Respectful Insolence

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgUnfortunately, as we have been dreading for the last four months or so since her relapse was diagnosed, my mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in hospice. She died peacefully, with my wife and the rest of her family at her side. As you might expect, I do not much feel like blogging, and even if I did my wife needs me more. Because I foresaw this coming, however, I do have a series of “Best of” reposts lined up. If you’ve been reading less than a year or two, they’re new to you. If not, I hope you enjoy them again. I don’t know when I’ll be back, other than maybe a brief update or two. It could be a couple of days; it could be a couple of weeks. Right now I just don’t know.

While thinking about ways to make the blog better, I wondered if I should emulate some of my colleagues, many of whom have regular features every week, often on Friday. And, since I usually get a little less serious on Fridays anyway (and, because traffic seems to fall off 50% or more anyway regardless of what I post, on the weekends, too), it seemed like a good idea. But I couldn’t think of something that ties together the common themes of this blog, yet maintains a suitably Friday-blogging light-hearted feel to it. And then I came across this article:

L. R. Milgrom (2006). Towards a New Model of the Homeopathic Process Based on Quantum Field Theory. Forsch Komplementärmed 2006;13:174-183.

(Forsch Komplementärmed, apparently, means Research in Complementary Medicine, the journal’s English title.)

Oh, joy! I had my idea: Your Friday Dose of Woo! (And what better way to start off the long 4th of July weekend here in the states than with a bit of woo?) Not only did I have my idea, but I had my first topic. Just a look at the abstract will tell you why:

Quantum theory’s notions of non-locality and entanglement have previously informed attempts to model the therapeutic process. Of these, Weak Quantum Theory (WQT) and Patient- Practitioner-Remedy (PPR) entanglement are developing into mathematically- based models of homeopathy. Objective: The present study attempted to identify fundamental concepts within quantum field theory (QFT) that could be used to broaden the scope of PPR entanglement models, prior to constructing a more rigorous mathematical treatment. Methods: In QFT, particles and forces are considered as fully interacting relativistic quantum matter and force fields, respectively. These interactions are visualized graphically as spacetime Feynman diagrams. Further, these interacting field systems can have ground states with broken symmetry; the so-called Higgs field being responsible for this symmetry breaking. In the new model, patient, practitioner and remedy are imagined as fully interacting quantum-like fields; patients and practitioners in terms of quantum matter-type fields, and remedies and diseases as quantum interaction-type fields. Results: Disease manifestation by the Vital Force (Vf) could be an event similar to spontaneous symmetry breaking in QFT: the curative remedy acting to restore the broken symmetry of the Vf field. Entanglement between patient, practitioner, and remedy might be representable as Feynman-like diagrams. Conclusion: QFT demonstrates that quantum properties can be physical without being observable. Thus, an underlying similarity in discourse could exist between homeopathy and quantum theory which could be useful for modelling the homeopathic process. This preliminary investigation also suggested that key elements of previous quantum models of the homeopathic process, may become unified within this new QFT-type approach.

Wow. I stand in awe.

Where did a chemist who apparently specializes in designing new molecules to be used in photodynamic therapy get such talent at throwing around quantum mechanical terms willy-nilly and applying it to the quackery known as homeopathy? Somehow, reading this, I got the feeling that, even though this particular journal claims to be rigorously peer-reviewed, the reviewers of this particular article were not quantum physicists. Homeopathy, as you recall, is the quackery in which it is claimed that by diluting an active substance to the point where not a single active molecule is likely to be present, somehow imbues the water diluting it with its therapeutic power:

Homeopathic products are made from minerals, botanical substances, and several other sources. If the original substance is soluble, one part is diluted with either nine or ninety-nine parts of distilled water and/or alcohol and shaken vigorously (succussed); if insoluble, it is finely ground and pulverized in similar proportions with powdered lactose (milk sugar). One part of the diluted medicine is then further diluted, and the process is repeated until the desired concentration is reached. Dilutions of 1 to 10 are designated by the Roman numeral X (1X = 1/10, 3X = 1/1,000, 6X = 1/1,000,000). Similarly, dilutions of 1 to 100 are designated by the Roman numeral C (1C = 1/100, 3C = 1/1,000,000, and so on). Most remedies today range from 6X to 30X, but products of 30C or more are marketed.

[...]

