, , , Homeokinesics Homeokinesics Homeokinesics | HOMEOTODAY


by Faraz Khan

" The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said."
- Peter F. Drucker.

It's Not What You Say But How You Say It that Matters. Between 60-80% of our message is communicated through our Body Language, only 7-10% is attributable to the actual words of a conversation.

The word Homeokinesics owes its origin from two words (Homeo = Homeopathy; Kinesics = The study of body movements). Kinesics is the interpretation of body language, nonverbal gestures, postures and facial expressions by which a person manifests various physical, mental or emotional states, and communicates nonverbally with others. These messages delivered through nonverbal cues, which can be either verbal or physical, can support, emphasize or contradict what is being conveyed.

The study of these gestures for the purpose of gathering the authentic data of the person's inner self and its utilization in homeopathic practice is called as Homeokinesics.

Though kinesics has since long been used to understand human behavior but its utilization in homeopathy is a fairly novel affair.

During my initial practice I often found that while interrogating the patient the behavior expressed by their body language was quite different from that expressed in words. Ignoring my instinct to interpret their body language I adhered to their narration, analyzed it, evaluated it, repertorized it to the best of my knowledge and came out with remedies which no doubt provided relief to my patient but Cure continued to be a mirage. I discussed it with my seniors and teachers well ahead of me in practice but to no avail. One fine day, while I was going through Dr. Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine, (re-reading it- my recent idea for guidance in practice) I marveled at the importance of observation emphasized by him; and as if struck out of my reverie the thought of utilizing kinesics in homeopathy came upon me.

I started learning about various gestures, attitudes or appearances from different behavioral psychologists and integrated it with homeopathic practice. I modified my method of case-taking which now was more of observation giving importance to the gestures of the patient, their facial expression, eye movements etc; especially in the cases wherein their body language did not match the narration. Kinesics, or body language, is one of the most powerful ways that humans can communicate nonverbally. It is used to portray moods and emotions and to emphasize or contradict what is being said. Having done this, I was amazed at the results it gave and my prescriptions improved since I undertook this alteration in my method. I even persuaded some of my friends to use this method in their practice, which we called Homeokinesics and they too were overwhelmed by the results.

Now I try to read between lines seeing more through my eyes to interpret the behavior, attitude and appearance of my patients. I do enjoy the variety of ways in which people mask their real behavior partly due to bashfulness and partly because of social norms. The lessons of collaborating gestures are worthy consideration for the practice of homeopathy. The use of Homeokinesics helps to bring up from the patient's subconscious a larger framework or context about their originally viewed problem. I ask them to revisit and share with me any revisions that they would like to make about their behavioral interpretation. With very few exceptions, this simple exercise results in profound insights regarding the causation and sensations of their presenting problem. On a homeopathic note, I interpret their behavior and use the related rubrics from repertory to narrow down my choice of remedies; finally confirming the essence of remedy from Materia medica to choose the similimum.

I use this exercise progressively in treatment, which leads to more empathy and insight regarding the multidimensions of our remedies and the achievements of Homeopathy. Some of the common non verbal behaviors involved in Homeokinesics include:

Gestures, Attitudes
Facial expressions etc.

Gesture is a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate messages, either in place of speech or together and in parallel with spoken words. They allow individuals to communicate a variety of feelings and thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection, in addition to words when they speak. Some of the gestures commonly seen in clinical practice include:

A person with hands in the pocket is Secretive or Hiding some fact.
An open palm suggests honest and sincerity while a closed fist can be considered menacing.
If someone is biting their lip, they are anticipating something or holding back i.e. they can be anxiety prone.
A fast tapping, shifting of weight or movement of the foot will most often mean that the person is impatient, excited, nervous, scared, or intimidated.
If a person laughs excessively, he may be dishonest, or nervous or just naturally jovial, or happy.
When you ask your patient about the last time he gave into his passions, look very carefully at the way they look. If they look to the right (for right handers) they are recalling an event or a memory, meaning that they are telling the truth. However, if they look to the left they are making something up (this is why people look to the left when they are daydreaming, but to the right when they are remembering). It is exactly the opposite if someone is left handed. Sometimes a person might look up and move their lips to the side. That means they are thinking.

Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication conveying the emotional state of the individual to observers. As expressions are closely tied to emotion, they are more often involuntary and it can be nearly impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions, even when it would be strongly desirable to do so; a person who is trying to avoid insult to an individual he or she finds highly unattractive might nevertheless show a brief expression of disgust before being able to reassume a neutral expression. Eyebrows and forehead also add significant signals, from surprise to fear to anger. The mouth, when not talking can be pursed, downturned or turned up in a smile. These help us to understand the actual response of person to certain situations.

A constricted pupil on a smiling face suggests the absence of warmth in the person.
A tightening and slight raising of the lip corner, primarily on one side of the face confirms the contemptuous nature of the person.

Body posture is the way that the body is held can communicate many different messages.

An open body that takes up a lot of space can indicate domination, whilst a closed-in body that makes itself small can signal inferiority.
A head held up indicates confidence, but if it is held too high, it can indicate aloofness or a patronizing attitude - looking down your nose at someone.
Hands on the hips can be seen as defiant.
Crossed arms give a Angry, disapproving look while interlocked fingers suggest Tension.

