(guerrilla-skeptical-musings upon the 'science subset nonscience' absurd meme known as naturopathy / naturopathic medicine / natural medicine aka 'the naturoPATHillogical'; all episodes of The Naturocrit Podcast can be found at http://naturocrit.podbean.com/ )
here, I cite naturopathy's curt description written into State of Maine law [see 001., below]; and, since that description is SOOOOOO incomplete [to the point of misleading], I then flesh out exactly what it represents FROM WITHIN naturopathy. So, I therefore cite from the clinical practice pages of the chair of the naturopathy board in Maine, who similarly provides an incomplete definition, to further show 'how they do it in Maine' [ see 002.a., below]; but, then her alma mater and the trunk of the naturopathy tree, NCNM, provides a authoritative source for getting to the core premise of naturopathy [see 002.b.] along with sister ND school Bastyr's emeritus president Pizzorno's book "Total Wellness", which is quite an indication of just how supernatural naturopathy's central premise is [see 002.c.]; then, I muse [see 003., below]:
"'naturopathic medicine' means a system of health care for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human health conditions, injuries and diseases that uses education, natural medicines and therapies to support and stimulate the individual's intrinsic self-healing processes [IISHP]."
Note: and that's all you get [coded vitalism]. If taken on face value, this sounds rather mundane. You would think that this is what it says it is, supporting the physiological processes of the human organism so we can recover from illness or injury. Wrong -- not for naturopathy, it is not as simple as that. IISHP is actually a code for a specific sectarian belief, a supernatural belief in an imaginary and science-ejected 'vital force', passed off to the public in quite curt / misleading naturalistic language.
002. Ackerly, S.T. (ND NCNM 1993), chair of the Maine naturopathy board [therefore, a Maine-practicing ND], graduated from NCNM, the trunk of North American naturopathy tree and Rosetta Stone, so to speak, of naturopathy's contents. What does she say? And comparatively, what does NCNM say?
002.a. well, at her practice home pages, you get coded vitalism:
"Northern Sun Family Health Care provides high-quality, comprehensive naturopathic care and midwifery services to midcoast and southern Maine [...use] complementary therapies that aid the body’s natural ability to heal [BNAH...and this is] nature-based health services."
Note: and that's all you get. Natural, natural, natural.
002.b. so, what does NCNM say about IISHP / BNAH / BNHP? Ah, you get the full monty! In "Principles of Healing" [vsc 2010-11-06] NCNM states:
"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis. These principles stand as the distinguishing marks of the profession: [#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae. The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process [...#3] the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself."
Note: NCNM sets the 'quality of knowledge' tone for naturopathy here, in absurdly declaring that that which is truly science-ejected somehow [!!!] survives scientific scrutiny.
002.c. ND Pizzorno, the preeminent spokesperson for naturopathy, writes in the book "Total Wellness: Improve Your Health By Understanding the Body’s Healing Systems" (ISBN 0761504338, 1996):
"some important concepts. Thehealing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae). 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 [...] our underlying healing systems [p.003...] the routes to total wellness. Seven underlying, health-sustaining systems of our body must function effectively to ensure our well-being, prevent disease, and allow a full life [...including] our life-force(or spirit) [thus VFS]. Weakness in any of these seven systems results in susceptibilities that allow most common diseases to develop. Follow the recommendations below, strengthen all of these seven systems, and total wellness is yours [p.024...] live in harmony with your life-force [p.026 ...] live in harmony with thepsychosocial/spiritual/life-force [p.317...] prayer's effect on the one who prays are not as mysterious, sharing common ground with the placebo effect. Both give the body's self-healing mechanisms permission to turn on [p.332...] in mind/body medicine, the placebo effect is recognized as a marshaling of our self-healing abilities-- thelife-forcewithin each of us, which naturopathic physicians call thevis 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...]life force. See spiritual system [p.410]."
Note: I think here I've show how naturopaths use naturalistic language to camouflage a supernaturalistic belief. This is what I mean by exposure of naturopathy "from the inside". What is in Maine law curtly IISHP, and Maine clinical practice BHAH or BNHP, at the mother ship, is vitalism in full regalia. Why don't they tell us this, in law and on their commercial pages? [I muse on this below, at 004.]
Why doesn't naturopathy tell us HPN's actual context transparently?
Why is naturopathy's 'essential science-ejected vitalism belief' hidden:
a) by the Maine legislative language;
b) by the naturopathy syndicate overall, usually?
Regarding a), well because people are lazy, I'll muse, and therein easily manipulated, including legislators.
Regarding b), well, trading on false naturalistic pretenses is naturopathy's M.O.
