Bioresonance

People like simple answers to complicated questions, it’s part of how our brains work. We would much rather be told one thing rather than having to learn about a multitude of different things. For example, as I’ve been reading in The Angry Chef book recently, a diet where you cut out carbohydrates is a simple answer to a simple question. The real answer of eat everything in moderation and exercise is harder and less simple. A simple answer, even when it is wrong, will stick in your heads more than any nuanced argument which takes everything into account. It’s a bit like the world at the moment. Economies around the globe are crashing due to lockdowns and so governments are trying to open up the economies again. This means encouraging people to do normal things, go shopping, eat out, go away on holiday, buy houses etc. But, governments also know that this will lead to an increase in the infection rate and people’s deaths. Every government is now weighing up the balance between deaths and poverty due to economic collapse and deaths from this disease. The infection factors are going to be quite complex but the UK government keeps coming out with short phrases designed to confuse, sorry help, us remember what to do. There are no guarantees that will stop us getting ill. All we can do is minimise risk. Wash your hands, wear a face mask so you don’t infect others, keep your distance etc. Because humans like simple answers products which make stupid claims exist and make money for their lying owners.

So we come on to Bioresonance Therapy. Or rather the claims made by a UK website about the product that they sell. I’ve printed out their homepage and have it here, just in case one day the website goes away and I can’t get links to their pages and comments. I can’t remember how I found this page, this has been a draft on this site for about two years and the website still exists so let’s go through the text shall we? I shall be referring to SCAM quite a bit and you should know this stands for Supplements, Complimentary and Alternative Medicines [thanks to Dr M Crislip for the term].

“Bioresonance” – a term that sounds sciency and you know the word bio and you know the word resonance. You probably have some vague recollection of these terms in school or people using them to describe proper science effects.

“Therapy” – SCAM artists love the word therapy because it sounds like something real is happening and they won’t use the term medicine because it’s regulated and if you claim to have a medical benefit then you have to prove it properly.

“Energy medicine” – what? This is a nonsensical term which isn’t protected by law and can be applied to anything. It’s also vague enough that people will interpret it and use their own definitions. If you want energy then you eat food. There isn’t any other way you can get energy into your body. Unless you are thinking radiation energy which is likely dangerous.

The first paragraph on this page says that you should have normal medicine as well as getting treated by this thing, whatever it is. Apparently bioresonance has benefits and the device has been used since the 1970s. I do think that if it worked then it would be available in doctor surgeries and maybe even in hospitals but I must be mistaken in thinking that those places want the best for their patients. We are then told that this device was featured in a documentary with Ty Bolinger. The documentary was called “The Truth about Cancer” – I can assure you without even looking that this is a dangerous claim to make and the documentary probably goes on to explain that you can help improve your condition with lots of bullshit stuff that doesn’t work. I’ve looked at two things; their website and their twitter feed. The website is horrific and I didn’t even scroll all the way down to bottom of the home page. Search for Ty Bolinger for yourself and see. The following tweet is on the timeline and if you want to take medical advice from a company that doesn’t understand medicine then it’s up to you I guess. They are killing people. This endorsement isn’t the best, I’m surprised that Bioresonance mention it on their homepage.

Then there is a claim that 18,000 BICOM devices have been sold worldwide. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t really seem that many for a product that is meant to work. Unless they are super expensive. This is an appeal to popularity. The idea that lots of people use these things and so it must work or be useful. This is bullshit. Here are some handy little reminders for you: some people are stupid, Mr Blobby was a Christmas number one – never trust popularity.

And we are on to paragraph two. There’s some general stuff about bad things like disease and parasites. Apparently parasites are a large cause of many conditions that people suffer. I honestly wasn’t aware of this. It’s bullshit. But the words PATHOGEN and PARASITE sound super scary don’t they. The BICOM device uses “energy medicine”, literally not a thing, to eliminate these invaders [another scary word] without the use of drugs – now I’m curious what other claims they are going to make. Apparently these devices have been around for over 35 years [appeal to longevity] and so they must work. The devices are made by Regumed???? I think this is a contraction of Regulated and Medicine but I prefer to pronounce it to rhyme with legume.

Paragraph Three doesn’t really say much. It just says that we will learn more by looking through the website. And that is what we shall do. Next is the video which I broke down in March.

