Potentised remedies are seldom applied on the skin in homeopathic practice. In fact external applications often are regarded as harmful as they are supposed to suppress local symptoms and so bereave the therapist of external signs of the internal malady. However Samuel Hahnemann, after long years of practice, had found that the concurrent rubbing in of the suitable remedy, i.e. the Simile, on the skin would enhance the effect of the oral dose. In Similapuncture the simile is applied locally, and by stimulating functional points like Acupoints, Trigger Points or Reflex Zones, this mode of application might be more than complementary to the oral intake.
Samuel Hahnemanns opinion seemed to be clear. In Aphorism 294 of the 5th edition of the Organon he states: “Rubbing-in appears to favour the action of the medicines only in this way, that the friction makes the skin more sensitive, and the living fibres thereby more capable of feeling, as it were, the medicinal power and of communicating to the whole organism this health-affecting sensation. […] Homoeopathy, however, hardly ever requires for its cures the rubbing-in of any medication, nor does it need any mercurial ointment.”
Consequently all masters of our healing art, who had to rely on this second last edition of the main work of Homeopathy, did not take local applications of the remedies into consideration. Brilliant practitioners and teachers like J. T. Kent, J. H. Clarke, J. C. Burnett, A. Lippe, the Allen’s etc. did not get a chance to know Hahnemanns latest insights on the topic and so generations of Homeopaths follow their refusing stance.
But Hahnemann was a researcher in every possible way. He never left is findings undoubted and always tried to find the fastest, easiest and safest way to cure the sick. Even though he cautioned against the rubbing in of homeopathic remedies in local diseases (Aphorism 194, 5th and 6th edition), he later found that this mode of application would further the cure especially of very old cases (Aphorism 285, 6th edition).
Similapuncture tries to follow Hahnemanns instructions. By local application of the homeopathic remedy, different stimuli are used to eradicate the disease, and this usage might even be superior to the oral intake.
External applications in medicine
There is a long history of the use of compresses, poultices and liniments in the treatment of diseases. All ancient cultures, like Egyptians, Chinese, Romans, Indians, etc. have utilised plants in their environment to alleviate inflammations, skin diseases or pain. The bible tells the story of the treatment of Hezekiah, King of Judah, who laid terminally ill. The Prophet Isaiah told him to prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil (Isaiah 38, 21), which lead to a cure.
Later mercury was extensively used in medicine internally as well as externally, especially in the treatment of Syphilis. However lots of patients died under these regimens, not from the malady, but from the horrible side-effects of this toxical agent. So renowned Paracelsus (1493 – 1541) warned against the “nonsense of greasing, fumigating and washing”  with its different preparations. Yet in Hahnemanns time the metal was still a standard remedy in the treatment of the “French disease”. The poison was said to draw sick-making substances out of the organism and so eliminate the cause of the disease.
But Hahnemann did not adopt this notion about the origin of Syphilis or diseases in general. He found that local symptoms on the skin – except for acute injuries – are caused by internal maladies and therefore must be treated “by means of internal remedies, if it is wished that the treatment should be judicious, sure, efficacious and radical“ (Organon § 190, 5th and 6th edition).
Finally he refused the application of remedies on the skin, “either in acute local diseases of recent origin or in local affections that have already existed a long time […], even although it should be at the same time administered internally” (Organon § 194, 5th and 6th edition). Should the intake of the suitable homeopathic remedy not suffice to eradicate the disease, then the acute malady would be a product of internal Psora, the fundamental cause of the diseases.
Nothing can be more harmful in homeopathic treatment than the suppression of symptoms of the disease. On the one hand the therapist eradicates a valueable sign of the internal malady as an indicator for the disorder. Then the internal disturbance, deprived of its outlet on the surface, must seek other pathways to call attention. The disease changes the level on which it attacks the patient and moves from periphery to the center.
From these considerations it seems obvious that external applications should be refused in any case, which are not caused by external injuries. And finally most Homeopaths neglect this practice. However this is only part of the story, and Hahnemann himself changed his mind after long years of observations.
