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Creating Waves of Awareness

New Facts about the Munich Headache Study
by G. Vithoulkas and Hp. Seiler


I thought you might find this article interesting...

Conclusions
1. The Munich headache-study by Walach et al. has to be considered
invalid by the following reasons:
- The data concerning the reactions of the patients have been interchanged
for the most part and are interpreted in a clinically inadequate
manner.
- An important error of randomisation has been overlooked.
- The sensitivity of the study has been decreased substantially by
intermixing migraine and permanent headache.
2. The effectiveness of homeopathy can be proven by doubleblinded
studies too, particularly also by migraine-studies, provided
the conception is appropriate. This makes Walachs non-causal respectively
magical interpretation of homeopathy superfluous.

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Replies to This Discussion

There was an exchange between Harald Walach and Vithoulkas in the journal Homeopathy about this some years ago. Vithoulkas's views on Harald Walach's work are well-known. It is interesting because this debate in many ways mirrors that between homeopaths and the sceptics and for very similar reasons, and with similar levels of ascerbity. You can see that in Vithoulkas' dismissal of Walach's ideas as 'magical'. In this respect, Vithoulkas' accusative manner does as much of a disservice to homeopathy as the sceptics. Possibly worse, because it merely serves to sow discord instead of informed debate. Vithoulkas expresses similar views about Sankaran. Ergo, it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that there is an underlying agenda behind Vithoulkas' work other than the search for truth.

Could you please send me a more stable link to the original paper. You have only included the conclusions. many thanks

Lionel
I tend to agree with dear Lionel. We need to support all homeopaths as unique in their practice. If they have found a way the 'works' for them using the tools available then we should take a second look.

A local homeopath uses a protocol for autistic children that gets results. When you see children begin to speak, react to parents, connect with the outside world when previously they did not, then we must learn what is being done. Even if this method is not the typical classical homeopathy that we are used to providing.

In this day and age with so much pollution, poor nutrition, poor quality food, ill-chosen lifestyle, family dysfunction, vaccination, fluoride, etc. we may need to look at ways to clear what Hahnemann may have called BLOCKS to cure.

Our Highest Goal is to Cure, not only to toot our own horn that ours is the only way to heal a person. In fact, it is most often my clients who come to me with what they have found as adjunctive therapies that help them so much through suffering and pain.

Let's learn from each other here with respect and an open mind. Hey! We may learn something new.
Dear Lionel

This link was taken from G. Vithoulkas web site and was specificly pointed out in his newsletter which was sent out yesterday see here

I personally thought it was an interesting piece (mainly because of the concept what is right and what is wrong) and that´s why I put it here for more to read and hope for some discussions.

I wonder sometimes about the title Homeopath and what it stands for!! Why are homeopaths so devided in their oppinions and methods? Is it Really only one RIGHT way to do things and who is the One to tell what is right and what is wrong??

If the patient is cured or at least is statisfied with his result from homeopathic treatment, either from a single dose, split dose, c.s.d., or from combination of remedies, isn´t a better choise than being treated with suppressive allopathic drugs that only diminish the symptoms. Even though it will never be clear which rememdy within the combination did the trick. I wonder what is the REAL RIGHT WAY, that is if there is the REAL ONE RIGHT WAY to approach the case.
Hmmm... sorry... here I am a bit off the track from the original subject... ohh well :)
Hi all,

Homeopathy has remained relatively "whole" as a very well described and very well tested system..
if we follow in Hahnemann's footsteps, there is certainly some room for trying out different things, in the pursuit of cure.
At some points, some of these things are (ihmo) no longer "homeopathy."
Doesn't mean you're not "a healer" ... doesn't mean someone may not be "cured."
-BUT.
For me, homeopathy "by the book" is the real one right way -- if I or someone else chooses something ELSE, then that must be acknowledged as their decision, as "something other than" homeopathy per se.
Combinations of potentized medicines are definitively NOT "by the book."
There are plenty of good reasons NOT to use combinations; I could list a dozen; but my point is that mixopathy and and other not-homeopathy should not inaccurately be portrayed as-if they were homeopathy.

