My Problem with Homeopathy

I’m very much into alternative and holistic health and healing. I’m a Reiki master and practice other healing modalities as well. I’m also very much an advocate of nutritional and herbal medicine. However, in spite of having a lot of friends who either practice homeopathy or use homeopathic medicine, I can’t really get on board. Here’s my issue…

Homeopathy is based on extremely dilute preparations of various active ingredients. In fact, according to some theories, the MORE dilute, the more effective. These are SO dilute that most orthodox doctors, chemists and physicists say there is simply no possibility of their actually having any effect. While I have a decent scientific education, I’m perfectly willing to accept that these scientists may be wrong about homeopathy. Perhaps, as some studies suggest, these minute doses really are effective.

Here’s the problem. We are constantly exposed to very dilute amounts of nearly EVERYTHING. Our food, our water, our air, the buildings we live in – all of these expose us to minuscule amounts of virtually every compound known to man (and probably a lot that aren’t known). This must mean that, homeopathically, we are receiving doses of thousands of potentially active ingredients. What is one dose of a homeopathic compound compared to the thousands of doses of other compounds we are exposed to?

Take, for example the homeopathic compound known as Natrum Muriaticum. For all the fancy Latin, this is simply Sodium Chloride – table salt.  In any daily diet – even without added salt – even if it’s all natural, we are exposed to more Sodium Chloride than we are likely to get in a single homeopathic dosage. So how can a homeopathic dosage have any effect whatsoever, that isn’t completely drowned out by the minute doses of hundreds of salts of various kinds that we are exposed to every day?

One possibility I can see is that the homeopathic preparations are actually a vehicle for some other effect – be it a spiritual/psychic one or an alchemical one. I can see even a drop of water as being a vehicle for the transference of directed energy. I wonder if, when results are obtained with homeopathy, the real cause of the healing is the intention of the healer. But if this is the case, homeopathy seems like an unnecessarily complicated vehicle. About the best one can say about it in this case is that it does no harm. Or perhaps the homeopathic substances are prepared in such a way as to make them contain a different form of energy than would be present simply in an ordinary, diluted substance.

I’d love to chat with some dedicated homeopaths and hear their take on this idea, because as open minded as I like to be, I’m still not seeing the picture here.

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27 thoughts on “My Problem with Homeopathy

  1. Pingback: Does reiki really work? - Page 2

  2. Maria

    I’m afraid I agree with you. Thank you for saying it out loud. You’re the kind of reiki master I’d be willing to give a try.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for the comment. I have no hostility toward homeopathy. I think that it does little harm, provided a homeopath doesn’t talk you out of some life-saving treatment in favor of homeopathy. And I’m willing to be convinced. But so far, I’m not.

      Reply
  3. Maria

    I’m afraid I agree with you. Thank you for saying it out loud. You’re the kind of reiki master I’d be willing to give a try.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      Thank you for the comment. I have no hostility toward homeopathy. I think that it does little harm, provided a homeopath doesn’t talk you out of some life-saving treatment in favor of homeopathy. And I’m willing to be convinced. But so far, I’m not.

      Reply
  4. Al

    Well done for realising this!

    Now, apply the same thinking to your own “healing”.

    Go on.

    Don’t be scared

    You may need to find a new career, mind.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Fortunately, Reiki isn’t my profession. I say fortunately because I never charge for it, so it would make a poor career 😉 Now if you managed to talk me out of designing databases…

      There are several reasons why I think Reiki is in a different category. Perhaps this merits a longer post instead of just a quick reply here. Just as a warm-up, let me say that Reiki is unambiguously non-scientific in its mechanism. There is no danger of Reiki being mistaken for some sort of physical treatment – even massage.

      Reply
  5. Al

    Well done for realising this!

    Now, apply the same thinking to your own “healing”.

    Go on.

    Don’t be scared

    You may need to find a new career, mind.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      Fortunately, Reiki isn’t my profession. I say fortunately because I never charge for it, so it would make a poor career 😉 Now if you managed to talk me out of designing databases…

      There are several reasons why I think Reiki is in a different category. Perhaps this merits a longer post instead of just a quick reply here. Just as a warm-up, let me say that Reiki is unambiguously non-scientific in its mechanism. There is no danger of Reiki being mistaken for some sort of physical treatment – even massage.