I just looked at the product page for this website and I am in shock. A quick glance down the rest of this front page shows me that all the language is vague. There are no concrete claims within and saying things like “help the body help itself” is literally meaningless. It sounds as though it’s a good thing but it doesn’t mean anything from a marketing point of view and so we could say that eating an apple with help the body help itself. Just breathing does the same thing. The page goes on to say that we feel run-down or tired or suffer from electrosmog [whatever the fuck that is]. Everyone feels like that sometimes and it’s a natural part of life. The causes are going to be very vague and there’s not a lot we can do about it. I am actually overcome but the sheer amount of crap on the homepage of this product. When you have a homoeopath inventing new stuff you just know it’s bullshit. I honestly feel sorry for people who read this page and think that they will benefit from the information within. This is a SCAM product.

Now, here’s the thing that shocked me. The “product” page. There are four “popular” products. I’ll list the first and the last.

What the fucking fuck. This is a lot of money for something that doesn’t work. No wonder they’ve only sold 18,000 around the world. I guess you also get training in the bullshit. You get to understand how it all works and then I suppose you have to charge the people you want to treat. It’s going to take quite a bit to make this money back. If you are willing to spend this much money on a device that doesn’t work then you are going to be bought into everything it has to offer. I like to think my home cinema kit sounds nice, but I don’t really know, I just know how much I spent on the amplifier and so I do my best to think it sounds better than it possibly is. I also do the same with wine. If I spend a lot of money on a bottle of wine then I believe it tastes better – it doesn’t, there are plenty of studies that show that wine tasting is bullshit – it’s best to buy a cheap bottle and get drunk.

For £15,000 you can have a B32 Bicom Prevent! The very first sentence on this product description says it uses the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. You can see what I know about TCM in this communication. You don’t need to read any further, you already know that this is a crock of shit.

As a device it looks nice but I can assure you it doesn’t do anything real. For GBP27,000 you can have the following device of gizmos that doesn’t actually do anything for your “patients” or for you and is based purely on un-scientific principles. I give you the “BB324/B32 BICOM optima® Therapy Device with EAP Test Part”. I am seriously in shock at how much this stuff costs and I worry about all those people who have bought into this crap.

Click on the image to see what conditions they aim to improve. Number 469 is “nose bleed”. FFS. This device can help you if you have a nose bleed. I think I need to get out and go for a run. There’s only so much of this horrifying quackery I can take. I am terrified that people make money out of this. I can’t stand the idea of people using this device to take advantage of the ill. The problems with this particular website are legion. I’ve just thought about sending information about the claims on this website to the Advertising Standards Authority but using a Whois service this website is run in Germany and so the ASA have no power over this site. Now, they do have a UK address so I might see what recourse I have to get them to prove any claims. I have to look for specific claims on the site. These might not exist. There are certain phrases that don’t really mean much and so a carefully written website can imply a lot of things but be legally acceptable. I’ll look into this later. I need a break from this SCAM. I had hoped to discuss more of their claims and pages I am honestly still in shock at the cost of the devices.

Angels Within

http://the-angels-within.co.uk/index.htm

This communication was drafted in May 2016. I have left it so long to carry on writing this that the website is gone, it is no more. There is nothing there. But, thank goodness for the Internet Archive we can see what this website looked like. It is all amazing.

I can’t remember how I found out about this website. It might have been part of Bullshit Saturday, I’m not sure. I’ve decided to blank out the name on this site as that seemed the right thing to do.

Look at the gloriousness, Angel Practitioner, Heal Yourself, Blocks in your Mind, Listen To The Whispers. Every part of this is amazing. I mean it’s all wrong but it is amazing. I can assure you the last thing you want me or many people to do is listen to the whispers.

Let’s get some things sorted straight away. Reiki is bullshit level 2. It’s utter rubbish and doesn’t do anything. I would describe it as “touching someone”. That’s all it is. I could even be that the masters of reiki don’t even touch because they can channel their energy flow so well. what crap. If I didn’t have morals then maybe I would become a practitioner and charge people plenty of money for my services. It’s pretty easy to do.

