Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
Sometimes it washes over me, sometimes (though less frequently now) it makes me angry, mostly it makes me curious.
It seems really bizarre - working on a daily basis with this gentle, effective medicine - why the need to stamp on it, mis-quote trials, or at least quote horrendously biased ones - like the 2nd Australian Review (and where, after all, did the first one go? why was the lead on the project fired - and are the rumours - that it came out in favour of homeopathy - true?).
So today is another day of twitter telling me homeopathy can't work (some of my work is around the positive communication of homeopathy hence being on twitter this morning) - yet just yesterday whilst in clinic, I saw people who'd improved with using - wait for it - this non-effective, can't work medicine, homeopathy.
I see too many things, effective treatment using homeopathy - both in my clinic and those of others, and am excited about everyone who has found homeopathy effective for them, and incredibly grateful also for those who've gone on to share their stories.
So, through my curiosity today, it's a thank you. Thank you for those speaking up. Thank you for those making my job a pleasure to do. Like this mum recently who said:
My daughter had multiple hospital admissions for viral wheeze – treatment for which, often included doses of steroids, antibiotics and general inhalers. It was after a period of 6 months that I felt I needed to try an alternative course of treatment and looked towards homeopathy. I was recommended Em, by my daughter’s swimming instructor. Em took the time to get to know my daughter, her personality and prescribed a treatment for her. It was great knowing that Em was only a phone call away and was happy to pick up any queries and concerns outside of our sessions. My daughter has now been hospital admission free for five months, she uses her homeopathic treatment as and when required and still continues to see her regular hospital consultant. Overall, I would wholeheartedly Em.
Since we've started working together, no more hospital admissions - which were around once a month or so, and could be for overnight stays. The saving for the NHS from this non-effective medicine, homeopathy? Fairly significant I'd think, let alone the reduction in antibiotic use and other drugs for the individual.
I'm happy to share the account, with permission from the girl's mum.
If homeopathy has worked for you please tell others - you've no idea how you may help someone else find relief from a similar condition, or improvement from something else.
Onwards, with love,
It's a question that people frequently ask and one that certain people (funnily enough, particularly those with attitudes along the lines of 'homeopathy doesn't work') would rather we say no to.
I don't perceive that I do treat conditions - I look at the whole person, taking into account the condition and giving a remedy based on that. But have I treated people who have a certain condition label and have they got better? Yes. I've seen people come for homeopathy with me who had a variety of labels - such as IBS, hayfever, epilepsy, headaches, migraines, anxiety, depression, period pain, diabetes, chronic pain, tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis to give a few examples - and seen their conditions be either well managed or symptoms disappear entirely, frequently not needing conventional medications and be able to enjoy life in a fuller, pain free way. I've seen inflammatory markers come down, diabetic patients who've been medicated for 7 years be able to stop taking medication, seen people be able to come off anti-depressants - all in conjunction with the people who prescribed them.
They receive a remedy tailored for them - not the same one for everyone with hayfever or headaches. How simple life might be that way. But are we all the same? No. Do we all have the same symptoms of hayfever or headaches if they're the things we are experiencing? Not at all. So it's kind of weird we'd think they would need the same blanket prescription.
I heard a lovely report about a young child with autism this week and their improvements. Do I treat autism? My honest response? No. I treat the person in front of me. The label, for what it is, is often a collection of symptoms that fit together - often not everyone has all of them, but it's a label of convenience. I don't need to change a label, I need to see if I can help the person with their experience and the bits that are 'stuck'. The label needs to be understood in terms of how it fits them, how they experience life. But is a label a person? I'd certainly hope not. We are mostly far more than the labels given to us.
I love chatting to children about this stuff - they have some of the best questions.... 'but I don't want to change me' was one recently. My response - and my feeling is that we can be ourselves in our best version of ourselves, perhaps without the pain or anxiety. I'm not looking to change anyone, regardless of their label. But if you've chronic fatigue, pain or migraines and you didn't have to have? That'd be rather nice I imagine.
As I see it, homeopathy can sometimes make the impossible possible. So many people come as a last resort to homeopaths - and frequently get better.
The Times yesterday ran a piece on how homeopaths are endangering lives, pushing "useless alternatives to vaccines". Dawn, one of the featured homeopaths in it, shares her response here. It's funny how the arguments have changed against homeopathy - initially it was that it didn't work, now that because it doesn't work we're endangering lives. And sometimes it's that homeopathic products are dangerous - even as far as being called biohazards in a recent Sunday Times piece.
