Notes for Provers
The object of a proving is to obtain clear and useful information about the symptoms produced by a remedy. There are numerous side effects, most of which are beneficial, but this primary object should always be foremost and should indicate the actions to be taken during a proving.
Your role as a prover is to allow your vital force to express the symptoms of the remedy and to record those symptoms with clarity and in detail.
You need to keep a proving diary. This is best kept on a computer and updated daily. To type up the whole thing at the end becomes a daunting task that gets put off, whereas five minutes each day takes little effort. You should have a notebook that you take with you during the day to make note of things soon after they happen and which you keep by your bedside at night to write down dreams before they are forgotten. The format for submitting your diary is outlined in appendix III.
You need to observe symptoms as they occur and to note in what way they represent a change from your baseline state. The symptom is a variation from what is normal for you and is not something that stands in isolation. The way in which it differs from how you normally are or feel or react is much more important than just a description of the symptom. Your pre-proving diary is a way of noting your normal state and gives you something to compare your proving state against.
In order to be sure that symptoms come from the remedy you should not change your basic routine. You should not change your normal regimen unless you feel that the remedy is changing it. Do not take anything that you would not normally especially if it can have an effect. Do not give up anything that you would normally do or consume unless prompted to by the remedy. If you normally smoke or drink coffee or wine, to give up might introduce effects that are not part of the remedy picture.
Symptoms can be found in four areas.
Sensations that are experienced by the senses, this includes pains, stiffness, etc.
Feelings that are experienced by the emotions: fear, isolation, joy, etc.
Thoughts that are experienced by the intellect: confusion, industriousness, etc.
Images that are found most clearly in dreams, fears and delusions but are also found in the way that we describe the other three areas.
The best way to examine the proving
symptom is to use Boenninghausen's CLAMS.
Concomitants Any other symptoms that accompany the main symptom and have a relationship to it because: they appear together; they affect or worsen each other; or they have a common quality.
Location The place that the symptom occurs. This includes the centre of the symptom's effect as well as extensions, where else it affects, and sidedness.
Aetiology The things that cause the symptom to appear or the things that reignite a symptom after it has been lying relatively dormant.
Modalities The things that make the symptoms better or worse. These can include weather, food and eating, exercise, rest, emotions, concentration, etc.
Sensation The nature of the symptom, what it feels like, any metaphors that make its nature clearer, anything that would help a reader understand the precise nature of the symptom.
Another way of considering the symptom is to ask: What? Where? When? How? Why?
The role of your supervisor is to help you to look at the symptom and note these details. At first you should be in daily contact with your supervisor but as symptoms lessen this can be reduced. It should be said that your relationship with your supervisor is not the same as your relationship with your homopath. The reason why a proving symptom has arisen is because you have taken the remedy. Your supervisor's job is to help you to clarify the picture of that symptoms. The reason why you in particular experienced it is because you have a susceptibility to it and that susceptibility should be explored with your homopath.
A symptom should be classified as
one of the following.
NS New Symptom. One that you have never experienced before.
OS Old Symptom. A symptom you have experienced before but not for at least a year.
RS Recent Symptom. One you have experienced within the year before the proving. If you first experience a symptom during the proving and then experience it again later it is still a New Symptom and not a recent one.
AS Altered Symptom. One you have experienced before but which is slightly different, i.e. one or more of the above CLAMS is changed.
IOS Intensified Old Symptom. An Old Symptom but one which you have never before experienced with the same degree of intensity.
CS Cured symptom. A very clear, usually physical, symptom that you had at the start of the proving and which has completely disappeared. A change in disposition, even if it would seem to be for the better, represents a symptom not a cured one. So an increase in confidence or in toleration is a symptom in the same way that timidity or irritability would be. Always describe things as they are not as a lack of something else. So increased confidence is not a decrease in insecurity.
Except for New Symptoms, the text of the symptom must indicate why this symptom is included. If it is altered or intensified it must say how it has altered or intensified. If it is an old or recent symptom there must be a reason why it should be included, what makes you think it has been affected by the proving. Any symptoms that are not new and do not have any explanation can not be included.
When you feel that most of the effects of the proving have ended you should write a brief summary of the proving and note the things that affected you most through the proving and how you feel you changed.
You can then edit your diary as described in appendix III and let your supervisor comment on it. Finally it should be sent to the proving coordinator.