"two American animal naturopaths have seen a need to have a standard set for their profession and have launched an organization to provide certification and continuing education [...] Dr. Kim Bloomer and Dr. Jeannie Thomason, have instituted [...] the American Council of Animal Naturopathy [...] the two decided to fill the need in order to make available continuing education and to set a standard for their profession through a board certifying examination [...] the organization, American Council of Animal Naturopathy offers a board certifying examination for animal naturopaths to uphold the standard of the principles of naturopathy and for other natural animal health practitioners desiring to be certified in animal naturopathy [...] to learn more visit the website at http://www.AnimalNaturopathyCouncil.org."
"[#2] I will practice the healing power of nature [HPN...last] I will not use misleading, deceptive, irresponsible or fraudulent statements or advertising."
Note: being that HPN, perponderantly per naturopathy, is the science-ejected figment known as a 'life force', and being that that is not clearly communicated on this page in the sense of informed discourse, is ACAN's #2 principle already violating ACAN's last principle?
"'where there are idiots, there is idiocy' [hmmm, I wonder who he's talking about?]. The most definitive negative information about naturopathic medicine on Medline was published back in 2003 by Dr. Atwood [there as a 2004 follow-up, too...supposedly] this is not an objective piece of writing [...] in looking through the study [it's actually a review / analysis / commentary, and the original unfortunately isn't up anymore at MedGenMed, but its follow-up is here] that Dr. Atwood did to become the established expert [...] on naturopathic medicine [strawman?], I found that Dr. Atwood had read a book [I have the original paper, and no, it's not informed by 'a book', it has 53 bibliographical endnotes...] the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine [wrong book, it's the Textbook of Natural Medicine that's referenced, which makes up 8 of those 53 endnotes...which is] a compilation of articles for the lay public [...] we must assume that Dr. Atwood is only as well informed as the lay public about naturopathic medicine [really?...and basically opines that Atwood lacks] the proper humility common to all good clinicians [oh snap!...] I do not need to clarify this contrast with what Dr. Atwood did. His expertise is in internal medicine, but by claiming expertise based on a single book readingI begin to doubt his level of knowledge within his own area. Anyone who feels comfortable expressing such definitive opinions with such little information seems unlikely to be exploring his own area with a great deal of diligence [seeing as how Maloney didn't actually read the actual study he is taking umbrage with, apparently, I think this is quite an ironic insult...] Dr. Atwood is unpublished in his own field [...and] seems unable to meet the standards necessary for peer review publication of a contribution within internal medicine [...] if Dr. Atwood were serious about studying naturopathic medicine [etc.]."
Note: so, it appears that ND Maloney only read the article's abstract and assumed its source. Maloney's defense / rebuttal of the contents of the Medline pieces is, therein, uninformed character assassination / ad hominem. He has not addressed anything substantive. How can he, without having read the actual article! He has accomplished nothing here but to spotlight the very thing about himself that he accuses another of: intellectual laziness.
This type of uninformed condescension / deflective nastiness makes sense, though, if you were part of a cultic group that has trained you to defensively prevent yourself from exposure to criticism of your group's contents.
here, I cite from two media sources regarding homeopathy. One endorses homeopathy uncritically, by -- yes, you guess it -- citing an AANP naturopath [see 001., below]; and the other cites a study that dismisses homeopathy, a study that uncritically tries to salvage specific-to-homeopathy benefits [see 002., below]; then, I remind that the naturopathy crowd claims, quite falsely, that homeopathy is science [see 003., below]:
001. Charlotte, N.C.'s WSOCTV.com states in "Homeopathy Insight" (2010-11-18)[vsc 2010-11-19]:
"homeopathy is a form of complementary and alternative medicine based on a premise called the 'principle of similars' or 'like cures like.' According to homeopathic theory, any substance (plant, animal or mineral) that causes illness in a healthy person will cure a person who is sick with that same illness when given in extremely dilute doses [...] common reasons for use include: allergies, flu, asthma and childhood diarrhea [...] Judy Fulop, N.D. [(NCNM)...] naturopathic physician with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. IL, says [...] it takes many years of study to learn about the various remedies [...and] homeopathic remedies can be used to relieve some of the side effects of illness or treatment [really?]."
Note: ND Fulup's work bio. states [vsc 2010-11-19]:
"Judy's philosophy is built on the principles of naturopathic medicine: support the healing power of nature [HPN]."
Being that she is an NCNM graduate, you can decode HPN here, which is the science-ejected sectarian concept central to naturopathy: life force falsely claimed as science. Oh how they love to not be transparent, and to falsely label.
"Dr. Fulop is currently the vice president of the Illinois Naturopathic Medical Association and chairperson of the Legislative and Legal committee working on ND licensure in Illinois. She introduced House Bill #1591 and Senate Bill #1758 in the Illinois legislative process. She is a board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee, and member of the Public Affairs committee."
"homeopathy can reduce the symptoms of disease, but it is the consultations not the remedies which are responsible, a new study has found [...] it made no difference whether the solution they received was a genuine homeopathic tincture prescribed to treat rheumatism, or a placebo [...] those who had a series of five consultations with a homeopathic doctor experienced 'significant clinical benefits,' - whether the tincture they received was a specially prepared 'homeopathic' remedy used to treat rheumatism, or a placebo. Patients given exactly the same remedies without the consultations did not gain the improvements [...] Dr Sarah Brien, the study’s lead author, said that while previous research had suggested homeopathy could help patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the study provided the first scientific evidence to show such benefits were 'specifically due to its unique consultation process.'"
