This case study is an excerpt from Pierre Fontaine's book "Homeopathy, Sweet Homeopathy: Coming Home to Perfect Health". Find out more information including how to purchase a copy.

(Late 20’s)

• Chronic sinusitis for 15 years
• Low energy, needs to take naps
• Lower back and knees weakness
• Sensation of blocked hearing

Pierre: I understand you have chronic sinusitis.
“Yes I do. The pressure at the root of my nose is very bad in the morning when I wake up. I sneeze several times in the morning and I have to blow my nose a bunch of times before stringy mucus comes out. I feel better after sneezing but I constantly hear a whistle sound in the nose when I breathe. The pain gets really bad with cold weather and it is definitely better in warm weather. Cold weather also gives me a blinding headache. If I apply some pressure on the nose it gets a little bit better for a short time.”

You also mentioned migraines, please tell me about them.
“Yes, I think they are related to eating meat and or drinking milk after which I get a massive visual disturbance and dizziness. I get very sensitive to light and sound and then I vomit. The pain always affects one side the left or the right side but never both at the same time.”

Is there a pattern to it? Does it start on the right and then goes to the left or any other way? Alternating perhaps?
“I looked for that for so long but it is totally haphazard. I tried so many times to see if there is a pattern but I have not seen one.”

OK, let’s continue with the migraines. Please tell me more about them.
“I just want to sleep and sip some water while I have them. After sleeping a whole night there is a residual pain when I shake my head or when I bend forward. About two years ago, I started to wake up with a headache and acid reflux. That’s headache though, they don’t have anything to do with the migraines.”

I understand, please tell me about the migraines.
“As far as the migraines are concerned the pain is generally around the eyes. It feels very deep, it comes and goes for about 10-second intervals. It seems like it lets up and then it comes back. The migraines start as soon as I wake up. Lights or brightness get magnified. My vision is not affected, it just feels like my eyes are being subjected to a type of brightness that is like an interrogation lamp. It makes me feel like I am suffocating. The onset is very sudden. It really gets me in a strong and powerful way.”

Tell me more about “it gets you in a strong and powerful way”.
“When it happens I have to sit down. The nausea sets in and I am not able to do anything. I can’t talk to anyone. It feels better if I lay down on my back. Sound gets magnified just like light does. Something is being held in a state of pain.” (He is making a gesture of making a fist opening and closing.)

Please tell me more about that state of pain.
“In 1997 I had some financial stress. I felt guilty about not being able to make ends meet by myself. I felt I let my parents down because I studied theater. I was anxious and I had fear about the future.”

OK, I would like you to tell me more, please.
“I prefer to do one task detailed and organized rather than multi-task which I am not really able to do. I need the breathing room. When I multi-task, I get anxious and nervous as if I were drinking coffee.”

How do the migraines affect you, please.
“I need to be left alone. I become irritable, I cannot think as fluently and I feel as if my stomach is held in. I feel really bad in crowded spaces. I get a little edgy and I have a draining feeling in the lower back and in the knees. In 1991, I suffered a massive accident that left me with little feeling in the hand. I can’t use my hand as well as the other. I get very nervous about it. It is as if I had too much coffee.”

As if too much coffee?
“I like to have intensity and passion of things. The down side of this intensity is that I can take only a little of it at one time. I like to plan things, when is the car going to pick me up, for example? When I cook, I need to have all the ingredients lined up. If not, I feel like I’m losing control. With the migraine I have an empty feeling in my stomach around my belly button and an open feeling when it is not tightening or held in.”

Tell me a little more about the feeling of being “held in.”
“I never want to be talked to. The feeling is the opposite of free, open space, fluidity, accessible, communicate, letting go, not having the mind involved, openness. The feeling of being held in feels like closing in, holding pressure. My father was very domineering. I had the sense that I was wrong and screamed at all the time. I always have this fear of being dominated and I have a fear of outbursts. I am holding tension in my head, eyes and stomach. I feel a tightening. I have a fear of being in that situation again. Sometimes I have a distinct feeling that my hair is more alive and that I am more present and aware of it.”

Please tell me more about this  “opening and closing.” (I make the same gesture he made.)
“When I do feel open I almost don’t have feeling in my body. It just feels good, as if the eyes have opened up like a flower. It is really fluid.”

Tell me more about being fluid.
“It is like a strong active meditative state. There is one single coordinated flow. A walk in the park becomes an incredible thing. I am immediately able to listen to music. It is really great but it doesn’t happen often.”
REMEDY: (1 month)
Opuntia vulgaris

Pierre: How are you, how are you feeling?
“The first week after I took the remedy I felt a little tingling on the left side of my neck and head. I should point out that I used to have something similar years ago. I got some hot flashes on the side of my head too but it all felt satisfying.”

Are you congested in the morning?
“The day after I took the remedy I got up with a lot of nasal congestion and I felt the mucus drain in my throat. That same day I got a migraine but could go on with the day and even attended a conference, that’s really a first.”

OK, and after that?
“After two weeks I felt some tiredness again in the lower back, knees and back which to a large degree felt the same as before. I also felt depressed as if the body was going through a shift so I thought things were getting better but now it seems as if all my complaints are still there only to a much lesser degree. I have not had any major attack of sinusitis. I only had one migraine since I took the remedy whereas they used to be several times a week. Work has become a lot easier because of the feeling of being held in comes but moves out quickly and does not affect my focus. I can keep my mind on a problem even with it.”