      Reply
  6. Dana Ullman, MPH

    At first blush, the doses used in homeopathy may confuse people. However, there have been around 200 clinical trials and hundreds of basic science studies, most of which (not all!) have shown biological activity and clinical efficacy of homeopathic medicines.

    For a short article on WHY HOMEOPATYHY WORKS AND MAKES SENSE, see my article at: http://www.homeopathic.com/articles/view,98 — Also, an upcoming article at the http://www.Huffingtonpost.com will soon be posted.

    It may be time to understand how acupuncture and homeopathy represent types of energy medicine that are the FUTURE of medicine.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for your response. I read your article and found it informative. My issue is not with whether homeopathy is clinically effective. My question is – if it IS clinically effective, WHY is it effective? Reading your article, it is clear that what is being discussed is not a dilute concentration of an active ingredient, but a “fractal pattern” of the active ingredient “imprinted” on the water. This raises several questions.
      1. Is this fractal pattern or imprint something metaphysical, or some as-yet not well understood physical process?
      2. What prevents the thousands of minute trace compounts in drinking water, for example, from being fractally imprinted during the agitation water experiences before we drink it, and wouldn’t these doses of thousands of compounds we consume every day wreck havoc with a single dose of homeopathic medicine?

      Reply
  7. Dana Ullman, MPH

    At first blush, the doses used in homeopathy may confuse people. However, there have been around 200 clinical trials and hundreds of basic science studies, most of which (not all!) have shown biological activity and clinical efficacy of homeopathic medicines.

    For a short article on WHY HOMEOPATYHY WORKS AND MAKES SENSE, see my article at: http://www.homeopathic.com/articles/view,98 — Also, an upcoming article at the http://www.Huffingtonpost.com will soon be posted.

    It may be time to understand how acupuncture and homeopathy represent types of energy medicine that are the FUTURE of medicine.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      Thank you for your response. I read your article and found it informative. My issue is not with whether homeopathy is clinically effective. My question is – if it IS clinically effective, WHY is it effective? Reading your article, it is clear that what is being discussed is not a dilute concentration of an active ingredient, but a “fractal pattern” of the active ingredient “imprinted” on the water. This raises several questions.
      1. Is this fractal pattern or imprint something metaphysical, or some as-yet not well understood physical process?
      2. What prevents the thousands of minute trace compounts in drinking water, for example, from being fractally imprinted during the agitation water experiences before we drink it, and wouldn’t these doses of thousands of compounds we consume every day wreck havoc with a single dose of homeopathic medicine?

      Reply
  8. Vicky

    As an energy healer, how well equipped are YOU to explain the clinical action of your modality (to the satisfaction of ‘mainstream’ scientists)? As a practitioner of Reiki AND homeopathy I find these two energy systems can complement each other beautifully and yet the “HOW?’ and the ‘WHY?’ are not fully understood. Homeopathic remedies do not employ the chemical effects of the substances used within them, they make use of the energetic imprint of those substances and the changes they are able to initiate within the human body (and soul).
    Homeopathy has been singled-out for attack not because it is ineffective (as Dana said there are hundreds of clinical trials supporting its efficacy) it is being singled-out because it currently represents the biggest threat to chemical medication (and therefore the second most profitable industry in the world).
    Perhaps when Reiki has accumulated sufficient clinical data to be of a similar threat the current ‘safe’ position it occupies may also be challenged. By then I hope that practitioners of the various fields of energy medicine are able to stand together to defend against these profit-motivated attacks. In so doing, we will fulfill the amazing potential of these beautiful methods to elevate the human condition.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Funny you should ask 😉 I’m preparing a post dealing with some aspects of that tomorrow. However, what I am hearing from you and others is that I am fundamentally misunderstanding the primary mechanism of homeopathy. That’s entirely possible, as I haven’t devoted more than cursory attention to it as of yet. But I think I may be correct in saying that the popular perception of most of those who buy homeopathic remedies is that what they are experiencing are the chemical effects of the substances. What you and Dana Ullman are basically saying is that homeopathy is more fundamentally like alchemy – where what is used is essentially the Platonic essence of the active ingredient. While it may seem odd to mainstream science, that’s actually an idea can appreciate.

