Magic Pills, In Search of Evidence, a documentary film about homeopathy

Catching a few minutes out of Ananda More’s busy day, I managed to find out more about her soon to be premiered film and the motivation behind making it. Ananda, homeopath and first time filmmaker, has been making Magic Pills, In Search of Evidence, a documentary film about homeopathy for the last 6 years.

The world premiere is on the 3rd June at the Illuminate Film Festival (tickets available here: http://illuminatefilmfestival.com/magic-pills).

The film reveals aspects of homeopathy some would rather suppress and ignore as inconvenient truths. It shows several projects from around the world, looking at the science and the statistics, the scandals and also hears from individuals with different ways of thinking about the ongoing argument that homeopathy has been a part of for over 200 years.

The trailer for Magic Pills is here.

As a homeopath myself I can be known to rant about the treatment of homeopaths and homeopathy but making a film is a huge step forward into sharing our story with the world. What was the tipping point that inspired you to make it?

It was 7 or 8 years ago, we had a conference here in Toronto, and Dr Gustavo Bracho, from Cuba, presented at the conference. He was presenting a lecture on how the Cuban government had successfully stopped an epidemic using homeopathy. They weren’t homeopaths, they were pharmacists, biologists, and immunologists and the institute was used to creating vaccines for infectious diseases. Because of the circumstances there wasn’t enough time to produce enough vaccine for the population, needing to do something, they created a homeopathic remedy and used gave it to 2.3 million people.  The results were astounding and the epidemic was arrested. Dr. Bracho later explained to me that they were shocked that no medical journal was willing to publish their work, and they gave ridiculous excuses that had nothing to do with the validity of the research.

Had they done that with a conventional vaccine – and according to the WHO vaccines are to be used before an epidemic not during one, because a vaccine can take months to stimulate an immune response, and multiple doses, and it’s often hard logistically to get a vaccine to a population because there needs to be a cold chain to ensure a vaccine is safe and effective. Had they have managed to do something similar with conventional medicine the world would know about it, or at least the medical world would know about it and I felt the story had to get out there and…

And the leap to making the film?

It was going round in my mind I had to make a film about it. This story needed media exposure. I emailed Dr Bracho and said I felt I had to tell the story and he told me I could go and visit anytime and speak with him. I found out later he’s very camera shy, he’s had interviews in the past where things he’s said have been twisted and taken out of context. But he welcomed me, the people at the Finlay institute were all very kind.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 06.25.54
What was the most important thing you had to learn to make the film?

I have a bachelors degree in drama so I suppose that helped, I don’t know, part of it was going out and doing it hands on. The first time I went to film I had a friend who was a camera man and filmmaker and editor, he’d recently graduated from film school and really kindly donated his time, I started to learn from him. Then I did some courses, learnt more about documentary filmmaking and started to learn about the equipment, techniques, and the language, even still I’m still learning – it doesn’t stop.

Producing the film is what’s the hardest part, finding the funding, the accounting and things are always changing, navigating distribution, finding people I should be working with and not working with, I ended up producing the whole thing by myself. That has had its challenges – it’s a fairly rare thing to do and also hard to be trusted as a new producer in the world to get funding when they don’t know what your film will be like, or if you even have it in you to finish. Now I’m navigating distribution, marketing, every day I’m learning something new – I feel like I’ve done a degree in filmmaking!

The film takes into account many views of homeopathy, and you interview people with very different opinions to your own – how was it for you interviewing people who had such a polar opposite view to yours about homeopathy?

I guess for me I came into this with a homeopathic mind, in the work we do we’re supposed to listen to a person’s perspective without judgement. I went into this open and willing to learn that homeopathy didn’t work. Is this really placebo and something that we’ve blinded ourselves to? I went into it really open to learning that it’s just a scam, a placebo.

I feel I went in with an open mind, but the things I saw were so awe inspiring that I became convinced that homeopathy does work and I came out a lot more confident in my practice. I am convinced of the efficacy of homeopathy as a practitioner and more able to accept people get better because of the work we’ve done together and accept that the homeopathy itself has made a significant difference for them.

It’s hard as a homeopath, I don’t know if anyone gets 100% results, I certainly don’t and when I’m not getting success on a case I take it very personally. I question my skills and question homeopathy itself. Making this film has stopped me from questioning homeopathy. If I’m not getting the results, maybe I’ll need to look again at the case with fresh eyes, or get a colleague to look at it with me and sometimes need to work harder to understand what’s going on.

Thank you for that. It’s really helpful I think for people to hear that you went in totally questioning it and open minded, prepared to learn that what you’ve studied hard for might all be not true. I think some of the issue, and people talk about it, is how we’ve got a lot invested in what we’re doing, maybe that you’ve studied for years and then at that stage of ‘it can’t not be true now’.

I think a lot about confirmation bias and about how in my life I’ve changed my mind so many times about what I’ve believed and encountered, so I’m always open to changing my mind. I mean, I believed homeopathy was a scam first when I first learned about it and I believed that for many years. When I was first in India and I was in the hospital and injured, all these people kept telling me to go use homeopathy and I laughed at them.

It really wasn’t about defending a position for me and I think I’ve shown that on a lot of levels. I thought I had a very scientific approach, and I think I’m still scientific in my approach. But before I was willing to believe what any expert told me and the studies that had been done, and it took a lot of looking and understanding in terms of how science works and about how biased science can be. Science is just a process and it’s open to interpretation and human interpretation, and we’re biased, we all have our own subjective approach.

Maybe there’s something about having ‘that experience’ yourself.  You talk in the film about how you took your first remedy and literally 15 minutes later you felt better. That experience changes somebody’s way of looking at the world. Lots of people haven’t have that experience, they’ve not tried homeopathy or witnessed that, in which case it does sound like a load of rubbish…

It’s easy to say to someone ‘Oh, your experience is placebo’, ‘it’s consultative effect’, ‘it’s just a coincidence’, but I think things change once you’ve gone through that experience, you’re more willing to consider that you were wrong about your beliefs.

