Appendix IV


Notes for Provers who are not Homœopaths or Students


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. 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.

Before the proving starts you will have a consultation with your supervisor. The supervisor will take your case to get some idea of how you normally are, what is call the baseline-state, and to establish a rapport between you. You will have several meetings with your supervisor where he or she will ascertain the changes in how you are and the symptoms that have appeared. Your diary will help you to remember what has happened. You will also have group meetings with the proving coordinator, other provers and supervisors.

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 on your feelings or behaviour. 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.
that are experienced by the emotions: fear, isolation, joy, etc.
that are experienced by the intellect: confusion, industriousness, etc.
that are found most clearly in dreams, fears and delusions but are also found in the way that we describe the other three areas.

It is the things that personalize a symptom, that make that symptom special to this particular proving, that are most important. These might include the following.
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.
The place that the symptom occurs. This includes the centre of the symptom's effect as well as where else it affects, particularly which side.
The things that cause the symptom to appear or the things that reignite a symptom after it has been lying relatively dormant.
The things that make the symptoms better or worse. These can include weather, food and eating, exercise, rest, emotions, concentration, etc.
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? When you write down a symptom in your diary it is worth thinking about these questions and noting any particularities of the symptom. The role of your supervisor is to help you to look at the symptom and note these details.

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 properties 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, you need to indicate why it might be part of the proving. 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.

At the end of the proving you will have meetings with your supervisor and with the whole group. This will give you the opportunity to express your overall feeling about the proving.