Archive for News & Society
Report – Harvard Study Has Good News for Homeopathic Medicine
The American Journal of Public Health published a survey article out of Harvard that shows that homeopathic medicine, while still only used by a small fraction of the U.S. population, has jumped 15% in use. In addition, most users put homeopathy among the top 3 complementary strategies they use in their health care.
The interest of this journal in this publication is linked to possible public health benefits from the use of homeopathic medicine. The principal investigator was Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD and the team also included placebo expert Ted Kaptchuk, OMD. They hail from Harvard’s School of Public Health and from a Harvard Medical School affiliated hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess. The teams notes that prior studies of homeopathy “suggest potential public health benefits such as reductions in unnecessary antibiotic usage, reductions in costs to treat certain respiratory diseases, improvements in peri-menopausal depression, improved health outcomes in chronically ill individuals, and control of a Leptospirosis epidemic in Cuba.”
The data was gleaned from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. The researchers explored the prevalence and use patterns of homeopathic medicines among U.S. adults in relation to other complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) use. Versions of this survey in 2002 and 2007 found use of homeopathic medicines at 1.7% and 1.8% of the adult population, respectively. The 15% growth in the recent half-decade corresponds to an overall use rate of 2.1% in 2012. The most common conditions for which people sought homeopathic treatment were respiratory and ear-nose-and-throat complaints as well as musculoskeletal pain syndromes. Users tended to be more educated than non-users.
Use of homeopathy in the US is lower than in many European countries. The authors note, for instance, that surveys have found rates at 8.2% in Italy and nearly 15% in Germany. A recent Italian wire-service story reported findings of a 2012 survey by a homeopathic manufacturer that found much higher use, at close to one-in-six adult Italians.
The Harvard team reported that positive views of homeopathy were much higher among those who saw a professional homeopath compared to those who simply purchased the pills from the store and self-prescribed. Those who consulted professionals were more likely to feel that homeopathy was “very important in maintaining health and well-being.” The sense of the importance of the remedies was also stronger. More of those who’d consulted a homeopathic practitioner thought that homeopathy helped their health condition “a great deal” than did the self-prescribers.
Naysayers, who believe these medicine are nothing more than placebos, will likely question the additional perceived value post practitioner visit. Is it anything more than the greater level of investment in a placebo one has if the placebo is practitioner-recommended rather than self-prescribed?
The article came to The Integrator from homeopath and author Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH (pictured). He sent notice of the Harvard publication and of the recent report on Italian use with this note: “Here’s some GOOD news about homeopathy!”
Ullman adds: “This survey confirms that a certain well-educated and well-satisfied group of Americans benefit from self-prescribing homeopathic medicines as well as from going to professional homeopaths. Although these numbers are much higher in select countries in Europe, it is more than reasonable to support individual choice in health care. Just as our country is a melting pot of different cultures and races, our health and medical care likewise needs this healthy diversity.”
Homeopathy has taken it on the chin the last two years. The Harvard study was published amidst a renewed flare up of bad publicity following a controversial 2015 report from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. The chair of the report, general practitioner Paul Glasziou, MD blogged on the controversial findings at the British Medical Journal. A wave of postings from anti-homeopathy writers, such as this, immediately followed.
Weighing the public health potential of homeopathic medicine requires a wading into a river of twin ambiguities. These can each be true simultaneously: 1) homeopathic treatment only has value as a placebo, and 2) expanded use of these medicines can be useful tools in the public health campaign against antibiotic overuse. This 2008 study, for instance, found that 13% of doctors use antibiotics as placebos. Mightn’t we have been better off, from a population health perspective, had they prescribed homeopathic remedies and not delivered this extra load of antibiotics onto the terrain?
French researchers spoke to this potential last year when they concluded that “management of patients by homeopathic GPs may be less expensive from a global perspective and may represent an important interest to public health.” The Harvard researchers included a similar note: “Because of potential public health benefits associated with the use of homeopathy, further research on this modality and targeted studies of users are warranted.”
Perhaps the way to move forward is to allow skeptical doctors to deliver homeopathic medicine to their patients while announcing to them that it is a placebo. Kaptchuk and others have reported that the placebos can still work. If they have more significant positive value, well, that healing can take place without the skeptic’s approval.
Silence at Work – What Are the Consequences?
It is a well known fact employees are inclined to behave in a way that they perceive to be consistent with the social values and expectations that constitute their organization’s culture. These behavioral norms are established through executives’, managers’ and supervisors’ instructions, rewards and the allocation of attention.1 These managerial patterns of rewards and reinforcement are consistent with the rewards and reinforcement of their childhood. Thus, everyone feels safe and secure in the relationship.
