Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Steve's Testimonial, Leeds

When I first met Jo, I would say I was an open-minded sceptic – however, after our first meeting I could see that her counselling skills alone made the treatments worthwhile. After receiving the homeopathic remedies I found they worked and they have helped me hugely with my recovery and there have been no side-effects.

I would describe Jo as trustworthy, sympathetic and non-judgemental. She has time to talk and has the skills needed to treat the root cause of problems and not just the symptoms.

I would recommend a consultation with Jo to anybody who needs help.

Steve, Leeds

Rachels Testimonial, Exeter

I had developed an ultimately life-threatening fear of eating, following a long bout of bowel disease and subsequent surgery, dropping to 5.5 stone with ever-decreasing hopes of being able to reverse the trend.

Jo stepped in as a concerned friend and a professional homeopath, to give me help prior to my taking myself off into hospital for some long term treatment. Her consistent positivity and cheeriness (during homeopathic consultations and 1:1 chats over the odd latte or two!) gave me a huge amount of confidence and hopefulness for the difficult period ahead.

She prescribed a gentle but rather powerful remedy which was to encourage a healthy appetite and help my poor starving body retain the nutrients it so desperately needed once the intensive re-feeding programme was initiated. Within days, I started feeling hungry (very!) and could feel myself relaxing both mentally and physically before meals. I also found that my inner strength and my resolve increased and were constant, throughout the often traumatic admission - which, I'm sure, was due to the remedy.

I am now almost fully recovered and I most definitely have my life back! A heartfelt THANK YOU to Jo for her timely intervention, her thoughtfulness and her insightful prescription. I never thought I would attain this healthy 'me'....

Rachel, Exeter

Homeopathy Volunteering

I have always wanted to be able to bring homeopathy to people who would never normally have access to such therapies.

I am currently working as a volunteer with the Hub at Connexions based in Settle which helps support young people in the area. I am providing homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, advice on diet and relaxation techniques to young people and liaising with support workers, GPs and drug workers where necessary.


When I lived in Bristol I ran a drop-in clinic for homeless magazine vendors and staff at the Big Issue. I used homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies to help reduce anxiety, sleep problems and other emotional disturbances and also provided homeopathic first aid for such things as injuries, colds, headaches, hayfever and infected wounds.


I have also worked as a volunteer for SANE the mental health charity on their helpline. This involved taking calls from a variety of people affected by mental health issues in some way. The training was intensive and included a great deal of information about the mental health system and conventional treatment as well as excellent counselling training.


Exchange program in Calcutta

In January 2008 I will be attending a homeopathic exchange program in Calcutta at the Bengal Allen Medical Institute. The city has a rich homeopathic heritage and offered the first University and Government approved 5 year full-time homeopathic degree course. The Institute is a registered charity and all profits go towards maintaining a homeopathy clinic in the slums of Calcutta and to providing basic sustenance for hungry children

All across India homeopathy is accepted as being the major alternative to pharmaceutical medicine and is enormously popular, this is mainly due to its low cost and presence in the country for over 150 years.

The exchange programme is run by Dr Subrata Banerjea whose family have been homeopaths as well as medical doctors for four generations. The course is a combination of lectures, homeopathic philosophy, case taking skills, clinical discussion and regular visits to homeopathic clinics, where we will have the opportunity to observe approximately 200 live cases during the programme.

We will also be visiting Darjeeling as a group and seeing patients in a clinic there. After the program finishes I will be spending a few weeks travelling around Kerala in the South before returning home at the end of February.

Homeopathy dilutions

The most controversial aspect for critics is that the remedies are made using extremely high dilutions of homeopathic substances. Conventional science indicates that most homeopathic remedies are so dilute that none of the original substance can possibly be present. However, remedies are made by a process of dilution and vigorous shaking (known as succession) and this combination seems to change the properties of the diluted liquid.

Research over the last few years has led scientists to acknowledge that the structure of water is not as simple as once believed and that vigorously shaken, ultra high dilutions have physical and chemical properties very different from pure water. Researchers like Rustum Roy and Iris Bell have carried out important research in this area.

