Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
Determined to paper the Internet with articles about ME, Jody Smith brings some additional focus to Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance on Aug. 8, 2017 ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

"Why I put more trust in homeopathy than conventional medicine" (on CBT and GET)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Dolphin, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,670
    Likes:
    28,172
    Jan, Joh, Tyto alba and 7 others like this.
  2. sb4

    sb4 Senior Member

    Messages:
    413
    Likes:
    466
    United Kingdom
    I've never tried homeopathy but I think it could be legit. I am reading Gerald Polacks book on water and some of his discoveries have given a plausible method for how it works. Water memory.
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes:
    28,522
    Homeopathy isn't legit, but of all the worthless treatments around, it's one of the least likely to be harmful.
     
  4. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes:
    17,870
    It's an excellent article critiquing PACE and making the point that homeopathy is equally unscientific, but at least has the excuse of having been developed before the days of scientific medical trials.

    It is not recommending homeopathy, just using it as a handle on which to hang an argument against PACE's unscientific approach.

    Let's not let this thread become a discussion of homeopathy or unscientific nonsense about water memory, please.
     
  5. Wolfiness

    Wolfiness Activity Level 0

    Messages:
    455
    Likes:
    1,945
    UK
    That would be "Why I put no more trust in conventional medicine than in homeopathy".
     
  6. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes:
    1,286
    Australia
    Seems like a really careless title even if the content of the article doesn't actually promote homeopathy.
     
    TigerLilea, TiredSam, Murph and 8 others like this.
  7. Mohawk1995

    Mohawk1995 Senior Member

    Messages:
    239
    Likes:
    483
    I have greater trust in Traditional Medicine for things that are more easily defined and treated by it. For difficult to treat diseases and for some people whose makeup responds better to it, homeopathy may be a better option. Let's remember that for the diseases like ME, Fibro, POTS, Chronic Pain, Atypical Migraines and the like, Traditional Medicine has little to offer (trust). Does not mean it is void of any substance that matters, but very little currently. Hopefully that will change in the near future.
     
    sb4 and Butydoc like this.
  8. Rowena Ilagan

    Rowena Ilagan

    Messages:
    65
    Likes:
    206
    I have never tried homeopathy for treatment of ME/CFS although have used some herbs in Chinese medicine as well as supplements/dietary recommendations from an integrative M.D. They have given me some improvement (going on 4 years now with ME, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivities).
     
    sue la-la and Solstice like this.
  9. Neunistiva

    Neunistiva Senior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes:
    1,316
    The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is the absolute best way humans have so far found to check what works and what doesn't, while neutralizing tampering, bias, prejudices, coincidental events, etc.

    There is no traditional medicine, alternative medicine, Western medicine,... there is only medicine - things that were proven to work. Neither PACE nor homeopathy fulfill that requirement.

    And if something does work, eventually it will pass the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, even if in some cases (wink wink) it takes way longer than it should because corruption and prejudices block the funding.
     
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,479
    Likes:
    35,009
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I have zero faith in homeopathy, but its not defended by mainstream medicine. That makes it mostly a non-problem. Bad science that is defended by many in mainstream medicine, and that is not everyone, is very much a problem.

    The last paragraph in the article pretty well sums up my views. If medicine cannot get simple easy scientific analysis right, and defends bad science, it cannot be trusted. This relates to another comment on this thread though - medicine is good at the staightforward and easy things. Its the complex and difficult things it gets wrong. The science will advance in time, but in the meantime we have bad science promoted as evidence based, and even the Cochrane collaboration is exposed to this nonsense.

    When the average doctor opens their mouth and speaks to me, and I have raised any of my usual concerns, they immediately demonstrate they are not adequately skilled to deal with complex issues. This, sadly, is most of the doctors I have met in the last half dozen years when anything complex has come up.

    These kinds of issues erode faith in medicine in general, doctors in general, medical journals, and even evidence based practices. There is no excuse, its a failure of responsibility, but there are lots and lots of reasons and extenuating circumstances. I think this goes way beyond medicine itself and into institutional and bureaucratic culture, etc. Its all a big mess, and medicine is not the only area you can see this.
     
  11. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes:
    4,465
    Even this can be rigged to a certain extent. It's tough to guarantee a square deal in even the most respected bastions of medicine these days. And while you may mitigate risk, you cannot for sure neutralize it.

    There are safety mechanisms in place, and they help, but they are not foolproof. RCTs, peer-review - you name it, they are all subject to manipulation.
     
    sue la-la and ladycatlover like this.
  12. Neunistiva

    Neunistiva Senior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes:
    1,316
    @duncan That's why I said "absolute best way humans have so far found" and didn't say "perfect way". But just imagine how much better PACE would have been if it had been possible to double blind it. It would have shown no benefit and we all would have moved on ages ago.
     
  13. Murph

    Murph :)

    Messages:
    492
    Likes:
    2,520
    Science is a process, not a product. Right now, as we speak, we are seeing that the old dogma is being eroded, by the hard process of good science, and me/cfs is beginning to be taken seriously as a biological disease.

    Falsification is hard and slow and full of emotion. People cling doggedly to their bad ideas and science proceeds one funeral at a time.

    But homeopathy stagnates one funeral at a time. And the author wishes to protect homeopathy from the process of science:

    "Religion, spirituality, and many so called alternative therapies simply do not need to be put under scrutiny of critical and rational thinking."

    Fuck that. Conventional medicine can be wrong, but contains within itself the power to self correct and get things right. Even though the system contains errors, it is a better bet than hoodoo, prayer, crystals and other stupidity with which homeopathy rightly belongs.
     
