Comparison: Sensitives in Phos. and Ars.


[Dr. Luc de Schepper]

Among the common signs of hyperaesthesia are anesthesia, numbness of fingers, arms, feet and legs. But the symptoms of the hypersensitive are best demonstrated by the

two most common types: the Arsenicum type and the Phosphorus type. Incidentally, these are the two main remedies (besides Merc.) in homeopathy for hypersensitives.

As always, the remedy is selected according to the laws of homeopathy.

The Arsenicum Hypersensitive: great sensitivity to foods

There is no bigger "hypochondriac" in homeopathy than the Arsenicum type. Don't misunderstand me. Hypochondria is not as demeaning a term to the homeopath as it is

for the modern doctor. It merely reflects the great anxiety and fear these patients have for death, disease and contamination. Because of their condition, they see everything around them as an enemy, and they feel (rightfully so) that they cannot handle more stress on their precious vital energy, not even the slightest flu. They are very restless, emotionally and physically, but because of great fatigue, are unable to move around a lot. They are typically very chilly, looking for a warm source to be close to.

They despair about their recovery, and their future in which they foresee nothing but poverty and isolation. They are very tidy but their great weakness does not always allow them to be obsessive about it. They are thirsty for cold water which they drink in little sips. They can be capricious and nasty.

What are some of the causes of hypersensitivity in this patient? A financial loss (for example, the stock market crash); food-poisoning and any other substance that was a poison to the body; exposure to chemicals, breast implants, poisoning by overmedication (= an illness that is iatrogenically induced).

The Phosphorus Hypersensitive

While the Arsenicum type exhibits, Phosphorus types are more reactive to environmental factors: perfumes, gasoline, newsprint, "sick-buildings," (where the constantly

recycled air, formaldehyde-treated carpets and building materials do damage to the immune system) and the electro magnetic fields (EMF) of electrical power lines, radio,

TV, alarm clocks, water beds and electric blankets, microwave ovens, etc.

This is the longilineal (tall and thin) type, hypersensitive to noise, light and smells. They are euphoric, creative dreamers and always have new interests. They are wonderful starters, but poor finishers because they run out of steam. They are individuals who can prophesy weather changes, becoming restless and fearful as storms approach.

They are very sentimental, vain and talkative and are very psychic and clairvoyant. Possible causes of this type of sensitivity are too-rapid growth, a bout with hepatitis,

loss of fluids, ill effects from grief and anger, physical and emotional over-exertion or an anesthesia or a pneumonia, after which they were never well since.

In general, one can determine sensitivity or non-sensitivity in a patient by looking at the way he conducts himself in life. Liveliness, fineness of feeling, restlessness, desire

for change of work or interest, capriciousness, and a less well-balanced mental state are marks of the sensitive. It is also interesting to see how, in a dark room, sensitives never seem to stumble against a wall.


[Dr. Luc de Schepper]


The first group are the PHOSPHORUS personalities. This homeopathic remedy comes from the element Phosphorus, used to make matches; it flares up with a sudden blinding light, then just as suddenly disappears. This quality explains the physical, emotional and mental make-up of the Phosphorus patient. The Phosphorus person has a radiant, bubbly, effusive energy but is easily physically and mentally exhausted, always in need of a short nap, which revives him easily. Called good beginners (because they are so easily excitable, they start many things) and bad finishers (because they run out of stamina!).

Extremely sensitive on all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. They are the most likely to react to environmental chemicals, paint fumes, etc. They are sensitive to changes in the weather, often getting headaches at the approach of a storm. And they are sensitive to spiritual vibrations, being attracted to all kinds of New Age spirituality, channeling, crystals, etc.

Often clairvoyant and are great mediums. They are extremely sensitive to others’ emotions, even feeling others’ emotions within themselves, to the point that they often lack boundaries between themselves and others.

Thus they are known as “psychogenic sponges.”

Physically the Phosphorus presents mainly as a tall, slender individual with delicate features, long eyelashes, and large shiny, radiant eyes. Phosphorus people stand out through graceful, effeminate manners; they talk with vivid and rapid movements of the hands as if to attract attention to their expressive face. The big eyebrows have a round form, eyebrows belonging to the sentimental and spiritual person, who loves walks in the moonlight, recites poetry, and sings tender, romantic songs. They often have oval nails on long slender fingers.