So, I remember that looking through this website it turns out there are different levels of Angelic Reiki and this got me excited. I mean, it must mean there are exams or tests or practicals? There must be some way of measuring this mode of healing that mean you can progress from one level to another. I desperately want to know more. I looked at the links on the website:

Angelic Reiki Levels 1 & 2

2.5 days GBP252

  • A complete Karma Cutting and Angelic Clearing prior to initiation.
  • Angelic Reiki Levels 1 and 2 attunements to the Angelic Kingdom of Light through Archangel Metatron and The Sarim. This includes an attunement given by 30 Archangels, the chief Celestial Angel Princes.
  • Allocation of a Healing Angel or Angels to work with you on a permanent basis
  • Practical ‘hands on’ experience in the healing methodology involving healing as a channel, healing with intention, healing with an Ascended master, Galactic Healers and the first steps in multi-dimensional Healing.
  • Working with Chakras, Colours, Crystals and Flower remedies.
  • Attuning the tools of your trade.
  • A Master Crystal to hold the divine Angelic Healing Codes.
  • An Angelic Reiki Practitioner Certificate
  • A detailed Manual and much more

So, for GBP 100 a day I can attend this course and learn about the THIRTY Archangels. Did you know there are 30 of them? I didn’t. I must be very lacking in my angel lore. I should really start at the top of the list shouldn’t I? Karma Cutting and Angelic Cleaning – sounds like taking drugs and a colonic irrigation. I’d be quite tempted with this. I wonder what this involves? I’m so curious and yet I think I would die laughing if I actually attended this course. Angelic Kingdom of Light – I really want to know what this is about. I think it might be time for a deep rabbit hole dive on the internet but I’m slightly afraid I would forget to have lunch. Allocation of a healing angel – I doubt very much that angels are happy to be allocated, told what to do. I’m be interested to see if I get that grumpy angel who is just sarcastic and doesn’t really want to be there. Ascended master, Galactic Healers, multi-dimensional healing – this is glorious. I mean they are words and those words do mean things but I doubt that they mean what these angel groupies think. If this all works and is legitimate [it’s not] then all these people should be rushing to help cure all those people dying of Covid 19 at this moment. The Excel arena in London should be full of fucking alternative medicine people to help this world. But it doesn’t work does it? It’s all bullshit and deep down these people know that. That’s why they aren’t visible right now because they know the stuff they peddle to the unknowing doesn’t fucking work.

Chakras, Colours, Crystals and Flower remedies – all bullshit. All peddled by people who either are liars or deluded. This sort of stuff is gobbled up by those wanting the easy answer. People who use this stuff and spend real money on this usually think that a bad illness can be cured with a cup of tea. They struggle with the real world and the fact that it’s all so hard. Hoping that rubbing your foot will cure your liver illness is easy isn’t it. It means there’s an obvious cure or even an obvious cause. It makes things understandable. It possible stops things being so scary. But it’s also bullshit and that’s why it’s dangerous. Much like everything in life we seek simple answers for complicated issues and it means it’s easier for us to comprehend. It’s also why incompetent leaders get elected because they seek approval from our basic desires of simple answers.

A Master Crystal to hold the divine Angelic Healing Codes – I want one. I really want to know what this is and how do you tell a Master Crystal from a lower ranked Crystal? Amazing. You’d also get a manual and a certificate for your time. I wonder how this course is assessed? I wonder how you know you can do this? It’s amazing. Not only that but there are more levels:

Angelic Reiki Master Workshop – Levels 3 & 4

3 days GBP450.

  • Revisiting healing techniques learnt in the 1 & 2 workshops. Opportunities to share healing experiences
  • Healing through 3rd eye contact used in Atlantis
  • Healing with soul group energies
  • Healing with energies of the Divine presence & the Divine Blessing
  • During this workshop all participants will move into the area of healing that will become paramount on this planet during the next few years
  • 13 symbols are given in this workshop, which are a gateway to the multidimensional healing. The symbols given will be activated to Angelic level through the 7 levels of form and divine form by Archangel Metatron.
  • Full Attunement to Angelic Reiki 3rd Degree Level
  • Full Attunement to Angelic Reiki 4th Degree Level
  • Gifts of Higher knowledge given by The Sarim, The Angelic princes of the Angelic Kingdom
  • Healing Practice sessions
  • Advice how to teach Angelic Reiki Workshops and how to carry out Angelic Reiki Attunements
  • A Comprehensive Master Teacher Manual
  • A Certificate of Training achievement to 3rd & 4th Degree in Angelic Reiki

I guess this course starts off correctly with a revision session. Then we get this gloriousness: Healing through 3rd eye contact used in Atlantis – I have no words for this. I know what I think the 3rd eye is but I don’t think that’s correct. I wonder if I don’t know enough about this stuff to be able to judge now? Is this mental healing? I don’t know, but it sounds amazing.