Actually, the laws of chemistry state that there is a limit to the dilution that can be made without losing the original substance altogether. This limit, which is related to Avogadro’s number, corresponds to homeopathic potencies of 12C or 24X (1 part in 1024). Hahnemann himself realized that there is virtually no chance that even one molecule of original substance would remain after extreme dilutions. But he believed that the vigorous shaking or pulverizing with each step of dilution leaves behind a “spirit-like” essence — “no longer perceptible to the senses” — which cures by reviving the body’s “vital force.” Modern proponents assert that even when the last molecule is gone, a “memory” of the substance is retained. This notion is unsubstantiated.

So, when well-established laws of chemistry and physics supported by high levels of data and experimentation demonstrate that, barring the supernatural or some new discovery yet to be made that would invalidate many of our presently understood scientific laws and theories, homeopathy has to be a sham, what’s an altie to do? Invoke quantum mechanics, of course! All sorts of strange things are postulated in quantum mechanics, nonintuitive things. I particularly like Dr. Milgrom’s claim that quantum properties can be physical without being observable. Never mind how that quantum theory was derived from physical observations that didn’t fit with the existing theory of the day. Never mind that effects predicted by quantum mechanics can be observed experimentally, effects such as wave-particle duality. Speaking of which, I wonder if he’s worked out the wave function for the practitioner and the patient to use in this “quantum entanglement that he’s talking about. Of course, the fact that quantum entanglement does not violate Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, as information is not transmitted, does make the above explanation sound a bit dubious. For homeopathy to work, some sort of information would have to be transferred to the water or, in the case above, between the practitioner and the patient, perhaps via the water, all of which sounds a lot like magic (which is all homeopathy really is, magical thinking). Besides, quantum entanglement refers to particles, such as photons, and in large numbers of particles, these effects tend to average out. Prometheus explained it well in a piece he did on quantum quackery a while back:

Many of the “quantum promoters” use “entanglement” as an explanation of how everything in the universe is “connected”. This supposedly explains how we can influence objects and “draw energy” from them. This is about as far from real quantum entanglement as it could possibly be.

Quantum entanglement occurs when two particles (usually photons) are emitted from an atom in a singlet (or neutral) state. Because of the conservation laws, the photons (for instance) will have the same polarization [the identical polarizations cancel out because the photons are heading in opposite directions - for a much better explanation, see Victor Stenger's "The Unconscious Quantum"]. No matter how far they travel, these two photons will have the same polarization – they are considered to be “entangled”.

What entangled photons have to do with “quantum healing” or “remote viewing” or anything of that sort is unclear – and probably imaginary. The basic problem is that the “interesting” quantum effects average out as you get more and more particles together. This is referred to as “decoherence” and explains why we don’t see footballs (“soccer” balls, to those raised in the US) changing into waves during the World Cup.

How appropriate an analogy, given that we’re in the thick of the World Cup competition right now.

In any case, no observable, experimentally verifiable connection between quantum theory and the alleged therapeutic effect of homeopathy has ever been shown. Of course, it doesn’t have to be, does it, if you can get away with the claim that quantum theory somehow provides a mechanism. It’s apparently a possible mechanism for homeopathy that, if we are to believe Dr. Milgrom, might not be “observable” even though it is “physical” (whatever Dr. Milgrom means by that). Even though I hadn’t taken quantum mechanics since Physical Chemistry in college, I recognized a lot of hand-waving woo when I saw it. I had to get a hold of the whole article. So I fired up my trusty browser just before I was going to leave work to see if I could download a copy of this amazing piece of quantum homeopathic altie woo in its entirety. My critical thinking skills shuddered in anticipation of the pseudsocience and quantum mysticism likely to be found within. (Deepak Chopra, anyone?) I couldn’t wait to see what kinds of equations and throwing about of quantum theory jargon Dr. Milgrom used, seeing if any of it would stick.

Then I hit my first roadblock.

Apparently, my university in its wisdom has not purchased an online institutional subscription to this particular journal. I can’t imagine why. After all, I’m sure loads of investigators like me are dying to get a hold of the “research” articles contained in Forsch Komplementärmed. I like to think that the people in charge of deciding which journals the university will subscribe to have some critical thinking skills, but, more likely than not, I’m guessing it has more to do with the fact that most of the articles in this particular journal happen to be written in German, as this Table of Contents demonstrates.