      Reply
  9. Vicky

    As an energy healer, how well equipped are YOU to explain the clinical action of your modality (to the satisfaction of ‘mainstream’ scientists)? As a practitioner of Reiki AND homeopathy I find these two energy systems can complement each other beautifully and yet the “HOW?’ and the ‘WHY?’ are not fully understood. Homeopathic remedies do not employ the chemical effects of the substances used within them, they make use of the energetic imprint of those substances and the changes they are able to initiate within the human body (and soul).
    Homeopathy has been singled-out for attack not because it is ineffective (as Dana said there are hundreds of clinical trials supporting its efficacy) it is being singled-out because it currently represents the biggest threat to chemical medication (and therefore the second most profitable industry in the world).
    Perhaps when Reiki has accumulated sufficient clinical data to be of a similar threat the current ‘safe’ position it occupies may also be challenged. By then I hope that practitioners of the various fields of energy medicine are able to stand together to defend against these profit-motivated attacks. In so doing, we will fulfill the amazing potential of these beautiful methods to elevate the human condition.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      Funny you should ask 😉 I’m preparing a post dealing with some aspects of that tomorrow. However, what I am hearing from you and others is that I am fundamentally misunderstanding the primary mechanism of homeopathy. That’s entirely possible, as I haven’t devoted more than cursory attention to it as of yet. But I think I may be correct in saying that the popular perception of most of those who buy homeopathic remedies is that what they are experiencing are the chemical effects of the substances. What you and Dana Ullman are basically saying is that homeopathy is more fundamentally like alchemy – where what is used is essentially the Platonic essence of the active ingredient. While it may seem odd to mainstream science, that’s actually an idea can appreciate.

      Reply
  10. Deb

    I’m wondering whether the homeopathic effect taps into the same process that governs the placebo effect, which is well documented but very poorly understood in medical science. I’d be really interested to know whether there are any trials that pitch a homeopathic, a placebo and a pharmaceutical treatment against each other for the same disease.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I’ve seen several studies of homeopathic vs. placebo, but none that also test pharmaceuticals at the same time. Even if homeopathy was ALL placebo, it would still be a good, harmless way of recruiting the placebo effect for beneficial purposes.

      Reply
  11. Deb

    I’m wondering whether the homeopathic effect taps into the same process that governs the placebo effect, which is well documented but very poorly understood in medical science. I’d be really interested to know whether there are any trials that pitch a homeopathic, a placebo and a pharmaceutical treatment against each other for the same disease.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      I’ve seen several studies of homeopathic vs. placebo, but none that also test pharmaceuticals at the same time. Even if homeopathy was ALL placebo, it would still be a good, harmless way of recruiting the placebo effect for beneficial purposes.

      Reply
  12. Saima

    Hello,

    I am a Reiki master and a student of Homeopathy. I have closely examined each healing modality. Of-course even one whole life time isn’t enough to understand healing.

    1. You ask why does a homeopathic work vs. dilute amounts of so many substances that we injest all the time.

    It is not a homeopathic remedy that works but ”the” homeopathic remedy that works. The remedy that matches the energy of the disease will work. Then you will say, o but there is salt in everything, how come homeopathic salt helps grief? Homeopathic salt is the energy of the salt, not the salt. It is not diluted salt. Yes, homeopathic remedies are made from diluted amounts of substances, but they are shaken every single time, thereby ”loading” the water with more and more energy of the substance–through the energy of the human being making it–similar to how reiki is transferred between people. The remedy’s potency also should match the energy that is causing the lifeforce to alter its workings. The life force is an invisible energy that is like a hologram animating the entire body. When the energy of a disease becomes trapped in the lifeforce, it starts to alter its workings. Since it is constantly trying to ”live”, ‘be happy” and safeguard the individual, it tries to throw out the disease. It creates colds, flus, skin rashes, stomach upsets and all sorts of other minor problems to move the disease energy away from a/important organs and b/ from the spiritual centre of the person. The spiritual centre-if you haven’t guessed it already is the ”soul” of the human being who must be given the best chance to unite with the universal life force.
    2. The energy that matches the energy of the disease is best taken in water since we are 70% water and the energy is therefore transferred easily.
    3. Reiki and homeopathy have a common paradigm. Reiki is spiritual energy, transferred through the spiritual centre of one person to another. Naturally when the life force has a second life force supporting its healing, the life force becomes empowered to heal. As a reiki practitioner you should have seen this happen.
    4. Since we cannot see or measure energy, we can only interpret it through our intuition and subjective experience–therefore to understand or master healing techniques such as homeopathy and reiki, it is important to develop our intuition and powers of observation through meditation.
    5. Homeopathy is a very powerful healing modality. It must not be taken lightly or imagined to be a placebo effect. It is in fact like knowing how to build a spaceshuttle before we learnt to build a car–it is way ahead of its time. It amazes me as to why the divine desired us to know homeopathy since quite clearly we have neither the intelligence nor the humility to appreciate this healing art. It is like casting pearl before swine. It breaks my heart to see this artistry discussed in crude and useless terms like placebo, charts and other ridiculous 2 dimensional frameworks that frame nothing and are indeed worse than ignorance because of their pompousness.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I think this is an excellent approach to explaining homeopathy. My problem is that only a few of the homeopathic practitioners I’ve talked to seem to put it in these terms.

