Re: Anti-homeopathic rhetoric

David Lubkin (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 00:09:12 -0400

Precedence: bulk

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epicycles in astronomy or Newtonian physics -- the best explanation at the time for observed results, ultimately to be superceded when a better theory comes along.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 antibiotics.

>For the record, I've tried a few of them myself. I found one for allergies
>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
>high dose.)

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. || Unreasonable Software, Inc. || a trademark of USI:

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