“Although the migraines got better they did not completely disappear. The held-in sensation I spoke about when I first came to see you is still there. Everything better, everything feels to a lesser degree but everything is still there.”

Cactus grandiflorus.

FOLLOW UP: (a few months later)
“Overall there has been a huge improvement. There have been huge improvements in the way I handle tasks, relationships and social interaction. Even my teeth feeling long is better.  I never mentioned that because I didn’t think anything could be done about it. Everything is better. Now I don’t even think I need control. I was thinking about these migraine attacks I used to get and how I had no ability to match their strength. It was so extreme, I felt so helplessness. I am glad it has all gone away.”

SEVERAL FOLLOW UPS (over a few years)
“I remain migraine free. They have not been a problem whatsoever. I came back recently because I had flashbacks of the accident but that has totally gone. I feel freed from my father’s issues.”




Tom was diagnosed with migraines 8 yrs prior to seeing me.
I present this case to show that self-prescribing with homeopathic remedies for a chronic condition is not very effective. He has taken several homeopathic remedies on his own such as Kali bichromatum and Hydrastis. One can find a lot of information about remedies online but it is close to impossible to be accurate. If you have a cold or a minor issue then by all means take a crack at it, but for anything else, please see a professional classical homeopath. I do not intend to be patronizing but a good homeopath is able to resolve problems more efficiently.

I asked a lot of questions regarding the sinusitis but beyond what we have here not much more information was coming forward hence no conclusive remedy could be found.

It is possible to arrive at the correct remedy through any ailments because ultimately the root of the disorder is the same. One person with several ailments equals one root. It is Tom who walks in the consultation room not sinusitis holding hands with migraine accompanied by lower back pain. In a situation like this it is easier to get to the root by way of his migraines because migraines are so painful the sufferer has more to gain by getting rid of them than by getting rid of a low grade sinusitis.

By asking a question about patterns I am trying to see if there is anything Strange, Rare and Peculiar (SRP). I can quickly discern that and it would afford me a shortcut to the remedy. It is a try but it rarely works. It is a little bit like the husband driving and promising his wife he has a shortcut. It is rarely so.

He is weaving his answers with other ailments. That’s very good though it can get confusing. The golden thread, as I often call it in this book, takes us to all the physical issues through the emotional level and on to the mental plane. People often have a difficult time transitioning into feelings.  I ask, “What is the feeling?” How do the migraines feel not only physically but also emotionally to him. “How do they affect you?” I mentioned at the beginning of this case that one can look at the remedies online in what we call Materia Medicas. MM’s are encyclopedias, some as large as 12 volumes, where symptoms of all kinds are noted and described. There can literally be hundreds of symptoms for one remedy and we have thousands of remedies. It is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The way I go about finding a remedy is very different than just looking up physical symptoms and cross referencing remedies a couple of remedies. My process involves discerning the precise pattern encompassing the totality of the encroachment on the PEM levels. As I mentioned before, one needs a professional. To give you an example I don’t nor can I take my own case.

He is talking to me about multi-tasking in the kitchen.
You might ask yourself “How is this relevant?” You’re right. It may not lead anywhere for the purpose of finding a remedy. This makes me think about something I hear every day. A lot of people are concerned about what they say. People say “I am not sure if this right,” or “Am I telling you what you need to hear?” Don’t be concerned about it. If the answer doesn’t lead anywhere it will reveal itself as such. In this case, after a couple of questions, I chose to take a couple of steps back and ask: “How do the migraines affect you?”

When he says, “held in” a second time he used the same hand gesture of closing and opening his fist as he did the first time. In my work of distilling everything down to what ties everything together, movements or gestures of the hands while describing feelings becomes very interesting and important. When people start putting the pain in motion the whole condition becomes dynamic. Since it is the Vital Force  we are interested in, it makes sense that we wait for it to express itself before we do anything else. As we have seen dynamis (VF) needs to be met by a dynamic substance, a homeopathic remedy. It is the resonance of the remedy upon the VF that returns the VF to a state of health.

The open and tightening feeling he is talking about clearly matches the hand gesture.

He has “fears of outbursts.” Outbursts here mean opening as in the opposite of “held in,” therefore it is the same feeling. We are not losing anything in the translation between physical and emotional.

Now the feeling of tightening is combining with a feeling in childhood. The process of spiraling down to the root is happening very neatly. Let me point out again that this is not psychotherapy and that not all cases go back to childhood.

According to his descriptions of the migraine, how it affects him, what it is like and the sensation of what it feels like, I was confident I knew the remedy he needed not only for his migraines but all the other complaints.

All complaints are better. There is no need to change the remedy. I stayed with the same remedy and the same potency.

He was at a point when he reported one migraine every 3 to 4 weeks. Compared to before, this is a major improvement. The “held in” sensation did not improve any further so I needed to rethink the remedy. I settled on a remedy of the same botanical family with the same opening and closing feature but slightly different qualities. This is like in Bruce’s case of IgA nephropathy (see case). A little change and…

That was it! Truth be told, looking back the clues to find the best remedy were right in the first intake. The results are great now but I don’t want anyone to think that conditions improved so perfectly as I describe in this book every time. Here we waited about 8 months before I changed the remedy. I tried different potencies taken in various different ways. One does not jump from one remedy to the next quickly, especially with that much improvement. It is a deeply thought out process. I guess what I am trying to say is: “Don’t be impatient.”

This man now comes about once a year. He remains migraine- and sinusitis free.