Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inspired by Scienceblogs.com - RI on Naturo. and Homeo., and My Expansion of the Matter

here, I cite from Scienceblogs.com's Respectful Insolence blog concerning the relationship between naturopathy and homeopathy [see 001., below]; then, I list 13 random AANP-type naturopaths who label their mandatory homeopathy "science", from my archives [see 002., below]; finally, I expand upon the naturopathic pseudostructuring of knowledge types as a type of 'epistemic pathology' [see 003., below]:

001. Orac writes in "You Can't Have Naturopathy Without Homeopathy" (2011-01-28):

"the bottom line is that, for how badly its practitioners want to represent naturopathy as science-based and rational, in reality naturopathy is anything but [hear, hear! it is truly the reversal of all values]. It embraces virtually any form of CAM therapy [sCAMs!], no matter how irrational, and its practitioners simply choose what subset of woo they want to use in their practice. If you want to know just how credulous and pseudoscientific naturopathy is, just remember that not only is homeopathy embraced by naturopaths, but knowledge of homeopathic practice is mandatory. It's taught by naturopathy schools, and naturopaths have to know enough about it to pass the NPLEX, which includes homeopathy on it. Homeopathy and naturopathy: two crappy woos that taste crappy together [damn, I thought 'like cures like', and the woos would sum to zero!  So much for that 'law']."

Note: yes, you cannot graduate from North American ND / NMD schools without taking their homeopathy series of courses and treating a certain amount of patients in their clinics homeopathically [this was certainly true when I was in ND school, and it is homeopathy that principly disgusted me most about that experience at the University of Bridgeport to the point that I stopped my schooling in the forth year].  But, NPLEX not only requires homeopathy, it falsely labels homeopathy a "clinical science".  Homeopathy is as much as science as the reading of tea leaves, astrology, the laying on of hands, and Mesmerism.  Yes, that is falsehood on a supposed professional licensure exam!  Irrationality marches on!

But, homeopathy is not the principle issue regarding the 'pathology of the natural' / naturopathy.  Removing homeopathy from naturopathy would merely be removal of a diseased branch of a diseased tree, and then incorrectly stating that the tree is well.  As I go through this post, we'll approach the trunk of that tree, the nexus of the disease afflicting the whole tree: what I see as naturopathy's principle 'knowledge type disease'.  I choose the tree metaphor because naturopathy does too.  It labels itself from the very top [here too] and from the very bottom one of the "branches of medical science".  But, that wouldn't be science from this world; it might be science in Bizarro World.

002. 'homeopathy is science' according to:

002.a. Palka, K. (ND SCNM) who states in "About Naturopathic Doctors" [vsc 2011-01-16]:

"curricula at the seven accredited naturopathic medical schools are comparable in basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, to traditional medical school.  In addition, naturopathic science courses include nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, mind/body medicine and other therapeutics."

002.b. Pratt, S. (ND NCNM 2004) who states in "Education and Licensing" [vsc 2010-06-11]:

"a licensed naturopathic physician (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. [...] to enter into the clinical training of the third year, students must pass all basic sciences and diagnostic courses [...] NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for naturopathic physicians in North America. It includes 5 basic science exams (anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology) taken after the first 2 years of medical school. The clinical science examinations are taken following graduation after the 4th year of school. They include: clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging, botanical medicine, pharmacology, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, minor surgery, psychology and lifestyle counseling, and emergency medicine."

002.c. Kanevski, J. (ND Bastyr 2006) who states in "Our Services" [vsc 2009-02-10]:

"the medical science of homeopathy was founded by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann about 200 years ago. It is being used extensively in Europe, Israel, and India. It is gaining popularity in the United States. Health professionals that practice homeopathy include naturopathic physicians, osteopathic doctors, medical doctors, chiropractors, veterinarians, and trained professional homeopaths."

002.d.  Kargman, S. (NMD SCNM) who states in "About Naturopathic Medicine" [vsc 2011-01-08]:

"naturopathic physicians (N.D.s or N.M.D.s) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. They are educated in conventional medical sciences as well as complementary modalities. Naturopathic physicians treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, Oriental medicine and acupuncture, natural childbirth, and hydrotherapy [...] naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science."

002.e. Coe, C. (BINM), Gallant, J. (ND BINM), Vandekerkhove, A. (ND BINM) who state in "What Is Naturopathic Medicine?" [vsc 2011-01-29]:

"naturopathic physicians are trained in the conventional medical sciences and pathology to diagnose in a manner similar to medical doctors (MDs) […] they use therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, clinical psychology, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine […] naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medicine."

