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Making Homoepathic History


Jean Hoagland, a member of the NCH Board of Directors since 1996, has served
as President since 2003. A long-time proponent of homeopathy, she has been active
in leading and starting study groups, in planning homeopathic seminars and conferences,
as a member of her local Florida study group, and as an associate member and
former treasurer of the Florida Homeopathic Medical Society. She's also
served as manager and later president of a Chamber of Commerce; as president
of the board of a county-wide domestic violence shelter; and as president of
the League of Women Voters.
Jean and her husband raised four children under the care of a homeopathic physician,
for which she is eternally grateful.

Making Homeopathic History

San Jose, California was the place for homeopaths to be this past April! The
first Annual American Joint Homeopathic Conference was officially convened on
Friday, April 7, 2006. If you were there, you are now a part of the historic
resurgence of homeopathy in the United States. We are moving forward! The National
Center for Homeopathy assumed responsibility for administering this Annual Conference
with the support and encouragement of all the other groups represented in the
Homeopathic Action Alliance (HAA) which are: the American Association of Homeopathic
Pharmacists (AAHP), American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH), Academy of Veterinary
Homeopaths (AVH), Council on Homeopathic Certification (CHC), Council on Homeopathic
Education (CHE), Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP), Homeopathic
Nurses Association (HNA), Homeopaths Without Borders (HWB), North American Network
of Homeopathic Educators (NANHE), and North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH).
Also participating were the California Homeopathic Medical Society (CHMS) and
the Homeopathic Pediatric Association (HPA).

With gratitude
Many thanks are due to the NCH staff members who pitched in with enthusiasm to
produce an excellent, efficiently-run conference. Much gratitude is due the exhibitors
who provided attendees with the opportunity to see and touch the products previously
viewed only in print or online and to ask questions about services offered.

Camaraderie and openness
The tangible atmosphere of comradeship, the openness exhibited within discussions
at the HAA meeting that preceded the conference, and the ease with which differences
in views were shared give hope that future meetings will be equally productive.
The collegiality and high interest levels that were exhibited hint at a more
unified approach to the practice of homeopathy that will expand the use and availability
of homeopathic care. Earlier provincialism should gradually diminish as all homeopathic
organizations join together, recognize that there are significant changes in
today’s culture, and bring homeopathy to a place of validation and respect
within it.
     The conference officially opened on Friday evening
with a social hour in the exhibit hall, followed by a short NCH annual meeting
of the membership. Next, each HAA representative gave a brief statement of the
role of their organization and introduced their respective board members, who
stood as their names were called. This was particularly enlightening to many
attendees—to be able to “meet” in person and put faces to familiar
names—as well as to gain an increased understanding of the role of the
various organizations.

Remarkable research & more
The evening’s keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Fisher, physician to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II, Clinical Director of The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital,
and editor of homeopathy’s leading academic journal, Homeopathy (UK).
After entertaining the audience with slides of the newly remodeled hospital in
London with its wood and linoleum floors made from sustainable materials, he
turned to the more serious subject of his presentation: “Is it Worth it?
The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Homeopathy.” Dr. Fisher took
the audience on a detailed review of the available “outcomes studies research” or
as he put it, “homeopathy in the real world.” He cited a number of
studies that compared results for patients receiving homeopathic versus conventional
treatment; they tended to show better treatment results, fewer adverse effects,
and greater satisfaction at an equivalent or lower cost. Interestingly, some
of the studies were funded by an insurance organization in Germany (which makes
sense since insurers are certainly concerned about effectiveness and cost effectiveness).
     Earlier on Friday, Dr. Fisher, Iris Bell, MD, PhD,
and Dana Ullman, MPH, presented a fascinating, full-day seminar on “Scientific
Homeopathic Research: Proving and Improving Its Efficacy.” Dr. Bell focused
on the complexity of conducting accurate homeopathic research. She noted that
since homeopathic remedies do not necessarily act like allopathic drugs, we may
not be able to measure their efficacy using the same kinds of research models
designed to test allopathic drugs. For example, instead of measuring simple cause
and effect at a specific point in time (e.g., reduced pain 12 hours after taking
a remedy), we may need to design studies that detect a pattern over much longer
periods of time or that assess global parameters like well-being and energy level.
Watch for exciting coverage of the work of Drs. Fisher and Bell in upcoming issues
of Homeopathy Today.
     A varied, two-track conference Saturday and Sunday
was followed on Monday and Tuesday with two well-received post-conference seminars.
Most lectures and seminars are available on CD from Conference Recording Service
at www.conferencerecording.com or 510-527-3600. Also, for a limited time, you
can obtain a 236-page Joint American Homeopathic Conference Program/Proceedings
book, which includes all the speaker handouts, for $19.95 plus shipping. (Contact
NCH at info@homeopathic.org or 703-548-7790.)

Plan now!
Of course, nothing can compare to being there in person. If you were not present
at this first Joint Conference, come meet and learn together in Denver, Colorado,
April 13--20, 2007. If you were present, please come and join us again. Make
your plans now!