Monday, October 27, 2008

Homeopathy in Naturopathy

Today we had a guest presentation by Dr. Peter Fisher who is a Physician to her Majesty the Queen of England. Dr. Fisher practices Classical Homeopathy, although he does not like some of the connotations associated with the word "Classical." Dr. Fisher is also an editor for the journal Homeopathy and has a vast knowledge of the homeopathic research published in conventional medical journals.

It is such a privilege to get to see international speakers who broaden the understanding of a subject. I really appreciated his perspective on the effectiveness of homeopathy compared to placebo while showing meta-analysis demonstrating both the successes and failures of homeopathy.

Dr. Fisher stated that although the idea of homeopathy "is implausible," there are some theories on how it works. The most prevalent being the, "Memory of Water." I was intrigued by his DVD analogy. If a chemist were to analyze the petroleum constituents of a DVD disc, this would give no indication of the information stored on the disc. Likewise, when the chemical constituents of a homeopathic remedy are analyzed, water, alcohol, and sugar are the most likely chemical constituents found. And, just like the DVD, these give no indication of the information stored within the remedy. An interesting comparison!

Another topic that came up was the idea of homeopathic vaccinations. Dr. Fisher stated that there was not a shred of evidence that Homeopathic immunizations taken from nosodes work (nosodes are remedies made from diseased tissue). A Homeopathic professor at CCNM agreed but stated that there was some evidence that individualized treatments based on the totality of symptoms were often effective. Dr. Fisher noted that Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine using the cow pox virus in 1796 just a few years after Samuel Hahnemann discovered Homeopathy. He said that Hahnemann was excited about medical vaccinations (at least in their intent).

This issue of vaccination is such a hot topic lately, that I will be posting some links to interesting information at a later date.

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