This important question has been widely discussed in homeopathic circles.
So how on earth can homeopathy become more widespread, enjoy sustained approval, attract patient preference and appreciation while the bastions of homeopathy, the homeopathic associations, are missing their mission?
It is patently obvious that these associations are attracting fewer and fewer members, some of them being just homeopathic associations in name only – but certainly not in substance.
I shall offer my position in this debate based upon my own personal interactions and communications with dozens of associations around the world.
— many of these associations are private societies which are suspicious towards new members. If one takes a closer look, most of them only have a handful of members, and any elections are held in an almost clandestine, hole-and-corner manner.
— they don’t support Classical Hahnemannian Homeopathy, but indulge in all kinds of other implausible ideas that bear no relation at all to what is normally understood to be ‘homeopathy’. These aberrations are considered “progressivism” and, for most of these associations, Samuel Hahnemann M.D is obsolete and anachronistic, and traditional Classical Homeopathy is termed “fundamentalism”.
— they have created training programs without any specific curriculum and without following any basic academic standards. In reality, these so-called training programs are a series of lectures given by various speakers, without any consistency between them. In most cases, one notices that all opinions on homeopathy are the heardwithout exception, even if these concepts have no scientific background—all this theatre is performed in the name of pluralism and to the detriment of science and objectivity.
— they are adamant that their ‘modern’ version of homeopathy is the best approach, even while their obscure, bizarre practices predictably fade, one by one, into obscurity – along with the credibility of homeopathy.
Wishing, however, to make this debate constructive rather than just criticism, I shall now make some suggestions.
Homeopathic associations should:
— play a role in the broad dissemination of information, raising awareness about Hahnemann’s Classical Homeopathy; organize sessions to inform citizens’ groups, such as parents, students, new medical doctors, the elderly, athletes, healthcare professionals, etc.
— fight for people’s undeniable right to choose the therapy they consider best for themselves. It is a democratic right and homeopathic associations should defend it by submitting proposals to government institutions, ministries of health and to European and International organizations. This civil right should be defined in law by national parliaments. This is what the goal should be for homeopathic associations.
— endeavour to provide broad and comprehensive information about homeopathy through the media; they should provide immediate and well-documented responses to malicious and slanderous attacks.
— defend the right of homeopaths to safely practice homeopathy, and strive to attain the same rights as all other therapists.
— inform scientistsabout of the scientific points of homeopathy. Provide research articles, provide data about the recognition of homeopathy by international and European organisations like WHO, European Parliament etc., and hear their opposition (if any) and discuss with them the scientific arguments.
— organise information sessions about homeopathy for students of the medical professions (medicine, veterinary, pharmacy, dentistry, midwifery etc.).They will be the homeopaths of the future.
— motivate and encourage patients to convey publicly their personal positive experiences with homeopathy (to the press, to their friends, to their colleagues etc.)Most of the patients keep secret this positive experience because they feel uncomfortable talking about something which is not generally approved.
Often the universal “enemy” that we encounter in life isn’t to be found on the outside, i.e. “them” – it’s to be found on the inside, i.e. “us”. Similarly, homeopathy’s biggest enemy is to be found on the inside – within the homeopathic associations etc. – firmly lodged within the plethora of self-styled homeopathic teachers and so-called reformers. To enable homeopathy to survive for the benefit of future generations it is crucial that homeopathic associations realize and correct their core misconceptions about homeopathy – and soon!
It is critical for the continuance of homeopathy per se that all education must be left to those educational institutions which have sound programs based upon Classical Hahnemannian Homeopathy, and NOT left to homeopathic associations whose teachings depend on elections of new members such that whenever there are new members, the teachings can change according to the nuances of the new committee.
The positions taken above may bother some, but I would suggest we view this issue with an open mind and see beyond personal interests. We owe it to the thousands of patients who wish to find relief from their suffering and to the hundreds of doctors who wish to acquire reliable training based on scientific standards.