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Are you all aware of ‘DETECTIVE’????

The Homoeopath as a detective asks, who? What? Why? Where? When? How? Each time they consider a case. What makes it worse? What makes it better? How do storms affect you? In which season your complaints are more? Do you feel often colder or warmer than others around you? In which time your complaints are more? A complete homoeopathic case includes the answers to questions.

Homoeopaths ask questions like this in order to find out person’s overall response to his surroundings, responses that may be felt as likes or dislikes, comforts and discomforts and over all state of being. We call these as ” MODALITIES.”
As there was a famous saying by William Blake:

To see a world in a Grain of sand And a Heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.

It gives more pleasure to me to be able to present about the proper and most decisive modifiers of the characteristics, not one of which is utterly worthless, not even the negative ones that have developed importance in growth of Homoeopathy. Modality is the circumstances and conditions that affect or modify a symptom. In every individual case, prescription based on modalities are sole guide to choose of remedy.

Modalities is what makes a symptom worse or better and this information recorded by the homoeopaths using the notations’ >’ better or ameliorated from, ‘<‘ worse or aggravated from.

There are different types of modalities:

1.Time Modalities: symptoms that increase or decrease at the same or corresponding time comes under time modalities. such as -worse at night. further divided into 2 types:

A) Diurnal Modality: happening over a period of a day. Such as:- symptoms are aggravated at sunrise to sunset.
B) Specific time Modality: increase or decrease in intensity of symptoms at particular time.
Such as:- THUJA < at 3:00Am and 3:00Pm
LYCOPODIUM:- all complaints < at 4:00 to 8:00Pm

2. Posture Modalities: Stationary position in which a person adapts whether it is sitting ,standing and sleeping in order to decrease the symptoms.
Such as:- < or > by lying on painful side, < or > by lying on painless side, > in knee chest position, > or < by bending forward,> by bending double,> by sitting erect, < or > by bending backward,> by legs cross, supporting while standing, supporting back with a pillow. etc.

3. Locomotion Modalities: Ability of a person to move from one place to another place such as: – Gait, walking, running, climbing steps upward [ascending] climbing downwards [descending], moving in a circular motion, rising from the seat {first movement}.

4. Weather, Climate, Season: Weather, Climate, Season are the 3 different terms:
A) Weather: atmosphere in specific place within a short period.
Such as:- < in foggy ,rainy, windy, cloudy ,hot ,humid, cold, damp, dry and thunderstorm.
B)Climate:- average weather conditions over a place over a period of time.
Such as:- hot, cold ,rainy
C) Season:- main periods into which a year can be divided, generally over a long period of time.
Such as:- winter, summer, rainy

5. Thermal Modalities: -thermal modalities may be heat or cold
heat: a) dry heat
b) moist heat
cold: a) dry cold
b) wet cold

6. External stimuli Modalities:-reaction of a person to external stimuli.
a)pressure:- < or > slightest pressure/ tight bandage >
b)touch:- fine touch / crude touch
c)light:-< or > in dim light/bright light/sunlight/artificial light
d)noise:- , by slightest sound/talking/< or > by music
e)rubbing:-it is always unintentional unlike massaging { in which external ointments or lotions are used}.

7. Food and drinks: – some people have intense craving for sour/sweet/spicy/pungent food and drinks but as soon as they, consume they end up with diarrhea/vomiting/ increase in asthma/joint pains/itching/allergy/nausea/ indigestion in the same day or preceding day. < by eating indigestible things.

8. Physiological eliminations: -includes Urine passes while coughing,
pain > after stool, < or > by sweating.

9. Phases: -infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age

10. Events, Conditions, Unnatural elimination: > by bleeding
> by elimination {eructation, flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting}
>eating, menses, scratching, pus discharge, bathing, sleeping

11. Psychological and Mental Factors: – a person’s internal state of being and involuntary physiological response to an object or a situation, based on tied to physical state or sensory data. such as > by crying
> by consolation, > by expressing anger etc.


As “modalities” of a remedy denote its intrinsic and essential qualities, in the same manner “modalities” of the symptoms and complaints of a patient identify the intrinsic and integral components of his disease. Modalities are always important as they modify the disease and greatly help us in finding the similimum. However, all modalities don’t possess equal importance. Modalities are less or more important according to the concerning symptoms. Modalities related only to particular and less important symptoms are of less importance. Whereas modalities belonging to important general symptoms {physical and mental general} are most important. Prescription based on this data gives a perfect similimum remedy. When the remedy is selected based, modalities the outcome will be of good improvement.

Kent says, “I have frequently known young men to mistake a modality for a symptom. This is fatal to a correct result. The symptom is a sensation or condition, and the modality is only a modification. The symptom often becomes peculiar or characteristic through its modality.” {J.T. KENT, lesser writings, p.313}

V.Meghana Reddy , 3rd BHMS

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