Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homeopathy - Ignore the Fool Detractors, They're So Lost !

By: Charley Joseph Solomon

Comment posted by a reader on a homeopathic bashing blog: 
Can we stop with the Homeopathy bashing please ? I've used Homeopathy out of frustration with the failure of allopathic medicines and I've had remarkable successes with homeopathy. Placebo effect or whatever, who cares ? - as long as I feel better.

You can find negative comments on almost any subject. They're all over the web. Why should it be any different with Homeopathy?

But it is a little different with Homeopathy. The negative information, dis-information and fool-information seems to be more widespread than on many subjects.

There seams to be a concerted effort to discredit Homeopathy as a serious science. The pieces are well done, even elaborate, complete with seemingly expert  authorities on the subject. They say they have credentials and they explain Homeopathy with precision in great detail. They "hook" you in with their seriousness, which seems genuine. But then they appear puzzled by some factors usually having to do with potency's and dilutions. They're  mystified. They employ grandiose illustrations in the videos on YouTube, complete with butt humor, heal-clicks, and seriously funny commentary on the improbability of it all.

Well, if you can't discredit a beautiful, masterful ideal with real science, turn it into a farce. Farcical gets press. Humor can and will put some serious clinkers in any idea, however sound it may be. And with a simple but fantastical idea like Homeopathy that goes far beyond the pale into a rarefied atmosphere - where our inadequate understanding of the laws of physics and chemistry fails to be able to explain the demonstrable effects of Homeopathy; there you have a fertile far-field for farcical, fricasseed foul.

One of serious mind may only hope that the debunkers will choke on the crow. (Well, we don't really hope that they will choke. That would be to fall into their confrontational mode of thinking: Dualism.)

Nearly all of the comments by the naysayers and debunkers leveled at homeopathy seem to have a common thread. They are absolutely certain that Homeopathy does not work. They are fundamentally judgmental, adamant, convinced, confrontational, conflicted, non-contemplative and closed-minded. They just know that they are right.

However, these are the characteristics of Dualistic thinking - orthodoxy at its worst.

From Philosophy we have the concepts of Dualism and Non-Dualism.

Non-Dualism's view of reality is not in terms of either / or, but rather in terms of both / and. Non-Dualism is a higher level of consciousness that is contemplative and can entertain concepts of uncertainty, mystery, and paradox - isn't that just like life?

The "Enlightenment" after the Reformation firmly established the concept of the "rational mind" based on the earlier logic of the Greeks. The thinking was that the rational mind (Dualism) would get us to the scientific truth in all matters. Such critical and comparative thinking yielded Newtonian physics, etc. The normal function of words and language is Dualistic and it serves us well. At least we can know right from left, up from down and find our way across the world.

Modern science, however, has come full circle in realizing how little we actually know. Non-Dualism is the thinking that takes us beyond Newtonian and into Heisenburgs's  Uncertainty Principle, Relativity and the concept of the Unified Field. (The energy is not in the particles, but in the space between the particles and is based on particle relationships.)

The Dualistic mind works to compare, compete and condemn -  and fraught with fables, foibles and foolishness. This low level of consciousness sets up competition between short and tall, black and white, superior and inferior, etc. It is oppositional thinking and ego led, as in "I'm right, you're wrong", and, therefore, is the foundation of conflict, struggle, racism and war.

Why is it worthwhile for us to consider and contemplate these learned concepts of philosophy and science in order to correctly comprehend our life and our relationship to the forces of nature that control and govern our life in the world and maybe even in the hereafter? It is necessary to consider these concepts so that we can know and be comfortable with the real truths of life.

If we can access Non-Dual thinking we can still be rational, but in a more calm and positive way. Non-Dual thinking is tolerant, patient, happy, non-violent, accepting of others, of differences, of love, of self. The ego does not need to get in the way. We can be forgiving of others and ourselves. We need not blame others and we can know that "we" are our own problem. We can tolerate paradox and mystery knowing that there is a lot in the world that defies logic. If we cannot accept mystery in others and in the world, we will not be able to accept mystery in ourselves.

The great peace-makers were all Non-Dual thinkers. We have to give up the world view of win / lose and embrace the idea of win, win.

References: Wikipedia Search: Dualistic and Non-Dualistic Thinking.
                  "The Naked Now - Learning to See as the Mystics See", Book by Fr.
                    Richard Rohr, OFM

I contend that Homeopathy comes down on the side of win, win. It is a medicine of the people. Ordinary  people can learn to apply Homeopathic techniques to many of their irritating conditions - and at fairly low cost. Many people and families will be happier and more peaceful - contributing to a happier and peaceful world.  It is the means by which the vibrations of  life can change for the better.