A new perspective
In his work “The Chronic Diseases, their Peculiar Nature and their Homoeopathic Cure”, published between 1828 and 1838, he deeply confused his followers. With his treatise on the different miasms he laid the foundation for controversial discussions, which last until today. But aside from Psora, Syhilis and Sycosis as main causes of all diseases of mankind and their homeopathic treatment by means of Anti-Syphilitics, Anti-Sycotics and Anti-Psorics, he also gives instructions about the external usage of the remedies.
In the preface of the third volume of “Chronic Diseases”, which was published in 1837, he states:
But if the diseased organism is affected by the physician through this same appropriate remedy at the same time in sensitive spots other than the nerves of the mouth and the alimentary canal, i. e. if this same remedy that has been found useful is at the same time in its watery solution rubbed in (even in small quantities) into one or more parts of the body which are most free from the morbid ailments (e. g. on an arm, or on the thigh or leg, which have neither cutaneous eruptions, nor pains, nor cramps) – then the curative effects are much in creased. The limbs which are thus rubbed with the solution may also be varied, first one, then another. Thus the physician will receive a greater action from the medicine homœopathically suitable to the chronic patient, and can cure him more quickly, than by merely internally administering the remedy.
This mode of procedure has been frequently proved by myself and found extraordinarily curative ; yea, attended by the most startling good effects ; the medicine taken internally being at the same time rubbed on the skin externally.
It seems like these annotations stand in the shadow of the miasm theory, and hardly any of his companions realised the far reaching consequences they could possibly have. Many have turned away from his teachings because of the baffling hypothesis about the almighty sick-making qualities of Psora. They regarded the “Chronic Diseases” as crazy prattle of a desperate old man, who begs for a last appreciation. But the golden era for Hahnemann was yet to come, and he, though already in his eighties, still made some valuable discoveries.
He integrated his findings about external applications into the final edition of the “Organon” (§ 285, 6th edition), where he also mentions the back as possible place for the rubbing in of the remedies – next to the arm, thigh and lower leg already given in “Chronic Diseases”.
However his instructions about this procedure are very brief compared to the extensive treatises in this fundamental work on homeopathic anamnesis, the nature of chronic diseases or the preparation of the remedies. This might be another reason why Homeopaths do not include these findings into their practice.
Local application – general effect
There is no doubt that homeopathic remedies act beyond any substantial level. Even high potencies above avogadro limit are used to re-establish homeostasis and so bring the organism back to health. Obviously the action of these therapeutics does not depend on the quantity of the source material. So how can the phenomenon of the rapid cures by means of simultaneous rubbing in of the remedy be explained? Which impulse might come into play if a remedial agent is rubbed into the skin?
One of the oldest ways of effecting a change in the inside of the body is the treatment of superficial parts and regions by rubbing, stroking, pressing, massaging etc. The ancient Chinese by accident found that injuries from arrows might alleviate some internal diseases far away from the entry point of the arrow. This discovery has led to the development of a complex therapeutic system called Acupuncture, in which tiny needles are inserted into special points on the skin to redirect the Chi resp. the vital force.
A similar approach is followed in the different kinds of Reflex Therapies, where Reflex Areas on feet, hands, nose, face or elsewhere are stimulated for healing purposes. Acupuncture, Segmental and Reflex Therapies, Trigger Point Therapy etc. are traditional healing systems with confirmed effectiveness. The physiological properties of different functional points on the skin have been proven and their therapeutic as well as diagnostic value is clinically verified.
Hahnemann himself mentions Acupuncture in the foreword of the “Organon”, but he totally refuses the treatment with the tiny needles. However we should consider the fact, that in his time the doctors treated their patients mainly according to Galens humoral pathology. They did not know about the Chinese Philosophy behind Acupuncture, as translation of the Chinese textbooks were not available. So therapists pricked the needles without any medicinal background, probably in such an excessive way as they used leeches, blood letting or cupping, and finally with the same fatal results.