Research into the impact of organization culture on employees’ work behavior has generated little substantial improvement to the issue of employees remaining silent about critical issues. This trend has reached such a concern that regulatory bodies, such as: OSHA in the U.S. and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the U.K. have strongly encouraged organizations to implement ‘positive safety cultures,’ as part of their overall safety management programs.
When executives, managers, supervisors and opinion leaders infrequently or inconsistently address issues of silent behavior, it leads employees to believe that formal communication standards are loosely valued and employees are not genuinely expected to adhere to them. Thus, the low frequency of interventions in the workplace contributes to a culture in which employees are not positively influenced to work within strict safely standards, cohesiveness team work is happenstance, comradery is weak, thus, the company culture becomes loosely defined. The Silence syndrome impacts two levels of an organization:
Like indifference and neglect, employee silence is extremely detrimental to organizations often causing a ‘spiral of dissatisfaction’ among employees, which results in absenteeism and turnover and other undesired behaviors (Colquitt and Greenberg 311-312).2 Communication is key to all transactions, relationships and success. When employee silence occurs the result harms the overall functioning of the organization.
In an article, “Get Talking,” author Chris Penttila states, “employee silence is killing innovation and perpetuating poorly planned projects that lead to defective products, low morale and a damaged bottom line.3
”In an article, “Re-Creating the Indifferent Employee,” Carla Joinson describes the negative effects of employee silence as monetary losses to the organization. She states, “Over time silence within organizations causes some employees to be extremely indifferent. In different employees are those who are indifferent to their jobs, employers and quality of work.” (Joinson 76)4
Indifferent employees cost the organization money and function poorly. When major monetary losses are discovered in organizations, managers tend to react by working to recover the loss, overlooking the fact employees have become indifferent as a result of unaddressed employee silence. Moreover, employees, who are not doing their share of the work are also not speaking up about the problems they see, leading to a perpetual cycle of employee silence. (Joinson 1048)4
Organizational impact alone causes a huge deficit to the overall functioning and profitability of the company. The above detrimental issues are by no means the total impact of employee silence.
Most people assume that employee silence only hurts the organization. However, on a deeper level it hurts both the organization and all employees. While employee impact has been included in organizational impact, employees in the end bear the most impact overall.
From a holistic perspective – Nothing transpires by chance or outside the Universal Energy forces. Every action has a reaction or consequence. The individual, ‘reaps what she/he has sown,’ a.k.a. What goes around comes around – Karma.
Therefore, employee silence has many effects, not only on the silent employee, but on other employees, teams and work groups as well. Indifferent employees, often products of being ignored as a child, are products of management ignoring them, which precipitates feeling unimportant and insignificant. They tend to feel like cogs in a wheel. Thus, they develop the attitude ‘to get along, go along.’ (Joinson, 1048)4
As a result of a cog in the wheel perception, employees sometimes develop depression, and other health issues. More often than not, they use, smoking, alcohol, over eating, street drugs, and/or OTC or prescription drugs as a way to ‘cope.’ Self-prescribed and pharmaceutical drugs are in effective and sometimes make matters worse. It is safe to say, it doesn’t solve the issue.
Furthermore, employee silence affects the personal well being of employees, increasing “work stress,” and causes some employees to “feel guilty,” where they often experience psychological distress, and have trouble seeing the possibility of change.”5
The communication skill of Speaking UP effectively – which takes focus, finesse and faith – is invaluable in many different contexts, situations and across all professions and including levels. It’s often easiest and less risky to practice and master Speaking UP firstly in one’s personal life. Still, since practice leads to mastery and an increase in career and relationship success and satisfaction, there’s nothing stopping ‘you’ from immediately applying this skill across both professional and personal contexts.
To learn how to improve your Speaking UP skills, you are welcome to grab our complimentary “10 Speak UP Faux Pas” by emailing email@example.comTo inquire about hiring Monique MacKinnon and Dorothy M. Neddermeyer to present about How To Persuasively Speak UP To Higher Ups and/or deliver their Speak UP training series to your company, visit http://www.energeticevolution.com/coaching/speaker.php
Are your Speaking UP skills up to par?
click on link above to receive your Complimentary Speak UP Assessment
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD
As a strategic and innovative author, speaker and trainer, Dr Dorothy works with business clients, to instill an internal foundation of empowerment and upgrade their people skills (communication, problem solving, decision making, negotiation etc), performance and results in, and quality of life. www.linkedin.com/in/dorothymneddermeyer/
1Schein, E. (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.