So maybe we’re stuck in that place and maybe it’s about doing it enough times sometimes…

Maybe, but also… so my question was ‘are we as homeopaths stuck in that place too?’, and I was trying to be open. I really was questioning that, I wanted to know ‘am I perceiving everything differently?’, ‘am I approaching every study that’s negative with a certain perspective for a reason or are they really fraudulent and are these complaints that we have really genuine?’

We talked about the different mind-sets of people with their views of homeopathy and homeopaths. One thing I find interesting is how you use in the film different projects using quite different systems of homeopathy. Within the homeopathic community we can get a bit ‘you’re using that, I’m using that’. What are your thoughts about everything sitting alongside each other?

I think we, we haven’t had the time, the money, the research, to really learn everything there is to learn about homeopathy, and I think we’re just sitting on the tip of an iceberg, so I think everyone’s systems are very legitimate and I think we can learn a lot from each other and I think if we start getting dogmatic about how we practice or about how other people shouldn’t practice, we do everyone a disservice.

We do disservice to our patients because we’re not willing to look at other techniques that might help in a situation where we might be stuck, we do a disservice to our community, because we become fragmented – that’s what’s led to the state of homeopathy today. The Flexner report was successful in shutting down homeopathy because homeopaths weren’t organised and today homeopaths should…

…there isn’t enough unity and working together to really become a force.

If I could give you one wish to do with homeopathy what would it be?

My biggest goal with the film is to broaden the dialogue, and have I think we’ve had the media against us and a lot of the scientific world, not all the scientific world, I think a lot of the scientific world is open to what we’re doing and are sceptical in a genuine way, wanting to learn. But because I think there’s so much at stake, not just the pharmaceutical and the medical industry but – how we understand and perceive the world and how it works, it’s been hard to accept us. I think what I want, what I wish is for a more open minded genuinely sceptical society that is willing to invest in research and to openly to look at evidence and bring homeopathy in to the healthcare systems around the world.

What I feel that we’re suffering from right now is the power of what I’m calling the pseudo sceptics, because I don’t think they’re genuinely sceptical – they’ve decided that homeopathy can’t work and they’re going to do everything in their power to demonstrate that, even if it means not presenting the whole story, and they’re doing everything in their power to stop more research from happening as well – so why are they so scared of research? – they call it a waste of money, but most of the research being done in homeopathy is coming from dedicated funds to research in alternative medicine.

My question is, why are they scared of research? – what are they scared that we’re going to learn and find out? – is it going to flip their worlds around too much, is it like finding out the world is round?

You need to be able to say, ‘OK I believe this and what’s the evidence for and against my belief? Have I really understood what I experienced in my own life’, then you can shape an educated vision. I learned from Irene Schlingensiepen-Brysch a homeopath in Germany, we spoke a about scientific philosophy and this notion that you can never know the truth you can only approximate truth – and all we can do is try to do studies that try to falsify our theories and our hypothesis and find out what is false, but that finding out what is true, maybe that’s impossible.
There’s so much we don’t know and scientific opinion changes constantly and we’re always discovering new things that were right in front of our faces and we didn’t see, like, for example a lymphatic system in the brain, a drainage system for the brain – people always wondered how wastes were removed from our brain and they thought they didn’t get removed then just last year they discovered there is a drainage system for the brain. So, we’re always learning new things, always observing new things and we’re always missing things that are right in front of us because we don’t know how to see them yet.

For me the biggest thing is that science is a process, it isn’t an answer, it isn’t absolute knowledge, it’s a process of learning and observing and it’s not absolute.

I know there are lots of interested people asking me (so there must be many more wondering), when can we expect to see the film at screenings outside Canada and the United States?

It’s a bit of a process and all in the works and a there’s a hierarchy in how the film is released. The film festivals want to have the premieres and if it’s available elsewhere the film festivals are less inclined to show it. The reason I really wanted to go the film festival route, which isn’t a necessary route, but I felt it will legitimise the film and bring a broader audience to the film.

So, we have to be patient?

Yes, we have to be patient. The other thing is, I have wonderful people helping me, but I’m the main promoter on this and I haven’t been able to prepare all the marketing and get myself ready for the premiere – and at the same time be able to get my whole community screening program in place. The community screening approach is a very common way to distribute films that have the intention of having a social impact, as the lingo calls it, impact distribution. We want to make the film available for community screenings, and that means that anyone that wants to hold a screening can reach out to us, they do have to pay a licence for the screening but it’s pretty nominal and the idea is with that we send them a Blu Ray or a DCP.

They can show the film, they can show in theatres, in communities, they can show it in their living room, the idea also is to create the discussion, and try to figure out ways to create more change and broaden the perspective of the media, maybe lobby government, help to work towards changing policies around homeopathy and healthcare policies and towards alternative medicine in general.

I’m still trying to figure out what that’s going to look like, what the action plan is going to be and how everyone can contribute on that level as well. And then the film, once someone buys the licence, they can then turn around and charge tickets for people to come and see the film, hopefully use it as a fundraiser or cover all the expenses of showing the film.

OK, then we stay tuned and sign up to the newsletter?

Yes, and then that way you’ll find out when there’s a screening near you or how you can host a screening. We’re going to hopefully get it on video on demand platforms. Our goal not to reach a homeopathic audience –but to reach a broader audience of people. We need the homeopaths and we need the supporters of homeopathy to help propel the film to that audience as well. Sign up to the newsletter here.

Do you need funding to be doing all this?

It’s hard once the film is done – and we did it on a really really small budget, a lot of it came from my own pocket and I put 6 years of my life into it – but now there’s money required for developing the website, developing the materials, marketing is very expensive. Everything takes another bunch of money to get out there, the hope is that through licencing fees, more donations and hopefully some grants, we can put some money towards all of that that needs to be done. I wish I could give it all out of it out for free, but the expenses keep going up and up – it’s been very hard to raise money for this film outside of private investors – grant and funding bodies are very scared of films like this.