However for many Homeopaths today his words still are the guideline. They are skeptical about the approach or they practice Acupuncture in one patient and Homeopathy in another one, without fixed rules about when to use the one or the other therapy. But the methods follow similar rules, as they try to regulate the vital force with small stimuli and so bring the organism back to balance.
Moreover Hahnemann in his late years seemed to be more open minded towards other therapies. In his late work, the 6th edition of the “Organon”, he mentions massage, magnetism and mesmerism as valuable complements to homeopathic treatment. The mesmerism, a kind of energetic massage, he even calls a “marvellous, priceless gift of God to mankind” (§288). So why should it not be hahnemannian if we integrate other energetic therapies into homeopathic treatment?
Homeopathy to the needle
German physician and Homeopath August Weihe (1840 – 1896) was the first to discover a connection between Homeopathy and Acupuncture. He found that painful spots on the surface of the body might occur in any kind of internal disease. Under homeopathic treatment, when the symptoms disappear, these points also lose their tenderness. So they are related to the disease as well as to the remedy.
Weihe described the location of about 195 different points and assigned them their corresponding remedy. He did not know of Chinese Acupuncture and only used the points for diagnosis or to differentiate two or more competing remedies. Later French Acupuncturist Roger de la Fuye (1890 – 1961)  compared the Weihe-Points with Chinese Acupoints and he found that there was an accordance of most of the points in regard of their location and their field of action resp. the action of the corresponding remedy. He realised their therapeutic value and started to inject homeopathic remedies into these points. However he selected the remedies according to the complex and somewhat strange diagnosis from Traditional Chinese Medicine, which widely differs fom Western comprehension of anatomy, physiology and pathology. So Homeosiniatry, as this method was called, today only plays a minor role in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.
But we should not neglect Weihes and de la Fuyes findings in toto, but make up our mind, how we could integrate them into homeopathic practice.
A new synthesis
Similapuncture is a new synthesis between the different approaches. Here homeopathic remedies are locally applied on Acupoints, Reflex zones, Trigger points or other functional points on the skin. The integration of these points and the knowledge of the energetic pathways, on which Acupoints are located, might extend our diagnostic options, without violating Hahnemanns rules. On the contrary, this might open up new perspectives for the evaluation of the development of diseases.
Male patient, 48 yrs, complains of a stiff neck since a few days. He has a dull, drawing pain in the nape of the neck, worse from turning head to the left. Also dull sensation in the head, especially in the forehead. No cause can be identified, but he reports that he had vigorously bumped the side of his hand on the edge of a wood beam the day before the ailment started.
Can this traumatism be the cause of the stiff neck? On a look at the charts of the energy pathways of Chinese Medicine we see that there is an Acupoint located on the side of the hand which is used for the treatment of torticollis, stiffness of the neck or tension in the muscles of the nape of the neck. The point is called Small Intestines 3 because it is part of the Small Intestines pathway, which starts at the little finger and goes along the side of the hand to the elbow and at the back side of the upper arm to the nape of the neck.
So the hypothesis seems justified that the punch to the point might cause a stiffness of the neck. Accordingly Arnica montana was given in an single dose, and it rapidly removed the stiffness.
Seiler  gives another case of a young locksmith with a tumor above the right wing of the nose, which was diagnosed as an enchondroma. Several homeopathic remedies had failed to relieve, but one day the patient reported that a friend had grabbed him for fun at the neck a few weeks ago. After that there were two tender spots on his neck, which were very painful for days. After the pain had subdued, the tumor had developed.
Also in this case an understanding of the energy pathways of Chinese Medicine might furnish an explanation. The painful spots were located on the Large Intestines pathway, which ends at the side of the nose, right were the tumor had grown.
These cases suggest that points on the surface might not only be of diagnostic and therapeutic value, but also play a role in the emergence of a disease. These correlations should be the subject of further studies.
