Dr. Johnson helps kids with many issues (including allergies, asthma, recurrent upper respiratory infections, etc.), but probably the most common area he deals with in children involves ADHD and other behavioral/emotional imbalances.
Homeopathy can truly make a difference – usually dramatically so. Parents are regularly surprised at the results.
Why homeopathy? Dr. Johnson favors homeopathy because it can actually improve health in a permanent, or at least semi-permanent manner. This means the changes which occur in children under homeopathic care can set them upfor a lifetime of better health – improving their health as a whole person, not just treating one symptom or another. Some people call this “constitutional” homeopathy - the person as a whole improves, with their inherent weaknesses strengthened and their risk of future illness reduced. This has been demonstrated in several rigorous studies. (1) (2) (3) (4)
And this can be accomplished usually without major changes in the diet or lifestyle. This is important because particularly in ADHD, diet is often used by proactive parents to control symptoms. Dietary changes are sometimes successful but unfortunately the symptoms return as soon as the offending foods are eaten. In other words, the child is not changed, only the environment (diet). With homeopathy, the body actually balances in such a way as to no longer be bothered by the foods, or if so, to a lesser degree. In other words, the body actually becomes more adaptable/flexible (i.e. healthier).
As with all conditions, homeopathy is not perfect and not all children are helped. But numerous studies confirm what Dr. Johnson sees in his practice – a strong majority (roughly 75-80%) see improvement. And further, if there are other co-existing complaints, such as anxiety, learning disabilities or other physical conditions, we expect these to improve as well since homeopathy works by balancing the whole person.
There is quite a bit of clinical research data demonstrating the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD. The body of evidence is not completely conclusive, as reaching that level of scientific certainty takes significant resources, but it is getting close. Nearly all published studies have shown positive results.
Research of Heiner Frei
Dr. Heiner Frei is a pediatrician in Laupen, Switzerland with a private practice specializing in the homeopathic treatment of pediatric conditions. Prior to starting his private practice he was the Director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the Children’s Hospital at the University of Bern. Together with his colleagues at the University of Bern, he has conducted numerous trials concerning the use of homeopathy in pediatric conditions (including ear infections and ADHD). The capstone of their ADHD trials is a very rigorous randomized study which was published in the European Journal of Pediatrics. The first trial (2001) involved the treatment of 115 children (mean age, 8.3 years) with ADHD. All 115 children were initially treated with homeopathy. After an average time of 3.5 months, 75% of the children had improved by an average of 55% (as judged according to the Conner’s Global Index, or “CGI” – a validated clinical rating scale) and improved by 73%, as judged by parents. The 25% of children who had not responded adequately to homeopathy then received methylphenidate (Ritalin). This group achieved an average of 48% improvement (as rated by CGI) and 65% as rated by parents. The second study (2005) utilized a more rigorous methodology – being randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled. Eighty three children entered the study. By this time, Dr. Frei and his colleagues had refined the homeopathic remedy selection process to the degree that 84% of these children (62 children) achieved a median CGI improvement of 58% (an increase over their first study). These 62 children then entered into the randomized, controlled portion of the study where they either continued to receive their homeopathic remedy or received placebo. It was demonstrated that those receiving homeopathy continued to improve while those receiving placebo deteriorated. The authors concluded, “the trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD-treatment, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.”
This second study was published in the European Journal of Pediatrics – the most prestigious pediatric journal in Europe (analogous to our Pediatrics). It should be noted that several of the researchers involved in this trial (pediatric neurologists from the University of Bern) were strongly skeptical of homeopathy and expected to prove it worked no better than placebo. These academics helped design the most rigorous trial possible in order to prove their point. In the wake of the publishing of the positive results, a large number of pediatricians in the surrounding areas in Switzerland, formerly skeptics themselves, became convinced of the efficacy of homeopathy and began to train in it and/or refer patients to Dr. Frei and his colleagues.
The cohort from the randomized trial was re-assessed five years after the study. Sixty of the sixty two original children were available for follow up. The results were published in a chapter in the book, “Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.” The median parent-assessed CGI score before treatment was 19 (out of a possible 30). This graph shows that at five years, 28 of the children continued to take homeopathy at least on an intermittent basis – and their CGI rating remained quite low at 6.8 (a 64% improvement over baseline – a lower CGI indicates fewer and/or less severe symptoms). Twenty five of the children were no longer using homeopathy and their CGI score was 8.8 (a 54% improvement over baseline). Seven children had begun taking methylphenidate (Ritalin) and their score had risen to 10.6 (a 46% improvement over baseline).
This same cohort was re-assessed at 10 years. Fifty six children were available for follow up and it was found that the average CGI score was 8. These results were presented at the 2012 European Congress for Integrated Medicine and a summary was published. A complete paper with further details awaits publication at this time.
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