There’s a donate button on the website and it would be so appreciated if people would like to do so. As much as we all want to make everything available and be altruistic there’s expenses related to everything, like just having a DCP made is close to $1000. And unfortunately filmmaking and everything that goes around it is an expensive endeavour. Those of us producers who are making documentary films are dependent on the good will of everyone around us to make it happen.

Lastly, you cover some really hot topics in the film. In the UK we’re not allowed to talk about anything that might be able to treat cancer, we’ve just had Vaxxed here in the UK, and the vaccine discussion is heating up. What’s your feeling, I mean, I think they’re amazing stories to get out to the world, I feel like we’ve been suppressed for so long, the Cancer Act was in 1939 so since then we’ve been not allowed to say that anything can be helpful in dealing with cancer apart from maybe supporting it and you kind of go straight in there for the jugular – how is that?

I guess I put myself in a tricky situation, where some homeopathic organisations are scared to support the film, because it’s “going there”. They’re scared of the sceptic attack against them, of being associated with something that’s presenting what’s going on in the world. I mean, it’s not me saying I can treat cancer, it’s me showing what is possible in India, where homeopaths who are allowed to treat cancer, and are considered full-fledged members of the medical community, and receive an excellent medical education, I’m showing what they’re doing and what they’ve been capable of and the results they’ve been having, and so I don’t think I’m making any untoward claims of what I can do as a homeopath.

They’ve created a culture of fear around us being able to talk about what’s going on in the world and about us being able to show what is really possible. We always act out of fear on all of those things and I’m trying to break that here.

Thank you Ananda. It’s been a pleasure to chat and I can’t wait to hear more about the premiere and progress of Magic Pills, In Search of Evidence.

Em Colley MARH RHom BSc(Hons)

www.emmacolley.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Events, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy, Research | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Magic Pills, In Search of Evidence, a documentary film about homeopathy

Charity Commission Consultation ends 19th May – Please Act Now

The Charity Commission (CC) is currently conducting a public consultation on whether organisations promoting the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) should have charitable status. They are seeking your views which you can supply by visiting:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-complementary-and-alternative-medicines

Homeopathic and other CAM organisations are making submissions but the more received from the pro-CAM public the better.  Please respond to the consultation and take action now!  If you feel uncomfortable answering all of the questions just answer a few, something submitted is better than nothing!

As you will see, the focus of this  consultation is on the evidence for the effectiveness of CAM therapies.  Your submission should be your own, however here are a few helpful points.

  • there are many types of evidence that should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of a therapy. These include scientific studies, patient feedback and the clinical experience of  doctors  who  have trained in a CAM discipline.  Within Homeopathy there is considerable evidence which can be found (https://www.hri-research.org)
  • many conventional therapies and drugs  have inconclusive evidence or prove to be useful in only some cases, for example SSRIs (anti-depressants).  Inconsistent evidence is often the result  of the complexity of both  the medical  condition being treated and the therapy being used. It is not indicative of a therapy that doesn’t work
  • removing all therapies or interventions that  have inconsistent or inconclusive evidence would seriously limit the  public and the medical profession’s  ability to help treat and ease patients suffering.
  • all over the world there are doctors, nurses, midwives, vets  and other healthcare professional  who integrate  CAM therapies into their daily  practice because they see effectiveness. They would not use these therapies if they  did  not see their patients  benefitting from them.  For example in the UK, within the NHS hospital setting, outcome studies demonstrate effectiveness of homeopathy. (http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/evidence/results-from-the-homeopathic-hospitals/)
  • practitioners of many CAM therapies belong to registering bodies which expect their members to comply to the highest professional standards in regards to training and practice
  • In the UK the producers and suppliers of  CAM treatments (homeopathy, herbal medicine etc) are strictly regulated
  • as well as  providing valuable information to the  growing  number of people seeking to use CAM as part of their healthcare, CAM charities frequently fund treatment for those people, particularly the elderly and those on a low income, whose health has benefitted from these therapies but who cannot  afford them. This meets the charity’s criterion of  providing a public benefit.

You can also find out more of what you do to take action here at the Homeopathy Hub.

 Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 13.19.20
Posted in Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy, Research | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Charity Commission Consultation ends 19th May – Please Act Now

School exams don’t have to be stressful…

Examination stress – fear of failing an exam, loss of focus, brain fog and much more can cause huge anxiety in students says homeopath Ulrike Holzer

Almost every student suffers stress to some degree before or during their exams. Stress can lead to a range of sypmtoms, as well as reducing the function of your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, sore throats, upset tummies, headaches, to name a few.

BOYSTUDY  Coping with exam stress

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet is vital for your child’s health, and can help them to feel well during exam periods.
    Avoid high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine foods and drinks (such as cola, sweets, chocolate, burgers and chips) as they cause hyperactivity, irritabability and mood swings. Make sure your teenager eats plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and that they drink enough water to avoid dehydration headaches.
  • Encourage sleep: Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours’ sleep a night. Allow half an hour or so for kids to wind down between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed to help them get a good night’s sleep. Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your teenager far more than hours of panicky last-minute study.
  • Discuss their nerves: Remind your teenager that feeling nervous is normal. Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams. The key is to put these nerves to positive use. Being reminded of what they do know and the time they have put into study can help them feel confident.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help boost energy levels, clear the mind and relieve stress. Walking, cycling, swimming, football and dancing are all effective.

Natural remedies to help combat exam stress

A carefully chosen homeopathic remedy matched to the individual may help with the mental, emotional and physical symptoms of stress. by triggering the body’s ability to self-heal.

