I’ve been reading up on homeopathy lately and thought I’d share some good links. I’m still undecided – my bullshit detector tells me there’s no scientific basis for homeopathic cures, but I’ve seen some positive results in people who have worked with a homeopath.
- h2g2, “Homeopathy – a Sceptical View”
- Wikipedia – “Homeopathy”
- National Center for Homeopathy home page
- Homeopathic Medical Association (UK) home page
- James Randi’s take on homeopathy
- Anthony Campbell’s book, “Homeopathy in Perspecitive” – full text available online
The best quote is from the h2g2 entry:
One Researcher has provided valuable insight on this matter:
“I have been through a very long period of stress some years ago, and somehow my body was reacting to that: skin rashes, constant headaches etc… There was nothing conventional medicine could do except for cortisone against the rash and aspirin against the headache. That’s when I was persuaded to look up a homeopath. I went there and had a go. The way this man worked was fascinating. He is in reality a shrink and heals you in his sessions. You’re there for say two hours and talk about your problems. Then he tells you some mumbo-jumbo about homeopathy, prescribes you some placebo. My skin rash and headaches got cured. Of course it had nothing to do with the atoms (if any) I swallowed during the ‘treatment’. In retrospect I think this was highly clever of that physician. There are probably a lot of people with illnesses that are caused by stress or psychologic things, but somehow a lot of people hesitate to go to a shrink.”
This is probably where conventional medicine went wrong and where homeopaths got it nailed down. People who are sick do not want to be poked and prodded, and presented with incomprehensible medical jargon and a bottle of ‘just take this and come back in two days if your condition does not improve’ medicine (usually delivered with a degree of impatience). They want to know what is wrong with their bodies, how it could have happened, how the medicine will cure them. These patients need counselling and comfort, which they will not get from the typical harried doctor who has 20 other patients to see.
On the other hand, you have the homeopath, who not only readily listens to your complaints and problems, but takes the trouble to discuss them. He then prescribes some medication that he probably knows has no curative value, but it does not matter – the patient, by peace of mind from the counselling, has already initiated his own healing process. Doctors should maybe take a lesson or two from these people about psychology.