Saturday, October 18, 2008

Decoding 'Naturopathy's Essential Vitalism Premise': ACS 2008, via SCNM 2003 & ISBN 1439200688 2008 et al.:

as I've often written, you cannot be too careful when it comes to how naturopathy is communicated: because, not may sources will give you the clear picture -- particularly the AANP-AANMC-CAND variety! Unfortunately, this apparently includes the American Cancer Society [ACS; {in part}]! ACS states naturopathy's nonscientific status and their "healing power" premise [see 01., below]. I 'flesh out' precisely what that premise is [see 02., below] -- in sum, a sectarian spiritual belief without scientific support [see 03., below] posing as science-fact, misleading the vulnerable {patients and education customers}[see 04., below]:

01. the ACS states in "Naturopathic Medicine":

"naturopathic medicine [...aka] naturopathy, natural medicine [...] enlist[s] the healing power of the body [...] supporters claim that naturopathic medicine uses the healing power of nature [...] treatment is focused on the [this!] cause of the disease [...] practitioners claim they use 'natural methods' to strengthen the body's ability to heal itself [...] in 1968, the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued a report stating that the educational programs for practitioners of naturopathic medicine did not adequately prepare them to make accurate diagnoses or treatment decisions [...and] concluded that naturopathic medicine was not based on widely accepted scientific principles of health, disease, and health care [...] available scientific evidence does not support claims that naturopathic medicine is effective."

Note: naturopathy as a method and premise, in-itself, is stated as 'not scientifically supported or based' and based upon a "healing power." This needs to be fleshed out [its unified nature has to be emphasized {the healing power -- contextually -- is specifically what is HUGELY nonscientific}].

02. what the healing power of nature precisely is for naturopathy [aka, don't let the naturalistic language fool you!]:

02.a. the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine [SCNM] states in "Is Alternative Medicine For You?" (archived here):

"the healing power of nature [HPN...] first described in western medicine by Hippocrates, the vis medicatrix naturae [VMN], is also referred to as chi in Chinese medicine, prana in ayurveda, and vital force in homeopathy. When alive, the vis medicatrix naturae enables humans and other living beings to resist entropy and decay, unlike inanimate objects that are subject to these effects. Creating treatment plans that harness the healing power of nature [...such vitalism-in-action is] the essence of naturopathic medicine."

Note: so we have HPN=VMN=chi=prana=vital force as the ESSENCE of naturopathy. Incidently, there is, within the above quote, quite a scientifically illiterate claim: that life defies the Second Law of Thermodynamics [it does not, I've written about this elsewhere].

Mind you, SCNM is within the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges [AANMC] which states, in "Naturopathic Medicine: Naturopathic Physicians Are Rigorously Trained" (archived here):

"students of naturopathic medicine use the Western medical sciences as a foundation.”

AANMC actually labels itself one of the "branches of medical science."

By logical necessity, if the foundation of naturopathy is vitalism and simultaneously naturopathy is labeled a science, then vitalism is science.

02.b. but, the recently published "Life Energy Encyclopedia: Qi, Prana, Spirit, and Other Life Forces Around the World" (ISBN 1439200688; 2008) indicates otherwise:

"[since] thousands of years ago, humans have speculated about some kind of life force [vitalism]. In China it is called qi [...] in India prana, in ancient Greece pneuma, in Latin spiritus, and in Hebrew ruach. There have been hundreds of life energy beliefs [back cover]."

Note: we have life force=qi=prana=pneuma= spiritus=ruach=etc. Importantly, we also are told that such is "belief." Obviously, the belief -- vitalism -- is supernatural, in the sense that life force is equated with spirit. Vitalism, in this context, is therefore a form of spiritism.

You should begin noticing a contradiction: because science truly does not invoke or support the supernatural, yet the NDs are telling us that science contains their essentially supernatural / sectarian belief set [see 02.c2., below].

02.c. the point-man of naturopathy, Pizzorno, J.E. (ND NCNM 1975), EMBODIES this contradiction / irrationality in stating that 'the essentially science-based' is simultaneously 'the essentially science-ejected vitalistic-spiritual':

02.c1. in his book "Total Wellness: Improve Your Health By Understanding the Body’s Healing Systems" (ISBN 0761504338; 1996), he states:

"[e.g., naturopathy's essential vitalism {purposeful life spirit} premise] our bodies have a tremendous ability to heal [...] natural healers refer to this inherent drive as 'the healing power of nature' or the vis medicatrix naturae [p.003...there are] seven underlying, health-sustaining systems of our body [which] must function effectively to ensure our well-being, prevent disease, and allow a full life [...including] our life-force (or spirit) [p.024...you must] live in harmony with your life-force [p.026 ...] live in harmony with the psychosocial/ spiritual/ life-force [p.317...] our self-healing abilities -- the life-force within each of us, which naturopathic physicians call the vis medicatrix naturae [...] it is increased awareness of and access to this teleological force, the healer within, that is the essence of each of us [p.333...for] life force. See spiritual system [p.410]."

02.c2. while in "Encyclopedia of Complementary Health Practice" {ed.: Clark, C.C. (? ?)} (ISBN 0826112390; 1999), Pizzorno tells us:

"[e.g., naturopathy's science claim, per] doctors of naturopathy [...] are educated in conventional medical sciences [...and] naturopathy is defined by [its] principles [e.g., vitalism & supernaturalism!...that are] based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are continually reviewed in the light of current scientific advances [p.057]."

Note: actual scientific scrutiny reveals vitalism has been scientifically-ejected for several decades, while supernaturalism [such as spiritism] has been scientifically-ejected for a few centuries!!! Duh!!! I call this "epistemic conflation" and an example of "sectarian pseudoscience."

03. what science says about vitalism:


There simply isn't any scientifically acceptable, actual evidence requiring these premises. They are as scientific as the Tooth Fairy.

04. an unethical sectarian pseudoscience:

notice that naturopathy's communicators & agents don't transparently reveal 'naturopathy's essential scientifically-ejected vitalism-spiritism premise.' They falsely posture a scientific status for such beliefs: there is no admission that they are instead a sectarian belief system, as opposed to what is scientifically-based -- at their core.

I consider this grossly medically unethical: how is a patient -- particularly a vulnerable cancer patient -- to make an informed decision, therein?

Note: meanwhile, the AANP-University of Bridgeport-et al. snookered me a decade ago with with their deceptions, literally stating naturopathy is "not a belief system" and is "nonsectarian."

Fascinating...
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