There is only one Homeopathic system of medicine - devised by Samuel Hahnemann, MD , in the year 1796.

Later Dr Kent and others implemented many advances in the system of treatment. World-famous Prof. George Vithoulkas with his International Academy of Classical Homeopathy based in Greece brings Homeopathy into the new millennium with extensive writings, lectures and courses available in most countries.

Homeopathy - Medicine for the New Millenium
Homeopathy is the branch of medicine which cures on the basis of similarity to the whole healthy condition of the patient, rather than addressing symptoms in isolation.
In this revised and expanded edition, world-famous homeopath George Vithoulkas presents the historical scientific basis for the discipline in simple terms, and shows that homeopathy not only addresses the health of the whole person, but can succeed in treating many chronic conditions regarded as incurable by conventional medicine.
Homeopathy - Medicine for the New Millenium

Classical Homeopaths prefer to use just one remedy at a time at a single potency. The real art is to identify the one, best remedy and potency for the person and then to carefully observe its effects - and maybe make adjustments, sometimes over the course of many months, and then only as they deem necessary. The idea is to not interfere with a cure, if it is progressing according to the Homeopathic protocol: progressing from the top, down, from the inside, out and from the major organs toward the lessor organs (such as the skin).

Some patients, who do not understand or trust Homeopathy, may have difficulty with this approach, as being to slow or not working or causing Homeopathic aggravations or bringing something out on the skin. They may not follow instructions properly or may do something that sabotages the Homeopathic treatment.

In complex or critical cases, where the initial remedy exposes one of more underlying layers of disease, however, some classical Homeopaths confess that they will give subsequent remedies, maybe even very quickly according to the severity of the symptoms. The best interests of the patient, life and function, should   come first before doctrine.

There are also different techniques practiced by Homeopathic doctors and practitioners that may include classical Homeopathy, but also deviate from the classical in various ways. This may overcome some patient dis-satisfactions.

Complex Homeopathy is standard practice for some doctors and practitioners and may include several remedies in one prescription or several, single remedies to be taken according to instructions.  Over-the-counter preparations may incorporate various potencies and remedies in the same formula, which may also include herbal, mineral or other factors.

Clinical Homeopathy is another technique with wide range of application. It may be used in treating a particular patient, a particular disease, or a general state of disease with modification or employment, as necessary. For instance, to prevent infection with H1N1 or minimize flu symptoms, some Homeopathic practitioners and Medical colleges of Homeopathy are advising the use Influenzyme as main remedy (and subsequently Arsenicum Album or Gelsemium or Bryonia).

Those who claim Homeopathy does not work, are they speaking of classical Homeopathy? Have they had an actual experience with Homeopathy? Did they follow instructions correctly and did they allow for follow-up? Was the doctor or practitioner competent? Are they aware that there are different techniques in Homeopathy that sometimes may need to be utilized?

Are the detractors of Homeopathy aware that the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States is established in law by the FD & and C Act of 1938, and others, and also by the World Health Organization, W.H.O., of the United Nations?

Most likely the detractors have little of no experience with Homeopathy or the various techniques and are not of a mind that can contemplate or accept deep concepts.
They may also have a hidden agenda with sinister purpose - and may even be paid agents of dis-information.  Therefore, most of the negative comments by the detractors seem to be based in ignorance or worse and should be considered to be largely irrelevant.

Homeopathy poses many problems for Big Pharma and they will go to great lengths to squelch it. Here's why :

Why Skeptics Love to Hate Homeopathy by Amy Lansky, Phd. 
 Perhaps the most derided of alternative medicines is my own favorite -- homeopathy.  Over the past few years, detractors have focused their efforts in the United Kingdom and have succeeded in crippling homeopathic hospitals and clinics funded by the National Health Service, as well as the practices of many homeopaths. A few well-placed editorials in prominent newspapers have done the trick, despite the fact that Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family are ardent supporters of homeopathy.  It now seems that some of these folks are taking their show on the road.  Two key UK players, Michael Baum and Edzard Ernst have published a commentary in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine [2] in which they state, “a belief in homeopathy exceeds the tolerance of an open mind.  We should start from the premise that homeopathy cannot work and that positive evidence reflects publication bias or design flaws until proved otherwise.”   Not surprisingly, their commentary also reflects a complete ignorance of homeopathy and the range of studies that support its effectiveness.  For example, their article incorrectly uses the term “potentation” instead of “potentization” for the method used to create homeopathic remedies (more on this later).  The authors also insist on citing a single negative meta-analysis study that has already been shown to be methodologically flawed [3], while ignoring many positive studies in respected publications, including two other meta-analyses that showed positive results [4-9].  So why do the skeptics love to hate homeopathy?  Perhaps because it is one of the most threatening alternative modalities -- financially, philosophically, and therapeutically.  Actually, homeopathy has been a threat to allopathy ever since the 1800s, when German physician Samuel Hahnemann developed the homeopathic system.   
Founder of Homeopathy
Hahnemann, a respected doctor and chemist who helped to pioneer the importance of hygiene as well as homeopathy, was forced to move frequently during his life because the local German apothecaries objected to the fact that he created his own medicines rather than use theirs. A fierce battle was also waged against homeopathy in the United States during the 1800s, where homeopathy had achieved a strong presence by 1840.  In fact, in 1847, the American Medical Association (AMA) was formed specifically to fight the battle against homeopathy.   Most homeopaths of the 1800s were former allopaths who had abandoned their brethren because they found Hahnemann’s system to be more successful in battling cholera, typhus, yellow fever, diphtheria, etc. But does homeopathy really pose such a threat to conventional medicine today? To see how the little David of homeopathy could take down the Goliath of big pharma, we need to take a closer look at what homeopathy is all about. 
Like Cures Like.
Homeopathic practice is based on a single law of therapeutics called the Law of Similars. This law states that a substance that can cause the symptoms of a disease can also cure it.  In fact, that’s exactly what word “homeopathy” means:  similar (“homeo”) suffering (“pathy”). For example, one reason that the remedy Coffea Cruda (made from coffee) can be curative for insomnia is that coffee can cause sleeplessness.  Interestingly, allopaths sometimes utilize the Law of Similars, but are unaware of it when they do and are perplexed by the phenomenon.  Ask any conventional doctor why Ritalin (a substance that would normally cause hyperactivity) can treat hyperactivity in children, and they’ll scratch their heads in confusion.  Ask a homeopath, and it’s a no-brainer: the Law of Similars.  The reason why homeopaths run into trouble with the skeptics, though, revolves around how homeopathic remedies are prepared. Obviously, many of the substances that can cause the symptoms of disease are toxic.  This inherent toxicity poses a challenge, if you want to administer these substances safely.  In an effort to deal with this problem, Hahnemann put succussion into the process.  The result was a method that he called potentization, in which a substance is serially diluted and succussed over and over.   Much to Hahnemann’s own surprise, these ultra-dilutions -- so dilute that they cannot possibly contain a single molecule of the original substance -- were still potent therapeutically.  In fact, they were even more potent than low levels of dilution. Of course, this was and still is too much for the skeptics to bear.  It turns much of accepted science on its head!   What the skeptics keep ignoring, however, are an increasing number of scientific studies that indicate that some kind of signature of the original substance is embedded in a potentized ultra-dilution. In a 2007 paper by Professor Rustom Roy, the founding director of the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State and one of the world's leading experts on the structure of water, it was demonstrated that lab instruments could pick up energetic signatures in ultra-dilutions that were not only specific to individual homeopathic remedies, but to specific potencies of these remedies [10].   Indeed, science has backed up the phenomenon of potentization for over 20 years. In 1988, Nobel Prize nominee and medical researcher Jacques Benveniste turned the course of his life upside down when he discovered that ultra-dilutions could retain substance-specific properties.  In particular, he found that a certain antibody could be serially diluted and succussed beyond the point where a single molecule could remain, but still cause the same effects [11].  Naturally, the skeptics quickly attacked Benveniste. But he continued his work and further demonstrated that the electromagnetic signature of an ultra-dilution could be recorded electronically, transmitted via Email, replayed into water, and still achieve the same substance-specific effects in the laboratory [12]. Eventually, Benveniste’s results were replicated [13]. Most recently, a 2009 paper by Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier underscored the power of ultra-dilutions too [14].  

Drug Companies Are Running Scared Now think about it.  This is what big pharma is scared of.   
What if an expensive drug could be potentized to create billions of effective doses at essentially no cost?
It would destroy big pharma entirely. Medicines that cost essentially nothing?  Nontoxic ultra-diluted medicines that cause fewer side effects? How could the coffers of big pharma be sustained?  Forget about the Law of Similars.  It’s potentization -- the process of creating effective ultra-dilutions -- that big pharma is scared of! No wonder Baum and Ernst got the word “potentization” wrong.  This one word is the small stone that could take Goliath down. Of course, homeopaths add fuel to the fire.  The fundamental philosophy of homeopathy implies that the primary tools of allopathy are harmful.   In particular, homeopaths believe that suppressing symptoms with anti-pathic drugs -- drugs that oppose the symptoms of a disease rather than mimic them -- cannot cure and can even do harm.  If a symptom is suppressed -- for example, if a seasonal allergy is suppressed by an antihistamine -- it is only temporarily palliated.   A patient still has allergic tendencies and his or her symptoms will eventually return.  That’s why suppressive drugs must be taken again and again.  And of course, big pharma loves that!  It’s good for business.   
Deceptive Cures
 Unfortunately, if a substance succeeds in completely suppressing a symptom, there may be an illusion of “cure,” but the real result is more sinister.  Another key tenet of homeopathy is that the true result of suppression is a deepening of the underlying disease state -- because the energy of the disease is now forced to manifest in a more serious way. That’s why repeated application of cortisone cream to eczema can lead to asthma.   That’s why the suppression of arthritis pain can lead to heart disease. That’s why teenagers who take acne drugs sometimes develop suicidal depression.  Doctors call this phenomenon a “side effect” or a “natural disease progression.” But that’s because they don’t understand the effects of suppression or the signs of true cure.   Over the past two hundred years, homeopaths have discovered that homeopathic medicines -- drugs that mimic a person’s symptoms rather than oppose them -- can lead to genuine cure of chronic disease, not mere palliation or suppression.  Rather than creating a deeper disease, a homeopathic medicine that is similar to a patient’s disease can not only cure it, but reveal previously suppressed layers of disease that can be treated too.  That’s why good homeopathic treatment can often cure asthma -- and also reveal and treat previously suppressed eczema. That’s why it has the potential to cure arthritis and chronic bladder infections, not simply palliate them with endless medications. Indeed, homeopathy can effectively treat acute diseases like influenza and bacterial infections too. With its ability to successfully treat both chronic and acute disease with low-cost medicines, homeopathy really could be a threat to big pharma, given half a chance. 
Ideal for Poor Countries or Rich Ones with Declining Economies
 Poor countries with less access to expensive drugs have already discovered this. That’s why homeopathy is the second most widespread form of medicine in the world. In India, homeopathy is a full-fledged medical system with its own medical schools and hospitals.  Homeopaths in India successfully treat the full range of diseases, including AIDS, cancer, and malaria.   In Cuba, a poor country with a health care system that often does better than our own, homeopathy is being used more and more.  In 2008, 2.5 million Cubans were given a homeopathic remedy to prevent Leptospirosis, an infectious disease also known as swamp fever.  This disease has plagued the country for several years in the aftermath of flooding, but the year in which homeopathy was used, in contrast to previous years, there were no fatalities and very few cases of the disease [15].  But here’s the rub.  Homeopathy is harder to practice than allopathy.  There are no cookie-cutter cures, especially for chronic disease. (Luckily, however, effective treatment of epidemic diseases like the flu is easier; see Resources.) Each patient’s health pattern is unique, so each patient must be treated as an individual.   A homeopath must find a single remedy (among thousands of possible homeopathic remedies) whose associated symptoms match those of the patient -- not just their main complaint, but their entire symptom picture that includes emotional, mental, behavioral, as well as the physical symptoms of the entire body.  It’s a daunting task.  A practitioner who practices classical homeopathy  (the kind of homeopathy I advocate) typically needs at least two hours for an initial case interview and may spend just as long deciding upon a remedy.   And sometimes it takes a homeopath several tries to find just the right remedy -- the one that homeopaths call the simillimum.  This process also requires patients to engage in their own treatment, because symptoms are gathered not by machines or by using tests, but through direct communication between patient and homeopath.  Of course, this is not something big pharma, conventional doctors, or insurance companies would be happy about.  No expensive medicines or tests or equipment needed?  No five-minute appointments reimbursed at $300 a shot?  A medical system that requires long appointments, time for case analysis, and patients who must participate in the healing process?  Not very lucrative.  
How I Broke Out of the Mold and Reliance on Failed Medical Therapies
 Of course, I used to be a lover of conventional medicine like most people. Back in the early 1990s, my husband Steve Rubin and I were both computer researchers in Silicon Valley and followed our doctors’ instructions obediently, loading our kids up with every recommended vaccine on schedule.  Our allopathic trance began to break in 1994 when our 3-year-old son Max began to show signs of autism.  I first read about homeopathy in the January 1995 issue of Mothering Magazine, which contained an article about the successful homeopathic treatment of ADD and other children’s behavioral problems [16]. Steve and I decided to give it a try and found a practitioner in our area.  Within a week we began to see small and subtle improvement in Max -- improvement that became a slow and steady trend. After two years of treatment, he was testing normally and was released from eligibility for special education benefits.   His speech and language therapist told the county representative that she had never seen an autistic child recover like Max had, and she fully credited homeopathy for his recovery.  By the time he was eight, nearly all signs of Max’s autism were gone. Today he is 18, a freshman at a leading university, completely autism free, and without restrictions of any kind.  Needless to say, this experience was both mind-boggling and life-transforming.  I began to study homeopathy myself and ultimately wrote what became the best-selling patient education book in the USA -- Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy  [17] -- a comprehensive introduction to homeopathic history, philosophy, science, and experience, sprinkled with dozens first-person cure stories for a variety of ailments, along with a chapter about Max’s cure.   In the end, I left my work in computer science and devoted myself to letting others know about the healing powers of homeopathy. I got involved in the successful campaign for health freedom legislation in California too [18].  Steve also got involved and developed the National Vaccine Information Center’s online interface to the VAERS database [19] (the CDC’s public record of vaccine injuries).  I guess Max’s  healing led us both to become alternative medicine activists, and we haven’t looked back.   
 So why not take a look at homeopathy for yourself?  Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a good classical practitioner and to learn more about this amazing medical modality.  The skeptics manage to create a lot of smoke in an effort to hide homeopathy from public view.  But where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  Find out about how this powerful healing system -- a system that packs a lot of firepower into an infinitesimal punch -- can help you and your family.   

References [1] www.bolenreport.net.

[2] Baum, Michael and Edzard Ernst, “Should We Maintain an Open Mind about Homeopathy?” The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 122, No. 11, pp. 973-974 (November 2009).

[3] Shang, A. et al. “Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects?  Comparative Study of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Homeopathy and Allopathy,” The Lancet, 366, pp. 726-732 (2005).
An extensive refutation of the results of this study, including statistical analyses and evidence of foul-play, can be found here: http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/acm/11/5.

[4] Linde, K. et al.  “Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects?  A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials,” The Lancet, 250, pp. 834-843 (1997).

[5] Kleijnen, J. et al. “Clinical Trials of Homeopathy,” British Medical Journal, 302, pp. 316-323 (1991).

[6] Jacobs, J. et al. “Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua,” Pediatrics, Vol. 83, No. 5, pp. 719-725 (1994).

[7] Bell, I.R. et al. “Improved Clinical Status in Fibromyalgia Patients Treated with Individualized Homeopathic Remedies Versus Placebo,” Rheumatology, 2004b; 43 (5):577-82.

[8] Taylor, M.A. et al. “Randomised Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy Versus Placebo in Perennial Allergic Rhinitis with Overview of Four Trial Series,” British Medical Journal, 321, pp. 471-476 (2000).

[9] For more trials, see www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org (under Articles, click Research).

[10] Rao, et al. “The Defining Role of Structure (Including Epitaxy) in the Plausibility of Homeopathy,” Homeopathy, 96, pp. 175-182 (2007).

[11] Davenas, et al. “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Againt IgE,” Nature, Vol. 333, No. 6176, pp. 816-818 (1988).

[12] Aissa, J. et al. “Transatlantic Transfer of Digitized Antigen Signal by Telephone Link,” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 99:S175 (1997).

[13] Brown, V. and M. Ennis. “Flow-Cytometric Analysis of Basophil Activation: Inhibition by Histamine at Conventional and Homeopathic Concentrations,” Inflammation Research,  50, Supplement (2), S47-S48 (2001).

[14] Montagnier, Luc, et al. “Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences,” Insterdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci, 1:81-90 (2009).

[15] http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/successful-use-of-homeopathy-in-over-5-million-people-reported-from-cuba/

[16] Reichenberg-Ullman, J. “A Homeopathic Approach to Behavioral Problems,” Mothering, Number 74, pp. 97-101 (1995).

[17] Lansky, Amy. Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy.  R.L. Ranch Press (2003).

[18] www.californiahealthfreedom.com.

[19] www.medalerts.org.
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