3Pentilla, Chris. “Get Talking.” Entrepreneur Nov. 2003: 25-25.
4Joinson, Carla. “Recreating the Indifferent Employee.” HRM Magazine Aug. 1996: 76–81.
5 Clemmer, Jim (2008). Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. Ecw Press. ISBN 0-9782221-7-2.
Over the past two days, I’ve witnessed two touching examples of thoughtfulness. One was an event organizer verifying that I had received an exclusive invitation to an already sold-out event I had requested to attend. The other was a business etiquette expert going out of her way to be a gracious hostess to me… at a high-profile event I hadn’t ever attended before. She even offered to introduce me to the Ambassador of France in Canada!
If you look and listen closely and regularly enough, you’ll notice these thoughtful gestures. There’s no rhyme or reason to them, nor a given season for them… unless you want to count Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, thoughtfulness, when strategically used… isn’t limited to clients only. In fact, it forms an important part of the entire sales cycle. Essentially, you could call it the glue, that links one phase to the next. With thoughtfulness eventually comes trust towards the individual or company vying to win your business.
What is being ‘thoughtful’? It’s “having or showing heed for the well-being or happiness of others and a propensity for anticipating their needs or wishes.”1 What does thoughtfulness have to do with building a fulfilling and successful business? Well, some businesses — namely financial and legal companies and charities — rely on acts of thoughtfulness to develop close, lasting bonds with others. Otherwise, doing business with them would feel… mostly mechanical. To trust that your money/other assets are in ‘good hands’, you need to first feel that, through your gut instincts. And if the person you’re considering doing business with doesn’t immediately give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, through thoughtfulness for example, balanced with professionalism, then you’ll likely take your business elsewhere… in a heartbeat!
Is being thoughtful with clients an undervalued and dying art? According to Lynne Mackay, whose image business (Mackay Byrne Group) has been regularly reinvented and yet remained in demand over the past 30 years, “Now more and more people are realizing how important it is to be thoughtful with clients.”
What are easy ways of being thoughtful… in business?
Educate yourself about the values of your prospect or client and her-his culture. For instance, if (s)he donates to a given charity, you could offer to sponsor an event that charity holds. Or let’s say your prospect is an advocate of aboriginal rights, you could participate or attend one of their causes.
Offer to act as the host for, and introduce a newbie at a networking event to other networkers.
If your prospect or client is a business-company owner, write an article and feature him-her in it.
Mail a greeting card to express your delight in meeting this person, to congratulate them for making a bold career decision, wish them a happy business anniversary, etc.
Go beyond the call of duty and educate your client about what needs fixing or attention… the next time (s)he sees you. The key is to not put the pressure to commit now, or then. (Mechanics are masterful with this!)
Practice discretion with clients is Mackay’s key act of kindness. Never mention their name in the press, reveal their private information (Exception: General company info is fine), or discuss their names with other clients. Also, always be respectful to… but not pushy with your clients.
It may be difficult to provide support by sponsoring or hosting clients’ events, including golf tournaments, but perhaps you can sponsor a single golf hole, as Mackay recently did for one of her clients. Additional examples of client events include women’s fashion shows, leadership-corporate events, and award ceremonies.
Always give 100% is Mackay’s M.O. Do your homework before attending client events and seminars. Once there, show interest in your clients, rather than being focused only on your self. Much of her work is in finance, banking, legal, and accounting, where being thoughtful is a key that strategy front line professionals, sales and mortgage representatives, and advisors use… to differentiate themselves from the competition, and gain trust too.
Regularly stay in touch. People appreciate flowers to mark important events and occasions. Mackay knows of an investment adviser who sends a photographer to clients’ homes to do a photo session for their first baby. This is a thoughtful gesture that is remembered when the client looks at the photos.
If you don’t believe that thoughtfulness in the business world is still alive and kicking, then rest assured, once you turn on your thoughtfulness, you’ll start spotting it… everywhere. You’ll attract it to yourself, too: a double bonus!
The bottom line is, your clients/customers are who keep your company in business. So, if you deliver mediocre or status quo customer service, they’ll be tempted to scan the horizon: Check out your competitors. On a positive note, strategic customer service – which includes random acts of thoughtfulness – is easier and more enjoyable to offer than balking at the notion of it. So, if you’re on board with all of this, feel free to mix and match, or customize any of the nine recommendations provided above… and your clients will be keeping a healthy tab on, and sticking with you… with little additional effort on your part.