to think homeopaths really just make money out of the gullible?

(1000 Posts)
WidowWadman Sat 08-Jun-13 20:59:47

A remedy made from diluted bits of the Berlin Wall - seriously, that's surely just a test to find out how far they can push it, isn't?

ShadowStorm Sun 09-Jun-13 21:37:32

YANBU. Homeopathy is nonsense.

When it 'works for people', then that's either because of the placebo effect, or because they've got some non-serious condition that would have cleared up by itself anyway.

RikeBider Sun 09-Jun-13 21:39:54

squoosh acupuncture involves needles, not magic water.

Though as I understand it there isn't much science to back it up - eg. "proper" acupuncture isn't more effective than randomly jabbing needles in anywhere.

Perseis Sun 09-Jun-13 21:39:56

squoosh no, acupuncture is a different thing entirely. And has actually been proven to work in scientific tests (although no one is quite sure why it works).

exexpat Sun 09-Jun-13 21:52:48

I'd be interested to know what kind of scientist you are, VenusUprising? Because the concepts behind homeopathy appear to have absolutely nothing to do with modern science - they are more the kind of magical beliefs and hypotheses which passed for science and medicine in the 18th century, and since then have been tested and proven false multiple times.

AmberSocks Sun 09-Jun-13 22:16:46

I have used homepathic remedies,its not something i would of seeked out and paid for but my friend is a homepath and gave me some advice and its always worked for me.

I dont see how they are money grabbing anymore than normal medication,its all to make money after all.

I think the fact that a placebo can cure you proves that you can cure yourself!its all in the mind.

CoteDAzur Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:42

Placebo doesn't cure anything that won't go away on its own.

caroldecker Mon 10-Jun-13 00:10:49

Agreed the placebo effect does not cure self-limiting illnesses, but, for example, a placebo compared to no treatment can make people feel better quicker.
Also the placebo effect also works even if people are aware it is a placebo
here and here is some evidence of the 'care' effect discussed above - ie people feel better if listened to and cared for

EllieArroway Mon 10-Jun-13 08:28:04

As far as I'm concerned we haven't looked at it properly. Make of that what you will fellow scientists

No scientist worth their salt would say this.

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 08:37:10

The problem is that we have looked at it properly.

We've looked at accupuncture properly now too.......

Perseis Mon 10-Jun-13 08:46:14

Seeker that's really useful, I'd always been told that it was one of the alternative therapies that science could show to work.

[off to find out if there is a subset of conditions that it works for or if studies don't cover that detai]

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 08:49:00

Up until quite recently, it was thought that acupuncture was a CAM that actually worked in some cases. Not any more - it's gone the waynof all the others. Placebo.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 08:56:29

Crashdoll: I had tonsillitis or an ear infection every few weeks as a child. Repeated doses of antibiotics left me with chronic thrush and diarrhoea. She decided the GP was useless and used to take me to a homeopath instead for remedies. To be fair, doctors were more antibiotic happy in those days! I used to get better after taking the sugar pills but I probably had self-limiting illnesses that would have got better anyway. My thrush and diarrhoea stopped because I wasn't on ABs anymore, although she truly believe the homeopathy had healed my immune system. I had my tonsils out eventually and all the infections stopped. I think this is one of the reasons homeopathy is so great, if you combine it with a willing suspension of disbelief, as widowwadman says. It gives time for problems to heal on their own and it harnesses the tremendous and mighty placebo effect. It's more alarming that millions of pounds is spent on doing harm, while this is just spending millions on "not doing harm", the first rule of medicine. I think your average conventional dr doesn't like it, not just because it doesn't make sense, but because it doesn't make sense and "works" anyway.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 08:58:03

Cote d'Azur - but they might not go away without at all the placebo effect.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:02:23

Look at this for example, and people complain about homoepathy? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2338486/One-angina-patients-wrong-treatment-Flawed-test-affects-25-cent-checked-disease.html

Trills Mon 10-Jun-13 09:02:23

You don't have to be terribly gullible to fall for it. The human brain is not very good at statistics.

If you take something and then you feel better then it is natural to think that the thing that you did made you better. It could be the placebo effect. It could be that you were going to get better anyway.

I imagine that homeopaths are split between those who are actively conning people and those who are innocently (yet uselessly, and often harmfully) thinking that they really are helping.

It also seems that a lot of people on this thread don't understand what "placebo" means.

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 09:04:24

Crumbledwalnuts- it's perfectly possible to complain about both!

Although I would check anything printed in the Daily Mail before I applauded or complained.......

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:04:49

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10093091/NHS-negligence-claims-rise-by-20-per-cent-in-just-one-year.html

Personally I think you have to be gullible to fall for the idea that homeopathy is one of the big problems of the health service.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:06:43

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10038422/Hospitals-not-reporting-hundreds-of-blundering-doctors.html

It's just so easy to find this stuff, it jumps out from the papers all the time. And people still get all exercised and self-righteous about homeopathy. I don't get the priorities, it's more about felling all clever and "aren't those other people stupid" rather than any interest in health problems faced by Britain.

seeker Mon 10-Jun-13 09:06:56

Not a ringing endorsement of homeopathy, though, is it? "Well, there are other things that are useless as well........"

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:09:01

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/nov/07/health.lifeandhealth?INTCMP=SRCH

this from eight years ago

I didn't say homeopathy was useless, I said it allows time for things to heal on their own and harnesses the mighty power of placebo. I think you didn't read that part.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:10:43

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/11/twins-killed-mistake-inquiry-hospital?INTCMP=SRCH

This is just one of the many, many trerible things that happened at Stafford.

Mia4 Mon 10-Jun-13 09:12:06

YANBU, I'm not sold on homoeopathy by far, though I do believe that a numer of the herbal medicines work.

Mia4 Mon 10-Jun-13 09:12:52

homoeopathy and herbal medicines being separate entities but often lumped together, I mean

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 10-Jun-13 09:14:42

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/revealed-the-750-hospital-mistakes-that-should-never-have-happened--including-7in-forceps-left-inside-woman-for-three-months-after-surgery-8609518.html?origin=internalSearch

If you think killing people while pretending to make them better is merely "completely useless" then you are a lot harder on homoepathy than on conventional care, Seeker.

LisaExpress Mon 10-Jun-13 09:16:40

By way of illustration as to why homeopathy may appear to work for some:
It's long been the aim of NHS Cancer Networks to get as many patients as possible onto suitable clinical trials of either new drugs, or different cocktails of existing drugs. The trials are not against at placebo as a rule, for ethical purposes, just new therapy vs old established one. The reason that there's a push to get patients onto trials where they may well be given the same therapy as a non-trial patient is this: The trial patients have better outcomes regardless of whether they got the new therapy or the old one.
It's impossible to prove exactly why that's the case but it's likely to be a combination of longer appointments with someone who is really listening, plus closer monitoring.
Homeopathy, despite being scientifically bollocks, is warm and touchy feely and sometimes that alone can make a huge difference.

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