Homeopathy & The Mind
Australians work with a homeopath most commonly for mental health.
It is estimated that more than 25% of Europeans use complementary medicine on a regular basis.(1)
The use of homeopathic medicine for the mind is widespread(2) with clinical findings showing its possible benefit as an add on psychological treatment.(3) In fact, Prousky considers individualized homeopathy to be a psychotherapeutic technique.(4)
Australians work with a professional AROH registered homeopath most commonly for mental health,(5) also the main reason for visiting the GP,(6) evincing alignment with health needs of general Australia, and highlighting homeopathy and mental health as both valuable and within scope of practice.
Meta-analysis have identified greater efficacy for homeopathy over fluoxetine in major depressive disorder.(2;7) A trend toward less depression, significant improvements in quality of life, pain, and global health was recorded in a clinically robust fibromyalgia Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT).(8)
Small but positive anxiolytic effect for homeopathy,(9) and APGAR evidence suggesting homeopathy effected vitality in the newborns of mothers who utilized homeopathy for mind disorders in pregnancy,(10) was concluded by RCT.
Ten years ago, a shift from treatment focused symptom reduction to an holistic approach including Quality of Life measures (QOL) occurred in mental health service policy.(11) QOL is an established, important, and significant concept and target in practice and research in health and medicine, it has been shown to be a strong predictor of survival suggesting a need for routine QOL assessment in clinical trials,(12) and has a complex international interpretation and definition which differs within and between disciplines, research designs, and measures.(13)
Oncological RCT have shown significant influence of homeopathy and improved QOL in the areas of; general health;(14) and global health status and subjective well‐being at four months,(15) with additional functional and symptom scale measures significantly improved at 9 and 18 weeks (p < .001), coupled with an increased survival time of 6 months.(16)
Positivity i.e., positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment, has been found to enhance emotional, social, and mental health and well-being in children.(17) And, as a side note, Bach flower rescue remedy has been shown to promote positive emotions in prolonged, negative, extreme, or out of balance emotional reactions.(18,19)
The practice of gratitude increases positivity, happiness and life satisfaction, while reducing negative emotions and depression.(20) Gratitude reshapes our connection with life and existence, increasing our overall well-being levels(21) and may improve sleep quality,(22) be effective in improving mental health,(23) and benefit health via reduction of inflammatory responses.(24)
’’Gratitude - as I go through the things that have happened to me during the day in my daily gratitude list - has started to rewrite the history of my life in this presence and I feel as if I was dragged from fire, rescued and helped to survive’’ (a study participant).
Sarah Penrose BSc(hons)Hom. can be contacted at goodhealthforgreatlife.com
1 Wagenknecht et al., 2022. Homeopathy effects in patients during oncological treatment: a systematic review. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. Jun 22. doi: 10.1007/s00432-022-04054-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35731274. Available from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00432-022-04054-6
2 Rotella F, Cassioli E, Falone A, Ricca V, Mannucci E. 2020. Homeopathic Remedies in Psychiatric Disorders: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. May/Jun;40(3):269-275. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32332462/
3 Hock N, Juckel G. Homöopathie bei psychiatrischen Patienten – Für und Wider [Homeopathy for psychiatric patients-for and against]. Der Nervenarzt. Sep;89(9):1014-1019. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29858643/
4 Prousky JE. 2018. Repositioning Individualized Homeopathy as a Psychotherapeutic Technique With Resolvable Ethical Dilemmas. Journal of Evidence Based Integrative Medicine. Dec;23:2515690X18794379. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6111390/
5 Salter et al., 2020. Sustaining Homeopathy in Australia: Results and Analysis of First National Practice Survey. Similia, The Australian Journal of Homeopathic Medicine. 32, 1; 23 - 29. Hobart. The Australian Homeopathic Association.
6 RACGP, 2022. General Practice: Health of the Nation 2021. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Available from https://www.racgp.org.au/health-of-the-nation/chapter-1-current-and-emerging-issues/1-1-common-health-presentations-in-general-practic#Figure1
7 Mathie et al., 2018. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised, Other-than-Placebo Controlled, Trials of Individualised Homeopathic Treatment. Homeopathy. Nov;107(4):229-243. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30121049/
8 Bell et al., 2004. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo. Rheumatology (Oxford). May;43(5):577-82. Available from https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/43/5/577/1788410
9 Parewa et al., 2021. Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Pilot Trial. Complementary Medicine Research. Mar 4:1-11. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33662951/
10 Vilhena & Castilho. 2016. Homeopathic Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Pregnant Women With Mental Disorders: A Double-blind, Controlled Clinical Trial. Altern Ther Health Med. Oct;22(S3):14-22. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27866182/
11 Connell et al., 2014. Measuring quality of life in mental health: are we asking the right questions? Soc Sci Med. Nov;120:12-20. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224500/
12 Fayers & Machin, 2016. Quality of life: the assessment, analysis and reporting of patient-reported outcomes. 3. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell.
13 Haraldstad et al., 2019. LIVSFORSK network. A systematic review of quality of life research in medicine and health sciences. Qual Life Res. Oct;28(10):2641-2650. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761255/
14 Jacobs et al., 2005. Homeopathy for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. Feb;11(1):21-7. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15750360/
15 Frass et al., 2015. Influence of adjunctive classical homeopathy on global health status and subjective wellbeing in cancer patients - A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. Jun;23(3):309-17. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26051564/
16 Frass et al., 2020. Homeopathic Treatment as an Add-On Therapy May Improve QOL and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Three-Arm, Multicenter Study. Oncologist. Dec;25(12):e1930-e1955. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33010094/
17 Benoit & Gabola. 2021. Effects of Positive Psychology Interventions on the Well-Being of Young Children: A Systematic Literature Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Nov 17;18(22):12065. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8623229/
18 Oliva, 2009. Apoyo emocional y terapia con flores de Bach [Emotional support and Bach Flower Therapy]. Rev Enferm. Oct;32(10):16-9. Spanish. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20014621/
19 Howard. 2007. Do Bach flower remedies have a role to play in pain control? A critical analysis investigating therapeutic value beyond the placebo effect, and the potential of Bach flower remedies as a psychological method of pain relief. Complem Ther Clin Pract. Aug;13(3):174-83 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17631260/
20 Cunha et al., 2019. Positive Psychology and Gratitude Interventions: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Front Psychol. Mar 21;10:584. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30949102/
21 Ferenczi et al., 2021. Religiousness and Well-Being. Psychiatr Danub. Spring /Summer 33(Supp4):827-832. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35026809/
22 Boggiss et al., 2020. A systematic review of gratitude interventions: Effects on physical health and health behaviors. J Psychosom Res. Aug;135:110165. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32590219/
23 Komase et al., 2021. Effects of gratitude intervention on mental health and well-being among workers: A systematic review. J Occup Health. Jan;63(1):e12290. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34762326/
24 Hazlett et al., 2021. Exploring neural mechanisms of the health benefits of gratitude in women: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. Jul;95:444-453. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33932527/