A system of healing such as homeopathy can only continue to exist by having some coherency in "the SYSTEM" and the way it is practiced.

If "we" (homeopaths) embrace "magical" homeopathy (which for me includes "try this mixture of 3 remedies, maybe one of them will work, after all according to theory only one will have an effect...)
We are (imho)
1) denying our clients the right to have effective & proper case management (how do you follow a case without knowing WHICH Rx you gave .. or which one is "working?")
2) denying ourselves professional growth in terms of selecting Rx and learning by managing the case
3) denying our posterity "the SYSTEM" of homeopathy "by the book...."

Hahnemann taught us to look at the case and seek to resolve "obstacles to cure" there were PLENTY of things in his day which we do not have to deal with .. any yes, there are incredibly terrible seeming things we have today
-I see no reason in presuming that rampant pollution is much worse than open sewers running down the streets of every town & village.
YES, we have different things to deal with, but all are resolvable within the system as-it-is.
Routinist "protocol" treating xyz "named syndrome" is very, VERY far afield of homeopathy !
On the other hand (for instance) Lyme disease responds stunningly well to Ledum in apparently enough different cases for people to consider it "a specific" .. still, we do not (or at least should not !) simply hear "Lyme" and then assume the Ledum will solve the entire case (I must agree that it seems wise to give as a first aid measure .. in which it is probably able to provide prophylaxis against a primary infection in pre-prodrome.)

... I could continue, but it might start getting into "rant mode"
so, instead, I defer to one of the great authors of our homeopathic lineage, in chapter 34 of his book

The principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy
by HERBERT A. ROBERTS, M.D.

CHAPTER XXXIV
THE DEFLECTED CURRENT

We are told that light waves travel in a certain direction until they meet some obstacle, when they are deflected at an angle proportionate to the angle of interference. We are told that our remedies are curative in conditions closely similar to those produced by the remedy in a healthy human being.

The science of optics can give us, with a very small percentage of error, the measurement of the light waves, their angles of deflection and the measurements necessary to correct vision or to utilize the light waves in some practical manner. In other words, there is a definite measurable approach through known laws to the application of light waves to our modern needs; and we may be assured that with growth in our needs, and a greater understanding of those laws and measurements, future generations will be able to utilize light waves to a far greater degree than is thought of at the present time.

The homœopathic laws are fundamental; we understand many of them; we utilize them. Unfortunately, we have no such instruments of precision by which we can measure the obstacles to the curative waves of our remedies. Therefore we have no uniform results from our remedies such as we might expect from the vast armamentarium of remedies and the compilation of knowledge and experience garnered by successful homœopathic students since the time of Hahnemann.

Some of our confreres will say, at this point, that such instruments of precision are being used by homœopathic physicians at the present time; that they are daily being perfected and that the results are increasingly satisfactory. No doubt all of this is true; yet for the average homœopathic student we feel that such means are not yet available, or if available, the technique has not been sufficiently mastered by the average physician to be handled with accuracy; or perhaps the degree of perfection (or imperfection) of such instruments interferes with capable usage.

However this may be, our thesis has to do with the average homœopathic physician, and may be reduced to that all too well known question: why are our results not uniformly satisfactory? Why doesn't the seemingly indicated remedy always work?

Of course there are the answers known to every physician of whatever school, and some that only the homœopathic physician recognizes.

One obvious reason is the pathological condition of the patient. The röentgenologist and the surgeon are most apt to known about such pathological obstacles than is the homœopathic physician, but they so lack the means to cure that their knowledge teaches them only to remove offending tissue; perhaps the patient recovers by the aid of beneficent nature. It is trite but true that more mistakes are made by not looking than by not knowing.

On the other hand, there are serious homœopathic students who have come to believe that treatment of pathological conditions by X-ray or radium dissipates, rather than cures, the pathological tissue. Certainly we have seen the results of over-exposure to such treatments, with the insuperable obstacle to cure that has been thus raised. Destruction of normal tissue, under such treatment, may prove as dangerous to the patient's health as lack of treatment; and the relation of metastasis to surgery, X-ray or radium treatment is still an open question in the minds of many close observers.

