No, this isn’t going to be my grand vision for a reformed NHS…you’ll have to wait for that! haha
Instead this post sets out to explain how I think homeopathy can fit into healthcare provision in the UK. The spirited exchanges on the ‘comments’ section might cause a casual observer to conclude that there are two diametrically opposed camps:
1. Wild-eyed homeopaths who believe that conventional medicine is the work of satan, wear tie-dyed T-shirts, consult the I Ching, believe they can channel the spirit of an ancient Egyptian doctor to aid them …and probably don’t use deoderant
2. Wild-eyed Denialists who receive a brown envelope every month from Big-Pharma stuffed with used fivers, have pudding-bowl haircuts, treat Nature magazine like a Holy Scripture, and sacrifice little furry animals on an alter dedicated to Richard Dawkins every Saturday.
You’ll be surprised to learn reality is somewhere between these too extremes! Arguing sometimes forces you into an extreme position that you might not fully endorse.
So… I’m going to come out & say that con-med has many good attributes, and I think that ideally homeopathy needs to work in an integrated way with it. For example if I was involved in a car crash & was badly injured, my first thought wouldn’t be to drag myself to a homeopathic clinic! But if I had a long-term chronic complaint, I would probably stay well away from con-med.
Unfortunately our little band of Denialists are working AGAINST any form of integration, and seem to want nothing more than a ‘final solution’ for alternative healthcare choices in the UK. They invoke ‘scientific medicine’ as if this is the diametric opposite of homeopathy. Here’s the thing….whisper it now…there is no such thing as ‘scientific medicine’. Real world medicine is a mix of empiricism, techno-fetishism, bias opinions, personal experience and big-pharma propaganda…with a light dusting of ‘scientific medicine’. In other words, the Denialists are defending a utopian fantasy from the ‘threat’ of homeopathy.
A question, what is the most common complaint people go to see their G.P with? Surprisingly it is panic attacks, with depression coming a close second. Now…how does the so-called ‘scientific medicine’ CURE these psychological complaints? Um…they don’t. In the majority of cases the patient will be prescribed anti-depressants for either condition.
Do these work? Well, they don’t CURE anything, and in fact a recent large-scale study found them about as effective as placebo. However they have lots of DIEs (Drug Induced Effects) that placebos don’t have such as: nausea, low sex-drive, burred vision, diarrhea etc etc. They can often have longer term effects on your body too. Homeopathy on the other hand is very effective at dealing with both panic attacks & depression, and with no risk of side-effects. So in MY utopian vision I’d like to start seeing G.Ps referring patients that they know they can’t treat very effectively to therapies that can…in some of my wilder flights of fancy I even imagine the NHS paying for the homeopathic treatment!