Suse Moebius: HRI London 2019 offered a degree’s worth of research in three days!

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    [post_content] => This year’s international homeopathy research conference – HRI London 2019 – “had a buzz like I’ve not experienced in 20 years of attending homeopathy events”, in the words of Zofia Dymitr, the Society's European representative.

It included the Homeopathy Research Institute's (HRI) tenth birthday celebrations but the upbeat vibe among the 330 international delegates went well beyond goodwill towards HRI’s fantastic achievements in bringing together such a wealth of homeopathic academic knowledge and expertise.

It was heartening to see more than 20 Society members at the event, many there because of their active involvement in research and including a number whose attendance was made possible thanks to HRI grants. And, of course, the two people who are the beating heart of HRI, Rachel Roberts and Alex Tournier, are also Society members.

We witnessed a cornucopia of homeopathy research. As keynote speaker Prof Robert Hahn put it, homeopathy would show no effect beyond placebo . . . if you discounted 95 per cent of all the research. Hahn discussed metastudies based on so-called ‘type II errors’, where parameters as set ensure that detecting a real effect is impossible. Papers presented at HRI, from petri dishes to penguins, were of a quality that even rabid detractors would find tricky to deny.

There is little funding for homeopathy research. A recent UK-based homeopathy randomised controlled trial (RCT) by Vicksveen et al, including SoH fellow and HRI keynote presenter Dr Clare Relton, estimated costs per participant of under £30. A larger, mainstream RCT, comparable in a number of ways had funding of seven times that amount per participant. Academics in homeopathy have to be highly resourceful to get any sort of research to publication stage.

In the face of such challenges, the diverse range of presentations at the HRI conference was even more impressive.

One government-sponsored health initiative from rural India showed local benefits well beyond homeopathy. A study of child health utilised very basic existing infrastructure and simple homeopathy kits. Who’d have thought that offering homeopathy for teething in under-resourced communities could make such a difference? Significant numbers of children in the study had fewer incidences of diarrhoea and of upper respiratory tract infections, as well as better teething outcomes, as a result of this well-structured project. It offered real potential for improved long-term health outcomes.

Another project had real ‘cute factor’ as well as impressive results. Magellanic penguins, rescued and re-homed in a zoo, were affected by necessary fungicides. Liver-protective mainstream medication has multiple side-effects. Homeopathic treatment improved penguins’ liver function, according to results from lab data. Improvements were comparable to mainstream, without side-effects, and at lower cost.

With six keynote speakers, more than 30 presentations and almost 50 poster presentations the conference offered a degree course worth of homeopathy research packed into three days. We also experienced not one, but two spontaneous standing ovations in honour of Rachel, Alex, all their wonderful collaborators, and the HRI itself.

What a fantastic tenth birthday, HRI - I’m still buzzing!

Suse Moebius is a member of the board of the Society of Homeopaths.

Material published in this section of the website does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Society of Homeopaths.

 

 

 

 

 
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This year’s international homeopathy research conference – HRI London 2019 – “had a buzz like I’ve not experienced in 20 years of attending homeopathy events”, in the words of Zofia Dymitr, the Society’s European representative.

It included the Homeopathy Research Institute‘s (HRI) tenth birthday celebrations but the upbeat vibe among the 330 international delegates went well beyond goodwill towards HRI’s fantastic achievements in bringing together such a wealth of homeopathic academic knowledge and expertise.

It was heartening to see more than 20 Society members at the event, many there because of their active involvement in research and including a number whose attendance was made possible thanks to HRI grants. And, of course, the two people who are the beating heart of HRI, Rachel Roberts and Alex Tournier, are also Society members.

We witnessed a cornucopia of homeopathy research. As keynote speaker Prof Robert Hahn put it, homeopathy would show no effect beyond placebo . . . if you discounted 95 per cent of all the research. Hahn discussed metastudies based on so-called ‘type II errors’, where parameters as set ensure that detecting a real effect is impossible. Papers presented at HRI, from petri dishes to penguins, were of a quality that even rabid detractors would find tricky to deny.

There is little funding for homeopathy research. A recent UK-based homeopathy randomised controlled trial (RCT) by Vicksveen et al, including SoH fellow and HRI keynote presenter Dr Clare Relton, estimated costs per participant of under £30. A larger, mainstream RCT, comparable in a number of ways had funding of seven times that amount per participant. Academics in homeopathy have to be highly resourceful to get any sort of research to publication stage.

In the face of such challenges, the diverse range of presentations at the HRI conference was even more impressive.

One government-sponsored health initiative from rural India showed local benefits well beyond homeopathy. A study of child health utilised very basic existing infrastructure and simple homeopathy kits. Who’d have thought that offering homeopathy for teething in under-resourced communities could make such a difference? Significant numbers of children in the study had fewer incidences of diarrhoea and of upper respiratory tract infections, as well as better teething outcomes, as a result of this well-structured project. It offered real potential for improved long-term health outcomes.

Another project had real ‘cute factor’ as well as impressive results. Magellanic penguins, rescued and re-homed in a zoo, were affected by necessary fungicides. Liver-protective mainstream medication has multiple side-effects. Homeopathic treatment improved penguins’ liver function, according to results from lab data. Improvements were comparable to mainstream, without side-effects, and at lower cost.

With six keynote speakers, more than 30 presentations and almost 50 poster presentations the conference offered a degree course worth of homeopathy research packed into three days. We also experienced not one, but two spontaneous standing ovations in honour of Rachel, Alex, all their wonderful collaborators, and the HRI itself.

What a fantastic tenth birthday, HRI – I’m still buzzing!

Suse Moebius is a member of the board of the Society of Homeopaths.

Material published in this section of the website does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Society of Homeopaths.

 

 

 

 

 

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