Alternative Medicine: Homeopathy

Tribble

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I'm curious though Coal with the minute amount of protein needed to set an anaphylactic condition off in some of the population, and the minute amounts spoken of with homeopathy.

Shades of grey.
Some thresholds for causing reactions :

  • Between 1.6 and 10.1 milligrams – or 1/1000th of a gram) of hazelnut, peanut and celery protein produced a reaction
  • 3 milligrams of fish was enough to elicit a reaction
  • 5 grams of cooked shrimp caused a reaction, but the researchers note that raw shrimp could have a different effect
A typical homeopathic dilution contains virtually nothing of the original substance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathic_dilutions#Dilutions
 
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Still going strong in Germany.

A few weeks ago, a shrill cease-and-desist letter hit the inbox of Natalie Grams, a doctor from Heidelberg.

Her offence had been to state a fact: studies have repeatedly shown that homeopathic medicines are no better than fake pills. The lawyers for a pharmaceutical firm sent her a contract making her liable for a €5,100 fine each time she repeated this calumny.

Unsurprisingly, she did not sign. But Dr Grams, 41, is playing with fire.

Germans are nine times as likely as Britons to embrace homeopathy, with annual sales of about 55 million individual products.

Unlike in Britain, where the NHS officially stopped funding homeopathy two years ago, German patients can also get the treatments paid for by their public health insurers, meaning that they are subsidised by other taxpayers.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six...ded-to-the-controversial-treatments-rw8wvhbz2
 

escargot

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Unlike in Britain, where the NHS officially stopped funding homeopathy two years ago, German patients can also get the treatments paid for by their public health insurers, meaning that they are subsidised by other taxpayers.
That's OK as they'll soon be dead.
 

Tempest63

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I like to think I am pretty level headed bordering on scepticism but I must admit the few occasions I have had homeopathy and also acupuncture they seemed to have had a beneficial effect.
Could be the placebo effect but given my own experience I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand.
 

Mungoman

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What is it when you accept treatment in Homeopathy, knowing full well its history and philosophy, fully prepared to receive no beneficial result at all, and the damned thing works? And continues to.

What's more, I am a 30 year old man who grew up with a family empirically trained in psychiatry, general practice and midwifery, and who is rather pissed off that my Dad chucked it all away, to live in the complimentary world of acupuncture, radionics and homeopathy.

(if you thought homeopathy is stretching it, try radionics)
 
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EnolaGaia

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... What's more, I am a 30 year old man who grew up with a family, empirically trained in psychiatry, general practice and midwifery, and who is rather pissed off that my Dad chucked it all away, to live in the complimentary world of acupuncture, radionics and homeopathy.
(if you thought homeopathy is stretching it, try radionics)
I'm familiar with that sort of radical transition from (e.g.) mainstream "scientific" to alternative / New Age / whatever.

The most dedicated (and long-term) homeopathy adherent I've ever known was originally trained in environmental and medical-related science with a heavy emphasis on chemistry / biochemistry. That person never could provide a clear explanation for how the newer orientations could become the new order when they flew in the face of all the education, training, and on-the-job experience.

Sometimes I think it may have something to do with being able (essentially by definition) to see the limits and failures of mainstream science and finding it more acceptable to invest oneself in beliefs that can't be so clearly refuted.
 

Mungoman

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I'm familiar with that sort of radical transition from (e.g.) mainstream "scientific" to alternative / New Age / whatever.

The most dedicated (and long-term) homeopathy adherent I've ever known was originally trained in environmental and medical-related science with a heavy emphasis on chemistry / biochemistry. That person never could provide a clear explanation for how the newer orientations could become the new order when they flew in the face of all the education, training, and on-the-job experience.

Sometimes I think it may have something to do with being able (essentially by definition) to see the limits and failures of mainstream science and finding it more acceptable to invest oneself in beliefs that can't be so clearly refuted.

I like your reasoning EG. It sorta makes sense.
 
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Sometimes I think it may have something to do with being able (essentially by definition) to see the limits and failures of mainstream science and finding it more acceptable to invest oneself in beliefs that can't be so clearly refuted.
I suspect for some, it's also the case that being an 'expert' in a non-refutable field is far more palatable to the ego than being an 'also ran' in a refutable field.
 

EnolaGaia

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I suspect for some, it's also the case that being an 'expert' in a non-refutable field is far more palatable to the ego than being an 'also ran' in a refutable field.
That's a good point ... If one's ego is a priority it's easier to portray yourself (to yourself and / or others) as an expert in a field or subject matter area where guidelines and canonical elements are fuzzy and no one can definitively refute your self-ascribed expert status.
 

Shadowsot

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I like to think I am pretty level headed bordering on scepticism but I must admit the few occasions I have had homeopathy and also acupuncture they seemed to have had a beneficial effect.
Could be the placebo effect but given my own experience I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand.
I'd be careful. Homeopathic remedies aren't well regulated. Many off the shell tend to actually contain active levels of ingredients.
Every well done attempt to study acupuncture never really gets anywhere.
Fake needles, just randomly sticking them anywhere, seems to produce the same effect.
It does lend the support to the idea of using ritual as pain management, though.
 

Tribble

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Every well done attempt to study acupuncture never really gets anywhere.
Fake needles, just randomly sticking them anywhere, seems to produce the same effect.
It does lend the support to the idea of using ritual as pain management, though.
I'm biased in favour of (some forms of) acupuncture since Mrs. Tribble does it as part of her job! It's available through the Swedish health system and dry needling/trigger point is pretty effective for various musculoskeletal problems. It may be a bit difficult to prove according to strict scientific standards (double blind, etc.) but it does get results and that's why they use it.
 

