“You have to believe in Homeopathy for it to work, don’t you?”
There are many misperceptions and myths about Homeopathy that can contribute to putting some people off trying it as a healthcare option. If you are someone committed to making Natural Healthcare choices, eating clean food, drinking clean water, choosing non toxic skincare products etc, are these careful choices extending to your choice of medicines as well? Maybe you have some kind of limiting belief around Homeopathy that stops you from considering it as a viable option? IN this series my aim is to examine these beliefs and hopefully dispel them, so that they cease to be ‘a block’ for you. Some of these beliefs are easily addressed and some take more time to fully explain so I have decided to explore each one separately.
The belief I’m looking at in this piece is one I hear a lot – and an interesting one as it opens up a number of avenues worth exploring. The well documented positive effects of any therapeutic relationship have long been recognised and have been studied in a number of different Health models. This is known as ‘the Placebo effect’, and it can be very powerful.
It is, in my view, simply a part of any energetic exchange between living creatures and can be viewed as an integral part of any expression of Love or Caring by one sentient being to another. We feel better when we feel cared for and loved, as do animals, and any positive expression of caring can be imprinted upon the recipient if given a pill or a spoon of ‘medicine’ or pretty much anything, when told ‘this will make you feel better’. What is really being communicated is the energetic desire of the ‘Giver’ to make a positive difference. This is an ingredient in any Health model but it is certainly not the only ingredient and neither should it be regarded as a negative. Many critics of non-pharmaceutical health approaches, dismiss ‘The Placebo Effect’, as being solely responsible for any improvements with Homeopathy, and therefore not valuable. However, studies have found that it is a componant of pharmaceutical medicine as well! Critics also conveniently ignore the fact that babies, young children and animals are successfully treated by Homeopathic Practitioners all over the world and there is no ‘belief’ model at work here other than the energetic exchange outlined above. Read what experienced Vet, Chris Day has to say about his experience using Homeopathy, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/16/vet-homeopathy-medicine-royal-college.
I have treated hundreds of babies and young children over the years and have always used Homeopathy as my treatment choice for my pets. Fourteen years ago I undertook the responsibility of a small Labrador puppy who was the runt of a litter of 9 pups. Soon after getting her home, she started displaying symptoms of cystitis/ kidney infections and although my chosen Homeopathic remedies helped improve the severity of her symptoms, she still continued to have them. The Vet carried out a number of exams and tests discounting any infections and his view was that she had been born with a mechanical abnormality and that he would need to perform surgery to correct it. This was valuable information regarding my choice of further Homeopathic treatment and I changed my choice of remedies accordingly. Within days my puppy stopped all the bladder symptoms and they never reoccurred in the following 13 years of her life. The Vet examined her during her speying operation some months later and expressed surprise that he could not find any abnormalities. She was indeed a very special dog but I do not believe she was capable of ‘believing’ that Homeopathy worked for her!! I have also witnessed very young children with severe earaches or toothaches responding to Homeopathic remedies, instantly – like a switch, not to mention babies with Colic, eczema etc etc, and it’s important to state that these improvements are lasting, not transitory – symptoms do not return. There is just too overwhelming an amount of worldwide clinical evidence and observation to totally discount! Critics claims of success with Homeopathy being solely because of ‘The Placebo effect’ are not supportable once any cursory examination of the evidence is performed. Frankly I fail to understand why this very ‘dead horse’ continues to be ‘flogged’!!
Interestingly Studies have also found that this Placebo effect on it’s own, isn’t often long lasting and that the opposite is also powerful ie if someone, in whom you have placed your trust, tells you that you are very ill and going to die, you are more likely to furfill this ‘prophesy’ than not – it’s known as the Nocebo effect! (‘Placebo’ means ‘I shall please’, ‘Nocebo’ means ‘I shall harm’). A few years ago The New England Journal of Medicine published results of a study of 500,000 cancer patients and found that ‘..if told their cancer test was positive, (not necessarily terminal), there was a 29.9 fold increase of heart related death within 1 week.’!! Another Italien study showed measureable effects within areas of the brain and increased Cortisol, to the expectation of pain, ie if told ‘this will hurt’ it invariably did! Words can be very powerful and make nonsense of that old expression ‘Sticks and Stones can break our bones but words can never harm us’!
Understanding the power of words and intention, also demands that we stop associating ‘Placebo’ with ‘Fake’ since this prohibits us examining the issue any further and understanding how we may possibly harness this phenomenon and magnify it within any healthcare approach.
At the very least, all health Practitioners, no matter what their approach, need to choose their words very carefully when talking to their Patients and would do well to avoid making any predictions since it is always the patient who ultimately has control over their health and anything is possible! Imagine the potential of a true understanding of the energy of this and the power that this could give us.
To read the whole series of Blogs where I explore common Limiting Beliefs about Homeopathy, start with Part 1 here.