Note: so, the reporter repeated the spin of the study's author, that there's something UNIQUE to the homeopathic encounter though the pill is inert. But, Edzard Ernst says it best, in the same journal issue that that homeopathy study was published within, in "Homeopathy, Non-Specific Effects and Good Medicine" (2010-11-13):
"in this issue, Brien et al. report the findings of a five-armed randomized controlled trial, which was aimed at differentiating between the effects of homeopathic remedies and patient consultations. The authors demonstrate that homeopathic remedies are placebos and show that 'the benefits of homeopathy are attributable to the consultation' [...] homeopathic remedies [...] are biologically implausible, and the 150 published trials collectively fail to indicate clinical effectiveness [...yes,] patients benefit from a long and empathic encounter with a homeopath but not from the remedy [...yes,] the effective element is not specifically homeopathy but the therapeutic relationship in general [...so, overall] homeopathic remedies are ineffective and empathetic therapeutic encounters are helpful [...] we should discard the ineffective and adopt the helpful. If we do this, we must tell our patients that homeopathic remedies are both implausible and ineffective. Thus, they cannot be recommended."
Yes, there's NOTHING UNIQUE to the homeopathic encounter and the pills are inert.
Note: homeopathy is truly science-ejected, at that tertiary level of the above. Naturopathy, at that secondary level, is itself science-ejected essentially due to 'that which is essentially naturopathic.' It is sad to think about all the people, both students and patients, that naturopathy is mindfucking with their cultic homeopathy penchant.
here, I quote from a naturopath who explicitly states that "life force" (a.k.a. The Vis, in naturopathy lingo) is not scientific and that [apparently] science is 'a convenient mentionable' [see 001., below]; then, I point out '.gov' naturopathy claims that "life force" / vitalism survives scientific scrutiny WHILE ACTUALLY hugely science-ejected [see 002., below]; then, I show that that 'life force concept claimed as science' IS a primary item of the naturopathy oath [see 003., below]; finally, I muse [see 004., below]:
"trying to find solid health information [...with so much out there apparently] very authoritative and credibleon the surface [...yet ultimately of] a hidden agenda [...] insufficient evidence
[...and warns of]disinformation tactics[which] work by making the truth appear false and the false appear true [...via statements apparently] based in fact, but twisted [...offering] woo-woo [...from]huckstersand charlatans[...selling]snake oil to the unwitting public [(my irony meter is exploding)...]
[and he speaks of avoiding] the top three disinformation tactics out there [...] to protect yourself from these unscrupulous literary magicians [...with the #1 tactic being] lack of evidence equals evidence of lack[(I'm not kidding here)...and gives three examples concerning]no scientific evidence
[...and offers, as the fourth] let's take on a big one: there is no scientific evidence showing the existence [of] an invisible life force (spirit, qi, chi, prana, etc.) [vitalism, naturopathy's big one!] that supports living beings. The above statement is certainly true
[...and regarding science states] we should put scientific evidence in its rightful place asone of many useful ways to understand the world around us[(as in, 'not a priority')...]it is not necessary for science to support every little statement that a health professional makes [(as in 'not a priority)]."
Note: so, we get the admitted scientific dismissal of vitalism as a scientific theory, essentially. And science, thought the best way to comprehend the world around us, is not much of a priority. In 004., I'll comment on other things from the above.
I sense a little hypocrisy here, as in 'my educational credentials claim a reasonable basis and priority of science, when convenient' [used for marketing legitimacy, ignored for the basis of 'the essentially naturopathic']. And, naturopathy's principles are 'described' without actually much description / transparency:
"principles of naturopathic medicine [...#2]healing power of nature [coded vitalism], naturopathic medicine recognizes a self-healing process of the body [coded vitalism] that is ordered and intelligent. We do not purport to be the cause of cure, but simply a catalyst to effect that which would occur naturally, given the right conditions and resources."
002. the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine states in "Naturopathy" [vsc 2010-11-16]:
"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis[...#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae [HPN-VMN a.k.a. 'The Vis'...] nature heals through the response of the life force [(vitalism)...#3] the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, an expression of thelife force attempting to heal itself."
"I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and scienceof Naturopathic Medicine
I will continually endeavor to improvemy abilities.
I will conduct my life and practice of Naturopathic Medicine with integrityandfreedom from prejudice
[(my irony meter is again over-the-limit)...]
I will honor the principles of Naturopathic Medicine
to cooperate with the healing powers of nature [(HPN-VMN; coded vitalism)...]
with my whole heart, before these witnesses, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath."
