Victorians, homeopathy and the sea

Shirking work this morning, I went for a sea-swim today, because it is warm and lovely and I happen to live near it, the sea…

Swimming in the English channel is a bit rough and a bit exhausting – even on these lovely calm days, but when I was done I felt, well, refreshed! Its easy to see why the Victorians believed in the healing powers of the sea – in fact they actually used to PAY people to throw them, in a baptismal fashion for healing.

And during Victorian times, another, much currently debated healing-fad, was introduced to Britain in the 1830’s, Homeopathy. At the time it was very useful as it was one of the few modern treatments which wasn’t actively harming you (like leeches and mercury enemas), because well it did nothing.

But these things DO make people feel better, despite lack of all scientific evidence for any kind of ‘healing’ power and as lots and lots and lots of Health Professionals state the ‘placebo’ effect is pretty damn powerful.

But maybe this is one of the difficulties with the current fight about the NHS supporting “non-traditional” medicines such as homeopathy. It actually makes people feel better.

Maybe the health community needs to think about how to REPLACE these treatments and not just rage against the machine about how their scientific invalidity. Maybe alternatives like psychological therapy or just simple exercise programs, or something similar?

It is very hard to get people to give up on beliefs, even if they are scientifically false, so instead of telling everyone they are wrong, maybe they can be convinced with effective alternatives which are NOT so scientifically silly…

You catch alot more flies with honey..

About Sylvia McLain

Girl, Interrupting aka Dr. Sylvia McLain used to be an academic, but now is trying to figure out what's next. She is also a proto-science writer, armchair philosopher, amateur plumber and wanna-be film-critic. You can follow her on Twitter @DrSylviaMcLain and Instagram @sylviaellenmclain
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3 Responses to Victorians, homeopathy and the sea

  1. Dr. Nancy Malik says:

    Real is scientific homeopathy unlike Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM). Small doses of evidence-based modern homeopathy medicine brings big results for everyone

  2. Gordon Rae says:

    Things that make you feel better area very important part of health and recovery from illness. There’s no doubt about that. And sometimes, a placebo is the right thing to offer someone as part of helping them to get well.

    That’s not the issue with homeopathic, allopathic, chiropractic, and other treatment regimes that aren’t taught by medical schools. The issue is whether the NHS should promote and support treatments that haven’t been properly tested, and whose sponsors back away from testing, and opening up their results to peer review, the way that mainstream medicine is obliged to do by law.

    A GP can prescribe a placebo. There’s good evidence that homeopathic remedies function in the same ways a placebo. But they are, relatively speaking, a very expensive way of giving a patient tap water. The question about scientific validity isn’t about what the patients believe, but what the practioners believe. The supporters of homeopathy / allopathy and the rest want to be given equal status with medicine, but they don’t want to accept the discipline of rigorous testing and allowing others to examine their findings.

  3. on-r News says:

    you have a nice post..
    keep posting and have a nice day 22:23

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