Strange placebo?

Although like so many people I have tried homeopathy myself, I can understand why it would frighten the scientific community more than any other of the various forms of ‘complementary medicine’. Surely, if the molecules are no longer there, it just must be a placebo… Yet my own experience over a number of years seemed to be mixed. With some of my symptoms, notably headaches and digestive upset, I think homeopathy probably helped me although I could not prove that an improvement would not have happened anyway, maybe thanks to delayed response to diet, for instance. In the case of my chronic rhinitis I know it did not help. If I understood my experience correctly, the orthodox scientific view of homeopathy leads to the strange conclusion that I had a placebo effect on some symptoms and not others. Perhaps not impossible, but an outcome hard to explain or understand.
This experience leads me to think that defenders of homeopathy are seriously mistaken when they concentrate (naturally enough) on publicising their successes. If they are to have any chance of forcing the massive rethink of our understanding of the universe that homeopathy would imply, they should draw attention to people like myself who may have found it helpful in some areas and not others – that is, their partial failures. For it is much easier to imagine a placebo which affects each patient consistently, however much patients may vary one with another in their psychological and other responses to the placebo, than one which has variable effects on the same patient. Why should my psychology differ with one symptom from another? OK, that could happen but it would, I guess, be unusual. Anyone willing to investigate that thoroughly?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s