So I looked to see how much it would cost to buy the article for download and recoiled in shock. They’re asking $25 just to download a PDF of a stinking article! Gentle readers, my dedication to delving deep into the bowels of quantum obfuscation, all for your education and amusement, is strong indeed, but, alas, it does have its limits. One of those limits happens to be forking over that much of my hard-earned green for the one-time thrill of subjecting myself to altie woo of the highest order for the sole purpose of generating blog fodder. It’s too much for something that would amuse me for the couple of hours that it took to write the blog post (plus however long the discussion engendered by this post lasts before petering out) and then be promptly forgotten. I’m sorry, but when it comes to woo, particularly quantum altie woo, I like my thrills cheap–or, even better, free. After all, were this not the case, I might actually have purchased one of Deepak Chopra’s books or (shudder) even Kevin Trudeau’s book, putting my critical thinking skills in grave jeopardy. Fortunately for future Respectufl Insolence™, I never did. (Of course, if any reader who does happen to have online access to this journal wants to send me a PDF, I’ll be grateful. I think. Also, no guarantees that I’ll post a followup. There’s only so much my poor neurons can take.)

So instead, I looked for other articles on the topic, and boy are there a lot of them! One in particular caught my eye:

Walach H, WB Jonas, J. Ives, R. Van Wijk, O. Weingartner, and P. Nat (2005). Research on Homeopathy: State of the Art. J. Alt. Compl. Med 11:813-829.

It’s a truly what the military (and we in the skeptic biz) call a “target-rich environment,” and I might have more to say about its other content in future posts. However, for purposes of this discusssion, after laughing myself silly at the claim that homeopaths were pioneers in science and doing double-blinded clinical trials, I zeroed in like a laser on the section on quantum theory as a justification for “nonlocal” effects:

Generally speaking, the starting point for these theories is the observation that, in quantum mechanics, so-called nonlocal correlations in well-defined quantum systems are operative. While these decay through interaction with the environment, it might be the case that under similar, isomorphic conditions nonlocal correlations are established in analogy to holistic quantum correlations. A theoretical framework exists that predicts such nonlocal correlations, and some efforts have been made to apply such a scenario to homeopathy. While some observations speak in favor of such models,182 direct experimental evidence for the existence of nonlocal correlations outside the realm of quantum mechanics is still wanted.

These models have a common consequence: If homeopathic effects are the result of nonlocal correlations, by definition, they cannot be distilled out as causal signals, like in drug therapy. Attempts at strict and direct replication, are doomed to failure. This has to do with a rather technical argument that prohibits the use of nonlocal correlations as direct signals. (Otherwise, time-reversal paradoxes could be created that contradict special relativity.) As long as the original context is not disturbed and no signal can be distilled out of a setup using such correlations, they could be a very elegant way of coordinating behavior.

The practical consequence of this theory is that clinical research is best conducted by not disturbing the normal clinical practice through experimental interventions such as blinding and randomization and that the placebo-controlled trial is probably a suboptimal method of testing, not only for homeopathy but also for conventional pharmacology. A serious problem with the nonlocal model is that it may not
be directly testable in the clinical setting and so cannot be proven as an explanation for homeopathy. Only indirect experimentation is a potential avenue to prove it and this has yet to be established.

Leaving aside the unsupported assumption underlying the article that homeopathy actually “works” and that does something more than provide a nice cool drink of water to the patient seeking an actual remedy, the above explanation is breathtaking in how utterly ballsy it is. It basically comes right out and says that you can’t prove that homeopathy works and that randomized clinical trials aren’t the way to test homeopathy! After all, to the woo brigade, if homeopathy “works” by some sort of “nonlocal” effect mediated by quantum mechanics (quantum entanglement, for example, as discussed by Dr. Milgrom), then its mechanism can never be experimentally tested and verified in a double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled trial, nor, apparently, can its effects be predictable or reproducible! If homeopathy “works” by these mechanism, then, if we are to believe the above, time reversal paradoxes will prevent its mechanism from ever being scientifically studied and validated! I wonder if he’s saying that studying homeopathy would cause time to reverse itself. (Now that I’m on the wrong side of 40, I’d certainly be willing to pay for that. Imagine the possibililties for using homeopathy to reverse aging!)

In any case, what was it I said again about homeopathy being nothing more than magical thinking?

After delving deep into quantum homeopathic woo, I have to wonder what the Bad Homeopath or fellow ScienceBlogger and physicist Chad Orzel would have to say about all this.

