Now that you have explained it to me, I will put it into my official Quack file with crystal healing and snake-oil.
From: David Lubkin <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> Date: Wednesday, August 04, 1999 8:28 AM Subject: Re: Anti-homeopathic rhetoric
>Since besides Technotranscendence (Daniel Ust)'s public posting, I
>received several private messages expressing interest in
>homeopathy, I will elaborate. I will cite scientific studies in another
>posting. First, I want to explain some of the procedure. (There are
>hundreds of textbooks, so I'm skipping a lot.)
>Homeopaths have a well-developed theory of medicine. I think it is
>similar to epicycles in astronomy or Newtonian physics -- the best
>explanation at the time for observed results, ultimately to be
>superceded when a better theory comes along. In what I write
>below, I'm using their explanations, in their terminology. When I
>have personal experience with something, I say so.
>Homeopaths "prove" a substance by carefully documenting all effects
>shown by giving a large dose to healthy subjects, including subjective
>changes in mental or emotional state. A remedy is prepared by
>mixing the substance with distilled water, and progressively diluting
>it. This is called "potentizing". Between each dilution step, the mixture
>must be vigorously shaken. If it is not, the remedy has no effect.
>Counter-intuitively, the more times the remedy has been diluted, the
>more potent it is.
>In many people the remedy has no effect if it is taken within half an
>hour of eating, if you touch it, X-ray it, or eat or drink something strong
>(menthol, camphor, mint, coffee) while under homeopathic treatment.
>In the homeopathic view of physiology, each of us has a fundamental
>body type. On top of that, every time we have any trauma that doesn't
>heal properly or an ailment is suppressed, another layer is built on.
>And there are common pathways -- suppressed symptoms manifest
>themselves later on as a predictable something more serious. Like
>taking cortisone often leads to asthma later.
>When you see a homeopath, he asks you dozens of questions. There is
>not one remedy for headaches -- there are hundreds. And if you don't
>take the right one, it won't work. So just going to a pharmacy and
>getting something labelled "headache" won't work. The homeopath
>is looking for a pattern of symptoms that closely resembles the
>toxicological pattern identified during the proving of a remedy. You are
>given a diluted version of something that causes the same symptoms.
>In practice, when your head aches, you don't want to be sitting with a
>Materia Medica and Repertory trying to find the right remedy. So I
>use homeopathy for problems where I can stand waiting for the right
>answer and I'm not satisfied with the allopathic alternative.
>Now, not every pattern is hard to match. In some cases, there's an
>obvious first choice. If you have a skin rash, Rhus Toxicodendron
>(poison ivy) is worth a try.
>There are about 1000 remedies in use, but a home kit of 50 (for $80)
>covers most of what people commonly need. I will take 6 old favorites
>on a trip.
>With high-potency remedies, the patient may feel worse before getting
>better, as previously suppressed symptoms are re-experienced and
>healed. This difference between a low-potency and high-potency
>remedy, which is commonly seen, should not occur under Lee Daniel
>Crocker's theory of the world.
>In my view, each of the schools of medicine that has some legitimacy
>(like Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture, allopathic medicine,
>homeopathy, and chiropractic) has a part of the picture. I can't wait
>we've built an integrated theory of biologic functioning that
>encompasses each system's insights. It's happening slowly,
>hampered especially by conventional medicine's perennial assumption
>that they have all the answers and no one else does.
>I see a naturopath sometimes. He has the equivalent of regular
>medical school training, plus extra training in a dozen alternate
>therapies. Mine specializes in homeopathy, nutrition, and herbal
>medicine. (I also have a regular MD that I see as needed.)
>What do I like? He asks me about all aspects of my physical, mental,
>and emotional state. I am an active participant in my diagnosis and
>treatment. He freely admits when he is stumped. He readily refers
>me to another practitioner (MD, chiropractor, ...) when they are better
>suited for my condition.
>For example, he says pneumonia can be treated homeopathically but
>it's very tricky. You have to take the right remedies at the right times.
>He'd rather send you to a regular MD and then treat you afterwards
>for the damage done to your intestinal flora by the broad-spectrum
>>For the record, I've tried a few of them myself. I found one for
>>seemed to work quite well (I think it was Naturapathic brand stuff) the
>>_first_ time I used it, but proved ineffective later on. (Now, I stick to
>>vitamin B5, which works just fine for me as long as I take a sufficiently
>The remedy stopped working because the pattern changed, and you
>needed to switch to another remedy. (It may have changed because you
>healed the outermost layer, and exposed the problem below it.)
>I hope you are taking the B5 along with the rest of the B complex. You
>can cause metabolic imbalances if you don't. I used to have bad
>allergies myself. When I take 4+ grams of vitamin C daily, I don't sneeze
>at all, no matter how high the pollen count is.
>-- David Lubkin.
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