Note: so, the HPN-VMN is obviously a naturopath's by-oath obligation [vitalism camouflaged, falsely labeled as science].
So, what can be culled from all this?
Well, I've obviously found an ND/NMD who disavows THE primary REQUIRED naturopathy belief / tenet [a science-ejected / -unsupported sectarian concept (of many such in naturopathy)] that is usually FALSELY stated as scientific fact.
That is quite a find: a huge absurdity [the nonscientific falsely labeled science] piled upon another huge absurdity [a by-oath requirement then disavowed].
"solid health information" - I hope it's now obvious that naturopathy's claims, at their highest echelon, are no way 'solid', e.g. it irrationally labels something what it hugely isn't;
"authoritativeand credible on the surface" - yes, camouflaged / coded, as naturopathy poses as legitimate yet when you analyze it, it falls apart;
"a hidden agenda" - can you say naturopathy's M.O., as we see with this NMD and the MANP that he's secretary of, e.g. the vitalism tenet, coded, with a false science label AS AN AGENDA?;
"disinformation tactics" - something naturopathy has obviously mastered;
"the truth appear false and the false appear true" and "based in fact, but twisted" - reminds me of naturopathy's 'reversal of values' M.O.;
"woo-woo" - a skeptical word, misappropriated [?];
"hucksters and charlatans", "[selling] snake oil to the unwitting public", "unscrupulous literary magicians" - sounds like sCAM that scamming scam scam;
"lack of evidence equals evidence of lack" - this is thoroughly illogical and practically straw-man. It is this simple: science relies upon evidence, and to base medical decisions on 'a HUGE nonscience lack' is NUTS;
"no scientific evidence" - ah-hum, can anyone say naturopathy's vitalism and supernaturalism? [amongst other things naturopathic]];
"there is no scientific evidence showing the existence [of] an invisible life force (spirit, qi, chi, prana, etc.) [...] the above statement is certainly true" - yes it is CERTAIN [science-ejected, more specifically], and it's nice to hear this little bit of huge honesty yet naturopaths have a greatly absurd quandary here: claiming science while actually hugely essentially nonscientific, by oath;
science as "one of many useful ways to understand the world around us" "it is not necessary for science to support every little statement that a health professional makes" - since science is the BEST way to know about the world around us, other ways are not as useful for something as serious as medicine, and I would think that it IS NECESSARY for someone in commerce and the professions to properly label what hugely isn't science as not science, instead of what naturopathy is doing, which falsely labeling the nonscientific science and trading upon it.
"here's another installment in my continuing series of complaints against the College of Naturopathic Medicine [...] can the college substantiate any of their claims [...about] reflexology [...and] applied kinesiology [...e.g., the former] 'helps to restore natural balance of the body resulting in an improved sense of health and well being [sic]. Energy, mood, circulation and immunity can also be enhanced. This relaxing treatment benefits many health conditions such as: stress, anxiety, insomnia, muscular pain, headaches, migraines, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances e.g. PMS, menopause, and more' [...and the latter] 'uses muscles testing to identify imbalances within the body, so removes the need for guess-work in treating a client, friends and family [...] kinesiology [...] produces results quickly' [...] I suspect that the booklet may be in breach of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) [...for both,] under Section 12.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate their claims."
002. well, it can't hurt to complain about part of the weird diagnostics and treatments that are within 'the hugely weird naturopathic'.
here, I cite from a recent interview of one NCNM ND by another at Natural Medicine Journal [NMJ] regarding evidence based medicine [EBM; see 001., below]; then, I illuminate the 'actual naturopathic' [see 002., below]; and, I muse on the lunacy [see 003., below]:
"ND Kaczor: Dr. Barrett, as you know, there is a general acceptance of the evidence-based model as the paradigm in which all medicine should be practiced [...] in particular randomized-controlled trials [00.00.43...] can you speak to some of the pros and cons of using evidence-based medicine in the application of naturopathic care [00.00.58]?
ND Barrett: [00.01.03] I actually prefer the term evidence-informed medicine [...] I'm definitely leaning towards the pro side [00.01.14...] but, on the other side, I'm very much a naturopathic doctor in philosophy and outlook as well. I think a lot of people say that you kind of have to pick one side: either [the] scientific point of view or have fidelity to naturopathic philosophy. I think that's really a false dichotomy [00.01.56...with the philosophical context including] the Therapeutic Order [TO...and] the Naturopathic Principles [NP, 00.02.17...and then quotes] David Young [...] someone outside the field [...who is not an ND then, obviously, said, defending naturopathy,] 'naturopathic physicians are in the possession of the same set of scientific facts as conventional physicians, but conscienciously differ on how to apply that knowledge.' I think that sums it up pretty well [00.02.44].
ND Barrett: [00.15.00] We always want to use the filter of the philosophy."
Note: so, there is a strong claim of the naturopathic being science, and there's talk of within all that are the NP and TO filters. What is, specifically, within these 'filters'?