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    February 19, 2009

    You can tell that even when he’s just copying out of a physics book or off some website, he can’t get it quite right, because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. For example, spontaneous symmetry breaking is a more general phenomenon than the Higgs field, which is a mechanism for breaking symmetry in a particular case.

  2. #2 Sam C
    February 19, 2009

    From the paper:

    It is time to drop this and to adopt a more mature stance that is aware both of the strengths and the weaknesses of homeopathy, and that is willing to look openly at both and to learn continually from experience. The latter is a theme, common both to science and homeopathy.

    I like the last 6 words: … common both to science and homeopathy. I take that as an implicit admission that science and homeopathy are non-intersecting sets, or should that be sects?

    As for the strengths of homeopathy, they’re easy: (1) keeps some patients happy, (2) no adverse side effects from taking the pills (provided one continues to take any real medicines that are required), but most of all (3) makes a shitload of wonga for the quacks and suppliers of quack materials.

    Weaknesses? Only one actually: Homeopathy Is Complete Bollocks.

  3. #3 Joe
    February 19, 2009

    There is a physicist who has commented on this: http://shpalman.livejournal.com/

  4. #4 Phoenix Woman
    February 19, 2009

    After I made my colloidal silver snark earlier this week in another thread, one of my readers apprised me today of the latest woo gimmick, which is to attach the word “nano” to everything so it sounds all cutting-edge sciencey — hence the practice of ingesting colloidal silver as a panacea (a practice that leads to blue skin among other things) is now called “nano silver”.

    Pushing the “nano” meme helps homeopaths pitch their woo because, of course, “nano” is Latin for “frickin’ teeny-weeny” and since homeopathy is all about tap water with too-small-to-register amounts of extra-special ingredients, it’s their way of saying “see, small things do make a difference so that means our tap water works!”

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    February 19, 2009

    I like this summary:

    In summary, Milgrom seems to have copied out a few equations from articles, textbooks and popularizations of quantum physics, assigned arbitrary and shifting properties to the entities within them, and then claimed to have a model/analogy/metaphor for homeopathy. The more seriously the metaphor is taken, the less sense it makes. It would be simpler to set up something called “Weak Number Theory” in which 2+2 doesn’t have to be four, and he can pretend to prove whatever he likes with that.

  6. #6 Dr Dan H.
    February 23, 2009

    Talking to a friend yesterday, we came up with a show-stopper for homeopathy, assuming that it does work as advertised.

    How exactly do you clean your equipment before attempting to make a homeopathic solution?

    Consider that the essence effect persists even at stupendously low dilutions; if this is true then no contamination at all may be tolerated, so the very slight interaction between the silicon dioxide of the glass and the water solvent will contaminate the latter, as will contaminants in the glass and adsorbed onto the inner surfaces of the flasks, beakers and so on (this isn’t fantasy; certain solutions can corrode glass, necessitating the laborious process of ultra-cleaning, silanizing and methanol rinsing the glassware to be used).

    So, if you literally cannot make homeopathic solutions without introducing contamination, then how do you do it?

  7. #7 Marian
    April 25, 2009

    What a pompous and verbose and narcisstic idiot.

  8. #8 Chris
    April 25, 2009

    Yeah, I agree, Marian. Homeopaths are ridiculous! You know why homeopaths like Milgrom are so verbose: the believe that the more useless words they use the stronger the message.

    Unfortunately, what they failed to understand while grasping on to the “quantum physics” argument is that it deals in the very small, and not likely to affect one’s daily existence.

  9. #9 Ben
    November 26, 2009

    I agree with you about the non-local correlations. If that’s true then homeopathy cannot be said to be directly causal, which makes it impossible to either prove or disprove. Still, even with correlations, you can extrapolate with some degree of certainty. I think there’s a lot to be said for some of the homeopathic cures.

  10. #10 snerd
    November 26, 2009

    I think there’s a lot to be said for some of the homeopathic cures.

    That’s nice. Please feel free to come up with some hard data.

