahead of the curve and is not well understood by even people who do homeopathy or practice integrative medicine.”
Dr. Zieve explained that he had heard about this form of homeopathy before and discounted it. He hadn’t had a good experience with classical homeopathy, which he practiced for 20 years. He didn’t feel it was making progress with his patients. He met Donna, started a dialogue with her and learned more about Dr. Sankaran’s approach. It made sense to him. As an anthroposophical physician the Sankaran approach resonated with anthroposophical medicine, especially the different kingdoms from which remedies are chosen.
So Dr. Zieve saw Donna himself and began taking a remedy. He suggested that his colleague and friend Eve Greenberg schedule an appointment with her. When he saw Eve’s results he realized how much there was to this approach. He began to refer people to Donna and invited Donna to become his homeopathic medical assistant and see patients in his office. “What I appreciate about Donna,” he explained, “Is her quality of relentless commitment to finding the right remedy for each person, how much time she spends with a patient and the way she studies each case. That plus what I saw with Eve, that’s what got me hooked. I started referring more patients to
her. I am present when she conducts her interviews.”
“This was the first method I’ve seen in a while that doesn’t require machines. It is a very time intensive approach, and maybe not for all and definitely not in its current form, something that fits into the short or one hour doctor visit model. If something would happen where we couldn’t acquire combination remedies that have to be sent in the mail and supplements, there would still be something I could do for patients. It’s very powerful and my plan within a year or two is to be able to practice this approach with patients,” said Dr. Zieve.
About the Author
Eve Greenberg, MA, LPC, CTN, CN is a Licensed Counselor, Certified Traditional Naturopath and Certified Nutritionist who directed the Klinghardt Academy of Neurobiology from 2008 to 2010 and is widely credited for a significant growth in attendance and interest in the teachings of Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD. She has now accepted a position as director of the newly established Healthy Medicine Academy, where she will devote her considerable skills and commitment developing seminars and on-line classes to practitioners and lay people. Eve has studied with
Robert Zieve, MD, Lee Cowden, MD, Donnie Yance, MH, CN, and Dickson Thom, ND, among others. Eve has been an adjunct faculty member of several colleges including Naropa University in Boulder.
Eve was formerly assistant to Robert Zieve, MD, with whom she is still affiliated. Dr. Zieve is an integrative physician practicing in Prescott and Phoenix, AZ. Eve has been a staff reporter for Explore Magazine since 2005, has appeared on the Wisdom Network’s Journeys into Healing, is a workshop presenter and has trained therapists internationally in action-oriented methods.