It's not an argument I find myself wanting to be dragged into, yet we seem to be getting dragged into it nonetheless. And I know no homeopaths, despite having been a homeopath for 12 years, travelled internationally within homeopathic circles and met many others, I know of no homeopaths who "push" anything. I do know of people who come to homeopaths (including those working in the medical professions) because they feel sure that their child regressed after having had vaccines (an idea it seems currently essential to suppress hence the recent article against Alan Freestone - his response is here), and practitioners look at the whole case, as they would with any person in front of them, and ideally are able to help find improvements. Not every time. And this too seems to be a stumbling block. Tell me what medical field does everything every time? Vaccination, it seems, doesn't either, from recent reports of outbreaks being from vaccinated individuals. Again I'm keen not to get into a big discussion, but I do want to offer that any medical procedure is not without risk. Any way of living life is not without risk, and we should all carefully consider that. My beef, if I have one, is that frequently the 'shadow side' of vaccines are not shown - whether that be for financial incentive, as some suggest, fear that uptake would be lower or that parents would make the 'wrong' choice. But there is no mention of any risk associated with them, only with not having them. Which intrigues me. More about that below from a medical colleague.
What I think I'm curious about too is there is a story that's not being told, and a media hysteria going on which is interesting to observe. In my perception there's a truth not being told and a denial that harm can occur from the route that's commonly being "pushed". My newsfeed on Facebook is filled with harrowing stories from those who are sharing that side of the story. It breaks my heart. Perhaps there's no incentive to share those more widely, in the national press, which asks further questions.
It seems in these times of increasing numbers of people looking to alternative options - we also have to suppress the chance that anything else can work to keep us healthy - a little like the Cancer Act of 1939 - the only things that can cope with cancer are surgery, radiotherapy and chemo. The people doing things naturally (and there are those people - frequently those who've been sent home with no hope who look outside of that prognosis) either don't exist or never had cancer in the first place. Most interesting.
Interestingly too, and I'm not saying this should be used in every case by any stretch, but homeopathy has dealt with epidemics around the world which is ignored, both in historical times, and more recently. Cuba is a particularly good case in point.
The film Magic Pills shares more details around the story and is worth getting along to a screening near you if you've got the chance. This snippet from the film shares a little more of the story:
In short, in case you're a reader and not a YouTube fan (in which case hello and so nice to meet you!!) the Cuban Finlay Institute found itself with the unsettling scenario of an impending epidemic of leptospirosis and no time to manufacture the necessary vaccine (the Finlay Institute were in fact the first place to create the Meningitis C vaccine). They decided to create a homeopathic medicine from the bacteria and gave to millions of people. And what happened? I'll share a graphic from the film Magic Pills:
In some versions the slide above isn't displaying correctly - it reads:
The cases of leptospirosis increased by 27%, except in the three intervened provinces rates of infection reduced by 84% and remained below historic levels.
Dr Gustavo Bracho, who presented the research at the Homeopathy Research Institute shares more about the project here:
This medicine that doesn't, can't work, seems to have done a damn fine job in that situation. The Finlay Institute went on to conduct other research using other homeopathic medicines for preventable diseases, with success in every instance.
There is a bigger picture we are not being told. Perhaps it's not always appropriate but we should ask ourselves why we're not hearing about this, or if we are, only in negative terms. As to homeopaths pushing anything, we should hear why they are not allowed to talk about what homeopathy can actually do. And why the media has turned - are they funded by anyone who might persuade that to happen? Several years ago they were happy to share this piece about how Roger Daltrey's son had his life saved by a homeopath. Now, nothing of the sort and we're all evil. Interesting again.
I wanted to end with a piece written by a colleague and medical doctor, Dr. Joe Rozencwajg from New Zealand. Please read:
"In this morning's paper, there was again a piece of "opinion" by yet another ignoramus, insulting the people who do not vaccinate, with the usual arguments. I generally answer by sending a letter to the Editor or an Opinion piece, short and with references. This morning I was really pissed off so not only did I write a longer piece, but I sent a copy to David Clark, our Minister of Health. I just received acknowledgment by one of his employees that he read it (???) and is taking my views seriously (?????????). I thought I would copy what I wrote here; feel free to copy, enhance, embellish, modify as it suits you and please do send to all the local, regional and national papers you have access to. As usual I did not receive any acknowledgement from the press and it will probably not be published, no surprises here...so let's inundate the "free press, voice of the people" until they relent.
