Delighted to see a good review of Toby Murcott's book The Whole Story in yesterday's Guardian. The book looks at research on complemetary therapies against a background of the rise of evidence-based medicine. The conclusions support one of the justifications for medical humanities as a discipline: there is a great deal more to healing than science and technology, and the relationship between pratitioner and patient can make a material difference to the outcome.
Toby is a friend and sometime guest lecturer on my science communication course at Imperial. The students are always intruiged by the story of Toby's cat who was gravely ill but made a seemingly miraculous recovery after homeopathic treatment. I wonder if psychoneuroimmunology (the effects of the mind on the body's physiology and vice versa) extends to animals?