002. hmmmm, their filtering -- 'the actual naturopathic' / the 'essentially naturopathic' -- is, indeed, science-ejected woo [these are only two aspects of this sectarian belief system, there are many more!]:
"the vis medicatrix naturae, the vital force, the healing power of nature. This is the first step in the hierarchy of healing and what naturopathic physicians may call the overarching clinical theory of naturopathic medicine: the therapeutic order [p.034]."
Note: vitalism is hugely science-ejected.
002.b. naturopathy's supernaturalism, via their NP, on one of their State board '.gov' web pages, the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine's "Naturopathy", which states:
"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis [...#1] nature heals through the response of the life force [...#3] the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself [...#5] the physician must also make a commitment to his/her personal and spiritual development in order to be a good teacher [...] causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual [...] health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors."
Note: any supernaturalism is hugely science-ejected, though the OBNM claims in these principles' contents such is "objective" and "in fact" able to survive scientific scrutiny. Notice that vitalism is in there too, just as falsely claimed to be just as scientific.
003. so, here's the 'naturopathy lunacy':
the hugely not science claimed as science.
Note: so, in the ultimate reversal of values, naturopathy is essentially 'science-ejected based medicine' [SEBM].
I would place scientific rigor on this continuum, starting from least to most scientifically rigorous: SEBM, EBM, SBM [science-based medicine].
SEBM is categorically / by definition, NOT SCIENCE.
You can find this lunacy explicitly stated at the alma mater and employer of these two NDs, NCNM. This is truly the naturopaTHICK.
here, I cite from a 2010-11 Youtube bit from British Columbia, Canada that cannot say enough good things about naturopathy [with not a peep mentioned about its lunacy; see 001., below]; then, I cite from the web pages of the ND who is spotlighted in the video [see 002., below]; and finally, I offer a little bit of British Columbia ND lunacy [see 003., below]:
"naturopathic physicians have for years used nontraditional remedies very effectively to help their patients [...now] BC naturopaths have been granted the authority to administer drugs to their patients [...] Dr. Neil McKinney, B.SC., ND, naturopathic physician in oncology [...talks of] 'herbal tinctures and homeopathicremedies[...] Chinese medicine [...] I have a broad set of tools to work with [... ] we are very well trained' [...the prescriptive rights do not include] federally regulated drugs with high abuse potential [...and NDs say they now can] serv their patients better [...and we're told by the reporter] it's not about who is right or wrong, its about what works."
Note: wow, hugely gushing endorsement. Is this journalism or advertisement? "Very effectively" and "what works"? HOMEOPATHY [remedies with nothing in them]? Fascinating that we're informed that this ND has a science degree [this is a confidence game!].
"cancer treatment [...] natural medicines can help cancer patients at any stage. Therapy may include Iscador Mistletoe Therapy (an advanced cancer therapy from Germany) [...] homeopathy: since 1974 Dr. McKinney has been building a foundation of experience and training in classical constitutional and complex homeopathy for acute and chronic illnesses [...] Dr. McKinney offers a gentle homeopathic version of a flu shot that works with your immune system to give excellent protection [...via] Natural Immune Boost Injection (our version of the flu shot) [by] Heel of Germany has created two all natural homeopathic injectable remedies for influenza prevention. When taken together they form a powerful resistance to colds, flu and other viral diseases. The ingredients are simple herbs in a very dilute form, they stimulate the immune system to a high state of readiness to meet and defeat whatever strains may come along [...] we [also] offer a homeopathic approach to de-sensitizing allergies and sensitivities [...and] herbal homeopathic injections [...and] electrodermal screening assessment."
Iscador is known NOT to work, according to PubMed, as an antitumor agent in mice. It is one of these anthroposophy/Steiner strange ideas, and as Quackwatch states: "in 1984, the expert working group of the Swiss Society for Oncology concluded that there was no evidence that Iscador was effective against human cancers [...] more than 30 clinical studies have investigated imistletoe as a cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute has concluded: 'reports of improved survival and/or quality of life have been common, but nearly all of the studies had major weaknesses that raise doubts about the reliability of the findings.'"
Homeopathic flu prophylaxis is ABSURDLY IMPOTENT, according to Science-Based Medicine's "Homeopathic Vaccines" by Dr. Crislip (2010-11-05): "the sad thing is parents will be fooled into thinking that their children are protected from infectious diseases, when, in fact, they are not. Vaccines do not provide perfect protection; neither do seat belts. But a vaccine is superior to the nothing of homeopathy and I would bet that parents would not rely on a child car restraint made by the same process as homeopathy."
Electrodermal screening is what I've termed a pseudodiagnostic, and Science Based Medicine's "Another State Promotes the Pseudoscientific Cult that is 'Naturopathic Medicine' - Part 1" (2008) by Dr. Atwood reminds us that: "the FDA has, for practical purposes, declared such devices illegal."
