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SoulMonster

Homeopathy

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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:40 am

@DanyYo wrote:I think that homeopathy, which is IMO (at least classic homeopathy) in no way as innocent as most ppl think, brought the consequences of my concussions (and of course other things I've suppressed for yrs) to the surface mainly in the form of awful headaches.

Homeopathy is exactly as effective as placebo, nothing more, nothing less. So it can be used to some effect when people believe it actually works. The reaso why its effect can never be greater than placebo is that homeopathy relies on the mistake that water may retain "information" on an active substance that was once in the water but has then been completely diluted away.

Here's an interesting article from Richard Dawkins on homeopathy:

Let me just add a few words about why I am personally convinced that homeopathy doesn't work.

The best way to test any proposed therapy is the Double-Blind placebo-Controlled Randomised Trial (DBCRT). Indeed, I think it is the only way that is completely foolproof. Unfortunately it is sometimes hard or impossible to do it in practice. For example, in the case of acupuncture it is difficult to imagine how patients can be shielded from knowing whether they are in the experimental or control group (how would you set about administering a dummy, or placebo needle-prick).

With homeopathy, however, that problem doesn't arise. Homeopathy is eminently eligible for, indeed vulnerable to, double blind testing. And even just thinking about how to do it immediately shows up the near-impossibility of homeopathy working. The point is that a central tenet of homeopathy is that the more dilute the active ingredient, the more effective it is. For the allegedly most effective dosages, the dilution is so extreme that, in order to have any appreciable likelihood of ingesting even one molecule of the original active ingredient, you would need to drink a volume equal to all the matter in the solar system. There is the further point that in ordinary tap water there would in any case be more than homeopathic traces of any random ingredient you care to name. It has been amusingly estimated that every pint of water you drink contains at least one molecule that passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell (surprising as this is, it follows from the fact that there are far more molecules in a pint than there are pints of water in the world).

It follows that there will be no reliable chemical difference between the experimental dose and the control dose. Therefore, if a DBCRT experiment revealed any difference in effectiveness, we would have a lot of explaining to do.

Homeopaths have been made aware of this problem, and their response is, to say the least, far-fetched. They agree that there is no chemical difference between the experimental and control doses. Abandoning chemistry, they put their trust in physics. During the dilution ('succussion') process, and before it becomes too dilute to exert any influence, the purportedly active ingredient is supposed to imprint a 'memory' of itself on the molecular structure of the water: a memory stored in the pattern with which the water molecules are arranged relative to one another. Never mind if we find this implausible, it is at least testable.

Without going to the trouble of trying to examine the structure of the water molecules directly, the following DBCRT experiment with real patients could, and I think should, be done. Indeed, if homeopathy has any clinical effectiveness at all, the following experiment should show it. We can worry about molecular memories and things like that afterwards, if the experiment gives a positive result. And that's a very big if.

Here's my experimental design.

Take a large, predetermined number of patients, preferably who have presented themselves to homeopathic clinics and been rated suitable for treatment by homeopathic practitioners. They needn't all be suffering from the same complaint, although it will increase the resolving power of the experiment if they are. Every patient should be examined before the experiment begins, by homeopathic practitioners, the best the profession can come up with, who should write a report on the patient. For every patient, the practitioners should agree upon a prescription of what they consider the ideal homeopathic treatment. The prescriptions for the different patients need not be the same. Every patient is written a prescription of an ideal homeopathic remedy, personally chosen, individually tailored to that individual and for the relevant complain – so nobody can come along afterwards and allege that the treatment was not sufficiently holistic, or did not take sufficient account of individual requirements.

Randomly assign half the patients to the experimental group, and half to the control group. It is vitally important that nobody involved in the experiment should have any way of discovering which patients are experimental and which control: not the homeopathic practitioners, nor the patients, nor the nurses taking care of them, nor anybody involved in writing down the data. The choice should be determined at random by a computer, unknown to any human, and stored securely in the computer.

For every one of the prescriptions written down for individual patients, professional homeopathic technicians (the best in the business) should make up the medication identically for the experimental and control cases, with an identical regime of succussion (successive dilution and shaking) with the single exception that the procedure for preparing the experimental doses begins with the purported active ingredient, while the control doses begin with the same volume of water. Apart from that, both must be made by the same regime of successive dilution and shaking. At all stages, the procedures should be carried out by fully trained and experienced homeopathic technicians, exactly as they normally would, but without knowledge of whether they are shaking the experimental or control dose on any one occasion.