Here are a few homeopathic remedies which might be useful to help with exam stress:

  • Nux vomica: symptoms include hearburn and indigestion, irritability. Wakes at 3am and finds it hard to go back to sleep as having a rush of thoughts. Nux vom is particularly for last minute revisers who have been burning the candle at both ends.
  • Arsenicum: is good for people who feel very anxious, especially after midnight. They may panic and not be able to settle because they feel restless. A runny tummy before the exam often accompanies the symptoms.
  • Gelsemium: may help those suffering from performance nerves who may lack confidence and give up because they feel they may fail.
  • Argentum nitricum: is ideal for impulsive people who behave in an irritable way and then they regret it. They often hurry because they are worried about being late or missing deadlines. “What if …? is the motto of this teenager. Often runny stools from anticipation.
  • Lycopodium: is an excellent remedy for the type of person who is very industrious and tends to over-prepare. Their low self-esteem can show itself by causing them to miss letters and words when reading or speaking. The symptoms are often at their worst between 4pm and 8pm or if they have missed a meal.
  • Aethusia cynapium: is a wonderful remedy for brain fatigue from over-study. Inability to think and to fix attention. Examination fears. 
  • Anacardium: Nervous exhaustion from over-study and loss of memory from fright or mortification. Fear of examinations with lack of confidence. 

* Note: Please consult a professional homeopath if symptoms are serious and persist.

Other natural remedies to help with exam stress: There are certain Bach Flower remediesto help your child psychologically if they are having learning problems, such like Aspen, Mimilus, Chestnud Bud, Clematis and Larch.

Wishing you the best of luck for your exams!

Ulrike Holzer LSECH MSCH MARH

Registered Homeopath

Posted in Consultation, Education, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on School exams don’t have to be stressful…

Just One Drop – A Review

I had the honour of attending the Premier of Just One Drop, directed by Laurel Chiten, who had flown in from America to attend, present and discuss this cutting edge film about homeopathy. Organised by 4H, Mani Norland, Principle of The School of Homeopathy and Cristal Sumner, Chief Executive of the British Homeopathic Association introduced the event and had both worked hard with others to ensure its high quality, on every level.  The ‘VIP’ audience had Royal, political and medical representation, the latter including homeopaths, teachers and medical doctors. The venue was a cinema in Soho, London, which hosts many innovative, pioneering films.

Just One Drop did not disappoint.  It is ground breaking in its content. Several homeopathic success stories are featured, including the poignant tale of a family dealing with a child with autism. Conventional medicine failed them as there was no improvement in his condition. They turned to homeopathy and saw a steady, significant, very moving improvement, which continues. Another case documents the journey of a man with MRSA and his totally inspiring healing journey. It was highlighted that homeopathy is one of the main systems of medicine in India as discussed by Divya Chhabra, one of India’s most influential and reputable doctors; the point being made here, is that it should be recognised as such throughout the world.  The mother of the autistic child beautifully stated that should homeopathy be more accepted and understood ‘it would change the world and medicine as we know it.’

The film goes on to introduce famous homeopaths, including Hahnemann himself and modern day ‘movers and shakers’ and teachers such as Jeremy Sherr, the Queens physician Dr Peter Fisher, Miranda Castro, Dr Massimo Mangliavori, Dr Roger Morrison, Hilery Dorrian and Francis Treuherz. The list here is long; many others were also interviewed and mentioned, all equally eminent! What was apparent amongst this diverse group of highly qualified people, was their total conviction in homeopathy as a valuable system of medicine. This is based on years of experience, and positive results and frankly, in the changing of peoples lives.  It is also worth pointing out that in the few here I have named, over 50 % are also medical doctors with stringent, allopathic training; what is clearly demonstrated, is that they have chosen to recognise and integrate homeopathy into their practice, or in many cases, use it exclusively as their preferred method of treatment. Why would they do this when they are highly qualified in both systems of medicine, should homeopathy not work? Food for thought for those that have difficulty in understanding the complexities involved in homeopathic medicine; but this is possibly all you need to know. The vitriol and the vindictiveness of the sceptics discussed throughout is misplaced, ignorant and without foundation, given the evidence set out so magnificently and clearly in this film.

In keeping with the theme of negative representation and distortion of evidence, Rachel Roberts, CEO of Homeopathy Research Institute, gives an in depth analysis of the Australian report, which stated that no health conditions could be helped by homeopathy.  This was in fact a gross misrepresentation as Rachel explains in the video linked here, the conclusion being that there was misfeasance, and it has been asked that the report to be rescinded.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvF8KxbCXzA

Lynn McTaggart, editor of ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You (who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with) also alludes to the ‘suppressed evidence’ in this report. You can read more of her findings in her article ‘Of Dirty Medicine and Double standards’ accessible at this link: http://lynnemctaggart.com/of-dirty-medicine-and-double-standards/

David Tredinnick MP, stood up and wholeheartedly and unreservedly stated his conviction in homeopathy, asserting that ‘if we can only get a few trials accepted, the dam will burst.’  This together with Dr Peter Fishers erudite insights added gravitas to an already distinguished, historic event.

Homeopathy will always be controversial due to the fact its roots are embedded in a fundamentally different paradigm which is complex, and requires intense study in order understand its philosophy, practice and mechanism of action. Many people will continue to be sceptical in their approach and will go to any lengths (including deceit and fraudulent behaviour) to deny its credibility, as demonstrated in the reports above. The intention of the film is ‘to pave the way for integration between conventional medicine and homeopathy.’  In my opinion, ‘Just One Drop’ should be shown widely in every community, to educate those who are not familiar with the depth of the healing possible. It is positively inspirational and deserves great acclaim and worldwide recognition. And one thing is for sure, millions of people, despite the detractors, continue to use it. My conclusion?  Homeopathy is clearly here to stay and flourish, even more so once the contents of this film have been absorbed and distributed throughout the world. So please share; it is important to inform and educate at the highest level, with the real facts.