Then there are the states which arise from mechanical obstruction, non-pathological but the actual presence of a foreign body, which gives rise to reflex symptoms of exceedingly troublesome nature. Of course the remedy does not and cannot cure such symptoms so long as the causative factor remains. Persistent earaches or coryzas in children who have inserted small objects into the ear or nose have their counterpart in the suffering of adults, often from unusual minor accidents.

Psychic trauma, emotional stresses of varying degrees and insistence, are factors that we, as homœopathic prescribers, should understand and weigh thoroughly in view of the patient's symptomatology. However, frequently the patient does not consider his private affairs the business of any outside, even of the physician, and keeps these important items to himself. Or he may be so used to bearing his own burdens that he does not recognize them as having any weight in the case; or he may (consciously or unconsciously) distort the picture of his own mental stress so much that even if he reveals the difficulty under which he is labouring, the whole picture may be of little help to the physician in analyzing the case.

It was Hahnemann himself who emphasized the fact that nothing was so deleterious to health as unhappy domestic conditions; that these conditions could, and often did, prove insuperable obstacles to cure. It is fortunate that the simillimum often can take the additional tension from the patient, or may lift off one series of symptoms; but so long as these strains persist under the surface, one cannot expect cure. Nevertheless, if the physician does not realize that these underlying influences exist, he may fall so far short of helping the patient that he may imperil his own belief in the homœopathic possibilities of cure, as well as the confidence of the patient.

Over-anxiety, worry, constant financial stress, the tension of maintaining speed in one's work, peculiar industrial demands-all these and many like stresses have developed unusual influences upon our patients during the past few years, and have correspondingly lowered the percentage of possible cures. They have served to deflect the current of cure in whole or in part; and the homœopathic system of medicine is not at fault in such deflection of cure so long as these conditions remain a vital part of the patient's life.

Along with such conditions the physician has to fight the in-creasing use of sedatives, bromides, narcotics, analgesics-all forms of drugging which offer the patient some retreat from the pressure of the modern age or some measure of relief from pain, either mental or physical. Often the physician does not know of the home prescribing of the patient with such products of the pharmacist, but modern advertising keeps these products before the mind of the public to such an extent that they have proved one of the greatest barriers to cure ever known.

In these cases one must know the obstacle to cure if he is to be able to serve the patient with any degree of real assistance; although it is one of the greatest boons of homœopathy that so many of our remedies have in themselves the power to antidote massive drugs, and so release the vital power inherent in the patient himself, with the corresponding response towards cure.

Cosmetics may prove the obstacle to cure just as surely as narcotics or coal-tar derivatives. Many cosmetic preparations contain substances advertised to suppress perspiration, eruptions, or to remove hair growth. Most physicians see cases definitely traceable to such measures. The suppressed eruptions and their sequelæ are endless. We have seen a case of progressive paralysis in a young woman which she herself traced to the use of a depilatory preparation.

An eminent contemporary prescriber reported a case of a persistent Coccus cacti cough which refused to yield-until he ordered the young woman to stop the use of her lipstick, when the cough ceased.

Even the "old school" pharmaceutical journals are beginning to report a great variety of cases which have been traced to per-fumes or perfumed cosmetics, and even to cite the physiological action of their ingredients. It is notable that some of these cases occurred, not in users of the cosmetic products, but in those associated with them. The homœopathic physician under-stands the power of ambergris, musk, etc., to produce symptoms in the potency. Hahnemann taught the power of olfaction on sensitive patients. Modern medical lore is full of the allergic reactions of sensitive patients to a variety of substances, in the most minute form. When even the dominant school of medicine recognizes this hazard, the homœopathic physician must never neglect consideration of such a deflection of the current.

