Homeopathy is frequently reported to be some form of smoke and mirrors illusion performed on the sick and gullible.
As president of the Faculty of Homeopathy, I would argue that the deception is being performed by the therapy’s critics.
As a doctor who integrates homeopathy into her practice, it always amazes me how when the therapy is discussed the opinions of one group of people are almost always neglected.
They are, of course, the many patients who have received the treatment and are convinced that it has improved their health or relieved their symptoms.
The high patient satisfaction scores at the two NHS hospitals where homeopathy is among the treatments available (Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Centre for Integrative Care is clear evidence of this.
Many of these patients have been chronically ill and have previously received numerous conventional treatments without success.
I believe that if these patients had been referred sooner, not only would they have experienced an earlier restoration to health, it would have saved the NHS money.
Patients generally are not stupid and know when they are feeling better and what has brought about their improvement in health.
The continuing growth of homeopathy across the globe is only being achieved because people are finding it beneficial for a wide range of conditions.
Homeopathy is not a miracle cure and not suitable for all medical conditions, but at times I have seen it produce quite remarkable results.
Frequently, these results have enabled the patient to reduce or even avoid having to take costly and potentially dangerous drugs.
At a time when the medical profession is being encouraged to reduce the amount of prescription drugs patients are taking, there seems to be high profile campaign targeting any therapy that could possibly help to achieve this.
While I prefer to focus on patients, opponents of homeopathy tend to be happier talking about science.So let’s talk about science! Medicine is a science and I don’t deny that the evidence for homeopathy is inconclusive, but it most definitely is not non-existent as it is often claimed by opponents and reported in the press.A simple search of any research database will prove this point. (The Faculty Of Homeopathy has some here, as does The British Homeopathic Association).And then there is the 2010 House and Commons Science and Technology Committee report on homeopathy.Too many times journalists report the negative conclusions of this report as if it provided the definitive judgement on the therapy.However, they always seem to neglect to inform their readers that only three MPs on the committee actually voted in favour of the report’s findings, while 70 MPs signed an early day motion condemning it as biased.Clearly there is a deception at work – but who are the deceivers?