But there is always a close warning associated with all this interpretation: to be fully competent in such an art/science takes years of analytical study. There are always exceptions to the rule, so instead of holding steadfast to your observation give the poor soul a break!

Utilizing Kinesics in Homeopathy
Dr. Hahnemann's "Unprejudiced observer" was more than a mere recorder of verbal information. Today's enormous amount of information sharing dictates that we politely dialogue and sensitively ask for clarification, especially since most communication experts agree that 90% of communication is through non-verbal gestures (Body language).
Giving value to observation of the gestures in the foot note to § 96, Hahnemann states that for instance " the high pitch of the expression about their sufferings becomes, in itself, a significant symptom in the remaining set of symptoms from which the image is composed." He undoubtedly saw interpersonal communication as more than a linear recording of content.
Hahnemann knew that tuning in to content alone contributes to disharmony and for homeopaths today; it would lead to a chase through the repertory without the needed context to match a remedy. When enacting change within a larger holistic or communicational frame, the vital force can be freed to help articulate feelings and give rise to the striking, unique and peculiar symptoms. Hahnemann in § 07, points this out in that the essential nature (Inbegriff) of the "-symptom is the outward reflected image of the inner wesen (essence) of the disease, that is, of the suffering of the life force."

Psychologist like Carl Jung believes that "One Self" is the product of the behavioral dialogue between unconscious values and conscious experience.

Hahnemann believed that "this pre-eminent importance of the emotional state holds good to such an extent that the patient's emotional state often tips the scale in the selection of the homeopathic remedy. And can least remain hidden from the exactly observing physician" (§ 210-211).

Boger in his article 'Some thoughts on Prescribing' says that "the entire aspect or expression of the sickness are of utmost importance in selecting the similimum. This should especially include the facial expression, Demeanor, Nervous excitability, Sensibility, Restlessness, or Torpor, State of the Secretions and any coloring may be the present."
Hence we see in homeopathy these expressions of body motion are one of the necessary components of data collection for prescribing purpose. They are some times very useful when there is paucity of symptoms in the case (one sided diseases), Pediatric cases, or while taking the case of Deaf dumb and imbecile persons. Use of kinesics in homeopathic practice helps to bring about speedy cure to the patient establishing the efficacy of this method.

The Medicinal Portraits
In order to explain the efficacy of Homeokinesics, I would like to share the kinesics from some medicinal portraits:

Haughty persons (The European manner of crossing legs and the distinctly American figure 4 position of sitting) Lycopodium, Platina, Palladium.
Secretive persons (Hiding their hands in pocket or behind their backs): Baryta-carb, Ignatia, Naja, Sepia.

Indifferent persons (Sitting with a leg over arm of a chair- getting a leg up): Sepia, Calcarea, Gelsemium, Natrum-mur.

Boredom attitude (When a person crosses his legs and moves his foot in a slight kicking motion): Arsenicum, Lachesis, Pulsatilla.

Censorius/Critical attitude (Staring someone with unblinking eyes with taut and erect body with feet flat on the floor): Graphitis, Nux-vomica, Sulphur.

The Repertorial Route: Some Repertories have a an elaborate selection of rubrics aiding the study of gestures, gait, facial expression, attitude and other non-verbal communication. These can be studied under chapter of Mind, Face, Generalities or may be scattered in the whole repertory. Kent's Repertory, Boger's Synoptic Key and Murphy Repertory are often useful in the application of Homeokinesics.
Rubrics Related to Homeokinesics (Murphy repertory)
Gestures, makes
Gestures, makes actions repeated
Gestures, makes actor like an
Gestures, makes automatic
Facial ex-pression
Facial ex-pression Absent: Interpretation: Indifference, depression, Parkinsonism
Facial ex-pression Anxious:
Facial ex-pression Astonished:
Facial ex-pression Besotted:
Facial ex-pression Bewildered:
Facial ex-pression Changed:
Facial ex-pression Changing:
Facial ex-pression Childish:
Facial ex-pression Cold:
Facial ex-pression Confused:
Facial ex-pression Distressed:
Facial ex-pression Fierce:
Facial ex-pression Foolish:
Facial ex-pression Frightened
Facial ex-pression Haggard:
Facial ex-pression Happy:
Facial ex-pression Idiotic:
Facial ex-pression Incoherent:
Facial ex-pression Intoxicated
Facial ex-pression Less:
Facial ex-pression Looks in a mirror:
Facial ex-pression Mask like:
Facial ex-pression Morose and coughing:
Facial ex-pression Old looking:
Facial ex-pression Pinched:
Facial ex-pression Ridiculous:
Facial ex-pression Sickly:
Facial ex-pression Sleepy:
Facial ex-pression Soleman, on walking:
Facial ex-pression Stupid:
Facial ex-pression Suffering:
Facial ex-pression Sullen:
Facial ex-pression Tired:
Facial ex-pression Vaccant:
Facial ex-pression Wild:
Facial ex-pression Withered:
Facial ex-pression Wreched:
Facial ex-pression Young:
Walking Gestures
Walking behaviour
Circle, walks in a:
Hither and thither, walks:
Rapidly from anxiety:
Slowly and dignified:
Shaking Hand

Post a Comment