Then there is the problem of diet. The so-called soft drinks follow closely the record of home drugging in distorting the case. The modern craze for slender figures, with the unbalanced diets prescribed by the laity, may be an obstacle to cure; not because the physician cannot correct the condition with a proper balanced diet plus an indicated remedy, but because of the psychological barrier-the unwillingness to accept a suitable diet with the corresponding normal weight. In other words, the patient who suffers willingly from malnutrition can be brought back to normal only if his co-operation is gained, or if the case comes to the physician before dangerous physiological changes set in. On the other hand, there is the malnutrition resulting from an unbalanced diet directly traceable to depressed budget; this condition has grown rapidly during the depression years and the effects are still shown in many cases. This has to be met not only with the homœopathic remedy but with economic equilibrium and a well thought out diet if the patient is to be cured. Here we meet an economic obstacle that is often beyond the help of the physician.

The question of proper exercise would seem to lie within the province of the physician. We recall one case, however, where the patient, a woman past middle life, was instructed to get out of the house, into the open, and cultivate her interest in wild flowers, thus getting her interests outside herself along with fresh air and sunshine. We supposed the prescription was being filled, as we were greeted with fresh wild flowers every call we made, but she did not seem to gain in strength nor did her color improve. Some time later (after she left us for a more sympathetic physician) we found that her husband faithfully went to the fields and gathered fresh flowers for the vases, while she rested from the prospect of his endeavors in her behalf.

There are patients who cannot take strenuous exercise because of pathological obstacles. There are patients who are so restricted by circumstances that they get little opportunity for exercise in the open air. But such patients are usually chronics with a long history and a poor prognosis; we usually accept the situation and do the best we can toward homœopathic palliation, and surprising as it may be to us, we sometimes approach cure in spite of the difficulties. But the patient who can co-operate, but will not, and perhaps even leads us to believe she has made the attempt, herself deflects the current of cure at its very source. Then we question the value of our prescription and wonder why the indicated remedy failed to work.

One of our hardest problems is the patient who cannot seem to rally-the old chronic, with a long but seemingly not overwhelming history, and with a clear picture of a remedy. Somewhere here there is an obstacle to cure and we must plumb the history -physical, mental, emotional- to remove that obstacle or measure it, and to me sure as well our remedy and its potency, to determine whether it is the simillimum in likeness of symptomatology and energy.

Another obstacle to cure is the ease with which the physician's judgment may be overbalanced in favor of the patient's favourite symptom. This may seem a trifling matter, but frequent repetition of a troublesome symptom may so warp the true picture of the case that the symptomatology seems to reflect an entirely different remedy than those true, but less conspicuous indications, that are actually present. The patient does this unconsciously by remembering the most troublesome factors and forgetting the seemingly minor items that should furnish the clue to the remedy.

We have discussed some of the obstacles to cure as they affect the patient or the physician. Let us discuss the other side of the problem; the remedy.

Here our first problem is the source of the remedy itself. How close to Hahnemann's standard did the source of our remedy approach? In other words, how carefully did the homœopathic pharmacist identify the source of his supply? Is the plant identical with the botanical source of our proving? We cannot expect a Rhus tox. case, for instance, to be cured with some other member of the family, if we have depended upon the proving of Rhus tox. as our guide. Here we enter the field of similars instead of the simillimum. Was the original supply fresh and in good condition? Substances of inferior quality cannot provide a good potency. With what degree of thoroughness did the pharmacist follow Hahnemann's instructions for potentization? With what degree of thoroughness did the provers follow instructions?

We must be able to depend absolutely upon the sources of our remedies, and if there has been carelessness in gathering the original substance, in any part of the process of making the potency, in contamination in handling the potency or in discrepancies in recording the provings, then we cannot but expect that the current of cure will be deflected. All these details are known to the homœopathic prescriber, but we cannot refrain from pointing out that these details may spell the difference between life and death, certainly between cure and failure, in many of our cases where there seems to be no reason to expect a deflection of the current of cure.

We question whether the provings were made under proper control. How many entered into the proving? How accurately was the substance, the origin of the potency, labeled? Inaccurate labeling might be the difference in possible cure or deflection by an insurmountable obstacle.