At the end of the succussion regime, the technicians bottle up the medications, and make them into pills or whatever would be the normal procedure. Then, as determined by the randomising procedure above, each patient is given either the experimental version of his/her own personal prescription or the control version of his/her own personal prescription. Still neither the patient nor anybody else knows which dose is experimental and which control. Treatment proceeds for as long as the homeopathic practitioner has prescribed.

At the end of this time, all patients are re-examined by the same practitioners who examined them before the experiment, and judgment is written down as to whether the patient has improved, got worse, or stayed the same. That judgment, once written down, is securely sealed so that it cannot be tampered with after the codes are broken.

The computer codes are now broken, and the results analysed by statisticians who are told only that this set of patients belong to 'Group A', and that set of patients belong to 'Group B'. If there is any statistically significant difference between the groups, the identities of 'Group A' and 'Group B' may now be divulged. My shirt is on there being no difference. Indeed, if there is a significant difference, and it is a repeatably verifiable effect, I will eat my shirt.

From time to time, experiments that sound a bit like the above have been done. Occasionally a difference has been reported. I find these results unconvincing, partly because the positive results are evanescent and unrepeatable, and also because, as far as I know, no experiment has ever been done with all the controls I have listed above in place. In particular, it is important that the control doses should be prepared by exactly the same succussion regime as the experimental doses. The control dose should certainly not be ordinary tap water, or distilled water. It must be shaken in exactly the same way as the experimental dose. Otherwise, one might suspect that shaking alone has some effect – perhaps aerating the water, although I don't need to specify the details. It is vitally important that the only difference between the two doses should be the presence or absence, at the beginning of the identical succussion regime, of the purported active ingredient.

It is even important not to make up a single stock supply of control dose, once and for all, to be used across the whole experiment. Even if the control dose is prepared by vigorous succussion, it will not do to make one big vat of control stuff. That would mean that the control patients have something in common with each other, whereas the experimental patients would not.

If the hopes of the homeopaths were realised, and if experiments as carefully controlled as this one reliably and repeatably showed that the extremely diluted homeopathic substances were effective, what should we conclude? Since there is no chemical difference between the doses, it would mean that a hitherto unknown principle of physics had been discovered. This is exceedingly unlikely, but not totally impossible. The homeopath who made such a stunning discovery should receive the Nobel Prize for Physics, as well as the Nobel Prize for Medicine. With such a holy grail in view, shouldn't homeopaths, if they really believe in their subject, be beavering away, night and day, in the laboratory to demonstrate the effect? And are they? No. They are much more interested in taking money off patients who believe in the treatment because – like any placebo – it sometimes seems to work.

The experiment I have proposed is not technically difficult, and it wouldn't cost very much money, as medical research goes. Prince Charles, whose backing of homeopathy has greatly helped it to achieve the degree of respectability that it enjoys in Britain, including NHS support, could easily afford to fund the research. He should do so. Nothing in the experiment I have described violates his preference for a holistic approach to medicine. On the contrary, my design bends over backwards to accommodate it, even allowing the treatment prescribed to every patient to be uniquely tailored to that individual.

If homeopathy really worked, it should be easy and cheap to demonstrate it. The conclusion seems inescapable. More clearly and obviously than for any other 'alternative' therapy, homeopathy seems vanishingly unlikely to work. Not all homeopaths are charlatans; many of them are probably sincere, as are their patients. But until homeopathy is demonstrated to work (which it almost certainly will never be) it should not be supported by the NHS.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:27 am

