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Homeopathy is “Alive and Well” According to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
New Rochelle, NY, November 18, 2005—The October 2005 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which commemorates the 250th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Hahnemann, the founding father of homeopathy, makes it very clear that homeopathy works and is far from dead. Presenting very clear evidence from leading scientists and clinicians, JACM shows that there is something very real going on in homeopathic medicine. The issue contains provocative letters, commentaries, and an editorial censuring The Lancet for publishing an error-filled, data-deficient study used erroneously to attack the credibility of practitioners of homeopathy. This issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a MEDLINE, peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., presents the state-of-the-art of homeopathy, with all the scientific papers and editorial perspectives available free online at www.liebertpub.com/acm.
Dr. Kim A. Jobst, MA, DM, MRCP, MFHom, Editor-in-Chief of the JACM and Visiting Professor in Healthcare & Integrated Medicine at Oxford Brookes University, U.K., not only criticizes The Lancet for lending credence to “a manuscript [by Shang et al.] that fails totally to provide the information necessary for full independent replication or analysis,” but also reproaches the esteemed journal for heralding “its damning judgment of homeopathic practice with extensive international press fanfare and the full seal of approval that is implicit in its editorial opinion.” Jobst further questions The Lancet’s decision to ignore or reject numerous letters critical of the Shang paper.
JACM devotes a substantial portion of the content of the current issue to the commemoration of Hahnemann’s contributions to the field of medicine and to the evolving impact of homeopathic methods and hypotheses on clinical practice. Jobst writes, “That every molecule has its own energetic signature is beyond doubt. Indeed it is the unique electromagnetic and more subtle energy signature, or biofield, that is increasingly believed to be responsible for intra- and intercellular signaling.” Noting that these concepts are currently being explored to understand the mechanism of smell, Jobst continues, “It may well be that as long as attention is directed to an explanatory model focused on erstwhile molecular chemical models of interaction, there will continue to be incredulity and irrational reaction to the effects of ultra-high dilution, i.e., homeopathic therapy and science.”
The issue includes a seminal paper by Spence et al. entitled “Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-Year University Hospital Outpatient Observational Study,” the largest study of its kind ever published, which presents the results of the six-year study involving more than 6,500 consecutive patients, in which more than 70% reported significant positive health changes associated with homeopathic intervention and consultation.
The issue also includes letters, editorials, and other submissions which encompass the full intensity and scope of the ongoing debate and highlight the key issues that necessitate continued discussion and study. Luminaries in the field such as Dr. Alex Hankey, Dr. Mikel Aickin, Professor David Peters, Professor David Reilly, and Professor George Lewith, in separate reports, explore the profound scientific, moral, and ethical implications of the current controversy, while Professor Iris Bell, Dr. Helmut Kiene, and Professor Michael Frass each document critical flaws in the design and execution of the negative paper published by The Lancet. Dr. Lionel Milgrom explores how randomized controlled trial methodology may inadvertently be destroying the very interactions that make for effective therapeutic outcomes of the kind so clearly demonstrated in the work by Spence et al. Professor Harald Walach, and Dr Wayne Jonas (Director of the Samueli Institute in the USA) and colleagues explore in over 200 studies the current anomalies and methodological inconsistencies and suggest experimental solutions to them.
Two other papers demonstrate specific homeopathic cellular effects: Biswas et al. report on objective changes in mouse hepatocarcinoma cells; and Baars’ group in Holland presents evidence to support the effects of injected homeopathic preparations on the symptoms of hay fever.
“Paradoxically, in this era of ever-increasing technological and biomolecular sophistication and complexity, especially in medicine, there are more people than ever before suffering with and from chronic diseases, for which allopathic medicine has demonstrated limited effectiveness, and for which psychological and psychiatric interventions are rarely curative,” writes Jobst. “In this area, homeopathic medicine and the homeopathic method not only offers a safe way forward, but one which appears to be remarkably effective in routine practice, especially for such chronic conditions, and arguably more importantly, it offers and provides a profound reawakening of the importance of doctor-patient rapport and to the taking of the clinical history.”