How does it work?

In the proving process, Hahnemann learned that the body has a primary and a secondary reaction to the effect of a substance.  The primary response is the direct action a substance has on the body; the secondary reaction is the counter-response the body has to the primary action.  In other words, the primary action throws the body off equilibrium, and the secondary response is the body’s attempt to bring the body back to equilibrium.

Hahnemann discovered that while lowering the amount of substance taken during provings (and during treatment), the secondary response is maintained while the primary action is lessened.

I describe this process to patients using the analogy of a fever.  A fever is a secondary response from the body to fight off illness (i.e. a healing response).  It may not be comfortable, but it is an attempt by the body to bring itself back to equilibrium.  Most of the time, the body is successful and can avoid a fever being out of control.  In the process of healing, we want to raise the “fever” just enough to heal while avoiding going overboard into uncontrolled territory.

Sometimes during the healing process, symptoms can temporarily worsen.  I call this the stuck drawer syndrome.  Sometimes in old houses you can’t open a drawer by pulling straight out.  Instead, you must push it in to dislodge it before you can pull it open.  The same process can happen with your body.