Tempest63

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I'd be careful. Homeopathic remedies aren't well regulated. Many off the shell tend to actually contain active levels of ingredients.
Every well done attempt to study acupuncture never really gets anywhere.
Fake needles, just randomly sticking them anywhere, seems to produce the same effect.
It does lend the support to the idea of using ritual as pain management, though.
I have had the Chinese version of acupuncture and the Western acupuncture at my osteopath. Both gave relief from the symptoms I was experiencing at the time. Of all the alternative therapies hypnotherapy gave the best results.
 
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I have had the Chinese version of acupuncture and the Western acupuncture at my osteopath. Both gave relief from the symptoms I was experiencing at the time. Of all the alternative therapies hypnotherapy gave the best results.
I had an acupuncture needle used on a muscle spasm to relieve it. It worked on the principle that the body relaxes muscles around an inserted foreign body, the better to remove it. The needle simply stimulates said relaxation and breaks the spasm.
 

Shadowsot

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I have had the Chinese version of acupuncture and the Western acupuncture at my osteopath. Both gave relief from the symptoms I was experiencing at the time. Of all the alternative therapies hypnotherapy gave the best results.
Right, but see my point. If you take out the confounding variables of patient expectations and such, you get the same response.
Doesn't matter the placement or tradition being used.
Now the nature of placebo means its impossible to completely tease out all of the different causes of placebo effects.
But generally when a therapy is shown to be as effective as faking it we drop it.
 

Analogue Boy

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They should sell Placebos at Tesco. It would stop the locals loading up on paracetemol and ibuprofen.

Actually.... how much does it cost for the NHS to dish out Placebos?
 

Shadowsot

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They should sell Placebos at Tesco. It would stop the locals loading up on paracetemol and ibuprofen.

Actually.... how much does it cost for the NHS to dish out Placebos?
There's some interesting debates about placebo use in medicine.
Part of the pro side though, is being found to be based on studies with bad methodology and controls.
Like the study claiming that the color of the placebo pills made a difference in its effect. When the study itself was very small, allowing for variations in the participants to shift the results, among other problems.
There was the research into a type of knee surgery that was shown to have the same results as placebo, but it was reported as proving the power of placebo instead of the failure of that surgical method.

There's the long trend of doctors prescribing antibiotics to deal with patients who just wanted a treatment for a virus.
Which the doctors did and the patient went off feeling better, even though the antibiotics did nothing for their flu or cold.
There is something to be said that giving them something that you say will help, even if what's being presented doesn't do anything, does actually provide some benefit. At the very least making the patient cope better.
On the other hand it is fundamentally lying to a patient and charging them for a useless product.
Even doctors who hop onto whatever new medicine they've been presented with by a salesrep and getting kickbacks generally think they're providing a patient with something that could help them.

There's talk about Placebos being removed from testing regimens as well. As aside from a truly new method or medication, it's much better to compare them against existing treatments instead.
Certainly was a big way to get drugs to market or advertise them.
 
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There's talk about Placebos being removed from testing regimens as well. As aside from a truly new method or medication, it's much better to compare them against existing treatments instead.
Hm...not sure about that. Testing against a placebo or 'nothing' are still necessary but might be better 'as well as' not 'instead' of' comparisons with existing treatments.
 
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Off the wall

The Queen’s homeopathic pharmacist is selling ground-down fragments of the Berlin Wall to people who believe it will cure asthma and depression.

Ainsworths, which has held a Royal warrant since 1980 and also supplies the Prince of Wales, is charging up to £114 for a large bottle of tablets leading to warnings that vulnerable patients are being exploited. The “remedy” is made by grinding down pieces of the Cold War relic and diluting it multiple times with lactose, water and alcohol.

Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of contemporary medicine at Exeter University, said producers believe the tablets convey a “spiritual force” capable of bringing people together. Among the claims made online in favour of Berlin Wall are that it treats asthma, headaches, aggression, depression, and insomnia.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...TIQhZbmGtyv89wpUTs3_ueg4nmlyipx75j9RhOlqIrc88
 

Analogue Boy

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‘Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of contemporary medicine at Exeter University, said producers believe the tablets convey a “spiritual force” capable of bringing people together.’

Of course you could look at the prime function of building the wall as keeping people apart.
So how do you prepare it for keeping people together?
 

EnolaGaia

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‘Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of contemporary medicine at Exeter University, said producers believe the tablets convey a “spiritual force” capable of bringing people together.’

Of course you could look at the prime function of building the wall as keeping people apart.
So how do you prepare it for keeping people together?
The references to the "Berlin Wall" (Murus Berlinensis) preparation I've seen don't emphasize bringing people together generally, but instead focus more on somehow helping to break down the imbibing individual's deleterious emotional / mental barriers.

https://edzardernst.com/2019/08/the-uk-media-report-about-my-new-book-and-the-berlin-wall/
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2019/aug/21/berlin-wall-pills
(... and other sites ...)
 

Analogue Boy

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The references to the "Berlin Wall" (Murus Berlinensis) preparation I've seen don't emphasize bringing people together generally, but instead focus more on somehow helping to break down the imbibing individual's deleterious emotional / mental barriers.

https://edzardernst.com/2019/08/the-uk-media-report-about-my-new-book-and-the-berlin-wall/
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2019/aug/21/berlin-wall-pills
(... and other sites ...)
But how does the preparation negate the effects of building the wall... i.e. the main function for construction and purpose to segregate and imprison in the first place?
Unless it’s just some guy claiming he has a liquid imbued with the fluid power of this...

 
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