Thursday, 26 January 2012

Healthy Medicine (8)

This blog has put together another long list of articles that give testimony to the effectiveness and safety of homeopathy as a medical therapy. And once again it demonstrates the wealth of information available on the internet on homeopathy, how an increasing amount of science now supports it, and the way it has helped individual patients suffering from a variety of conditions.

Allergies and Hay fever. The season is almost upon us - and it is wise to get homeopathic help as early as possible. A more detailed article can  be found here.

Weight loss and homeopathy.  In homeopathy, it is not just as simple. as just 'popping' a pill; but this article suggests "several homeopathic remedies used for stimulating the body to heal itself in the direction of alleviating obbese tendences". And here are some more suggestions for 'home' remedies.

Pain relief and homeopathy. A more permanent solution?

Ankylosing Spondylitis and homeopathy. Again, more here than just taking remedies!

Respiratory and ear complaints. Homeopathy found to be faster acting, safer, and just as effective as ConMed treatment. And this is an article on respiratory disease written by a homeopathic doctor.

Athletes Foot and homeopathy. Some remedy suggestions here.

MRSA and Homeopathy. No remedy suggestions here, but some pointers for why it might be good to use homeopathy.

Sports injuries and homeopathy. Speed up recovery time - a bonus for all sportsmen. Well, David Beckham knows it works.

The Menopause and homeopathy. Well, it is certainly safer than conventional drugs like HRT!

Chronic Fatigue, ME, and homeopathy. More to offer than conventional drugs?

A Case of Diabetes, treated with homeopathy.

Homeopathy for healthy gums and teeth.

Homeopathy for diseases of the eye.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Colitis, Crohns.

So if you are unwell, and you are looking for safe treatment, homeopathy is a possibility for you.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Patient Choice, David Cameron, and the Government

People who use homeopathy usually like it. People who use homeopathy after years, sometimes decades of conventional treatment, usually love homeopathy! And sometimes, even people not associated with homeopathy are discovered to be 'fans'.

David Cameron is the latest to express his views on the value and benefit of homeopathy. Whilst defending NHS reforms on Channel 4, he said this:

"I’m going to sound like a homeopath but this is like looking at the whole of the patient."

Well, this is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but at least he knows something about homeopathy - that it seeks to treat 'the whole person' rather than dealing with its parts. And, of course the last two governments have refused to stop homeopathy being provided on the NHS - despite the pressures from the conventional medical establishment to get rid of its competition in this way!

However, the problem with the government's 'Patient Choice' policy is that it has no means of implementing it. "No decision about me without me" is a great slogan; but it is entirely worthless if patients have no means of accessing the treatment they wish to have - and for growing numbers of people it is homeopathy.

The policy will not be implemented whilst the government supports the concept of 'localism', and giving local 'clinicians' the power to allow, and disallow treatments like homeopathy. The problem is that most of these local clinicians are conventional medics; and they dominate GP surgeries, and local PCTs. So if Marjorie Titchen, or I, or my son, or anyone else, wants homeopathy on the National Health Service, we get the answer 'No'. The conventional medical establishment is supporting the virtual monopoly in health provision with the NHS - and seeking to rid itself of alternative treatments.

So thanks for your support, Prime Minister; but we would now like to see some action from your government in support of your 'Patient Choice' policy.

The disinformation that is being spread about homeopathy, by the conventional medical establishment, is not bearing fruit. Instead, homeopathy and other CAM therapies are growing in popularity. This increasing popularity is, in fact, as much to do with the failure of conventional, drug-based medicine as it is with the safety and effectiveness of homeopathy. So people hear the disinformation, and ignore it. They do so in much the same way that two governments have ignored the House of Commons Committee that told the government it should no longer fund homeopathy. The committee's report was signed off by just 3 MP's, and after being presented with considerable scientific evidence in support of homeopathy, they were still able to claim "there is no evidence for homeopathy".