Should you wish to see the film and host a screening, please follow the link here : http://www.justonedropfilm.com/host-a-screening/

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

JOD jpeg

 

 

 

Posted in Doctor, Education, Events, Hahnemann, Healing, Health, History, Homeopath, Homeopathy, Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Just One Drop – A Review

Put a spring in your step with homeopathy

Here in the UK it’s the first official day of spring and it’s been wonderful over the past few weeks to see the daffodils and crocuses popping up on patches of land. In the woods, the new growth is coming through and it all made me think of our health. How we as homeopaths see that people regain health, and indeed even hope of recovery as they start to feel better. And also how it may have felt like winter for many with no hope or joy as chronic illness continued.

Working with people as a homeopath we often hear this and fortunately homeopathy can help many to start to feel better. The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital undertook one of the most comprehensive patient outcome surveys which was an analysis of over 23,000 outpatient consultations from November 1997 to October 2003. This represented over 6,500 individual patients whose outcome was recorded at follow-up. More than 70% of these follow-up patients recorded clinical improvement following homeopathic treatment.

Interestingly, many of the patients in the analysis had previously received mainstream medical intervention at the secondary care level and had either failed to respond satisfactorily or had been unable to tolerate the medication prescribed.

The conclusion here was that Homeopathy therefore may achieve positive clinical outcomes in certain conditions that have not yet been proven in RCTs, such as Crohn’s disease, depression, eczema, headache, and menopausal syndrome. Full details are given in the original article.

On the website here we’ve testimonials from people who’ve experienced help towards health through the use of homeopathy – and if you’re someone who has also had benefit from homeopathic treatment then feel free to share your story here.

typorama

Posted in Consultation, Education, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Put a spring in your step with homeopathy

Homeopathy for Heartburn

What is heartburn?

Despite its name, heartburn doesn’t affect the heart. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the back of the throat and/or in the upper chest, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth. It usually occurs after eating a big meal or while lying down. The feeling can last for a few minutes or a few hours. Heartburn is caused by excessive flow of gastric contents back into the oesophagus. The acidic gastric contents, when present in large amounts, irritate the oesophagus and cause the symptoms of heartburn. Medical conditions, such like hiatus hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcers etc can also cause a burning sensation in the upper digestive tract. Pregnancy, stress and certain foods can also make heartburn worse. Some medical drugs, such like NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin etc), high blood pressure tablets ( esp. Calcium antagonists), osteoporosis drugs, anti-anxiety drugs (Diazepam, Lorazepam), tricyclic antidepressants (i.e. Amitriptyline) and antibiotics can cause heartburn. Foods that trigger heartburn: black pepper, garlic, raw onions, tomatoes & spicy foods, chocolate, citrus fruits & products, alcohol, coffee and caffeinated drinks, and carbonated drinks.

Conventional treatment include drugs that either neutralise stomach acid, reduce acid production or medication that block acid production. Needless to say that these chemical drugs often carry unwanted side-effects that often call for drugs to counter-act these side-effects. However, the correct homeopathic remedy may help to ease the symptoms of heartburn in a ‘first aid way’. Constitutional treatment is essential as it addresses the causes of heartburn, especially taking psychological factors into consideration.

Here are some homeopathic remedies that may help to ease symptoms of heartburn:

Arsenicum album: Heartburn with burning pains felt in the stomach with food backing up into the oesophagus. Belching and gulping up of acid and bitter substances which seem to excoriate the throat. Burning pains all the way up to the throat. Severe, watery, burning, yellow diarrhoea can occur. Many of the symptoms will feel better while drinking hot drinks like tea, or by applying hot applications, like a heating pad.  They may be thirsty for small, frequent sips of cold water. Their mental state is anxious, restless and fearful of being left alone.

Carbo vegetabilis: The individual needing Carbo veg has heartburn characterised by belching, bloating, heaviness in the stomach and chest and distress from eating simple, plain foods. The person may have an aversion to foods like meats, milk and fats. A very common characteristic of the individual needing this remedy is that they have a great desire for fresh air or for being fanned during attacks. The heartburn creates burning pains extending from the stomach toward the back along spine and the patient experiences temporary relief from these symptoms during belching. The belching leaves a rancid, sour or putrid taste in the mouth.

Magnesia carbonica: The person needing this remedy has a sensation of emptiness in the stomach. Sour eructations and heartburn from cabbage, potatoes, greasy food or milk. Sour belching and vomiting of bitter matter. Eructations can taste like rotten eggs. There is a craving for acidic or sour drinks.

Natrum phosphoricum: The keynote of this Schuessler salt is excess of acidity. There is an emptiness in the stomach and abdomen, even in the chest, worse after eating. Heaviness and pressure in epigastrium. Hyper-acidity of the stomach causes heartburn. Sour belching often followed by vomiting of sour matter. Weak mental state. The person may appear confused.  

Nux vomica:  Nux vomica is indicated when the heartburn comes from overeating, too much alcohol or other stimulants such like coffee. The abdomen is bloated and there is a heavy sensation in the stomach. Sour and bitter taste in throat from heartburn. There can be nausea and vomiting with much retching. Their mental state is anxious and irritable. 

Phosphorus: The person needing Phosphorus for heartburn will complain about burning pains felt in the abdomen, bloating and a feeling of fullness accompanied by great thirst for icy cold drinks, which are vomited back up shortly after becoming warm in the stomach. Belching and vomiting of undigested food are characteristic of the person needing Phosphorus. The person is mild-mannered, and seeks company and affection.

Pulsatilla: The heartburn comes on at different times of the day and after eating various kinds of foods, especially rich, greasy ones. Thirstless. Burps have a sour, bitter taste. Stomach and abdomen feel empty, with gurgling and rumbling & pressing pains. All symptoms are better in the fresh air. The individual’s personality is sweet, gentle, whiny and tearful. They are afraid of being alone and desire sympathy.