  11. #11 An Realta Geal
    December 2, 2009

    Hello, all you flat earthers, have you lost your ships over the edge?
    Homeopathy does not essentially deal with “the very small”, it deals with energy. Energy removed from the constraints of physical matter. The more removed (dilution), and activated (succussion), the more potent the energy quality.
    Brian Greene’s “Elegant Universe” suggests a multidimensional reality where successive magnifications and examinations of the sub-atomic realm reveal increasingly greater fluctuations and volatility.
    ALL is energy! In different forms, but nevertheless energy!
    When will the “medical wisemen” of the day realise that even the material substances they pass off as medicines are crude physical forms of energy.
    Homeopathy knows this, and recognises that the human body is also (in its undoubted magnificence) a crude material form, dynamic only by the existence in that form of a strange thing called LIFE. The LIFE FORCE or DYNAMIS is what is treated in Homeopathy.
    Do any of the scientists and knowledgeable types out there fancy giving an explanation of life. No?, I didn’t think so.
    Ever seen a person die? What happens is that life force leaves them, yes? or yes? So obviously the animating principle is energy, right? But a certain type which deals exclusively with animating a certain body. This may be called a frequency.OK?
    Everything in our physical world is animated by energetic frequencies, or else it just would not exist, so why are we still trying to heal according to materialist principles from the 18th century or whenever.
    If you can get your heads around it, I would suggest reading “The Infinitesimal Dose” by Dr. Colin B Lessell MB,BS, BDS, MRCS, LRCP.
    Once, existed only the seven colours of the rainbow.We see only that which our vision is capable of ascertaining and mind capable of comprehending.
    Best wishes, a student in medicine.

  12. #12 Scientizzle
    December 2, 2009

    *snort*
    An Realta Geal, what medical school are you attending? I’ll be sure to avoid all medical professionals with degrees from your institution…

    Your comment is completely incoherent, a jumbled mad-lib of completely mis-used “sciency” words and phrases with vapid analogies and demonstrably false assertions. There’s so much wrong in your rambling effluent it would be pointelss to try to address you profound misunderstandings. If you can get your head around it, start reading a physics or biology 101 text book.

  13. #13 An Realta Geal
    December 2, 2009

    Oh, please try and help me in my profound delusions, Scientizzle, and I will show you what medicines can treat Non Hodkins, leukemia, brain tumour,uterine haemhorrages etc,etc,
    if you are good

  14. #14 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 2, 2009

    Ever seen a person die? What happens is that life force leaves them, yes? or yes?

    Yes, or yes. Well, gee, it’s glad to know you didn’t come to a conclusion before considering all the possibilities!

    I have a paperweight on my desk, shaped like the Empire State Building – oh, shoot! I did have it on my desk, at least, until I turned around and bumped it with my elbow. Now it’s lying on its side, on the floor of my office. How would you describe that? See, most people would say “it was knocked off the desk, and it fell on its side.” I suppose you would say that, until it was bumped, it had “on-the-desk force” and “upright force”, and when it was bumped, what happened was that the “on-the-desk force” and “upright force” left it?

  15. #15 Scott
    December 2, 2009

    An Realta Geal,

    While you may have read Elegant Universe, you quite clearly didn’t understand it. There is precisely ZERO connection between the actual physics Greene discusses and the vitalistic garbage you started spouting afterwards.

    Interesting note – when I was an undergrad, Elegant Universe was precisely what convinced me that string theory had badly departed from being science (unfalsifiable epicycles, anyone?). Not exactly what he had in mind.

  16. #16 Scientizzle
    December 2, 2009

    Oh, please try and help me in my profound delusions, Scientizzle, and I will show you what medicines can treat Non Hodkins, leukemia, brain tumour,uterine haemhorrages etc,etc,
    if you are good

    I’m not actually certain you are willing nor able to address your profound delusions. You haven’t yet demonstrated a modicum of ability to properly understand the medicine you’re apparently studying, nor the physics you spout in your drivel. My guess is you’ve swallowed homeopathy codswallop completely and it will take an actual willingness to open your mind: are you willing to even consider that homeopathy may be a fantasically flawed enterprise, based on prescientific ideas that are definitively incorrect given what we’ve learned to-date in the various fields of physics, chemistry, pharmacology, and pathology?

    I can identify the type and quantity of evidence I would need to see in order to accept that homeopathy has any utility beyond placebo in medicine; can you identify the evidence that would be necessary for you to consider homoeopathy as no better than placebo?