However Similapuncture is not only a diagnostic tool, but especially aims to support homeopathic therapy.
De la Fuye tried to connect Homeopathy with Acupuncture, but Traditional Chinese Medicine has its own understanding about the role of the internal organs, their relation with each other, the causes of their diseases and how to cure them. So a synthesis of these two therapeutic systems will always have to deal with different approaches and there must necessarily be inconsistencies.
The concept of Yin and Yang, which is the basis of Chinese Medicine, can somewhat be incorporated into homeopathic teachings. Yin is defined as the shaded side of a hill and corresponds to coldness, quiescence, passivity, darkness; Yang is the sunny side of the hill and is related to heat, excitement, motion, activity, vitality, etc.
Homeopathic remedies also reflect these two sides, and Cyrus M. Boger tells us to distinguish them accordingly : “All remedies are primarily either depressive or exaltative in nature. One rarely thinks of Aconite in a depressive state except, perhaps, in acute collapse or of Phosphoric acid in a state of excitement. The division of all remedies into these two broad classes is of immeasurable help in prescribing.”
So the depressive state of Phosphoric acid would correspond to Yin, while excited states like in Aconite are more Yang in character. This classification might offer easy access to the wide field of Materia Medica. However Yin and Yang are not the only peculiarities of Chinese Medicine, and philosophic groundwork like the five element theory will be hard to transfer into homeopathic practice.
Yet the system of the energetic pathways and functional points with defined action on internal organs might well be incorporated into Homeopathy. Acupoints are seen as points where the vital force (or Chi), which flows in the so-called meridians, can be easily influenced. By pressing, tapping, needling, rubbing, heat, cold or other external stimuli the therapist in Chinese Medicine tries to bring the abnormal flow of the vital force back to normal and so remove symptoms as result of this dis-order of Chi.
In Homeopathy the stimulus is transfered by means of dynamised remedies, given orally in the form of tiny globules, drops or tablets. But Samuel Hahnemann perception, that external applications of the remedies would enhance the action of the orally given drug, might here be linked with the findings of Weihe and de la Fuye. Sensitive points on the surface of the body might hence be used for diagnosis, remedy differentiation and as doorways for the action of the homeopathic dynamisations.
But the remedies do not have to be injected, they may also be rubbed in the skin resp. on functional points like Acupoints, Trigger Points or other areas. This is the fundament of Similapuncture.
Similapuncture in practice
In Homeopathy the finding of the most suitable remedy, which covers the whole disease picture, is of uppermost importance. After taking the case, analysis of the data and repertorisation the Homeopath selects the remedy with the greatest similtude in the most suitable potency. Physical examinations are mainly conducted for diagnostic purposes.
In Similapuncture the touch becomes a key diagnostic as well as therapeutic tool. By carefully palpating the skin and the underlying tissues the therapist approaches the patient from a different perspective. The fingers are used to search for tender spots, hardness or swelling up of tissues, which are linked to the actual disease picture.
These spots or areas might indicate the internal disase and can therefor be used for therapy. Reflexology is based on this principle, as well as Acupuncture, Acupressure, Trigger Point Therapy etc. In Similapuncture these locations are used as therapeutic points where the homeopathic remedy, the Simile, is applied.
The remedies should always be used on healthy tissues. However a method has proven effective, in which the area, which is selected for the application, is purposefully, yet slightly injured. This is done by means of an instrument which is used in Chinese Medicine for several centuries.
Picture 1: The seven star needle.
The so-called seven star needle is a little hammer with seven star shaped needles on the head. By tapping the hammer on the skin, the needles penetrate the upper layers of the skin, whereby the dermal barrier is broken and the remedy can be easily absorbed. But that is not the only effect of the tapping. What is more important is the stimulation of deeper lying Acupoints, Reflex Zones or other functional points which complements the action of the homeopathic remedy.