003. the BCNA and NCNM's lunacy [since ND McKinney doesn't describe naturopathy at all, so one can make an informed decision]:
"naturopathic medicine is science based natural medicine [...] the philosophy of naturopathic treatment [...includes] first, vis medicatrix naturae: the body has the inherent capacity to heal in the proper therapeutic environment [coded vitalism]. NDs believe in the recuperative power of the organism [coded vitalism...] embracing these tenets, on a science-based platform, is at the heart of naturopathic care."
Note: now, there's quite a 'science promise' in that description. The lunacy is that VMN is hugely a science-ejected idea, when you look at what naturopathy essentially means by it - vitalism. So, the heart of naturopathy is deception and irrationality.
003.b. ND McKinney's alma mater, National College of Natural Medicine [NCNM], exemplifies this irrationality. In "Principles of Healing" [vsc 2010-11-06] NCNM states:
"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis. These principles stand as the distinguishing marks of the profession: [#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae [...] nature heals through the response of the life force [etc.]."
Note: so, a sectarian science-ejected figmentation [a 'life force'] is falsely labeled 'in fact able to survive scientific scrutiny.'
[And we were to believe -- falsely -- that naturopathy is very effective and about what works].
"naturopathic medicine focuses on the vitalistic tradition of medicine, emphasizing the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of theinherent healing capacity of the person [IHCP]. Methods of treatments are chosen to work with the patient's vital force [VF], respecting the intelligence of the natural healing process [INHP (a teleological process)…#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae [HPN-VMN...] nature heals through the response of the life force [LF...#3] first do no harm, primum no nocere. Illness is a purposeful [that is, teleological] process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force [LF] attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complimentary to and synergistic with this healing process [THP]. The physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae [VMN]."
Note: so, the terms that encompass naturopathy's essential vitalistic context include "vitalistic", IHCP, VF, INHP, HPN-VMN, LF, THP. And this is "in fact."
"naturopathic medicine represents the 'vitalistic' tradition of medicine [...] it treats disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the patient's inherent healing capacity [IHC...] powerful and effective treatment modalities are chosen to work with the patient's vital force [VF], respecting the natural healing processes of nature [NHPN...] the following principles make naturopathic medicine different from all other medical approaches: [#1] first do no harm, primum no nocere: illness is a purposeful [teleological] process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, an expression of the life force [LF] attempting to heal itself [...] the physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis mediatrix [sp., 'medicatrix'] naturae -- the healing power of nature [VMN-HPN...#2] the healing power of nature, vis mediatrix [sp., 'medicatrix'] naturae [...] the healing process is ordered and intelligent [teleological]; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate this process [TP]."
Note: so, the terms that encompass naturopathy's essential vitalistic context include "vitalistic", IHC, VF, NHPN, LF, VMN-HPN, TP. This is "in fact" again, and "in fact" "powerful and effective."
"the philosophy of naturopathic medicine: living things have an innate ability to heal themselves. The human vital force [HVP] promotes self-cleansing, self-repair, and therefore self-healing [...] homeopathic medicine [...] stimulates the patient's vital force to help resolve the disease."
Note: so, the terms that encompass naturopathy's essential vitalistic context include HVF, VF. You can see how wed naturopathy is to homeopathy, sharing the same vitalistic underpinning.
002. vitalism, in the land of scientific literacy, is hugely science-ejected [I won't even go into their particular 'naturopathic supernaturalism', which is likewise SUPERBLY science-ejected]:
One of my favorite quotes about vitalism goes like this:
"[Richard Dawkins] life is the execution of programs written using a small digital alphabet in a single, universal machine language. This realization was the hammer blow that knocked the last nail in the coffin of vitalism and, by extension, of dualism. The hammer was wielded, with undisguised youthful relish, by James Watson and Francis Crick [p.030...] for me, the greatest achievement of Watson and Crick was to turn genetics from a branch of wet and squishy physiology into a branch of information technology, in the process slaying, as I suggested above, the ghost of vitalism [p.226]."
003. so, it's amazing, in this here 2010 [and 14 years from when I was first induced into this stupidity by the naturopathy hierarchy]:
you go to a school labeled science, and you get a bunch of junk you are obligated to by oath that is HUGELY science-ejected. Naturopathy claims professionalism, but BLATANTLY can't even meet the lower standards of basic fair-commerce.
here, I quote from the position statement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) regarding the inappropriateness of having supernaturalism in a science curriculum / classroom [see 001., below]; then, I connect this to naturopathy, which incorrectly places, AT THE DOCTORAL REGIONALLY ACCREDITED LEVEL, the supernatural as WITHIN science [see 002., below]:
"it is the responsibility of the Illinois Federation of Teachers to preserve the integrity of science in the classroom; therefore be it resolved [...] supernaturalism is not a scientific endeavor and [...] is inappropriate for inclusion in the science curriculum [...] science is a systematic method for investigating natural phenomena through experimentation, observation and measurement leading to falsifiable explanations that are open to continuous testing [...and] proceeds on the basis of methodological naturalism and assumes observed phenomena of the universe are real, nature is consistent and understandable, and nature is explainable in terms of laws and theories [...] there have been attempts in some states to include supernaturalism in the science curriculum as an alternative to scientific explanations of nature, particularly as an alternative to evolutionary theory [...] arguments that invoke supernaturalism are grounded in religious or philosophical considerations outside the realm of science; and [...as such are] also attacks on the validity of using reason and experimentation to understand the universe [...] legislation that conflates supernaturalism [and science], or limits, or prohibits the teaching of any scientific theory negatively impacts our ability to make informed decisions [...] adopted at the 2010 Illinois Federation of Teachers Convention."