Sulphur: There is a burning and heavy sensation in the stomach with great acidity. There is often a history of dyspepsia. The over-acidity in the stomach comes from overeating and over-drinking. There is much rumbling and gurgling in the abdomen. The person is often absent-minded, which is often due to an over-active mind.

Diet 

Avoid foods that make heartburn worse, such like chocolate, tomatoes, spicy food, coffee and carbonated drinks, alcohol, citrus fruits etc. Include low acid foods in your meals, such like melons and bananas, oatmeal, wholegrain bread, brown rice , couscous, green veggies (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, celery, and cauliflower are all low in acid), potatoes and other root veggies (but no onions!), and fish (grilled, poached and baked, just not fried). You can’t tell how acidic a food is by looking at it. It’s not on the nutrition label either. But you can research a food’s pH, which is a score of its acid content. The lower the pH number, the higher the acid — lemon juice has a pH of 2.0. If you aim for foods with a pH of 5 or above, you may have fewer symptoms. You can find the pH level of foods on some websites and in low-acid diet cookbooks.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.

If you cannot decide which homeopathic remedy to select or if your heartburn lingers then please book an appointment for a full consultation with a professional homeopath.

Ulrike Holzer  LSECH MSCH MARH (Registered Homeopath)Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.24.27

Posted in Consultation, Education, Healing, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Homeopathy for Heartburn

Just One Drop: A film about Homeopathy

Just One Drop tells a no-holds-barred look at the most controversial form of medicine ever invented. Homeopathy treats the entire person, not just the disease. It’s a specific form of medicine that uses minute doses of a highly diluted substance that stimulates the body to cure itself. It is these tiny doses that causes the most controversy. Researchers believe there is a release of energy in water that becomes mysteriously dynamic. Others think it’s purely psychological or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet millions claim homeopathy cures even though there is not yet a satisfying scientific explanation. It remains a mystery.

JOD jpeg

 

Watch the movie trailer:
www.justonedropfilm.com/trailer/

Public screenings around the UK are as follows:

Date: 7th April
GRASSINGTON NR. SKIPTON
Time: 7pm for refreshments; 7.30pm start
Hosted by: Em Colley
Price: Free
Contact: Em on em@emmacolley.co.uk
Venue: Octagon Theatre, Devonshire Institute, Main Street, Grassington, BD23 5AA
Refreshments available from 7pm and a short Q&A after the film.

Date: 7th April
EDINBURGH
Time: 7-9pm
Hosted by: Margaret Wyllie
Price: Donations
Contact: BHA beforehand – info@britishhomeopathic.org or call 020 3640 5903
Venue: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, George St (5 mins’ walk from station)
Refreshments on arrival
Q&A session following screening 

Date: 8th April
STROUD
Time: 7.30pm
Hosted by: The School of Homeopathy
Price: £4.00 – book online before the event
Contact: jennie@homeopathyschool.com or 01453 765 956
Venue: The School of Homeopathy, Hawkwood College, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Q&A to follow with filmmaker Laurel Chiten and Gerry Dendrinos (from Australia, featured in the film.) 

Date: 9th April
TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Time: 17.30
Hosted by: Mary Ellis
Price: Free
Contact: mhellis62@gmail.com or 07711418430
Venue: Salomons, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Well, Kent

Date: 10th April
LONDON
Time: 6-8pm
Hosted by: The Friends, Faculty and BHA
Price: Must email or call to get tickets.  Limited number available.
Contact: info@britishhomeopathic.org or call 020 3640 5903
Venue: Artworkers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London
Light refreshments served

Date: 10th April
BRIGHTON
Time: 21.00
Hosted by: Hilary Dorrion
Price: £11 includes post film discussion with the filmmaker
Contact: hilerydorrian@aol.com
Venue: Komedia Cinema, 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton and Hove
Q&A to follow with filmmaker Laurel Chiten and Gerry Dendrinos

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 09.32.52

 

About the film maker: Laurel Chiten
Laurel Chiten has been critiquing and influencing social issues for over 25 years. Her high-profile films have screened at film festivals around the world; at universities and medical schools; won numerous awards; been nominated for an Emmy and been broadcast on PBS’s Emmy winning national series, Independent Lens, and POV. Her previous films have gained her acknowledgment and respect from doctors, researchers and institutions including Harvard Medical School, UCLA, MIT, and Harvard University

Her films include: Twisted (2006) about people with the neurological disorder, dystonia. Touched, (2003) about people who think they have had contact with aliens and the Harvard psychiatrist who believed them. The Jew in the Lotus (1999), about a group of rabbis that met with the Dalai Lama, and Twitch and Shout (1994) about people living with Tourette Syndrome, nominated for a national Emmy. The intention in all her work is to entertain her audiences while educating them.

Posted in Education, Events, Hahnemann, Healing, Health, History, Homeopath, Homeopathy, Research | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Just One Drop: A film about Homeopathy

March – Ovarian cancer Awareness Month

In the UK, March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, with UK survival rates amongst the worst in Europe. (Ovarian cancer awareness month, March 2017)

Having lost one of my closest friends to this insidious disease at the age of 45 (diagnosed at 39,) I am actively helping to spread awareness of the symptoms, in the hope that the patient is fully informed of treatment options and care, from the earliest signs. She was originally given a diagnosis of IBS, then PMS, despite the fact she looked 6 months pregnant. It took over a year to get to the route cause of her condition. ‘Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. That is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in detection, treatment and ultimately survival.’ (Ovarian cancer awareness month, March 2017)

Because there is much difficulty in its diagnosis, (evidently, even amongst the medical profession!) any help in clarification of the symptoms, and potential reasons for the development of the disease, has to be good. I, as both a health professional and from a personal point of view, would like to see more research into the possible causes. Vibrant health stems from prevention, where possible.

