Saturday, 10 July 2010

Homeopathy: it worked for me! (or someone else of my acquaintance)

Short answer:
  • No it didn't - You got better on your own, or as a result of some other intervention.
A little more:
I'm afraid you have fallen for the fallacy known somewhat ostentatiously as "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" (after this therefore because of this) or "false cause". It was not the homeopathic remedy that effected your cure. It is likely that your ailment was of a trivial nature such as a cold, flu, headache, bruise, mouth ulcer or somesuch. These things go away on their own. It is also possible that your ailment is one of a cyclical nature, that has periods when it is severe, and intervals where it is less so. If you took the remedy during a bad stretch, a moderate period is sure to follow, and you will attribute the improvement to homeopathy. Homeopaths even have a get out clause for when you take their remedy and the affliction has not yet reached its peak; they call this a healing crisis, claiming the action of your body, triggered by the remedy to fight the disease temporarily causes symptoms to appear worse, before they get better. This ensures that whether your symptoms increase or decrease, you still think it was the remedy that did it, when in actual fact it was simply the natural course of the ailment.
Perhaps you have benefited from the placebo effect, where you feel better simply for believing you have been given a treatment and the attention you received from an apparently qualified physician.
If the disease you recovered from was more serious, then perhaps you were also receiving conventional treatment but were frustrated with the speed of results, or believed it has failed, and so took a homeopathic remedy, and you subsequently recovered. It was the conventional treatment that worked, you just hadn't waited long enough. If you weren't receiving any other treatment, then you were very lucky; sometimes seemingly miraculous recoveries occur by purely natural, if hidden or inexplicable means.
If you still think homeopathy cured you, try to think how you would tell the difference between a natural self-effected cure, or one brought on by the remedy your homeopath gave you?
If you were using homeopathy as prophylaxis, say for malaria, then you were unknowingly exposing yourself to risk while completely unprotected, and were simply lucky.

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