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,479
    Likes:
    35,009
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    That is about the right of it.

    PS Except they would have been expected to show a high rate of recovery in their controls. Don't forget the multiple errors in the calculation of normal, which was used for their recovery criteria. This would be inexcusable if the editor and reviewers were doing their job, and they should have required the problems be corrected before the paper was published.

    These failures go to the heart of the review process. Look what happened with PACE when mainstream scientists and academics got to read about it. Many seem to be very unhappy with PACE. This siloing of reviewers and readers is also a part of the problem. Scientific methodology should be standardized as much as possible throughout science.
     
  15. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,670
    Likes:
    28,172
    You need to read more of it.

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  16. Murph

    Murph :)

    Messages:
    492
    Likes:
    2,520
    I read the whole thing. I understand that it is an attempt to make science improve itself, and that's important. Science can always improve, and with the advent of open journals and the crisis of replication we see evidence before our eyes that it will and does.

    But as a way to attack PACE and spur science to improve, the post is ... distracting ... to say the least. It also functions as a defence of homeopathy (whether the author so intended or not, the effect is there) seeming to believe it is benign because it is not backed by conventional authorities.

    It also fails to consider PACE within the broader context of conventional medicine, which is a field that has notched up a few little successes. The following line is not one AIDS sufferers, cancer patients, polio sufferers or asthma sufferers are likely to think is insightful.

    >It is about how conventional medicine is unable to distinguish a treatment that works from a treatment that doesn’t.

    If all chairs have four legs, it doesn't mean that everything with four legs is a chair. If PACE is science, it doesn't mean that all science is PACE.

    Fwiw the heading PACE is worse than homeopathy might have been fine. Don't paint science with the shit-stained brush of PACE. Science is what will save us.
     
  17. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes:
    28,522
    On reading this, I wondered if it should have been clearer at the start, particualrly if those unfamiliar with the issues will read it.

    I'm finding it really hard to concentrate on anything about PACE at the moment though. My brain is flooded!
     
  18. moblet

    moblet Unknown Quantity

    Messages:
    354
    Likes:
    578
    Somewhere in Australia
    Exactly. Also, unlike misguided medical intervention, homeopathy is unlikely to cause any harm to one's health. If you consulted a homeopath you might spend your entire appointment rolling your eyes but you wouldn't be spending it fearing further (and possibly permanent) damage to your health. You would also be more likely to get proper engagement from the practitioner.
    One of the opportunities for manipulation that seems to be constantly overlooked is in the very definitions of medical conditions. In order to impress in a clinical trial an intervention has to make an impact on a medical condition as defined by whomever has the power to define these things, and there's a serious disconnect in the way the system is constructed. Science is a process that's designed to get to the bottom of how things work, and works best when given maximum freedom to do exactly that. Medicine, however, is built on a philosophy of allopathy and defines conditions according to their symptoms. When scientific effort becomes concentrated on proving efficacy against symptoms for commercial gain any benefit to humanity is incidental.

    I've been helped most by modalities that grasp that symptoms are clues to an underlying condition rather than the condition itself, and that two patients with the same underlying condition can present with different symptoms (and vice versa), but "medical science" is set up to make them fail because they have to be tested against simplistic allopathic definitions, definitions which are at the very least subject to influence from those who benefit most from them.

    Actually asthma is a really good example of what I mentioned above. Many, if not most, asthma sufferers can control their asthma by changing their breathing habits (look up Buteyko breathing method), reducing or eliminating their need for medication in the process. Changing one's breathing habits doesn't address the underlying process causing the asthma, but it does address the symptoms and reduce the sufferer's feelings of distress.

    Basically the patient trains themselves not to hyperventilate and their asthma symptoms are reduced or eliminated. However, the scientifically-accepted test for asthma, which all treatments must pass to gain medical acceptance, requires that the symptoms be reduced while the patient is hyperventilating. It's difficult to see how anything other than a drug could pass such a test, which is awfully convenient for some. In the meantime doctors are forbidden from even mentioning the Butekyko breathing method to their patients (beacuse it's been scientifically proven not to work), even when they know that it works. Instead they have to wait for the patient to discover it independently and then they can tacitly approve of the patient's decision.

    Furthermore, you may or may not have heard reports of asthma medication serving to make asthma worse. This occurs because the go-to bronchodilator salbutamol has a strong side effect of stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, and in at least some patients amplifying the sympathetic nervous system aggravates the underlying process causing their asthma (happened to me). Don't expect medical science to figure this one out anytime soon, because while the sympathetic nervous system is well known to general biological science and to a limited extent by pharmacology, it's considered irrelevant to medical science and practice.
     
    Skycloud, pamojja, cyclamen and 2 others like this.
  19. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    Messages:
    4,613
    Likes:
    12,435
    South Australia
    More than a low level of trust can still be a low level of trust...
     
  20. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,281
    Likes:
    45,811
    Unfortunately that response is purely subjective. That might be fine for treating issues with no biomedical component, but will have no effect on an actual disease. And it could be dangerous in convincing such patients that they can act healthy when they are still very ill.

    Double-blinding might not have been realistic, but objective outcomes certainly were. And the ones included did show no benefit, as well as the long-term subjective outcomes when the effects of brainwashing didn't keep up with natural improvements.

    I don't think it's a defense of homeopathy. Rather it's a classification of homeopathy as a faith-based practice rather than a science-based practice. Unfortunately many fans of homeopathy try to either promote it as having a scientific basis, or denigrate science in a misguided attempt to elevate homeopathy above it. I don't have a problem in people believing in homeopathy, anymore than I have a problem with them believing in a religion ... until they try to sell it to me as some sort of universal truth :p
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page