Soul group energies, Divine presence & the Divine Blessing – they should just teach this in the first place. If you just need to have a chat with someone else to improve your healing then why don’t you jump straight to that?

13 symbols are given in this workshop, which are a gateway to the multidimensional healing. The symbols given will be activated to Angelic level through the 7 levels of form and divine form by Archangel Metatron – I am fucking dying right now. This is so beautiful! I’ve looked up Metatron and it turns out that they are the greatest of angels. This angel is so great that it’s not mentioned in the Pentateuch and only briefly mentioned in the Talmud. It’s almost as if they were just making shit up back then.

Higher knowledge given by The Sarim, The Angelic princes of the Angelic Kingdom – this is another one I’m going to have to look up. I clearly don’t know enough about angelic lore to attend these courses. It’s so wonderful! I’ve just googled this and it would appear that there’s “confusion” about what the Sarim are. They might be goat-demons or they might be part of a twelve winged seraphim. What utter shit. It’s so good it’s amazing.

I loved this site when I first saw it four years ago and it still makes me smile. If they, the reiki people, can give out certificates for levels then their skills should be measurable which then means we can, perversely, measure it. If we can measure it then we can know what it is and we can use it to heal and cure people in reality. But, you know what? It doesn’t work and so that’s why there are no reiki machines in hospitals.

Don’t Patronise This

While waiting for my fish and chips to cook last night at the world’s most homo-erotic chip shop I saw a magazine with the following advert:

Mostly Bullshit
Mostly Bullshit

The Young Men’s Christian Association has a Wellness Centre which I guess promotes wellness.

WELLNESS is NOT a DEFINED MEDICAL TERM. Therefore it means fuck all in this context. It’s why promoters of bullshit use the term, because it DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. Look, I used bold and block caps there! I must be annoyed.

Even the logo looks new-age and bollocks.

Of the services offered at the religious centre (which probably isn’t religious but the name is) some are utter bullshit before we’ve even had to look into them and some are possibly iffy by association. I have looked at their website and I will quote so in the following.

Osteopathy

I have rubbished this within these communications and so I can tell you now, it is bollocks. On the website there is information about osteopathy and babies. Just don’t.

They claim to be able to help with

  • migraines and headaches
  • asthma
  • sports injuries
  • disc problems
  • sciatica
  • trapped nerves
  • tennis elbow
  • arthritis (wear and tear)

I very much doubt this as there’s no good evidence to show that osteopathy works for anything. They even lost “lower back pain” recently. Have a look at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). God, this makes me so sad.

“Oh but it worked for me/my relation”

No, it probably didn’t. We humans are terrible at separating out what really happens and our experience.

Sports Massage

It feels nice. It massages you. It costs you money. They claim it helps you but these are all self-limiting problems and while a massage can do damage it might help you.

Acupuncture

Grade A bollocks. They claim it works:

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin at predetermined points to affect the internal levels of energy. It may be deficient, excessive or stagnant and therefore not flowing in the most efficient manner. When energy, called Qi, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is not in balance then we see symptoms, at all levels. Some symptoms are obvious, such as those affecting the physical, others less so, such as those that affect the emotional and mental.

There is absolutely NO evidence for Qi. In fact different practitioners will use different locations on the body to cure the same thing. It doesn’t work.

Acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine was promoted during the Barefoot Doctor scheme the communist government of China so that Doctors, who were short on real medicine, could “do something” to keep people happy even though it clearly didn’t work.

Reflexology / Aromatherapy

See “massage”. This is all bollocks. Aromatherapy smells nice. Reflexology feels nice. It doesn’t do anything else. The Wellness Centre says:

  • Boosts the immune system, which is weakened by constant stress.
  • Can relieve stress as it calms and soothes.
  • Is a good preventative medicine.
  • Improves the circulation.
  • Can be very helpful at encouraging the body to heal itself and gives the recipient a feeling of well being, relaxing mind and body.
  • The Digestive system is encouraged to work to optimum efficiency.