The tapping is nearly painless, so the seven star needle can be used in sensitive patients as well as in children. Even people with fear of needles can be treated, as the needles do not remain in the skin. However the therapist always has to adjust the strength of the tapping to the sensitiveness of the patient according to Arndt-Schulz rule.
After the tapping the homeopathic remedy can be applied. Therefor 2-3 globulies of the Simile are given into some water, which is then rubbed in with a cotton stick.
To demonstrate the action of Similapuncture as small case example is given. A female patient, 49 years of age, called in the early morning because of severe menstrual pains. She had an important appointment in the office in two hours which she did not want to suspend. But her momentary state hardly allowed her to walk or even sit. She had to lie and bend double because of the pain, a hot-water bottle on her abdomen. As she did not want to take analgesics and previously found help in Homeopathy in other disorders, she first wanted to give it a try.
The menstrual symptoms indicated Sepia as similar remedy. Palpation at the lower back revealed a painful spot on the sacrum, a region with strong relation to the generative organs. So this point was selected for the puncture.
After desinfection of the part the seven star needle was tapped on the skin until there was a slight redness which showed an increased blood flow in the tissue. The patient stated that she was now getting a little uncomfortable with the tapping, so the treatment was stopped. Then a solution with Sepia Q6 was rubbed in.
Right after the treatment the patient described a slight feeling of heat in the area, which seemed to extend into the lower abdomen. Few minutes later the pains began to decrease and in about 15 minutes were totally gone. Later that day she called to say that the pains did not come back and that she was totally fine.
By the local application of homeopathic remedies the action of the treatment can be instantly felt by the patient, which is a reason for the good compliance. The first impulse, given by the stimulation of functional points, is followed by the lasting effect of the simile. Other than in usual needling, one or two points are sufficient for the therapy. Furthermore the combination of Homeopathy and Acupuncture does not have to be repeated in short periods of time, the effect of one single treatment may last for days, weeks or even months, as in usual Homeopathy.
Similapuncture brings the Homeopath in touch with the patient, so the treatment seems to be getting on a more physical level. However there are also lots of Acupoints with effects on the mental state, so even mental disorders are amenable for the treatment.
Different from Hahnemanns teachings the patient does not have to take the remedy, which is applied on the skin, also orally. The skin with its fine network of receptors offers an adequate area of application and might replace the usal intake. By this procedure the therapist has the control about what remedy the patient is given, in which potency, frequency, quantity, preparation, dose and even time of the day.
For diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes a knowledge of Reflex zones, Acupoints and Trigger Points is required. Yet if the therapist can find striking areas on the body, which are related to the disease picture, these should be explored further, no matter if these are defined Acupoints, etc. So any point on the body might serve as a functional point for diagnosis and therapy.
However the effectiveness of Similapuncture mainly depends on the choice of the right remedy. A keen knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of Hahnemanns teachings are indispensable if a lasting result should be accomplished.
 Argoff C E, McCleane G (2009). Pain management secrets. Elsevier Inc., Philadelphia.
 Eikermann E (07/2014). Giftige, obsolete Arzneidrogen. Accessed 9/26/2020 on https://www.deutsche-apotheker-zeitung.de/daz-az/2014/daz-7-2014/giftige-obsolete-arzneidrogen
 De la Fuye R, Schmidt H (1952). Die moderne Akupunktur. Hippokrates-Verlag, Stuttgart.
 Seiler H P (2001). Die Weiheschen Druckpunkte – Grundlagen und Praxis. Haug-Verlag, Heidelberg.
 Boger C M (1995). Studies in the Philosophy of Healing – The Language of Disease. B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi
About the Author
Andreas Maier, born in 1971, is Homeopath with 20 years of experience. He has worked on translations of many important homeopathic works like Bogers Boenninghausen Characteristics and Repertory, Kents Repertory and Materia Medica, Allens Primer etc. With Similapuncture he tries to open new perspectives in homeopathic treatment.
Praxis für Homöopathie
Andreas Maier, HP, MSc Homeopathy.
Tel. 07042 831 229
Mobil +49 170 6312070