Tears come easily, but they can be promptly interrupted by an infectious smile, especially when the person is entertained or has the attention of an audience. This person detests the winter months, at which time he becomes a reclusive. Being full of light himself, he needs the constant stimulus of growing energy, like in the Spring, to sustain the bubbling, creative personality. This person often suffers from Seasonal Affection Disorder (SAD). Emotionally these people are very sympathetic, too much for their own good. They are especially concerned about the welfare of their loved ones. They love travelling, singing, dancing, parties, anything that is exciting, and any chance to perform for an audience. They have many fears: of being alone, in the dark, thunderstorm and lightning, in large crowds, etc. They crave the company of friends, love consolation when something goes wrong and weep easily even over small events. They choose professions with creativity and flexibility.

Don’t put them in a run-of-the-mill nine-to-five job—it’s like putting a bird in a cage! They are our actors, actresses, dancers, performers, outrageous barbers, travel agents, artists, interior designers, stand-up comedians,

pianists, bartenders, astrologers and sentimental novel writers.

The middle name is “SENSITIVE.” The physical sensitivity of the Phosphorus person is also reflected by overreactions to anesthesia, even to small amounts in the dentist’s office. The numbness can stay for a long time, or the patient has a hard time waking up from anesthesia after surgery. It is a phenomenon well known in Western medicine, yet anesthesiologists cannot predict it or know how to avoid it. Homeopathy recognizes this sensitive patient before therapy starts, avoiding unnecessary, even harmful aggravations.

Usually hypersensitives need only half or even a quarter of the normal recommended dose, be it drugs, vaccinations, anesthesia or vitamins. More than that, and they are likely to react as though to a toxin (even with vitamins), because their systems are overloaded and their vital energy suppressed.


Phosphorus person: sunny, vivacious, radiant personality.

Arsenicum person: thin, nervous, restless and sometimes angry. Tall and slender, with a tendency to walk very erect, head up. They are the ones with allergic shiners (black circles under the eyes). They are full of anxiety and insecurity about the future, putting stress on their hard-functioning adrenals. Their lips are often oval, pursed and pinched, as if continually hiding disapproval. Their words are delayed by reflective selectivity. This all adds up to an uptight personality, quite a contrast with the Phosphorus. Arsenicums are fastidious to the point of obsessive compulsiveness. Their greatest fear is catching a disease, so they are constantly washing their hands, scrubbing their food and disinfecting silverware to avoid those omnipresent germs. They realize they will “succumb to these buggers or maybe cancer” but they are willing to give it their best fight.

Many fears about the future, afraid that no one will take care of them when they are sick and old. And sick they are. They constantly are on the lookout for a disease which is just around the corner.

Convinced that either no doctor has been able to find their disease or that everyone else has underestimated the “terrible” disease they are suffering from. To control their anxiety as much as possible, they will always pay close attention to detail. While the Phosphorus person looks for the pleasant side of life, the Arsenicum personality always perceives the cup as half empty. They are analytical thinkers, enough to drive you crazy, but great to have as a secretary (your desk will be cleaned if you want it or not!) Nothing gives the Arsenicum personality more joy than cleaning, over and over again.

Of course, they are more dependable and better organized than the Phosphorus person, but there will be a lot less laughter in your office with an Arsenicum. With their eye

for detail they make great detectives, inspectors, professors, psychotherapists, dentists, accountants, pharmacists, social workers, and proofreaders. Where the Phosphorus person is usually born as such, the Arsenicum type is often sculpted bv sad events: fear and anxieties from a young age on because of the death or illness of relatives or parents, financial loss, poverty, and even food poisoning, all can lead to this Arsenicum personality. And alas, they become almost as sensitive as the Phosphorus person. There is a great difference, though: the Phosphorus person has environmental sensitivities, the Arsenicum food sensitivities or allergies.


By understanding these different types and incorporating this knowledge into our treatment, Western medicine would avoid many of the unfortunate reactions which are

so commonplace nowadays. As always, homeopathy will look for the initial cause and treat the whole person. By recognizing sensitive patients, the skillful homeopathic physician will cure their disorder and balance their sensitivity so that the world becomes a friendlier place to live in! If you are hypersensitive, make sure to consult a homeopath who is familiar with LM potencies, the special potencies devised by Hahnemann himself to be gentle enough for hypersensitives.

Otherwise aggravations are bound to happen! As you strengthen your constitution through homeopathy, you will become less reactive to the world around you and increasingly able to lead a normal life.



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