Boosting the immune system means nothing. Is a good preventative medicine for what? Encourages the body to heal itself, now I’m laughing, such a wishy washy phrase.

Psychological Therapy

This is probably the most important here and possible the one that can the most effect but I would worry about the company that this service keeps and I would prefer to book myself into a proper clinic. Yep, having looked over the website this seems quite legit. It’s just a shame it’s in a house of crap.

Physiotherapy

This is another that is probably good. Physiotherapy is a protected term and so it should be the real stuff. The problem is it’s hard work and some people obviously want the quick fix of bullshit medicine (see above). The chap’s website looks pretty flash but overall this is the second worthwhile thing on here.

Nutritional Therapy

This is bollocks. If you want the proper stuff you go see a DIETITIAN, that is a legally protected term for someone who has qualifications in diet. ANYONE can call themselves a nutritionist because it’s not legally protected. She claims she is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, this fills me with utter fear. Naturopathic is a nonsense term invented to sound great but mean nothing. According to her website she can help with the following:

Some of these things are diet related but I wouldn’t want a quack telling me what I’m allergic to. Proper allergy testing takes a long time. Oh, and notice that Cancer is mentioned in there. Fucking Cancer. from the website:

“There are numerous studies suggesting a link between some foods and certain types of cancer. However, it would be a broad statement to claim that diet can directly cause or treat cancer.”

I can correct her if you want. It would be ILLEGAL to claim to be able to cure cancer. It shows just how fucked up these people are when they make iffy claims.

Pilates

I know nothing about pilates but isn’t it posh yoga? Just helps you move.

There are more claims on the website of these people and I will cover a few of them here with my crude guide to efficacy.

Food Intolerance Tests – more than likely bullshit.

Hypnotherapy – I’m becoming convinced it’s bullshit.

Neuro Linguistic Programing – bullshit.

And, I’m done. There’s only so much I can take of this bollocks. Look, it says Wellness. It doesn’t mean anything. Don’t go there. It’s in a christian association building for fuck’s sake.

An Homoeopathic Discussion (maybe)

I saw a retweet or tweet, I’m not sure how a saw it as I don’t tend to follow anything on this subject matter. I saw this on my general twitter account, the one I use for following things I’m interested in rather than just my friends.

I re-tweeted this myself in a kinda ironic way. I also asked if there were any papers to back up the claim.

I actually got a response. Which was good. I was expecting to find that I was ignored. 

So, this was good. I went to see if I could find the science paper. It is here, at the Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine. I have looked at the abstract and I have the following points to make:

  • This is a meta-analysis of many previous trials.
  • This is a study of Adverse Effects of using various homoeopathic preparations (see the table).
  • The study looks at AEs of provings. A proving is not a treatment for a particular illness or problem. A proving is a way of matching a homoeopathic preparation with what symptoms it produces, thereby giving an indication of what it could be used to “treat”.
  • This study shows that the AEs of homoeopathic preparations are pretty much inline with the AEs of giving people placebo. There was one result which showed that placebo had statistically higher AEs and one where the homoeopathic thing was much worse than placebo (see this table).
  • The paper shows that the AEs from homoeopathic preparations are broadly the same as placebo (nothing). This shows that homoeopathic preparations are nothing.
  • This paper does NOT consider the efficacy of these treatments for any particular illness or problem.

My summary so far: I have been given a paper which shows that homoeopathic preparations are the same as placebo for various treatments. So I would say that homoeopathic preparations are safe to use. Whether they work or not has not been explained, yet.

Here’s what I got back.

Here is a direct link to the review of evidence published by two practising homoeopaths. I looked over this review [from under the “news” section of the website] and found that it was essentially filled with contradictions. There wasn’t much talk about methodology of the trials and which particular remedies were used. It then goes on to include a table about which remedies could be used and includes statements such as:

Homeopaths contend that respiratory allergies are best treated by professional homeopaths who prescribe individually selected homeopathic constitutional medicines according to specific and unique genetic history, personal health history, and totality of present physical and psychological symptoms being experienced.
Although homeopaths assert that this method of homeopathic prescribing provides the longest-term benefits, no research confirms this observation.

