Man is a homeothermal
organism. The body temperature is always maintained at an
optimum level by the interplay of all the systems of the
body especially psychic, nervous, endocrine, alimentary
and excretory systems. Most of the defects in the organs
of these systems may disturb the body temperature. Likewise
heavy environmental impact on the temperature regulation
mechanism of the body disturbs the functions of these organs.
Hence, thermal state becomes a general symptom.
As a general symptom,
thermal state ranks high in the evaluation of symptoms. So obtaining
thermal reactions from patients has paramount importance in case
taking. But, do we get pure thermal modalities from the patients?
All the modalities including thermal modalities are conditioned
by belief systems. Media, religion, culture, health information,
etc., influence the modalities. For instance, if a person says
I drink more water, probably it is not because of increased thirst
but it may be a compulsivedrinking due to the belief that drinking
more water is good for health. Similarly, when a person says that
I like everything hot, it may be because of a subconscious fear
of catching cold or getting infection if the person takes cold
things. These symptoms, what I call as, 'contaminated symptoms'
are useless for the prescription.
We have to be cautious when we select the symptoms, like
'Desires Cold, Desires Warm, Aversion Cold, Aversion Warm, Desire
Cold Bath, Desires Hot Bath, etc., to confirm the thermal state
of the patient.
In my practice, I give importance to thermal reactions only if
. there are availability of observable
signs like hyperthermia, tachycardia, tachypnoea, etc.
. there are more than three symptoms available
to confirm the thermal reaction of the patient either as hot or
I also try to understand the patient's belief systems to understand
the symptom contaminations.
It is always better not to use the thermal state of the
patient as the eliminating rubric in repertorisation to increase
the rate of success in our practice.
Dr. S. Mohamed Aleem