002.f.  Cohen, H. (ND CCNM 1990) who states in "Dictionary" [vsc 2011-01-29]:

"homeopathy is a holistic medical science […] homeopathy practiced by naturopathic physicians, WHEREAS homeopathy has been an integral part of naturopathic medicine since its inception and is a recognized specialty for which the naturopathic profession has created a distinct specialty organization, the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians, WHEREAS homeopathy has been recognized, through rigorous testing and experimentation, as having significant scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and safety […] naturopathic medicine, sometimes called 'naturopathy,' is as old as healing itself and as new as the latest discoveries in biochemical sciences […] the naturopathic medical profession's infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing by a growing number of states, national standards of practice and care, peer review, and an ongoing commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research [...] naturopathic medicine […is a] science […] naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles which underlie and determine its practice. These principles are based upon the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. Methods used are consistent with these principles […] a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD."

002.g.  Coward, S. (ND SCNM), Lewis, K. (ND SCNM) who state in "Misconceptions Aside, Homeopathy Has Stood the Test of Time" (2009-06-25):

"homeopathy is a 200-year-old medicinal science."

002.h. Cronin, B. (ND Bastyr 2002) who states in "Naturopathic Medicine" [vsc 2010-06-23]:

"in addition to the basic medical sciences and conventional diagnostics, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete additional training in therapeutic nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine and counseling. A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional basic science and clinical board examinations so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction [...] naturopathic diagnostic and therapies are supported by scientific research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, etc.."

002.i. Bailetti, K. (ND CCNM) who states in "About Katia Bailetti ND" [vsc 201-01-23]:

"licensed naturopathic doctors in Ontario have achieved the following training [...] successful completion of North American licensing exams including basic sciences, (anatomy, biochmistry [sp., biochemistry], microbiology, immunology, physiology and pathology), as well as clinical sciences (physical and clinical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, emergency medicine, clinical nutrition, physical medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and homeopathy)".

002.j. Beaty, J.K. (ND Bastyr 1988) who states in "Naturopathic Medicine" [vsc 2010-06-20]:

"naturopathic medicine is as much a philosophy of life as it is a science [...] naturopathic doctors [...] are educated in the conventional medical sciences, diagnostic techniques and methods, but prefer to treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling and hydrotherapy [...] we cooperate with all other branches of the medical sciences."

Overall note: I think it is clear that preponderantly -- and the naturopaths above are from the schools in the U.S. and Canada -- naturopathy claims homeopathy is science, and homeopathy is inseparable from naturopathy as it is "required" and "integral".  The Cohen link is useful because the AANP has buried its position papers.  This happened particularly after the Atwood pieces were published several years ago in MedGenMed.  Homeowatch has a 1993 version up, so its still publicly accessible.

003. naturopathy's 'epistemic pathology' by way of the  the "Textbook of Natural Medicine" (ISBN 0443073007, 2005, 3rd. ed.) sample chapter, freely available:

"many naturopathic modalities can be used to stimulate the overall vital force [vitalism, a science-ejected concept...] homeopathy and acupuncture are primary methods of such stimulation [so, now the scientific is premised on the science-ejected, science=nonscience...] humans are spiritual beings. They are spirits that reside within bodies [so, now the scientific contains the science-exterior supernatural, science subset supernaturalism]. Though the general purview of the physician is the body, that instrument cannot be separated from the spirit, which animates it.  If the spirit is disturbed, the body cannot be fundamentally healthy [so, now we have a conflation of knowledge-kind and ontological kind: the supernatural and the physical are one, the physician is metaphysician, the naturalistic and supernaturalistic are indistinguishable, articles of sectarian faith and scientific objective fact cannot be delineated]. Hahnemann, the brilliant founder of homeopathy [oh, they so love their homeopathy], instructs physicians thus. Disturbance in the spirit [he said lebenskraft or dynamis, which is vitalism aka life force] permeates the body and eventuates in physical manifestation [if that's not a sectarian belief system, I don't know what is]. Physicians are responsible for perceiving such disturbances and addressing them. At colleges of naturopathic medicine in Australia and North America, faculty work with naturopathic medicine students to develop their ability to perceive the spiritual nature of an individual."

Note: now, the book's principle editor calls naturopathy "science-based".  Yes, that is a 'knowledge type pathology' of a grand scale.  I think it approaches a 'cultic insanity' type level.  What naturopathy does is CONFLATE in order to achieve its goal: to disguise and falsely posture sectarian faithy-beliefy crap that has either been science-ejected or is simply unscienceable and therefore science-exterior, as scientific fact in order to further its market.

My expansion is simply this: even if naturopathy divorced itself from homeopathy -- if it cut off that branch, so to speak, from the tree -- it would still be naturopathy IN PRINCIPLE, literally.  It would still mislabel what is not science but instead items and methods of faith / belief / quasi-religion / sectarian medicine.

That is the trunk of the rotten epistemic tree known as naturopathy; that is the root cause, with their nutty homeopathy only a symptom of a deeper irrationalism.
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