"How on earth do you talk to an anti-vaxxer" is published just a few days after an opinion piece about mandatory vaccination.
And yet, when comments, answers and explanations about the refusal to vaccinate are sent for publication, none is appearing and the authors are not even granted the common courtesy of a reply and an explanation...censorship at its best, so much for the "freedom" of the press.
Let's try again.
A common thread in those articles is the parroting of the same arguments, so some dissection is needed.
1. We are refusing Science: I have tried many times to refer readers to scientific papers coming out from the CDC, the WHO, world-renown hospitals and research centres, written by well-known researchers and published in peer-reviewed journals. Some are collated in the book by Mateja Cernic "Ideological constructs of vaccination". Did anyone read any of those? At best, a few answers I received was "I do no accept the validity of this publication" Why? that remains an unexplained mystery. So, yes, there is science and research behind the refusal to vaccinate, not madness, politics or ideology. Another question would be why has the report of Senator Kennedy about the dangers of vaccination never been mentioned? I know! it goes against official policy, it is well documented and unacceptable to the vaccinators.
2. Everybody quotes the "debunked Wakefield" saga. What nobody seems to pay attention to, or maybe they have been prevented from acquiring that knowledge, is that the "debunked study" was "rebunked" (if I can invent this word). But here is a more important question: did any one of the vaccine pushers really read Wakefield's paper? I would guess not, so here is a summary: he found out that many cases of autism were correlated to dysbiosis of the gut (a pathological change in the intestinal bacterial flora); this is a notion that was fresh in his time but has been confirmed now many times; do not take my word for it, just do a search for "gut dysbiosis and neurological pathology". At the same time Wakefield found out that the MMR vaccine created in some cases severe dysbiosis in the gut; again, something that was new at that time but demonstrated by now. He then wondered whether there could be an indirect link between MMR and autism. That is all he wrote. And now it is clear he was right. All that information is freely available on the net, just do the research for yourself, if you dare.
3. Now for the darling of vaccination, herd immunity. The claim is that in order to have "herd immunity" 95% of the population or group studied needs to be vaccinated; by vaccinated it is meant injected with the vaccine. Even the more rabid defenders of vaccination admit that the rate of "success" is at best around 80 to 90%, depending on which vaccine is used. Therefore, even if 100% of the population is injected, it is impossible to reach the threshold for herd immunity. But what does "successful vaccination" mean? In all studies, it means the appearance of antibodies, yet antibodies are not synonymous of immune protection, it only means that the immune system has been in contact with a foreign substance and has recognised it as foreign; check that fact in immunology textbooks, please. Even being totally immune to a disease does not mean one cannot propagate it as we have many "healthy carriers", people who have no symptoms, no medical problems but carry the germs and can transmit it to others; the best known examples are HIV and Hepatitis B carriers, but we all carry pathological germs that are controlled by our immune system. So much for really protecting the newborns and immunocompromised.
4. Yes, people vaccinated with live attenuated vaccines do continually shed those germs, and said germs are recovering their virulence. This has been demonstrated and published by the CDC about the actual measles outbreak through genetic decoding of the germs cultured from the sick: most are those germs that were used to manufacture the vaccines...now what? Wilful ignorance? I know, some will say conspiracy, chose your cup of tea...
5. Vaccination is a medical procedure. Every medical procedure is supposed to be performed only after proper information and with informed consent, the accent being on "informed". Every one of us has the right to accept or refuse any procedure after being duly informed about their advantages, their benefits and their dangers. It is called freedom of choice. What about the protection of the many compared to the right of the few? Please go to the Medsafe website, the official voice of the Ministry of Health; read the fact sheet about the MMR vaccine, published by the manufacturers themselves and look at the side-effects and contra-indications. Now ask yourself, especially when reading about the neurological complications, if you are ready to take a chance for your children, your friends' children to suffer from one of those problems. Yes their are not very frequent, but when they hit you, this is 100% life shattering.
We have something called the Freedom of Information Act. Its essence means that information, knowledge, should be freely available to every single person without censure, without restriction. Humans are supposed to be intelligent, evolved entities, that can think for themselves, ask questions right and left and make a decision that then needs to be respected. Why does the press deny this fundamental right?"
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition