Monday, 30 November 2009

Dana Ullman Blog

Dana Ullman is an eminent homeopath and writer. His book, The Homeopathic Revolution, talks about some of the key characters involved in the development of homeopathy and the many famous people who have used it over the years.

Several well known characters have been helped by homeopathy including Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, many members of the Royal family, several US presidents, a multitude of scientists, actors, sporting personalities, singers and politicians but for some reason these homeopathic connections often disappear when biographies are written.

Dana has started to write a regular blog on the Huffington Post website, these articles are thought provoking and informative and certainly well worth a read.

Huffington Post is an online internet only newspaper which offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy, and is a top destination for news, blogs and original content.

If you would like to know more about Dana's book or his writing in general have a look at which also has articles on various homeopathy related stories and news.

Testimonial from Sylvia

Having recently suffered from a nervous breakdown I have been extremely grateful for the professional, compassionate service you offer as a homeopath. Having had experience of other homeopaths in the past I feel I have particularly benefitted from your considerable knowledge of mental health. I would certainly recommend you to others.

Sylvia, North Yorkshire

Monday, 31 August 2009

Placebos getting more effective

This is a very interesting, but quite long, article about a mysterious phenomenon which is causing havoc in drug trials. The placebo (dummy) pills given to people seem to having a more powerful positive response than the drugs being tested.

an extract from the article

In a study last year, Harvard Medical School researcher Ted Kaptchuk devised a clever strategy for testing his volunteers' response to varying levels of therapeutic ritual. The study focused on irritable bowel syndrome, a painful disorder that costs more than $40 billion a year worldwide to treat. First the volunteers were placed randomly in one of three groups. One group was simply put on a waiting list; researchers know that some patients get better just because they sign up for a trial. Another group received placebo treatment from a clinician who declined to engage in small talk. Volunteers in the third group got the same sham treatment from a clinician who asked them questions about symptoms, outlined the causes of IBS, and displayed optimism about their condition.

Not surprisingly, the health of those in the third group improved most. In fact, just by participating in the trial, volunteers in this high-interaction group got as much relief as did people taking the two leading prescription drugs for IBS. And the benefits of their bogus treatment persisted for weeks afterward, contrary to the belief, widespread in the pharmaceutical industry, that the placebo response is short-lived.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Gallery on the green

One of the things I love about living in the countryside is the quirky things that happen.

A phone box in Settle was decommisioned by BT and the town council bought it. Volunteers and local residents have now turned it into an art gallery, but due to the small space available, all artistic donations must be in the form of postcards.

Probably the smallest art gallery in the world

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Big Lunch

This is nothing to do with homeopathy but I think it is a great but simple idea. Have a look at the website and see what is happening near you. I will be going to our local event which is happening in the market square in Settle on Sunday 19th July.

Imagine a summer's day on which millions of us, throughout the UK, sit down to have lunch together, with our neighbours in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. The food, entertainment and decorations we will have either grown, cooked, or created ourselves. This will be a day to break bread with our neighbours, to put a smile on Britain's face.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Festival fun

It is that festival time again. I am off to Glastonbury on Monday and will be working with the Travelling Homoeopaths Collective. Our enormous tent is just on the right hand side as you enter the Healing Field. So pop in for a chat if you're passing or are in need of some treatment.

While I'm away if you need some advice or remedies in the Settle area please call my colleague Samantha Glossop 07877 138210

Or you can call the Homeopathy Helpline for advice on 0906 534 3404. A qualified homeopath is available between 9am and midnight every day. Calls cost approx £1.50 a minute but if you are clear on what symptoms you want help with the calls will not last long.

Monday, 18 May 2009

India 2009 - travels part 2

After Pondicherry we travelled inland for a few days. We got the bus to Tiruvannamalai which is about 180 km south west of Chennai.

Arunachaleswarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva dominates the town and was built between the 16th and the 17th centuries by the kings of the Vijayanagara empire. The temple is famous for its massive gopurams. The temple is a site of great religious importance and many people come here for pilgrimages and for the many festivals that take place in the town. We got up early one morning to walk up Arunachala hill to see the sunrise, unfortunately we saw more cloud and mist than sun but we had a nice walk!

We spent a day exploring the nearby ruins at Gingee. The fort was built on three hills and the walls are up to 60 feet thick in places. The buildings were carved out of the rocks and included shrines, temples, accommodation and huge stores for grain and oil for when the site was beseiged, which it often was. The oldest part dates back to the 9th century while most was built in the 13th century. The scale of the fortifications is quite incredible and in spite of this the fort was the site of frequent battles and changed hands many times over the years. It was declared a national monument in 1921 and is well looked after by the Archeological Department. It really is a fantastic and impressive site but seems to get very few visitors.

After a very long, hot, walk up and down the hills to see the fort we were pretty exhausted and hungry. So we wandered along the main road towards Gingee town and stopped for a welcome chai and some food. The parota are always very tasty all over southern India and making them is a very specialised job. The parota maker was very happy for us to take some photos of him at work.
It makes me feel hungry just thinking about all that tasty food!