This site gives a good overview of one aspect of this debate


A good starting point for those interested in learning more on this topic is:


The effect of high dilutions

In an experimental study of ultra-high dilutions of litihum chloride and sodium chloride which had been vigorously stirred between dilutions, researchers found emission of light even in dilutions beyond Avogadro’s number (10-30 g cm-3). The solutions were irradiated by x- and gamma-rays at 77 K, then progressively rewarmed to room temperature. Thermoluminescence was studied during the process.

Rey L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium chloride. Physica A 323 (2003) 67–74.

Full article available at


In another study of extremely diluted and succussed solutions (<>-5 mol kg-1, chemically identical to distilled water) researchers found that the diluted and succussed solution resulted in exothermic excess of heat (heat resulting from chemical reactions), higher electrical conductivity and pH compared to an untreated substance. The authors conclude that they show that successive dilutions and succussions can permanently alter the physico-chemical properties of the water solvent. The authors are unable to explain the phenomena.

Elia V, Niccoli M. New physico-chemical properties of extremely diluted aqueous solutions. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, Vol. 75 (2004) 815–836.

Abstract available at


Not really anything about research but a lovely example of homeopathy in action in a crisis.


Just a placebo


The idea that homeopathy is ‘just a placebo’ is a common criticism, however there are several studies which look at treatment of children or animals who could not have been influenced by any kind of placebo effect. These are just two examples of papers which address the issue of placebo.

There are three well-known studies where children given homeopathic remedies showed a highly significant result in the duration of childhood diarrhoea. It should be noted that the World Health Organisation consider childhood

diarrhoea to be the number one public health problem today because of the millions of children who die every year from dehydration from diarrhoea.

Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jiménez-Pérez M, Crothers D

Homeopathy for childhood diarrhoea: combined results and meta-analysis from three randomized, controlled clinical trials. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003 Mar;22(3):229-34

Article abstract available at



Researchers at the University of Glasgow have conducted several studies into the effect of serially agitated high dilutions of an allergen (30C, which contains no molecules of the original substance) on patients with allergic rhinitis. These were not trials of treatment but they were designed to address the placebo hypothesis, using allergy as a model. In 2000 they performed a meta-analysis, reviewing all the data from four studies on allergic conditions, which totalled 202 subjects. The results of this meta-analysis were so substantial (P=0.0004) that the authors concluded that either homeopathic medicines work or controlled clinical trials do not. Because modern science is based on controlled clinical trials, it is a more likely conclusion that homeopathic medicines are effective.

Taylor, M., Reilly, D., Llewellyn-Jones, R., McSharry, C., Aitchison, T. Randomised controlled trial of homeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series. British Medical Journal 2000; 321: 471-6.

Full article available at


Bristol Homeopathic Hospital study

Bristol Homeopathic Hospital study
One of the most comprehensive surveys of homeopathic treatment is an analysis of over 23,000 outpatient consultations at the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital from November 1997 to October 2003. This represented over 6,500 individual patients whose overall outcome was recorded at follow-up. More than 70% of these follow-up patients reported clinical improvement following homeopathic treatment. Many of the patients in the analysis had previously received mainstream medical treatment and had either failed to respond satisfactorily or had been unable to tolerate the conventional medication they had been prescribed.

Dr D S Spence, Dr E A Thompson and S J Barron. J. Altern. Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-Year, University-Hospital Outpatient Observational Study. Complement. Med. 2005; 11#5: 793-798

Full article available at


See also the news article on BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4454856.stm

Homeopathy Research Institute

I am a member of the Homeopathy Research Institute which has recently been set up with a view to doing quality research and trials which will be published in medical peer-reviewed journals.


The nature of homeopathic treatment is very different to conventional medicine and so double blind, placebo controlled trials do not represent how a homeopath would normally treat a patient. There is work going on in British universities to look at this problem and develop ways of designing trials which will take into account the personal nature of the consultation and choice of remedies.

In spite of this, there is a huge amount of good quality, published research which shows that homeopathy is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions. This paper is a review of positive research and surveys which was compiled by the European Network of Homeopathic Researchers. It contains brief summaries of the research articles, together with full references.