  17. #17 An Realta Geal
    December 2, 2009

    The evidence required my dear friend is in the experience, or as we say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.If homeopathy is “magical thinking” I have a little challenge for you.
    Take yourself to a Homeopathic pharmacy,buy a bottle of 10M Syphilinum, and take one every day for a week,or two if you dare. Let me know how you feel, or consult a Homeopath for an antidote.
    By the way,when did science begin.(sorry, no question mark)
    The unfortunate lady at the head of this article would have benefitted from the administration of the Hemlock of Socratic fame in the form of Conium Maculatum, or Silica, amongst others in the treatment of breast cancer.
    I am totally secure in the efficacy of the science of Homeopathy, witnessing its marvellous effects in day to day life, here at home, and in Calcutta, India where it stands tall alongside surgery,allopathy, ayurveda.
    I hope I do not hear about the non existence of acupuncture meridians and suchlike next.
    The CAUSE was your elbow, Antaeus, the EFFECT was hitting the deck.As I read the responses it seems to be you guys that have the problems with coming to conclusions too soon, and maybe you are a bit too angry for my liking.
    Mr Scientizzle seems to think he understands Homeopathy better than anyone else, so tell us how you would treat a case of herpes zoster with post herpetic neuralgia, for example.
    Bye, thanks for the entertainment, and watch your digestive systems

  18. #18 Todd W.
    December 2, 2009

    @Scientizzle

    Interesting that An Realta Geal didn’t answer your question about what it would take to convince them that homeopathy isn’t any better than placebo. Interesting, but not surprising.

  19. #19 snerd
    December 2, 2009

    Take yourself to a Homeopathic pharmacy,buy a bottle of 10M Syphilinum, and take one every day for a week,or two if you dare. Let me know how you feel, or consult a Homeopath for an antidote.

    Already been done, with predictable results.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bg1mSo7JQM

    Stop telling lies, you lying liar. At least to yourself.

  20. #20 Chris
    December 2, 2009

    Sounds like someone going to a homeopathy college in India. They don’t really teach much other than the silly stuff she has been spouting. Plus I’ve seen messages on Usenet from their graduates who find out that they can’t practice medicine in places like the USA (apparently one of the lies they tell at those colleges is that they are just like a real medical school and places like the USA will let them be doctors).

  21. #21 Antaeus Feldspara
    December 2, 2009

    The CAUSE was your elbow, Antaeus, the EFFECT was hitting the deck.

    Except, is it agreed by all observers that the EFFECT is described as a “force” “leaving” the object? If not, then there is no a priori reason to think that a person’s death is accurately described as a “life force” “leaving” them.

    And, the CAUSE could still be my elbow. Many strong men have met their dooms at the hands of this elbow, boyo; in dark taverns men huddle together in fear and swap tales of the day that “Fatal Elbow” Feldspar came to their town…

  22. #22 Scientizzle
    December 2, 2009

    An Realta Geal, you needn’t worry about my health, it’s quite fine without your nostrums. (Particularly since many CAM remedies are actually spiked with compounds that might actually have some effect.)

    I’m no clinician, so I won’t offer a treatment plan for your imaginary shingles patient. Real doctors, however, might go with a course of antiviral medications for the viral infection itself while corticosteroids, narcotics, and other treatments can treat the neuropathy.

    I find the peer-reviewed, controlled evidence of homeopathic remedies to be entirely consistent with the null hypothesis: that homeopathic remedies are indistinguishable from placebo. Frankly, the physics, chemistry and pharmacology involved greatly limits the prior plausibility of homeopathic efficacy. I doubt they’ve taught you all that in your school. They probably haven’t discussed the logical fallacies and observational tricks humans play on themselves, cognitive weaknesses which can only reliably be countered through controlled experiments guided by the scientific method.

    It’s a pity you’re not getting the education you should…

    Oh, and acupuncture meridians don’t exist.

  23. #23 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 2, 2009

    so tell us how you would treat a case of herpes zoster with post herpetic neuralgia, for example.

    Ideally, the patient should have had the chicken pox vaccine in childhood, so that the virus wouldn’t be lying dormant to cause shingles later in life. Do you recommend this vaccine? If not, why not?
    As far as treatment goes, I will leave this to the neurologists in the crowd. I’m not a clinician either.

  24. #24 An Realta Geal
    December 4, 2009

    drugs,drugs,drugs, with predictable side effects, usually treated by, guess what? more drugs!
    as my old teacher would recommend, three doses in quick succession of Variolinum 200 (small-pox vaccine) to expel the virus, followed up with Mezereum or Rhus Tox for the neuralgia.
    It worked a treat on my dear mum, after she’d been hung out to dry by the “real doctors”
    total cost,- almost sweet F.A.

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