Healthcare Paper on Effectiveness of Homeopathy on Improving Patients’ Health

Effectiveness of Homeopathy on Improving Patients’ Health

Introduction

Complementary and alternative medicine has been increasingly used in recent years due to advancement of disease complexity. As diseases become more serious and more harmful, ways have been found for enhancing recovery from disease conditions. Factors such as increased probability of multiple morbidities have contributed greatly to the increase in the use of more individualized forms of treatment such as homeopathy. Homeopathy depends on the application of either holistic or vitalistic approaches in addressing health problems in patients. Because of its independence of serious medical interventions, it is posited that there is no scientific proof of the effectiveness of homeopathy in health improvement. Contrary to this, the reports given by patients as well as homeopathy practitioners indicate that the method is indeed very appropriate for improving the well-being of patients. Besides addressing the physical health problems, homeopathy also enables patients to view their conditions more holistically and subsequently drives them towards self-healing. It is thus hypothesized that in spite of the absence of scientific proof of effectiveness, homeopathy has shown that health depends more on the relationship created between the practitioner and the patient.

 

Homeopathy and Health

According to a study by Bellavite, homeopaths have a greater challenge compared to those who practice contemporary medicine. The challenge comes in that they have to establish the effectiveness of their treatment forms based on statistical methods rather than scientific methods. At times, this may be very challenging as research has to be conducted with the participation of those who have undergone homeopathy at some time in life. Moreover, dependence on statistical methods may not be considered an effective way of affirming medical effectiveness. Ullman reports that homeopathy has been confirmed to be effective in the improvement of patient conditions when used in various sicknesses (1-3). For instance, homeopathy is described as an effective treatment method for conditions such as influenza, migraine headaches, respiratory diseases and diarrhea among children. In each of the described situations, homeopathy was compared to the use of placebo as a treatment method since they both rely on the use of very minute doses of medication. While placebo doses are usually calculable and measurable, the dilution ratios used in homeopathic treatment are greater than those in Avogadro’s number and it is expected that placebo treatment should be more effective than homeopathy (Bellavite 2).

From the research conducted by Ullman, homeopathy results in better outcomes than placebo among patients with respiratory complications. For children with such conditions, homeopathy resulted in 16% higher chances of getting better than placebo. Similarly, 93% of patients who suffered from migraine headaches experienced relief following treatment through homeopathy while only 17% of those treated with placebo attained relief. Diarrhea among children has also been treated through homeopathy with the results indicating that children with diarrhea healed 20% time faster when treated through homeopathy compared to when the treatment is based on placebo. Other diseases have also been treated effectively using homeopathy as the key treatment procedure. For instance, Asthma indicated an 82% chance of improvement following homeopathy in comparison to 38% improvement chance following placebo treatment (Ullman 2-3). Because of these statistics, Ullman concludes that homeopathy has better outcomes than conventional methods in the treatment of several health conditions.

Besides the statistical reports made by Ullman, other studies have also shown the effectiveness of homeopathy based on the patient and practitioner reports. For instance, the study by Bellavite shows that patients have reported that homeopathy resulted in transformational experiences in the health of patients (1-6). Eyles and others describe the process through which homeopathy is conducted. According to Eyles et al., homeopathy can be conducted through two main ways which are by taking a holistic approach and through a vitalistic approach (2). The vitalistic approach is aimed at initiating self-treatment among the patients. On the other hand, a holistic approach in homeopathy is more concerned with the use of a wide scope of life experiences in order to diagnose the issues surrounding the patient’s life. A holistic approach in homeopathy is cited to be responsible for many positive outcomes apart from the aforementioned medical outcomes evidenced through disease recovery. In such methods, ultra- molecular doses of medications are administered into the patients’ bodies via in-vitro procedures hence the previously indicated effectiveness over placebo (Eyles et al. 3).

When using the holistic approach to homeopathy, many patients engaged in studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure reported that the patient- practitioner relationships fostered through the intensive interactions involved in consultancy helps to build a trusting relationship during which the patient perceives the practitioner to be empathetic (Bellavite 4).The relationships between practitioners and patients enhance self-exploration and discovery of self hence making it possible for the patients to go through health improvement. In the report created by Bellavite, most of the patients who go through homeopathy also reported that the process resulted in the resolution of issues pertaining to chronic dysfunctional patterns as well as spiritual, mental and social development issues.

The findings made by Bellavite concerning the impacts of homeopathy on other aspects of the patients’ lives are also supported by other findings made by Eyles et al. In the study by Eyles et al., the efficiency of homeopathic treatment results from the encounter between the patient and the practitioner during the consultation process (6). The patients who reported during the study asserted that they valued the interaction with the practitioners who attended to them. The process described the process as empowering as well as crucial in portraying the practitioners as being empathetic. The empathy displayed by the homeopaths made it easy for patients to understand the recovery process and subsequently participate more wholesomely in it.

Eyles et al. describe empathy as essential in portraying the homeopaths as both supportive and therapeutic in providing assistance to the patients. Besides this, homeopaths’ empathy is also helpful in helping the patients and the practitioners to develop rapport. It also helps to enhance patient awareness and to create a more empowering positive change among the patients in terms of health outcomes. On the other hand, homeopaths also reported on the perceptions regarding the outcomes of homeopathy by asserting that the patient-centered consultation process is what results in the more pronounced health outcomes among homeopathy patients (Eyles et al. 10). From the studies conducted by various other authors, it has been proven that homeopathy has many positive outcomes on the health of patients, not only because it relies on the small doses of medication but also because it is dependent on the interaction between doctors and the patients. Empathy plays a great role in enhancing the health effects of empathy.

Despite the observable and reported outcomes associated with homeopathy, debates still surround the effectiveness of this method of treatment. This, coupled with the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy, has managed to cause great mistrust for the procedure in the medical circles (Eyles et al. 13). In particular, opponents of homeopathy as a form of alternative medicine assert that it has the potential of resulting in widespread disregard for alternative medicine due to the absence of scientific evidence of the same. Bellavite also reports on some of the risks associated with homeopathy such as resource wastage and avoidance or delay in the application of other more effective therapies. Additionally, Bellavite opines that some of the homeopathic approaches foster ideologies that are a disservice to the medical profession and to medicine (6).

Conclusion

Homeopathy proves to be an effective treatment method. Despite arguments against it, the proofs in support of this method of alternative treatment are profound and thus override the contradictory arguments. Homeopathy is not only suitable for physical illness but also for various negative features that may be associated with the illness. While conventional treatment relies on the use of medication to treat the observable symptoms, homeopathy takes a holistic approach which leads to the treatment of other underlying factors that may have contributed to the physical illness. As such, it is more patient centered and more likely to result in patient driven recovery as compared to other methods of treatment. In addition to this, the relationships fostered by interactions between the homeopath and the patient also enhance one’s ability to understand their situations and thus pursue processes of more complete recovery. Homeopathy is therefore a treatment approach that has the potential of healing even the most pronounced sicknesses that conventional medicine cannot heal. As such, the effects of homeopathy on positive health outcomes are undeniable.

 

Works Cited

Bellavite, Paolo. “Homeopathy and Integrative Medicine: Keeping an Open Mind.” Journal of Medicine and the Person 13, 1(2015), 1-6.

Eyles, Caroline, et al. “A Grounded Theory Study of Homeopathic Practitioners’ Perceptions and Experiences of the Homeopathic Consultation.” Evidence- Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011.

Ullman, Dana. “Scientific Evidence for Homeopathic Medicine.” Homeopathic Educational Services, 2017.