If you include a statement like the second paragraph in your writing then you absolutely should not have the first. The meaning goes thus:

“Some people think this, but there’s no evidence for it”

It’s a very similar technique used by newspapers and the Discovery channel in its “science” programming. “Some people believe Jesus was an alien, we will leave it for you to decide”. Whether some people believe something or not is irrelevant. Belief does not change what the evidence shows. The review also uses the brilliant argument that “further research” is needed. Well, if the trials you are mentioning in this review don’t give stand out evidence and they are the best you’ve got then asking for more research is a form of special pleading.
My next response was aimed at getting a link to the BEST paper that a homoeopath can produce.

Here’s the next response.

Here’s a direct link to the “best” trial. Which isn’t a trial. It’s a puff-piece from a British Homoeopathic organisation. Having had a look through this publication I have searched for the two references to allergies.

The first reference to allergies is:

Bornhöft G, Wolf U, Ammon K, et al. Effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice – summarized health technology assessment. Forsch Komplementärmed 2006; 13 Suppl 2: 19–29.

I’m not going to read this because the title has nothing about the effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating allergies. It’s about safety. I can assure you that taking homoeopathy is the same as taking nothing and so it’s safe because it has nothing in it.

The second reference is:

Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, et al. Immunology and homeopathy. 4. Clinical studies – Part 1. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; eCAM, 2006; 3: 293-301

Here’s a link to the paper stored at the US National Library of Medicine. From the conclusion of this meta-study:

In summary, there is an efficacy/effectiveness paradox (similar to that found in several other areas of complementary medicine research) with a weak evidence in favo[u]r of homeopathy when studies are done in randomized and double-blind conditions, but yet there is documented effectiveness in equivalence studies comparing homeopathy and conventional medicine and documented usefulness in general practice.

This says that when the “gold standard” of medical trials are applied to homoeopathy, the randomised double blind placebo controlled trial, then there is weak evidence for homoeopathy. If homoeopathy produced any outcome at all we would expect strong evidence in these trials. The paper summary does not state that “placebo-controlled” so it is possible that they were really just measuring a placebo effect.

Placebo Effect – An Aside
Very briefly I would like to point out that the placebo effect is a nill-effect. Your body will heal itself what ever you decide to take. Taking any form of medicine garners the placebo effect. so, you could take homoeopathy with no clinical effect and only the placebo effect [zero real effect] or you could take real medicine and have the bonus of the placebo [zero real effect]. Placebo – you might “feel” better, but you aren’t. Simple.

I’ve followed the reference from the paper for its conclusions in this area.

Walach H, Jonas WB, Ives J, Wijk RV, Weingartner O. Research on homeopathy: state of the art. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11:813–29.

Here’s a quotation from the summary available here.

While there are nearly 200 reports on clinical trials, few series have been conducted for single conditions. Some of these series document clinically useful effects and differences against placebo and some series do not. Observational research into uncontrolled homeopathic practice documents consistently strong therapeutic effects and sustained satisfaction in patients.

So, this is a meta-analysis discussed in another meta-analysis and it states that virtually no trials have been done on a single condition. This is common with CAM as it means there’s more chance of finding an effect when you mine the data. Some trials are tested against placebo and some not [another CAM trick]. As is most common, when good double-blind placebo controlled trials are completed the effect of homoeopathy is reduced to virtually zero although “observational” studies [self reporting and other subjective stuff] reveals strong effects. These “observational” studies may report strong effects but it does not mean that they are real.

Another of the references in this paper links to some allergy investigations so I looked through those.

Aabel S, Laerum E, Dolvik S, Djupesland P. Is homeopathic ‘immunotherapy’ effective? A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with the isopathic remedy Betula 30c for patients with birch pollen allergy. Br Homeopath J. 2000;89:161–8.

Link here. Answer “no”. There is no difference to placebo, except for a couple of days in the middle of the trial where we have pointed out small differences because it confirms what we think. But overall there is no effect.

What we think this means is that there should be further investigation. What I think this means is that there’s no need for further investigation. It’s quite clear it doesn’t work.

Another paper about allergies:

Aabel S. No beneficial effect of isopathic prophylactic treatment for birch pollen allergy during a low-pollen season: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of homeopathic Betula 30c. Br Homeopath J.2000;89:169–73

Link here. NO BENEFICAL EFFECT.

