here, I illustrate what naturopathy is essentially all about. First, there is the opaque iteration of naturopathy that so usually codes its actual contents in what I'll call naturalistic language [see 001.a., below]. Then, there is the transparent iteration of naturopathy that provides naturopathy's full science-ejected context in full regalia [see 001.b., below]. What's interesting is that these versions are authored by the same NCNM ND who makes absurd and imaginary claims about cranio-sacral therapy [CST; see 002., below for criticism of CST]:
001. Mackler, J. (ND NCNM 2005) states:
001.a. in "Naturopathic Medicine" [vsc 2012-02-07]:
"naturopathic physicians such as Dr. Mackler define themselves by their philosophy and principles [...] the principles of naturopathic medicine are: [#1] healing power of nature: the body has the inherent ability to maintain and restore health. The physician's role is to support and augment this process [...#3] first do no harm: illness is a natural process. Symptoms are the body's expression of that process [...] if you are interested in finding out more about our education please go to the National College of Naturopathic Medicine website at www.NCNM.edu [now known as National College of Natural Medicine]."
Note: and that's all you get from this ND's own web iteration of naturopathy's context. But, she has written about that context differently / in more detail other-wheres [see 001.b., below].
001.b. in "Cranio-Sacral Therapy: Gentle but Profound Healing" [vsc 2012-02-07]:
"every living being is filled with a 'life force' [vitalism! she has more here] that affects all aspects of our health [really!]. Different healing traditions call this invigorating energy by different names. Naturopathic physicians call it the 'vis medicatrix naturae,' which means 'the healing power of nature.' Chinese medicine practitioners call it the 'qi' (pronounced 'chee'), which is often translated simply as 'energy.' No matter what you name it, this positive energy helps us to grow and thrive, as well as to fight infections and heal injuries [really!]. Cranio-sacral therapy [CST] accesses and balances that energy to assist you in optimizing your health. Cranio-sacral therapy is a gentle yet powerful [similar to naturopathy's claim that homeopathy is subtle yet powerful!] form of body work."
Note: so, there you go. Opacity compared to transparency. You can verify this iteration's context at NCNM's own definitions page. Plus, look up this vitalism in relation to science and you will see that it is SCIENCE-EJECTED, yet naturopathy continues to claim an overarching science status. I'm always intrigued as to why NDs don't usually put all their sectarian cards on the table when it comes to the beliefs they actually are all about. They engage in evasion instead, most often. People say 'oh, they're natural' quite naively, but really, truly so often, 'they're science-ejected, sectarian, trained manipulators.'
002. regarding CST [quite a manipulation!]:
last year I posted about CST [excerpt]:
"the Craniosacral Therapy Association of the UK [...calls it] 'a subtle and profound healing form' [...] CST practitioners believe that they can 'listen with their hands' to up to three separate cranial rhythms [...] around the brain and spinal column and by doing so, diagnose a wide range of conditions — both physical and emotional and many of a serious medical nature [...then they treat] by [supposedly] gently manipulating the bones that make up the skull and sometimes the spine [...] to help to heal these conditions [...] what's the evidence? [...] the mechanism by which CST practitioners claim they can detect the rhythms of cerebrospinal fluid and by which they claim to influence the body into healing itself are biologically implausible [...and] no robust evidence has been produced that would validate these claimed mechanisms [...] there is no good evidence that CST is effective for any condition."
Note: something silly falsely claimed as diagnostic and efficacious = naturopathy. When I was in ND school around 2000, I was first exposed to CST on campus at a regional naturopathic conference here in New England. The patient's laid flat on their backs. The practitioner supported the head of the patient in the palms of their hands. To sum it up, I realized then that I was surrounded by a lot of idiots -- basically.