Weighing the symptoms of the patient against those of the remedy is one of our major problems; but an even more important problem is the weighing of symptoms of the proving itself. How great a value, we ask ourselves, shall we place upon those symptoms occasionally or rarely produced in a proving? We are told, for instance, that the time aggravation which is almost a keynote of Kali carb. appared in only one prover, yet it has been clinically confirmed so frequently that we often think of it as one of the leading symptoms of Kali carb. -or when we think of the 3 a.m. aggravation we immediately think of Kali carb., in spite of the fact that Kent's Repertory lists a number of remedies with this modality.

It is important that we use every means within our power to determine whether or not the occasional symptom comes from the individuality of the remedy or whether it is a deflection of the remedy's dynamis through idiosyncrasies of the patient or through something the patient may do or may use that distorts the reaction. Here is a patient, for instance, who cannot take Hepar Sulph. without producing a symptom not appearing in any of our Hepar provings -a sensation as if a finger and thumb were pressing either side of the larynx. Is this a valuable symptom or is it an individual reaction of no value?

Hahnemann gave us very clear directions for making provings, and instructed us that in every case the usual habits and diet of the prover remain at ordinary level during the proving, so that we might know whether or not the symptoms were produced by the remedy or by changes in the prover's habits. However, it is conceivable that such things as diet, etc., even if the patient had become accustomed to them, might deflect the current of symptoms in like degree to the disturbing element in the dietary. We reflect that such articles of diet as coffee, which we are taught affects the action of certain remedies when prescribed for curative purposes, might in like degree modify the reaction of the remedy in its proving, either to completely nullify part of the symptomatology or to modify it to an entirely different picture. Thus we must use every care in adopting casual provings. In the case of Hahnemann's provings, he reduced them to what approaches a mathematical formula. He carefully weighed the habits, diet and general state of health as manifested by symptomatic reaction of each prover before such prover was accepted for service. This data was subtracted, as it were, from such symptomatology as appeared during the course of the proving or within reasonable time thereafter, and the remaining symptoms were credited to the remedy action. Moreover, this procedure was well controlled by the number of provers for each remedy. These details were watched with the precision characteristic of Hahnemann.

A word about keynotes as a possible obstacle to cure is not out of place. Keynote symptoms have proved themselves as of almost equal degree a bane or a blessing. With our vast array of remedies the average homœopathic physician learns well the polychrests; thereafter, depending upon their relationship to his practice, he tends to depend upon memorizing a more or less brief outline of remedies. Many remedies he knows only by keynotes. If these keynotes are used as a reference to materia medica study they serve well, but they are very dangerous for a basis in prescribing. If he prescribes solely on the keynote he may and often does, remove the conspicuous symptoms; but this may serve only as an obstacle to cure by deflecting the current of symptomatology and thus distorting the picture of the patient himself.

"The physician should distinctly understand the following conditions'; what is curable in diseases in general, and in each individual case in particular... He should clearly comprehend what is curative in drugs in general, and in each drug in particular... He should be governed by distinct reasons, in order to insure recovery, by adapting what is curative in medicines to what he has recognized as undoubtedly morbid in a patient... Finally, when the physician knows in each case the obstacles in the way of recovery, and how to remove them, he is prepared to act thoroughly, and to the purpose, as a true master of the art of healing."

;-)
Hi David. This makes good sense. If we adhere to the basic fundamental principles of homeopath - similimum, one remedy at a time, minimum dose, match the energy pattern, confirm with materia medica, provings, and repertorization - then we call it homeopathy.

When we add diet, nutrition, supplements, flower remedies, reiki, yoga, etc then we call that something else.

My point is that we are open to a spectrum of healing modalities. Some can work with the homeopathic treatment, like nutrition; while others may interfere with it's maximum efficiency like acupuncture, coffee, menthol essences, high vibrations, etc.

I may be talking about some other subject than this discussion. Either it is the semantics of what we label "homeopathic" or how we treat each other as healers.
Hi Debby,

I would never exclude awareness of diet & nutrition from my practice as a homeopath .. and for that matter "Reiki" is quite a lot like Hahnemann's recommendation of "transferring vital force" from a stronger person to a weak/suffering one .. as an adjunct treatment.

