Symptom Modalities

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-13 (EDT)

See Also Naturopathic Therapies
See Also Homeopathic Medicine

Modalities are factors that make any particular symptoms better or worse. Little emphasis is put on modalities in conventional medicine, in aspects of naturopathic medicine, especially homeopathy they are given tremedous weighting as they clarify how to narrow down the treatment choices. Modalities must by clear and definite in order to be useful. The following is a look at symptoms modalities are classified:[1]

  • Time: specific hour or general time of day, week, month, season, phases of the moon, recurring regularly (periodicity), during menses, etc.
  • Temperature: hot or cold environments, stuffy rooms, winds, bathing, hot or cold applications, going from hot to cold or vice versa, etc.
  • Environment: dampness or rain, foggy, overcast or clear, by the seashore, mountain air, high altitudes, barometric changes, fresh air, etc.
  • Position: various postures, sitting, lying, standing, lying on one side or the other, lying on the painful or painless side, etc.
  • Motion: worse or better from movement, gentle or vigorous exertion, after rest, from initial movement, stretching, bending, after prolonged use, bending double, rising up, ascending or descending stairs, etc.
  • Body Activity: talking, before or after eating, drinking, defecating, sneezing, urinating, perspiring, from sexual activity, travelling, after sleep, etc.
  • Sensory: odours, touch, noise, music, light, pressure, jarring, etc.
  • Psychological: worse or better from excitement, fear or shock, loss of grief, suppressed emotions, from overwork, overstudy, worse when thinking of one's problems, better when distracted, etc.
  • Locations: may be considered part of modalities, e.g. tending to occur on the left or right side, pains moving from above downward, etc.
  • Specific Foods: may also be listed with modalities, including aggravations or ameliorations from coffee, sugar, alcohol, cold water, spices, etc.

In tradititional homeopathy the symbol for aggravations (factors that make things worse) is <, while the symbol for ameliorations (factors that make things better) is >.


  1. Hershoff Asa (2000) Homeopathic Remedies, A Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and their Homeopathic Treatments. Avery Publishing Group, New York.