Symptoms and possible causes

According to The Mayo Clinic (June, 2014) symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate

Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer:

  • Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
  • Inherited gene mutation. A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but women with these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy, especially with long-term use and in large doses.
  • Age when menstruation started and ended. If you began menstruating before age 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher.
  • Never being pregnant.
  • Fertility treatment.
  • Use of an intrauterine device.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

(Mayo Clinic, 2014)

Homeopathic management of ovarian cancer

I would strongly recommend that the homeopath ensures the patient presenting with ovarian cancer has a diagnosis and is aware of all the potential routes to healing, which may be conventional, or a combination of both holistic, homeopathic, naturopathic and the allopathic approach (including addressing the diet for optimum nutrition, if necessary.) A homeopath would take the entire case history, and prescribe according to the presenting symptoms.  This would help to balance the system, on every level, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Were surgery required, homeopathy can be wonderful to help both the trauma of physical and emotional healing. The homeopathic approach to the patient in these circumstances (as with any serious, life threatening disease) would be individualised and would be aimed at addressing the route cause of the disease as well as the symptoms presented. Any support at this time which could help healing, would be welcomed. Remedy choice would be determined by symptoms specific to the individual.

Because of the complexity of the disease, a fully integrated expert approach would be optimal, hopefully resulting in the patient’s recovery and enhancing the quality of life whilst undergoing treatment. My dear friend (having had stage 4 ovarian cancer) lived 4 years longer than her original prognosis of 2 years. She was sure it was attributed to the rich, multi disciplinary route she adopted, following high quality, specialist advice from every corner. This valuable, time, allowed her to see her son almost finish his schooling; precious, irreplaceable years. It has taken me a long time to be able to do, what she wanted and asked me to do, which is to try to help and inform others; asking them to look at the bigger picture and take into account everything that constitutes ‘the body.’  I dedicate this to her, her beauty and her bravery.

Consult a registered homeopath at www.findahomeopath.org

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

References

Ovarian cancer symptoms/causes [online] June 2014

Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/basics/symptoms/con-20028096)

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month [online ] March 2017. Available at: http://ocam.org.uk/

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 17.59.41

Posted in Events | Comments Off on March – Ovarian cancer Awareness Month

February, a month of spiritual purification

‘Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.’  -Mahatma Gandhi.

Many of you will have spent January detoxing or abstaining from alcohol or rich food, or at least aware that that you should be more careful with your diet and lifestyle following any potential holiday excesses’.  So, if we see January as more of a physical body detox, then, all the historic evidence implies that February is perhaps a month for spiritual cleansing.

Here are the facts. The etymology of the word February suggests it is from the late 14th century and ultimately from the Latin februarius mensis, meaning, ‘month of purification’ Also, februare ‘to purify,’ and februa meaning ‘purifications, expiatory rites.’ (An expiatory right is like offering an olive branch, an outstretched hand, or the dove of peace etc.)  I see it as balancing the soul to be in harmony with the body, striving for complete homeostasis and state of being; the body having been cleansed, this is a time for an emotional, spiritual purification.

The Romans saw February as a month of purification.  Originally the Roman calendar only had 10 months. March being the first month, December the last.  January and February were eventually tagged onto the end of the year and seen as lifeless, almost boring months, so they used February as a month to atone for their sins. Herein lies the link to the word ‘februum’ which means purification.  Februus was the Roman God of purification.  The Romans, as many of us are aware had their own unique way of doing things, and saw making animal sacrifices in order to please their ancestors as a way of atoning; they would also pray. Purity was not all abounding however as February 13-15th heralded the pagan festival of Lupercalia, known for its wild orgies.  It involved much debauchery, nakedness and strange customs. This is probably not the place to discuss, but interesting we now have valentines on the 14th, with its almost polite quaint customs, by comparison. Valentines was first acknowledged in the 14th century at the time when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote poetically about courtly love and later in the 18th century the tradition of sending flowers and love notes to one’s beloved became common practice.  Again here, we see evidence of birth of a new start, or love.

Imbolc, or  Brigid’s Day to the ancient Celts, is an ancient  Midwinter Festival of Lights.  This special day occurs halfway between winter solstice and the spring equinox, generally February 2nd. Much of the Imbolc celebrations revolved around fire, which was sacred and involved bonfires being lit at sundown to burn away the ‘old year’ and make was for new growth, fertilizing the earth and inviting the rejuvenating, life giving power of the sun and new light. Women would invariably dress up in white robes, symbolizing purity and new beginnings. Early spring flowers were collected, candles lit; colour and light suddenly giving hope in the darkness, of a new dawn.

So, in a month when many are struggling with winter blues and feeling there is no end in sight to the darkness, have faith!  February symbolises the start of new vibrancy, where the sun and the light feature figuratively and symbolically. Should you need help in order to balance both your emotional and physical health, consult a homeopath at www.findahomeopath.org. You are unique, so are your symptoms.  Homeopathy strives to treat everyone as an individual, through in-depth consultation. Significantly still relevant today, words from the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato, embody fundamental homeopathic philosophy:

‘The cure of the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole, and also no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul, and therefore if the head or body are to be well, you must begin by curing the mind: that is the first thing … For this is the error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body.’  (Plato, Chronicles)

 

 

typorama

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

Posted in Education, Healing, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on February, a month of spiritual purification

‘Dry January’ and giving up alcohol with holistic and homeopathic help

‘I drink because I wish to multiply my sufferings.’
― Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime and Punishment

or

‘There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.’
― Bette Davis

The above quotes are symptomatic of many people views on alcohol and drinking and the paradox which ensues. Clearly, there are delights for some of us in the odd glass of champagne. However, moderation for some appears impossible and the chronic abuse of alcohol can become toxic in every sense.

Many parts of the world are now taking on an initiative based on England’s ‘Dry January’ which basically means encouraging people to abstain from alcohol for the entire month.  The aim is to raise awareness of the health benefits associated with going alcohol free and to stress the positive impact it could potentially have, both mentally and physically, for us all.