As far as I got from the artcle the author hasn't done the experiment he's talking about and IMO it's very difficult to do it for various reasons. First when you start using homeopathy you have do a very long & detailed interview in order for the homeopath to define your constituion based on which he prescribes your constitutional remedy (my homeopath's practice is to prescribe it to be taken for 3 consecutive days x 10 drops-she uses liquid remedies, some homeopaths use solid ones- they look like tiny balls). This remedy does its job slowly & over a long period generally six months for which period your take the shit acccumulated in your body so far gradually - I had over 10 sore throats for less than 6 months, I mentioned the severe headaches which I didn't expected & which started after I began the treatment. They lasted for around an year & I had them every time I took the remedy. I don't have them for a year. I experienced other effects of the remedy, too.
When you have a problem, you go to your homeopath and have another, shorter interview and he/she tells you to take your constitutional remedy or prescribes another one according to the situation. My doctor's told me many times that the same remedy works differently with different people in different situations. That in facts makes the experiment difficult.
My doc. refused flatly to change my remedy for a year. She said it was doing its job. She changed it this April when she deemed the situation with me had changed & I needed another remedy. She changed my remedy again today. I'll start taking it from tonight. IMO homeopathy is working with me. I've never been so healthy & I think it helps me function better. My first remedy which i hate most so far was skimmed milk 10 K- which means it was dilluted first 100 times & then another
1 000 000 times. Practically noting of the fucking milk was left & I still can't believe what it did to me. You'd say it's plaecebo. OK. If the plaecebo works on an adult, explain then how it works on a 2 year old kid. My son was that age when I took it to her. He'd his adenoids removed because he suffered from severe anginas & the doctors wanted to take his tonsils as well because he continued suffering from multiple anginas and was almost constantly on antibiotics. He was healthy when i took him to her. After he started taking the remedy he had another angina. She perscribed another remedy and I couldn't believe it how his temperature fell from 39.5 centigrades to 37 in a half an hour-that had never happened before. He was as good as new for 5 days. He suffered from anginas, each of them treated for 5 days, a lot during the first 6 months. Then stopped. I've treated with homeopathy all his illnesses- ear infections, alergic reactions, bronchitis, hemoroids. For 4 yrs he hasn't taken antibiotics once and since he's 4, he almost stopped getting ill. I've practiced homeopathy for 2 years. the doctor treats me and the kid in very different ways - she's prescribed me only 3 different remedies for various problems. My son has a bag full of at least 30 different perscribed remedies so far. The docter has loads of patients, mainly kids. IMO you have to try it to see wheter it works. It works for me & my kid. How? I don't give a fuck.
Next time I'd ask her if she can refer me to an experiment similar to the above or to some sort of evidence that it works.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:30 am

Fuck, i can't believe what I long post I've just posted hahaha. Hope you're patient enough to read it, Soulmonster
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:15 pm

The patients to be used in the double blind experiment as described by Dawkins above would all suffer from the same problem and been "prescribed" the same homeopathic "medicine" by the same homeopath. This is not more difficult to do than what we do every day when we test normal medicines, we still have to find a huge group of patients suffering from the same problem and hence be subjected to the same treatment. Some will get real homeopathic "medicine" while others will get the placebo. If the group that receives the "medicine" statistically didn't improve more from their illness than those that get the placebo, then the homeopathic "medicine" is no more effective than placebo.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:40 am

Homeopathic remedies don't work as normal medicines so you can't expect results that normal medicines give. Homeopathy is unorthodox & works exactly the opposite way the normal medicine does. If normal medicines suppress symptoms, homeopathic remedies take them to the surface. In fact it's normal your state to detoriorate after taking homeopathic remedy before you improve. Homeopathic remedies are not prescribed only on the basis of symptoms but on the whole physical & emotional state of the patient at the given moment and your constitution as a whole. Most of the people with the same symptoms taking part in the experiment probably would be treated with different remedies. This experiment will fail and the guy IMO knows it.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:22 am

@DanyYo wrote:Homeopathic remedies don't work as normal medicines so you can't expect results that normal medicines give.

The test described by Dawkins is not an attempt to find out how they work, but if they work. If the claim by homeopaths is that their "medicine" cure illnesses then the test will determine whether that is correct or not, above the expected effect of placebos.

@DanyYo wrote:Most of the people with the same symptoms taking part in the experiment probably would be treated with different remedies. This experiment will fail and the guy IMO knows it.

If only most of the people are treated differently then this poses no problem because the test will only include those that are treated identically. As long as some are treated identically, and this sample number is large enough for the ensuing statistics, then it is good enough for the test. I am sure that if you take one homeopaths, and give her, let's say, a few thousands patients, you would get enough patients that have been prescribed the same exact dosage of the same exact homeopathic "remedy", and that is all you need for this test. And remember, this test is only about finding out if the homeopathic "drug" works or not, not whether the whole "therapy" works (because surely the talks with the homeopath itself may have healing powers).
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:37 am

The approach IMO is wrong but I have to admit I haven't read that much. Let's see what the results of the experiment would be.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:04 am

@DanyYo wrote:The approach IMO is wrong but I have to admit I haven't read that much. Let's see what the results of the experiment would be.