Note: hoo-ya. IFT expressly states that this is not a statement regarding belief or non-belief in god, or promotion or retardation of any other religiosity.
002. meanwhile, in naturopathy-land [for instance, in my State of Connecticut], the supernatural [as a general epistemic and ontological mode and type] is placed improperly within the scientific.
"this blog has opposed the statutory regulation of superstitious medical practices, such as homeopathy, and it would be hypocritical of me if I thought chiropractors should be an exception [(or naturopathy, in my view!)...] it was a big mistake to give official state recognition and regulation to a discredited, superstitious and pseudoscientific form of medical treatment [...] chiropractic theory has been shown to be nothing but mystical whimsy [...it is] a cult-like pseudomedical trade [...] it is not a mature profession as it cannot even agree on what the essential nature of their [attempted] profession is. The core concept of the chiropractic subluxation, that drives their philosophy and practice, has been rejected by the regulator [...] the Universities [...have] complicity in the deception that is much of chiropractic [...students] are misled into believing that what they are learning has an academic status that cannot be justified by reason or evidence [...it is] a pseudoscientific education."
"an osteopath has an D.O. degree, which is different from the standard medical (M.D.) degree [...granted] some osteopaths (DOs) are probably better doctors than some MDs [...] given that some MDs are outrageous promoters of pseudoscience [...e.g.] Andrew Weil [...yet] the training is not the same: the universities offering DO and MD degrees are largely disjoint, the standards are higher at schools offering MDs, and osteopathic colleges offer 'extra' training in [their] pseudoscientific practices [...overall,] when I’m looking for a doctor, I want someone who went to one of the best medical schools and received strictly science-based training. Colleges of osteopathic medicine do not fit the bill [...similarly,] a growing number of mainstream medical schools offer training in 'integrative' medicine, the latest marketing term used to disguise pseudoscience in the guise of real science. Those medical schools [...] have some explaining to do as well."
Note: there's no mention of naturopathy, so I'll make mention.
002. particularly applicable to naturopathy is the phrase:
"warning: when homeopathy is practiced, substances are diluted to the point that there is only water present, plus the magical signature that the original substance imparted to the water. Patients are not receiving any medicine at all, unless water and sugar are considered medicine [...] the human body, as well as the the bodies of other living creatures, have the ability to heal themselves up to a certain point. Homeopathic success stories are largely due to this innate ability of the body [...] most people who practice homeopathic medicine believe it works and defend it even though there is no scientific proof [...] if your naturopathic doctor is practicing homeopathic medicine on you, then you should ask them to stop, or just say, 'no thank you' [...] for a practitioner to use magic (homeopathy), then that is an obstacle to cure, because they are wasting your time and theirs. Your doctor should be using scientific principles to eradicate disease, not magic backed up by hearsay, which is the basis of the 'science' of homeopathy."
Note: membership is available [see 002., below]. I, not an ND / NMD, am ineligible.
002. on the NAH page "Membership" [vsc 2010-10-31], ND Davis writes:
"to become a member of Naturopaths against Homeopathy, one must first be a naturopath. Second, you must be against homeopathy. Third, you must also be against applied kinesiology, reflexology, qi therapy, iridology, reiki, flower essences, vis therapy (http://novfsinscience.blogspot.com/ ). If you satisfy these three conditions and would like to be considered for membership, then click on this link to contact the President of NAH [at] http://www.doingwellness.com/contact."
Note: now, I must admit, the page he directs towards regarding 'the veez' / vis is my own.
here, is an example of a magical belief masquerading as a plain Jane health and fitness article [see 001., below]; then, I cite from a recent Skeptic North article on magical beliefs [see 002., below]; then, from my own compilation covering how 'vitalism is science ejected' [see 003., below]; and finally, from the Quackwatch article on reiki [see 004., below]:
001. Connecticut's WTNH states in "Relax with Reiki" (2010-10-25)[vsc 2010-10-26]:
"reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing that treats the whole person [...a] Japanese term [...] 'rei' means universal and 'ki' means 'life force energy' [LFE...it is] the energy found within all living things [...and is] passed from the practitioner to the recipient through the practitioner’s hands [...and] brings balance and maintains health and well-being [...this is] a natural way to heal the body [...] it encourages the body’s healing response [...] reiki can help with a variety of emotional and physical ailments from anxiety and stress to injury, and cancer."
