Over the past few years homeopathy, has been the victim of many uncouth attacks in the media. The populist ‘wisdom’ of our time and place bleats that it’s ‘witchcraft’, lacks evidence for its efficacy and is a waste of NHS money. In fact it is no more controversial today than it was when invited to be part of the National Health Service at its inauguration in 1948. Appalled by the double standards being used by homeopathy’s critics and assisted by the Pie Man, I have called for a level playing field for all interventions on the NHS – ie one standard of evidence for all prospective treatments.That this has been scoffed at doesn’t surprise me. The makers of cough mixtures and a lot of other unevidenced, useless (and even potentially dangerous) medications sold over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets would have a lot to lose if there was one standard for all. Eschewing a level playing field, opponents of homeopathy have ensured that the debate has focused on the ‘implausibility’ of homeopathic dilutions being able to have any clinical effect. I find it interesting that nothing has been written about the structured process of classical homeopathy starting with a comprehensive case taking and culminating in a homeopathic prescription that suits not only the condition but also the whole human being – physically and psychologically. Many homeopaths spend anything between 1 – 3 hours carefully listening to every detail of their patient’s symptoms and subjective physical and psychological experience of what is happening to them in any illness. It is a profound and empathic process culminating in a choice of medicine that suits the totality of a human being’s experience of being ill. While never a substitute for conventional medicine (which undoubtedly saves lives and does good) when responsibly practised (if possible with medical supervision) homeopathy has a huge role to play in people’s wellbeing all over the planet.
Homeopathy is not about small white pills or placebo. It is a profound process where you will feel fully received and listened to before you are prescribed anything. It is my belief most people going through this unique form of anamnesis would want to try the medicine prescribed thereafter – especially as everyone agrees it can certainly do no harm – and many millions of people are convinced that it has worked for them.
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