      Reply
      1. William Altmiller

        We do not fully understand the mechanism of action behind homeopathic medicinal preparations. There has been precursory research into this question, but nothing conclusive has been determined. There has been some interesting research performed by Stanford medical graduate, Dr. Iris Bell, MD, PhD, check out http://www.PubMed.com for interesting work.

        I have been looking at homeopathic medical research for the last 6 years. I can tell you there is some interesting speculation around its mechanism of action that has been published in the text called “Double Helix Water” (http://www.doublehelixwater.com/Publications.aspx). The text does include an entire section primary research section.

        Reply
  13. Saima

    Hello,

    I am a Reiki master and a student of Homeopathy. I have closely examined each healing modality. Of-course even one whole life time isn’t enough to understand healing.

    1. You ask why does a homeopathic work vs. dilute amounts of so many substances that we injest all the time.

    It is not a homeopathic remedy that works but ”the” homeopathic remedy that works. The remedy that matches the energy of the disease will work. Then you will say, o but there is salt in everything, how come homeopathic salt helps grief? Homeopathic salt is the energy of the salt, not the salt. It is not diluted salt. Yes, homeopathic remedies are made from diluted amounts of substances, but they are shaken every single time, thereby ”loading” the water with more and more energy of the substance–through the energy of the human being making it–similar to how reiki is transferred between people. The remedy’s potency also should match the energy that is causing the lifeforce to alter its workings. The life force is an invisible energy that is like a hologram animating the entire body. When the energy of a disease becomes trapped in the lifeforce, it starts to alter its workings. Since it is constantly trying to ”live”, ‘be happy” and safeguard the individual, it tries to throw out the disease. It creates colds, flus, skin rashes, stomach upsets and all sorts of other minor problems to move the disease energy away from a/important organs and b/ from the spiritual centre of the person. The spiritual centre-if you haven’t guessed it already is the ”soul” of the human being who must be given the best chance to unite with the universal life force.
    2. The energy that matches the energy of the disease is best taken in water since we are 70% water and the energy is therefore transferred easily.
    3. Reiki and homeopathy have a common paradigm. Reiki is spiritual energy, transferred through the spiritual centre of one person to another. Naturally when the life force has a second life force supporting its healing, the life force becomes empowered to heal. As a reiki practitioner you should have seen this happen.
    4. Since we cannot see or measure energy, we can only interpret it through our intuition and subjective experience–therefore to understand or master healing techniques such as homeopathy and reiki, it is important to develop our intuition and powers of observation through meditation.
    5. Homeopathy is a very powerful healing modality. It must not be taken lightly or imagined to be a placebo effect. It is in fact like knowing how to build a spaceshuttle before we learnt to build a car–it is way ahead of its time. It amazes me as to why the divine desired us to know homeopathy since quite clearly we have neither the intelligence nor the humility to appreciate this healing art. It is like casting pearl before swine. It breaks my heart to see this artistry discussed in crude and useless terms like placebo, charts and other ridiculous 2 dimensional frameworks that frame nothing and are indeed worse than ignorance because of their pompousness.

    Reply
    1. Reverend Keith Post author

      I think this is an excellent approach to explaining homeopathy. My problem is that only a few of the homeopathic practitioners I’ve talked to seem to put it in these terms.

      Reply
      1. William Altmiller

        We do not fully understand the mechanism of action behind homeopathic medicinal preparations. There has been precursory research into this question, but nothing conclusive has been determined. There has been some interesting research performed by Stanford medical graduate, Dr. Iris Bell, MD, PhD, check out http://www.PubMed.com for interesting work.

        I have been looking at homeopathic medical research for the last 6 years. I can tell you there is some interesting speculation around its mechanism of action that has been published in the text called “Double Helix Water” (http://www.doublehelixwater.com/Publications.aspx). The text does include an entire section primary research section.

        Reply

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