Supporting the ConMed Establishment, and Big Pharma in this disinformation campaign is the mainstream media. The popularity of the media is now at an all-time low. Little wonder, given that on most, if not all issues, the media simply supports the position of Big Business. For instance, they acclaim every new Big Pharma drug as breakthroughs and miracles. And then fail to report on drugs that kill, or cause disease, or are just totally ineffective. So as far as the 'Patient Choice' agenda is concerned, the media does not appear to realise that there is a health monopoly within the NHS; or that the rights of patients who want 'alternative' treatment is being trampled on. Where is their commitment to the public?

The action needed to make 'Patient Choice' a reality is quite simple. Every PCT, every Commissioning organisation, or every GP surgery, should be required to employ someone who is prepared to refer patients for homeopathy, and other CAM treatments. There are no cost implications in doing so. Homeopathic treatment is eminently less expensive than conventional, drug based medicine; it works so there are fewer 'return' patients; and it does not create chronic disease.

If David Cameron wants to treat the public 'holistically' this is one simple action that is well within his grasp.

The treatment of burns and Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been plagued with 'denialists' for the last 10 years or so. They have no evidence that homeopathy does not work. They just say that people who got better with homeopathic treatment are not telling the truth; or they are mistaken; or they would have got better anyway. Anyone who has experienced the power of homeopathy will know that denialists are wrong. But for those who have an honest skepticism, perhaps this is something you might bear in mind.

I have looked at various blogs and tweets recently ridiculing this article. It explains that when treating a burn it is better to use heat rather that cold (the usual first-aid recommendation). Clearly, using heat is more homeopathic - like cures like is, after all, the primary principle of homeopathy. So does it work? I can confirm that it does. A homeopath told me, several years ago now, that in treating burns don't use cold water to 'bring down' temperature, use warm-hot water - as hot as you can bear. It happened that a year or so later I did receive a burn, remembered the advice, and ran my hand under a hot tap. There was little doubt that it worked better than cold water. Since then, several members of my family have done likewise, with very positive results.

I do not recommend burning yourself to find out! But just keep the advice in your mind, and when you can use it, or someone else who gets burned, see for yourself what works best.

Do enjoy denialist humour in this, and other similar subjects. They can be quite funny (homeopathy does not always conform to conventional wisdom); but whatever you do, don't rely on them for medical advice. Find out for yourself!

Steve Scrutton
Director, ARH

Friday, 13 January 2012

Healthy Medicine (8) More evidence for homeopathy

In my last blog in this series, there were a couple of responses indicating that homeopathy had not been able to prove itself over the last 200 years. This is utter nonsense! Homeopathy is a form of medicine that has never been subsidised, as conventional medicine is now subsidised by the NHS. People use it because it is safe, and effective. And as patients have had to pay for it, another advantage is that it is inexpensive too.

See, for example, this article that covers a brief history of homeopathy in the treatment, and prevention, of acute diseases like Scarlet Fever, Cholera, Diphtheria, and Malaria.

For those of you who are new to homeopathy, here is an excellent description of homeopathy, and how it differs from conventional medicine. For anyone who worries about the drug-based medicine that dominates the NHS, this is well worth reading.

Indeed, as this article suggests, homeopathy is the natural way to treat both body and spirit.

And so, in order to demonstrate the kind of conditions it can treat, here is a small collection of articles that can be found on the internet. Have a look at them - and decide if homeopathy is for you.

The treatment of Influenza with homeopathy. Or alternatively, look at this article. Or this one for the prevention of colds and flu.

Homeopathy and Croup.

Homeopathy and Diarrhea.

The treatment of Carbuncles with homeopathy.

The treatment of Impotence with homeopathy.

Homeopathy and infertility.

Homeopathy and menstrual cramps.

Homeopathy and the treatment of ulcers.

In treating illness, homeopathy is always safer than conventional alternatives; and this is for many a big advantage, and why people use it initially. These articles show how homeopathy can be used rather than popular, but largely ineffective and dangerous conventional drugs.