Another:

Aabel S. Prophylactic and acute treatment with the homeopathic medicine, Betula 30c for birch pollen allergy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of consistency of VAS responses. Br Homeopath J.2001;90:73–8.

Link here. This trial looked for correlation between taking homoeopathy and the self-reported symptoms of people and found correlation. r=0.7 or so, which isn’t bad, but then although it shows correlation it most definitely does not give any causation. So this is a mostly useless study.

Here’s the final one I’m going to look at. I was trying to make sure that I have looked at most of the evidence before replying to Mr Homoeopathy man.

Lewith GT, Watkins AD, Hyland ME, Shaw S, Broomfield JA, Dolan G, Holgate ST. Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blind randomised controlled clinical trial. Br Med J. 2002;324:520

Direct link here. Here’s some words from that paper:

Results

There was no difference in most outcomes between placebo and homoeopathic immunotherapy. There was a different pattern of change over the trial for three of the diary assessments: morning peak expiratory flow (P=0.025), visual analogue scale (P=0.017), and mood (P=0.035). At week three there was significant deterioration for visual analogue scale (P=0.047) and mood (P=0.013) in the homoeopathic immunotherapy group compared with the placebo group. Any improvement in participants’ asthma was independent of belief in complementary medicine.

Conclusion

Homoeopathic immunotherapy is not effective in the treatment of patients with asthma. The different patterns of change between homoeopathic immunotherapy and placebo over the course of the study are unexplained.

So, this was a double blind randomised controlled trial and it showed no effect. time for a reply to Mr Homoeopathy. I’ve asked for best evidence but have found none of good quality so far. Even the best RCT says no effect. It’ll be time soon to call quits on this discussion.

The reply was thus:

As of yet I haven’t received a reply. When I do I shall continue this communication. I hope to get a reply with a good RCT with a positive result for homoeopathy.

Descent into Skepticism

Most of my life I was little affected by “woo”. I think I had always been curious about some things like alternative medicine, but never really investigated it. Where would you go in the days before the internet? I didn’t care about it enough to go to the library. If I had I might have got a book by Deepak Chopra instead of Carl Sagan and perhaps that would have moved my life in entirely the wrong direction.

I can remember my dad saying to me in my early teens that if all other things had failed for a terminally ill patient then what harm was there in trying acupuncture? I think that was the only SCAM (I borrow Mark Crislip’s definition of SCAM here) I was aware of. When I was about 18 my mum trained in reflexology. She went to college and got a proper qualification and letters after her name. When she explained it to me, I paid attention and thought about it, but didn’t form a hard opinion. I was happy to let people believe what they wanted.

About 5 years ago (it’s currently 2012) my Dad bought me a fuel economy device(magnet) for my car that would also work on ANY vehicle. Now I was curious about this. I searched the internet and looked at the manufacturer’s website which tried to explain that the magnet aligned the fuel so it burnt more efficiently. I knew there is no ferrous material in hydro-carbons. I also now have progressed from an un-thinking 18 year old to having an engineering degree and about 15 years of reading about science and was hooked on this issue. Surely, my logic went, if a simple magnet could improve fuel efficiency then the car manufacturers would be buying all the magnets in the world. If it really worked it would be a standard component in all engines.

The magic-magnet manufacturer’s website had a money-back offer and lots of testimonials. How could so many people be wrong? I must have also stumbled upon a “skeptical” website with some information and a podcast. I was already listening to some BBC podcasts and so I subscribed to the skeptical podcast. I can’t remember which one it was, but probably “The Skeptic Zone” from Australia. From there it was a short journey into “Skeptoid”, “The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe” and “Skeptics with a K”.

I now don’t want to let people believe what they want. I want them to know what works and what doesn’t. Human civilisation has developed the most sophisticated tool for understanding the world and how it works – SCIENCE. Now although science occasionally has its flaws it is a self-correcting system. The evidence wins-out eventually. There is no evidence for SCAMs, they just keep inventing more ludicrous mechanisms to explain their failure.

I’ve read around the subject, including Bad Medicine by Ben Goldacre and a couple of Robert Park books and, of course, Cosmos by Carl Sagan. There’re still a few books to read and magazines to subscribe to, but I consider myself educated in this realm. I understand evidence, trials and logical fallacies. The world needs to be educated about SCAMs.

If you are not sure what the harm is, then have a look at this site.