Hi I'm Alastair Hay and I help people get well and I help people stay well using homeopathic medicines and you can find me at ‘homeopathical.com’.
My name is ‘Alastair Hay’ and that’s how you spell it. I mainly do home visits in Kent, Surrey, London, Hampshire or use Skype or FaceTime consultations for people a little bit further away from me.
What I’d like to talk to you about today is the placebo response. It is a response nonetheless but a lot of people believe that homeopathy or the response to homeopathy is purely because of a placebo response. There are certain things you can do to exploit that placebo response that we just don't do in homeopathy. I've listed them and I've got a list down here otherwise I'll forget…
What are those things that you can do to maximize a placebo response? See if you can recognise the ones we do and don't do as homeopaths.
First - large tablets.
The second – coloured tablets.
The third - multiple tablets, taking more than one tablet at a time.
The next, frequency of dose, taking tablets 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times a day.
The next one, expensive tablets: When you pay a lot of money for a tablet you believe it's more likely to work.
An elaborate procedure in taking that tablet. A ritual in taking those tablets.
Surgery, so the method of how that procedure is carried out will also influence whether there is a greater sense of a placebo response or being able to influence that placebo response.
Using exotic machines.
Wearing white coats…
Which of those do you think we do as homeopaths?
I think to some extent there is a ritual in taking homeopathic medicines. You tip a tablet into the lid, you tip that tablet underneath your tongue, you leave it to dissolve and if it’s not dissolved in five minutes, you chew it and it'll dissolve more easily. But we do encourage people to avoid food, drink, brushing their teeth and taking other medication or supplements for 15 minutes either side of taking that, so to some extent that is a ritual. But homeopathic tablets are really small, they're nearly always white, we may even… and you take one tablet at a time, and a typical prescription for me would be one tablet that someone takes and they might not repeat it for another week, another month, maybe not at all. It's encouraging, it's strengthening the body and the mind, to heal itself. You're encouraging a process. You're encouraging a reaction, so you don't need to keep taking tablets.
I have to confess there are certain circumstances where someone may be taking a tablet two or three times a day for a month but it's not typical of a homeopathic prescription, from me, at least. The tablets are taken orally, we don't inject them, we're not using elaborate surgery or exotic machines, so either we're missing a trick or homeopathy isn't really just a placebo response.
I have to confess someone coming to you having a chat and being able to offload is gonna be helpful for them but some people have got extremely physical, debilitating symptoms but a chat or just a chat isn't gonna cut it, so I think homeopathy is more than just a placebo response.
What do you think?
But if you see ill people today, think of Alastair Hay.