And yes, there are other modalities which are known to interfere with homeopathic treatment (perhaps they could be thought of as "immediately present obstacle to cure")

And yes, the highest goal is cure, and a resounding YES -that we're not healers in order to 'toot our own horn'
I believe that strikes directly upon one of my ... mmm... reactionary sore spots.

"Protocols" ... "advanced methods" .. and similarly named horn-tooting versions of someone's personal approach to healing...
Should be advertised only as that,
and should SCRUPULOUSLY and emphatically be "labeled" as -
Dr. xyz's healing approach which utilizes so-called "homeopathic remedies" in a manner not consistent with historical homeopathic practice.
-or something like that.
Being Honest and Respectful of Homeopathy... the homeopathy which is and has been teachable & safely reproducible and which has thereby lasted for 200+yrs in spite of vigorous opposition.

If Dr. xyz could be enticed into understanding & accepting this in a positive manner, I believe it would be the best of all possible worlds .. it would certainly free up some of my writing time for other topics
=;-)
I've just had a chat with Harlad Walach about this. His attitude was, "Oh no, not again....!" Apparently he communicated with Seiler for about 5 years. All the latter could do was regurgitate the argument Harald had had with Vithoulkas and simply would not accept anything Harald said.

Again, this mirrors exactly what happens when we try to argue with sceptics. Their minds are already made up and they simply will NOT hear what you re saying. In the end, Harald became so bored with Seiler's repeated crassness and asking the same questions over and over, he stopped replying to his e-mails. Seiler just got angriwer and angrier, and it appears this paper you quote Gudny is the result.

I find it incredibly ironic that Vithoulkas - this paragon of homeopathy, this 'legend', this demi-god - should adopt a position so obdurate he looks and sounds exactly like any sceptic. "It's either my way, or the highway!". It really just beggars belief.....and I sincerely hope I don't end up like him in my old age
I agree with David Hartley. Homoeopathy is a specific system of healing that uses a single remedy, in minimum dose that matches the symptom picture of the totality as experienced by the patient.
That said, I also appreciate the efforts of modern homoeopaths, such as Sankaran and Scholten, but must say that in my experience the method of Hahnemann stands as a beacon to guide us all.

So long as modern system-builders - condemned by Hahnemann - have no provings to back up their ideas and claims, i will consider them as conceptual constructs that may have merit, but are not yet "Homoeopathy". Clinical evidence alone is not definitive proof, without backing by thorough provings. The so-called "dream-provings" are just that. Proof you are dreaming.

Hahnemann spent 50 years of his life in utter dedication to one SINGLE goal - the promotion of the principles mentioned above. He spent enough time with other methods - see his Lesser Writings - to discover they were insufficient to cure and falling short of the highest ideal. To mind come mixopathy, organ and drainage therapy; three so-called "modern developments" among those who call themselves homoeopaths.
What they forget or do not know is that Hahnemann tried them out BEFORE he discovered homoeopathy.

I for one stick with the old masters, because they figured it all out at great cost in personal effort and without theoretical constructs. They used the experimental method of Hahnemann, which provides the most reliable records of pharmacology.
If we are to advance homoeopathy, we must first define it as the method developed by Hahnemann. If we claim to be homoeopaths, we should follow in his footsteps, rather than arrogating the claim we know better.
Christians are defined by the way they follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who said "Thou shalt not kill". By that standard, hardly anyone can claim to be a Christian. Similarly, someone who claims to follow homoeopathy cannot deviate from what Hahnemann left as his legacy, lest he be accused of not being a homoeopath.

What priority do the system builders have, other than self-promotion? There is but one system - the one that follows nature, as Hahnemann explained. Vithoulkas, Shankaran and Scholten have contributed mightily to our understanding, but not everything they claim can be the Gospel. That is reserved for the one who gave us the system that they contort to their liking and build upon.
it behooves them to acknowledge that it is their own contortion and not Hahnemannian homoeopathy.

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