There really are just two possible results: Either the homoeopathic remedy works better than placebo, or it work as well as placebo or worse. If it works better, the researchers have discovered something completely new to science and would surely become famous and rich people. As Dawkins pointed out, the fact that no homeopathic researcher actually do this study and attempt to become famous and rich, is a strong signal that even the homeopaths don't really believe that their "medicine" is better than placebo. They are more interested in earning money by selling sugary water and hocus pocus to patients.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:08 pm

I don't feel like debating on homeopathy. I don't know that much about it. It works for me and my kid and that's enough for me.
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Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Yes, I have never claim it doesn't work, just that it doesn't work more than placebo and that it definitely doesn't work like the homeopaths believe it does. And all they have to do to prove me, and everyone else, wrong is actually do the proper tests, which are being done for all else medicine. The fact that they refuse to do those tests, although they are simple to do and not that costly, suggests that they are afraid of the results and prefer to keep their business going without interference from actual evidence.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:53 am

Ah, you made a thread Smile Thanks.
IMO you refuse to accept homeopathy because you want a logical explanation in writing. With evidence. Such will be difficult to provide. I explained somewhere why. Your approach to homeopathy is wrong & you'll never accept it no matter how many pages we write here. The only possible way is to find a good homeopath, try it out & see for yourself. Or try it on your wife Smile
As I said, I'd ask my doctor & will post something but I'm not sure whether it'd convince you.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:30 pm

As I promised I asked my doctor whether she knows about similar tests as the one mentioned in the article above. She told me tons of similar blind tests have been performed but all of them failed and couldn't prove anything because: "Homeopathy doesn't treat symptoms". She said that tests can't prove anything. She also said that she personally made a lot of experiments (she's a virologist) with cells and lymph tissue treated with homeopathic remedies and that there was absolutely no reaction by the cells. In conclusion she said that there is a gold fund of $ 1 000 000 for the person who finds out how homeopathy works. So far nobody has managed to do so.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:35 pm

Welcome back Smile

So homeopathy doesn't treat the symptoms nor does it treat the illness (because then the symptoms would disappear, right?). Therefore, the tests actually prove something, and that is that homeopathy doesn't work.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:30 pm

It does treat the illness of course but not by separate symptoms but as a whole taking into account the mental and psychological state of the particular patient. It works on many different levels. And the tests prove nothing because there are more than enough patients who've been treated successfully by homephaty and that something that can be recorded. But nobody can tell you how exactly. And as I said I don't care as long as it works.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:38 pm

The whole point of medicine is to take away symptoms, you do this either by removing the symptoms or the underlying cause of the symptoms. If you succeed then the illness is either removed or under control.

If the symptoms remain after treatment with some homeopathic medicine then the illness hasn't been treated at all, it still remains and causes problems.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:16 am

No symptoms remain after the homeopathic treatment if the right remedy is prescribed . Besides the traditional medicine doesn't treat the symptoms. It just suppresses them. On the surface the symptoms are not present but they are still there. When you start taking a homeopathic remedy it doesn't only treat the current problem/illness but it also takes to the surface all old suppressed problems on different levels. That's why the course of homeopathic treatment is long. But it does take out all the shit nontheless.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:57 am

@DanyYo wrote:No symptoms remain after the homeopathic treatment if the right remedy is prescribed .

The quoted text above is the opposite of what you wrote here:

@DanyYo wrote:[..]tons of similar blind tests have been performed but all of them failed and couldn't prove anything because: "Homeopathy doesn't treat symptoms".

So which one is it? Does the homeopathic medicine get rid of the symptoms (if so it works! and it should be apparent in the tests) or does it not remove the symptoms (and hence it is just bogus medicine)?

@DanyYo wrote:Besides the traditional medicine doesn't treat the symptoms. It just suppresses them.

Many traditional medicines remove the underlying cause of a disease and not only suppress the symptoms. Take antibiotics as an example. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause the infection, and hence all the symptoms arising from the infection, as well as the infection, disappears.

@DanyYo wrote:When you start taking a homeopathic remedy it doesn't only treat the current problem/illness but it also takes to the surface all old suppressed problems on different levels.