India 2009 - travels part 1

After Kolkata we spent a couple of weeks travelling round Tamil Nadu. We flew into Chennai and headed straight for Mamallapuram on the coast. On our visits to India we have generally avoided touristy areas so this was a bit different for us, we initially found it hard to find Indian food as most of the cafes seemed to be catering for the bland tastes of european visitors. All around the town are fantastically ornate temples which have been carved out of the rocks. Most of the carvings were done between the 7th and 9th centuries. The five rathas are particularly impressive and are carved out of one huge lump of granite. Two of the rathas are in the picture below.After this we spent a few days in Pondicherry. A bizarre but fantastic bit of France in southern India. A town where you can get proper coffee and croissants and hear locals chattering away in french in cafes. The street signs and tree lined avenues near the seafront really do make you feel like you are in France, but the market area, especially on a Sunday, is very much like any other part of India. The beach is a real focal point for the locals and tourists alike. It seems everyone comes out to promenade along the seaside at sunset and quite a few come along at sunrise too.

Those of you who know my fiance Lyndon will know he likes goats. I've promised him that one day we will get some of our own! He took this picture in Mamallapuram early one morning.

Monday, 13 April 2009

India 2009 - wedding

The main reason for our return to Kolkata in February was to go to a wedding. Our friends Suve and Ellie had a traditional Hindu ceremony in Kolkata on Valentines day. Suve's family are from Shibpur and many relatives still live there and they were all very hospitable and made us feel welcome. One of Suves uncles gave us a little tour of the district, this picture was taken just near the Banerjee family home.
The first day of the celebrations took place in Shibpur and was a huge meal for friends and family of the bridegroom. There was a seemingly endless supply of wonderful food and Suve had a quite enormous plate to get through, all his female relatives stood behind him to tell him what order to eat it in! He doesn't have much of an appetite so some of the others had to help him out and tidy it up.

The main wedding service took place on the Saturday at a large marriage hall. The ceremony was very interesting to watch and at various points friends and relatives got involved. The priest was very patient with Ellie's dad as he struggled to get to grips with Sanskrit. Ellie and Suve looked fantastic in their wedding outfits.

Friday, 10 April 2009

India 2009 - homeopathy

We went back to Kolkata for a week in February this year to attend a wedding then spent a couple of weeks travelling around Chennai. While we were in Kolkata I was able to join Dr Banerjea for a couple of days in his homeopathy clinics. The Bengal Allen Medical Institue run an exchange every year for foreign homeopaths and this comprises a combination of lectures and clinic visits. I did this course in 2008 and it was a fantastic experience. The Institute runs free homeopathy clinics in various parts of Kolkata and we spent a great deal of time in these. They have a small van which acts as a mobile dispensary.
It always amuses me when people criticise homeopathy and say that people only appear to get better because they have a chance to talk about themselves for a while. In my clinic the first appointment would take 90 minutes to 2 hours, in these free clinics the first consultation could well be less than 5 minutes. Dr Banerjea has such a detailed knowlege of homeopathic remedies he regulaly sees around 50 patients in a 3 hour clinic and patients still get better without the long chats! A new clinic has recently been set up near Dr Banerjeas ancestral home which is near Barasat to the north east of Kolkata. Dr Banerjeas uncle was a Hindu priest and the house still has a shrine and a resident priest. A clinic building has recently been constructed in the grounds. The clinic is in a very rural area and as they don't get many foreign visitors we were a bit of an attraction. Myself and Camilla were sat by the window and regularly had small children jump up behind us to see what was going on!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Another Indian Adventure

I will be in India from 9th Feb until 1st March and back in the clinic in Settle as normal on Monday 2nd. I will not be able to deal with email or phone messages while I am away. I will update you on my travels when I return but we will be in Kolkata to attend the wedding of our friends, Suve and Ellie, then heading south to spend a couple of weeks around Chennai. If you need some homeopathic advice during this period then contact my colleague Samantha Glossop on 07877 138210.

If you want some urgent advice over the phone you might like to call the Homeopathy Helpline which is available between 9am and midnight. This is particularly useful if you have some remedies at home as they can often suggest something which may help deal with the problem. If they suggest a remedy that you don’t have they will be able to tell you where you can get hold of it. The advice given is mainly concerned with acute problems such as fevers, coughs and colds, tummy bugs or childhood illnesses but they can also discuss other problems and help you to decide whether homeopathic treatment is appropriate. If it is not suitable they may direct you to another form of therapy or suggest you contact your GP.

This service is only available within the United Kingdom and calls are charged at BT premium rate which is approx £1.50 per minute, this may sound a lot but calls can be short if you are clear about the symptoms and think about what questions you are likely to be asked. These are things like - when did the problem start, did it come on quickly or slowly, does anything make the problem better or worse, are there any desires or aversions to food or drink?

Homeopathy Helpline 09065 34 34 04

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Positive local news

There has been a lot of doom and gloom in the news recently so it was nice to see a positive local story.

Tom is a shopkeeper in Settle who decided to open up his shop then go home and leave his customers to help themselves.

Photo from BBC website