Note: so, by use of hands, we're naturally healed by LFE. I argue that reiki is an engagement with the supernatural, and that LFE is imaginary. There is a six minute video segment on the WTNH page, where we're told it has "amazing benefits." And, of course, the terms "chakra" and "meridians" come up. I call this an advertisement because it is completely credulous and offers no other opinion besides overwhelming support. Even the so often fair-balanced distortion at least would be bad journalism. This isn't journalism.
"by tying it to the scientific method, we admit that there are three possible values for a magical belief: the belief has not been tested, the belief is un-testable by scientific means, the belief has been tested and is false [...] vitalism – the belief that living things posses an animating energy or life force [...] I['ve] lumped everything that had to do with a life force or vital essence [...including] reiki [...such] animism is generally considered alongside theism as a religious belief, yet its spirits typically profess no intelligence, making them more akin to a vital energy than a god."
Note: so, reiki categorically is in the magical, animistic, vitalistic woo area.
004. Reiki's cousin, therapeutic touch, specifically, was scientifically dismantled by an 10 year old girl. See "Reiki is Nonsense" at Quackwatch where we're reminded:
"reiki has no substantiated health value and lacks a scientifically plausible rationale. Science-based healthcare settings should not tolerate its use, and scarce government research dollars should not be used to study it further."
"'I have made it completely clear that there is no scientific basis for homeopathy beyond the placebo effect and that there are serious concerns about its efficacy, Professor Beddington [...] the country's most senior scientist [...] told the Commons Science and Technology Committee today [..and] patients are at risk of being misled over the benefits of homeopathy by the government's decision to fund the remedies on the NHS [...] patients might believe homeopathic treatments could protect them against serious illnesses, or treat existing conditions [...but] homeopathic remedies are diluted multiple times to the point that only water is left, while others are essentially sugar pills [...] government funding for homeopathy risked legitimising unproven treatments and that patients could harm their health by choosing these over conventional vaccines and medicines [...] Professor Beddington cited the case of a man who caught malaria after being advised to take a homeopathic preparation to protect against the disease."
"the one thing that is more absurd than homeopathy is the regulation of homeopathic products [...] they do not require any testing for safety and effectiveness [...] the labeling requirements are almost Orwellian. They need to list ingredients – even the ones that are not actually in the preparation because they have been diluted past the point where there is likely to be a single molecule left. They must list the indications – despite the fact that there aren’t any. There isn’t a single proven indication for any homeopathic remedy. So homeopaths essentially have to make up multiple fictions to put on the label of homeopathic products – in the name of consumer information [...] there is no there, there. Homeopathic pills are literal placebos – nothing but sugar and water [...] homeopathy is an unmitigated scam [...] a pure pseudoscience [...we need] the laws to catch up to the science [...] homeopathic remedies [...] should be banned as fraudulent."
Note: meanwhile, ND / NMDs label homeopathy science. I was required to do homeopathy courses during my ND-school days -- classes I refused to do, ultimately. I was quite struck by the insane credulity of the student body, the cultic gullibility.
"in my mind I’d formed a rough ontology that sorted all magical practices [...] in the first category, I put the sympathetic magic practices above. In the second, I lumped everything that had to do with a life force or vital essence [vitalism...] in the third category was everything that posited some sort of internal or external super-intelligence [...yet] many practices fit in more than one of my categories [...e.g.] homeopathy, while generally identified as sympathetic magic, is often said to work by impacting a vital force [(that's what I was taught in ND school!)...and] some superficially similar practices have very different underlying mechanisms [...] animism is generally considered alongside theism as a religious belief, yet its spirits typically profess no intelligence, making them more akin to a vital energy than a god."
Note: I'm loving the material and the approach -- go there, read it, gnaw at it, comment!
"Q. What is the best thing I can do to prevent H1N1 or other flus? A. Regular cleansing programs. Take a good probiotic regularly. Take cod liver oil daily. Take homeopathic flu prophylaxis from October until April of every year for you and your family. Limit sugar intake. Get 8 hours of sleep every night."
Note: the take-home message seems to be that this treatment protocol will be "best". I'll comment on two things: "cleansing programs" are for detoxing imaginary toxins naturopaths continually warn us about; "homeopathic flu prophylaxis" is absurd as protection [prophylaxis; the function of vaccination, which actually works] since there isn't anything in a homeopathic remedy. If your family members are at risk for flu (say very young, very old, or particularly compromised), this does not sound "best" yet it is stated in quite an absolute manner. Now, a lot of people say 'oh, what's the harm so long as modern medical treatment is being used concurrently.' But, ND Pincott in no manner advises here that which works best for the particularly vulnerable to prevent flu morbity and mortality: seasonal vaccination. Horrid.
And nowhere is it disclosed that homeopathic treatment is placebo therapy.