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!