If it really treats the illness then the symptoms should disappear as well. But as your doctor has pointed out for you: homeopathic medicine doesn't remove symptoms (and this has been shown in numerous double blind tests), and hence homeopathic medicine fail at both suppressing the symptoms AND remove the underlying problem. In other word, homeopathic medicine is an oxymoron. There is no healing effect from homeopathic drugs other than what you would expect from the placebo effect alone.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:46 am

Homeopathy does work, Soulmonster and it does remove the symptoms but as I said nobody knows exactly how. If you have an acute problem it works as fast as a classic medicine but unlike the classic medicine it doesn't suppress the symptoms but it takes the problem to the surface and you'll throw all the shit outta of your body after a so called healing crisis. In this case you take a remedy with a lower potention usually different from your constitutional remedy according to the particular caseand your constitution but of course it depends. Your constitutional remedy on the other hand works over a longer period of time and it cleans all the accumulated in you shit on all levels. Generally it's assumed that the direction of this cleansing process physically starts from the head and goes downwards. But the remedy cleans not only your physical problems but all the shit on other levels -psychological, mental etc. as well. In fact that cleansing IMO is the hardest. And believe me the healing of two concussions + numerous hittings on the head is no fun business at all.
If I have to be honest, if I knew the effects my constiutional remedy would have had on me I dunno if I'd have gone for it. But on the other hand, after two fucking years I think I finally got rid of the shit. Only time will tell of course. Next month I'll go to my doc & she'll decide whether to change the last remedy yet again or not.
And once again blind test DON'T work because homeopathy works exactly the opposite way the alopathy does (alopathy actually supresses the problem, homeopathy takes the problem to the surface) so applying this approach is useless.
In conclusion my personal opinion is that the earlier you start with homeopathy the better. Of course I'm not neither a doctor nor a homeopath and I'm talking from experience and from what I read at the beginning without even googling it at the moment Smile
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:30 am

@DanyYo wrote:Homeopathy does work, Soulmonster and it does remove the symptoms but as I said nobody knows exactly how.

If it removes the symptoms then that should be apparent in tests. Problem is, homeopathic remedies are no more effective at removing symptoms than sugary water.

@DanyYo wrote:If you have an acute problem it works as fast as a classic medicine

Since homeopathic remedies work through the mechanism of placebo the types of illnesses that can be cured with homeopathic medicine is very limited. But those that can be relieved by placebes are efficiently treated with homeopathic, as long as the patient believes in it.

@DanyYo wrote:but unlike the classic medicine it doesn't suppress the symptoms

I have already told you that "classic medicine" in many cases removes the symptoms altogether by removing their cause.

@DanyYo wrote:but it takes the problem to the surface and you'll throw all the shit outta of your body after a so called healing crisis.

Uhm. The ONLY way to heal a disease is to get RID of the symptoms. But double blind tests, which are perfect for determining whether a drug actually removes symptoms, have concluded that homeopathic medicines don't work because they are no better at removing symptoms than say sugary water. This was confirmed by your own doctor.

@DanyYo wrote:And once again blind test DON'T work because homeopathy works exactly the opposite way the alopathy does (alopathy actually supresses the problem, homeopathy takes the problem to the surface) so applying this approach is useless.

It doesn't matter HOW homeopathy or conventional medicine works, the point is that IF they work the symptoms should disappear. If the symptoms don't disappear then that remedy just doesn't work. That is the definition of getting better. That is the definition of being healed.

And if a remedy is able to remove a symptom then that effect is glaringly obvious when performing double blind tests. Unfortunately for the homeopaths (or rather their patients who waste their money on their fake medicine) homeopathic "medicine" fail in double blind tests again and again and again, proving that homeopathic remedies are no more effective than placebo.

Of course, they dress up this uncomfortable fact by dressing their "medicine" in pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo to confuse and fool their patients. Which in my opinion is a crime.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:31 am

Whatever. I give up arguing. I cannot convince you.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:16 am

@DanyYo wrote:Whatever. I give up arguing. I cannot convince you.

Of course you can convince me, you just need to provide some evidence that homeopathy works. That is, statistical data showing that homeopathic remedies are better at removing symptoms than what you would expect from the placebo effect. If you cannot provide such data that means that homeoptahy doesn't work.
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by DanyYo on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:59 am

Whatever.
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