There is no vaccine and no conventional cure for the suspected 11 million cases in India (government figures). Indian authorities maintain that this is a non-fatal disease and that no deaths have occured from it as yet.
Helios Pharmacy in Tunbridge Wells, Kent is a highly regarded producer of homeopathic remedies, not least for the conscientious approach they take to the production of remedies and their innovative role in the proving of new remedies. They also are at the forefront of spreading the use of the LM potency in practice.
I reached Cork airport at 8am and flew easyjet to Gatwick, moving smoothly to the train which took me directly to Tunbridge Wells for noon. A helpful lady in a health food store gave me directions to Helios. The journey took me through the town, which is dinky and neat in that most English of ways. Manicured lawns outside the town hall. Statues to Our Glorious Dead. Red postboxes. Respectability and prosperity in the air.
Keep track of Homeopthic Happenings using some of the calendars linked to below. Just the ISH 3rd year schedule for the moment. More calendars will be added in time.
Clodagh Sheehy has written a good article on Homeopathy for the Evening Herald entitled "Medical wonder or deceptive placebo? - Scientists shun it but one-in-four Europeans use it". It's about a Dublin family who have all benefited from Homeopathic treatment.
You'll find the article attached to this entry as a GIF graphic at the bottom of the page.
My favourite line: "A three month old baby doesn't know about the placebo effect and it still works"
The Irish Homeopathy Confererence takes place from the 23rd to the 25th of June this year in NUIG, Galway.
There's a fantastic line up of speakers. this year, including Ramakrishnan, David Lilley and Melissa Assilem as well as native practitioners.
More details at their website:
India Express: Big pharmaâ€™s bitter pills
The Indian press is often the source of refreshingly clear eyed commentary on global affairs. You don't get direct criticism of big pharmaceutical companies so much here in the west, presumably because they're more of an embedded vested interest.
We also have the fear that complimentary practitioners have of offending the medical establishment and therefore not being "accepted". Even the term "complimentary" is reflective of this. Indian homeopaths have no such complexes as their modality is already recognised by the government and taught in universities.
The Bristol homeopathic hospital has released the results of a study into the effectiveness of Homeopathy which canvassed 6,500 patients with chronic conditions finding that 75% of them felt better after homeopathic treatment. The results among children were even more impressive.
The criticism against this study from the authors of The Lancet meta-study are that there are no comparison cases and that most people will respond "better" to their doctors when asked how they feel.
It is this last point which I find reasonably typical and echoes what Paul O'Donoghue said on the Late Late show a few weeks ago. It is the presupposition that patients are not to be trusted when they say they feel better. The implication is that patients are not qualified to give themselves a report on whether they have improved or not. This notion is a good example of how conventional medicine, whether wittingly or not, can disempower patients. It says to patients "we don't trust you to know for yourself whether you're better or not. We don't believe you until we've run our own tests and examinations. We will decide for you if you are better, since we are more qualified than you to do so."
There are plenty of reasons to suspect that the "inevitable" bird 'flu pandemic will go the way of the SARS scare. The virus may never make it out of the bird population into mammals and to say that it is about to is still a matter of increasingly wild speculation. Despite the fact that the human to human form of the disease doesn't even exist people are still talking about making vaccine for it. Meanwhile governments fill the coffers of pharma companies and we all get distracted from natural disasters, war and the price of oil.
Let's suppose for a moment that the threat is real and imminent. What homeopathic remedies can help you out? Well, it turns out that Helios in the UK are recommending Oscillococcinum as the remedy to prevent and treat such an outbreak.
There has been a crescendo of bird 'flu stories and warnings building up over the past six years, ever since the Hong Kong outbreak 1998. In 1999 The Guardian called it "The Plague in Waiting" and there are several expert blogs providing insight and commentary on the H5N1 strain of avian flu, to give it its full title. The WHO has dedicated much of its website to the disease.
I thought you'd like to read this excellent article from last Tuesday's Irish Times health supplement in defense of Alternative Therapies.
It's by Shalini Sinha, a presenter on RTÃ‰'s "health squad". She was on the late late that night on which they had the debate on alternative medicine just not on that bit. She was talking later on the panel about immigration.
This is the second of two articles on the antagonism between orthodox and complementary healing.
While there are distinct philosophical, indeed religious, differences between allopathy (the practice of our GPs and doctors in hospital) and "complementary" practices, they do not explain the intensity with which allopathic medicine can attack other healing perspectives.