This is an excellent article on why homeopathy should be used to treat depression, not least because the dangers and ineffectiveness of antidepressant are gradually becoming more widely known.

And with the growing awareness of the dangers of antibiotics, and increased resistance to them, this article explains why homeopathy is a better alternative.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Healthy Medicine (7) Winning the argument

Homeopathy is gradually winning the health debate! Homeopathy denialists, with their so-called 'skeptical' arguments, have for the last decade been trying to undermine homeopathy, but they are gradually being found out for what they are - an attempt to support drug-based, conventional medicine from competition - not only from homeopathy but from other CAM therapies. Foremost amongst the 'winning' arguments for homeopathy is that research in three key European nations have recently come out 'in favour' of homeopathy.

In Sweden, an attempt by the ConMed Establishment to prevent the practice of homeopathy was over-ruled by the Supreme Administrative court. This case began when a medical doctor, trained in homeopathy in the UK, used it in his practice. He was put on probation by the 'Medical Responsibility Board', but he appealed on the grounds that he had used homeopathy when the patient requested it, and after conventional treatment had been ineffective. After being sentenced in two lower courts, the doctor had been forbidden to use homeopathy - on the grounds that 'homeopathy is unscientific'. So this case shows the lengths that people will go to prevent patients gaining access to homeopathy, and that when the 'there is no evidence to support homeopathy' argument is examined, it is found to be entirely without substance.

In Switzerland, the situation was similar to that in Sweden, but on a much larger scale. Anti-homeopathy sources tried to prevent the use of homeopathy in their compulsory national health insurance system. After an exhaustive investigation that took several year to complete, the conclusion reached in the Health Technology Assessment report, recently published, on the effectiveness, appropriateness, safety and costs of homeopathy in health care was as follows:

"In conclusion we have established that there is sufficient supporting evidence for the pre-clinical (experimental) as well as clinical effects of homeopathy, and that in absolute terms, as well as when compared to conventional therapies, it offers a safe and cost-effective treatment.”

In Italy, a team of researchers evaluated the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment through 'standard objective public health indicators'. There is a summary of this research here, and this is what they found.

"In general, results were significant for the drug usage indicator: the population of homeopathic care users uses fewer drugs than the standard population. Furthermore, it can be seen that the number of drugs and the drugs expenditure reduce significantly after homeopathic treatment. Hospitalization indicators tended to favour patients who had received homeopathic treatment but were not always statistically significant". 

In other countries, like India, homeopathy is rapidly becoming the preferred medical therapy. This article explains that homeopathy, according to a survey conducted by the Indian government, is the number two preferred mode of treatment, after allopathy. And as the survey says, homeopathy costs just a fraction of conventional medical costs, and has no side-effects or adverse effects.

Even the UK government has refused to be brow-beaten by the homeopathy denialists. The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, in a 2010 report, led by the denialist and ex-MP, Evan Harris, and signed off by just 3 MPs, recommended that the NHS should stop spending money on homeopathy. The committee was able to do so by deciding to ignore completely the evidence presented to them by the ARH, and other UK homeopathy organisations. Despite this, the New Labour government, and more recently the Coalition government, have said they would not implement this recommendation, in favour of 'patient choice'.

Even so, the NHS continues to be dominated by the Conventional Medical Establishment, and there are still battles to be fought and won. The financial influence and industrial power of Big Pharma companies will ensure that this is so. For instance, throughout the country, local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are refusing to allow patients a choice of medical therapy when they are ill - and they do so on a similar basis - there is no evidence.... etc.

But homeopathy will win these battles for one very simple reasons - that in stark contrast to conventional medicine, homeopathy is a medical therapy that is entirely safe, and very effective.

And as a result, homeopathy is a medical therapy that people will want choose - when they have either personal experience of this, or they are given access to the information that demonstrates it.