The Skeptics

[tweetmeme] When blogging, writing, using or practicing Homeopathy it seems there almost always comes a time when one must address the skeptics.  Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years and has had it’s fair share of them.  Back in the early 1900’s there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 homeopathic hospitals and over 1000 homeopathic pharmacies.  The decline of such institutions came around the 1920’s during the rise of the American Medical Association and, of course, the pharmaceutical companies.  Why these organizations chose to target homeopathy is merely speculation at this time but if you dive deep enough into the history much of it points to money.  As a homeopathic practitioner you will not become rich.  Why?  Because your patients actually get better.  As a pharmacy that produces homeopathic remedies, your stockholders will not become millionaires.  Why?  Because homeopathic remedies are inexpensive to produce/sell and the people you are selling them to will actually get better, meaning they will not have to take the selected remedy for the rest of their lives.  See a picture forming here?  Whatever the historical facts point to, the skeptic will tell you that the decline was brought about because homeopathy is ineffective.   I disagree and I usually find that the skeptic cannot explain why then, when the US was stricken with the Spanish Flu in 1918, the homeopathic hospitals had a fatality rate of only 1% while the conventional hospitals saw a fatality rate of nearly 30%.  That does not seem ineffective in the least.

Another argument of the skeptic is that homeopathy is nothing but a placebo effect, meaning it will work just because someone believes it will work.  My question to them then becomes, why then will it work just as effectively on babies and animals?  There is usually no relative answer.  I’ve watched, with my own eyes, babies stricken with eczema clear up in a matter of hours.  I’ve seen arthritic dogs find mobility.  I’ve witnessed my own children, sick with the flu or strep throat, fall asleep after a remedy only to awaken in the morning with no remnant of the illness.  I’ve watched my own dog become well from an ear infection.  I’ve watched a child have allergic reaction to nuts recover in less than 2 minutes with the properly chosen remedy.  The list is endless.  I know immediately that when someone mentions that it’s just a placebo effect that they have never tried homeopathy or have never used it correctly.  If they had, it would be impossible to refute.  Impossible.

Another argument constructed by the skeptic includes something along the lines of, “it has not been scientifically proven”.  Yes, it is true, we don’t know how or why homeopathy works on a scientific level.  But we do know that it’s been proven time and time again that like cures like (one of the main homeopathic principles).  We know that millions of people use homeopathy and have been cured with homeopathy.  For me, something that has been tested time and time again over the past 200 years is all the science I need.  All of this said, I tend to get the scientific argument only from those who treat science as their religion and there isn’t much you can say to sway them.  They are going to believe what they are going to believe no matter what anyone else has to say about it.  I personally tend to rely on my experiences, not on some test in a lab that is based on man-made equations and speculations.  I’ve seen it work and I’ve felt it work.  That’s all the “scientific” proof I need.  Not to mention that I do have a small speck of faith that, one day, science will catch up to us.

One last argument I hear is that modern or western medicine is more effective.  I will agree that when it comes to emergency medicine our western technology and ability to treat is outstanding.  Homeopathy cannot reset a broken bone, stop internal bleeding from a serious accident, relocate a shoulder or stitch a laceration, this is true (although it can support the healing that comes afterward).  Additionally, antibiotics and such do have a part to play in our health under certain conditions.  However, I also know that the latest statistics show that close to 750,000 people die each year due to modern medicine.  In contrast, there has not been one documented case of anyone dying from taking a homeopathic remedy.  Not one.  The skeptic may then turn to say that while no one has died as a direct result of taking a remedy, people have died from their disease due to using homeopathy instead of modern medicine.  Stating, in addition, that had the person used modern medicine instead of homeopathy they would have survived.  It’s a ridiculous argument really.  For one, there is absolutely no way we can know for sure if someone would have lived or died had they chosen a different healing modality.  Two, with modern medicine claiming so many lives who is to say that the person’s death would not have been brought about more quickly had they chose the route of modern medicine.  We cannot possibly know.  Whether someone chooses conventional/western/modern medicine, homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, Chinese medicine or spirituality we should respect what they choose and not condemn them for it.  With 6 billion people on our planet we cannot possibly expect that everyone would or should choose the same path.

So to all of you skeptics out there, keep up the good work.  Your refutes keep us strong and on our toes.  We’ve heard these same arguments for over 200 years yet homeopathy is still around and continues to grow again in its use.  My only hope, although I don’t hold on to it too tightly, is that someday, we’ll evolve enough as to let go of this insane argument altogether.  As I stated above, with 6 billion people on the planet, we should embrace the differences in healing modalities and allow everyone their own path.  Every form of medicine has it’s place.

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