According to Alcohol Concern, drinking alcohol is a causal factor of over 60 illnesses and conditions, some of which include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver, stomach, throat and mouth cancer

The term ‘Dry January’ was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014; the first ever Dry January campaign by Alcohol Concern occurred in January 2013. In the lead up to the January 2015 campaign, for the first time Alcohol Concern partnered with Public Health England.

Alcohol seems to have become ‘normalised.’ It is very much part of our culture, (unless people abstain on religious and moral grounds) and many social events have alcohol involved. Without thinking, we congregate in pubs; invariably it would be rude not to take a bottle to a dinner party, we toast major celebrations often with bubbly of some description.  We are conditioned to accepting that we are different if we do not imbibe. Companies that sell alcohol have vibrant, buoyant marketing campaigns; we are bombarded with adverts encouraging us to drink to be cool and stylish, often targeted at the young who are often easily influenced. The negative and possible addictive effects are not advertised as strongly as they should be, apart from vague allusions to ‘drinking responsibly.’

The objective of dry January, I feel, is targeted at regular, possibly moderate to heavy drinkers who will notice a difference to their lives by eliminating alcohol, even if it is only for a month.  It is also possible that these drinkers will benefit in the long term by moderating or perhaps stopping their consumption altogether, once they are aware of the massive benefits, mentally and physically.

Many could find giving up alcohol a challenge.  For this reason, there are several homeopathic remedies that could help ease the cravings and calm the nervous system by helping to balance the body. For heavy drinkers and those who may be addicted, symptoms of withdrawal (both physical and mental) could include the following:

  • tremors
  • anxiety
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • headache
  • increased heart rate
  • sweating
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • lowered blood pressure
  • fits
  • hallucinations

Possible Indicated Remedies

The following are list of homeopathic remedies that have an affinity to symptoms often related to alcohol withdrawal and associated problems. Only the keynotes are listed here as a guide. It is advisable to seek the advice of a professional homeopath, who can tailor a remedy to your own unique symptoms:  www.findahomeopath.org

Arsenicum – Overuse of alcohol. For people with chronic alcohol dependency. Nervous weakness accompanied by great tremulousness. Anxiety and compulsiveness, with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Indicated also where symptoms of anxiety accompany alcoholism (and sometimes misuse of drugs, legal or otherwise.)

Avena sativa – Indicated where delirium tremens, nervousness and sleeplessness are at the forefront of presenting symptoms. Also useful with other addictions (to help detoxify the body) such as such as cocaine, heroin and opium.

Capsicum – Helps to encourage a dislike for alcohol. Acts well on indolent people who are sedentary with a tendency to obesity. Perspiration and slow digestion, flatulence and intense desire for stimulants. Great thirst.

Cannabis Indica – Where violence, a tendency to talk excessively; delusions and hallucinations also often present. Pupils dilated, flushed face. Useful also in potency for helping to detoxify both marijuana and alcohol.

Hyoscyamus – Indicated also when delirium tremens occurs. Unremitting insomnia presents. Delirium is constant and loquacious. Pulse is fast and skin is cold and clammy and patient is tremulous and picks constantly at objects in the air. Frequent outburst of laughter alternating with weeping is a common symptom.

Lachesis –  Particularly effective for the female social alcoholic who often presents with a headache in the morning; sometimes she has visions of snakes and hideous objects. Loquaciousness a key symptom together with intolerance of tight clothing around the neck and waist.

Natrum Mur – A wonderful remedy used for those that abuse alcohol who also have long term chronic depression and grief issues.

Nux vomica-  Possibly the best known anti-alcoholic remedy. It covers presenting symptoms of irritability, nausea, vomiting, headache and tremors, following abuse of alcohol. Anger in a chronic state and constant desire for stimulants of any kind. It is a wonderful remedy to help reduce alcohol dependence.

Phosphorus – Indicated in nervous or glandular degeneration of alcoholics. Good remedy for alcoholic cirrhosis.

Quercus –Particularly taken as the mother tincture, taken in water, querqus will help to reduce alcoholic cravings.

Ranunculus bulbosus –Reputedly one of the best but little known remedies to treat acute alcoholism, particularly where panic and delirium are key presenting symptoms.

Stramonium – Suitable in habitual drunkards Where the patient presents with a bright red face and is experiencing hallucinations and looks and feels terrified. Often experiences visions of animals seeing him out and from which he is trying to escape.

Sulphuric acid –A great remedy for chronic alcoholism, often where the craving is brandy. (Also seen in those requiring sulphur, nux vomica and stramonium.) The stomach cannot tolerate the tiniest amount of food.

There are many more remedies which could be discussed, however, I stress that it is helpful to see the key presenting symptoms in their totality before prescribing, and a professional homeopath is trained in how to do this.

There are still however a fortunate few who can drink occasionally without addiction and subsequent alcoholism.  In these cases, drinking is not a cause for concern as it is minimal and obviously done for pleasure and the individual who drinks like this appears to be in control; a balance many of us could benefit from. However, In Britain and other countries, there is a growing trend to drink to get drunk.  This is becoming a serious problem and is taking its toll on our health service.  As well as the physical ramifications outlined, the psychological effects can be equally devastating and dangerous.

Adjunctive advice

The benefits of taking time out in January, or whenever in fact, will allow you to listen to your body and nourish it with good food, exercise and lots of water. Your sleep patterns are likely to improve dramatically and generally you will feel less tired. Because of more sleep you will look better. Toxins in the alcohol make skin less elastic and this can be ageing. Liver function will improve as excessive drinking can cause inflammation potentially leading to cirrhosis. In addition, it is worth supplementing vitamins and minerals at this time if indicated. Generally, you will feel more vibrant and clear headed. You may discover new interests as you are not wasting time nursing a hangover. The possibilities are endless and the world is your oyster!

Happy New Year!

 

typorama

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

 

 

 

Posted in Education, Health, Homeopath, Homeopathy | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Dry January’ and giving up alcohol with holistic and homeopathic help