(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/ )
"this is your naturopathic health aid [...] that counteracts the negative effects from electronic devices and acts as a tuning device [...] you'll be amazed at your instant improvement with your strength, balance [...] flexibility [...] and, over time, continued pain relief [...] also improving everything from your well being to your game performance [...based on] nanotechnology [...] atomic research [...on] the microstructure of metals [...] electronically charged to the same frequency as the human body [...] your atoms instantly mimic the atoms in the metal [...] this allows your body to achieve a significant improvement in balance and strength [...yet] we do not make the claims you are about to hear [...this bracelet] could allow your body to relieve symptoms of arthritis, carpal tunnel, and fibromyalgia naturally [...and cause] less pain and greater flexibility [...it] assists your body to do all of these things naturally [...] the health aid is yet to be approved [...] the testimonials provide the proof."
Note: loving it, 'we do not make the claims we are claiming', 'instant improvement that may take weeks or longer', 'natural yet highly based on technology'.
here, I cite from a recent article by MD Bartecchi regarding naturopathy [see 001., below]; then, I excerpt from two commentors, a naturopathy school president and a naturopathy schools' consortia web page editor [see 002., below]:
"what is a naturopathic doctor? [...] a practitioner who claims to use natural [...] treatments to stimulate the sick body to heal itself [...such as] homeopathy, acupuncture [etc....] most of the treatments could have little more than a placebo effect [...and] all of these entities fall under the category of alternative medicine, which by definition is 'unproven' medicine [...] the worst of which are homeopathic preparations, but also questionable Chinese medicine practices, 'natural methods' to treat cancers, acupuncture, colonic enemas and numerous other unproven therapies for real disease processes";
hear, hear. I must add, the premise of healing in naturopathy is completely science-ejected: that a figment known as a "life force" is in charge of physiology and manipulating it reverses disease processes and causes healing, with both homeopathy and acupuncture based on such a figmentation then applied to "real" diseases. 'The vitalistic' is not just unproven, the premise is science-ejected nonsense . Yet, NDs / NMDs continue to label that central naturopathic context -- along with a whole bunch of other nonsense, as evident in what Dr. Bartecchi has listed-- "science-based.'
"the inability of naturopaths to apply science-based principles and scientific study to many of their most popular treatment modalities [and cherished BELIEFS!] has been a major concern to health care professionals";
agreed. Regarding naturopathy's fundamental premise, that "life force", I've always found it quite revealing that there isn't any effort by them to actually scientifically establish it's existence. They simply label it 'scientific', as if DECLARATION is what science is. But of course, where would you look for such a figment experimentally? What machine can measure such a figment? That kind of a search, in light of thermodynamics and genetics and the preponderance of science, is of course, as justifiable as searching for the Tooth Fairy.
"[...and] their longstanding opposition to childhood vaccination [...]";
the term I've often heard in naturopathic circles, particularly within their homeopathic subgroup, which labels the injury they believe happens to that vital force / life force is 'vaccinosis', which etymologically means 'a condition due to vaccination', which of course is a perceived harm to a figmentation and is akin to worrying that you harmed the Tooth Fairy's feelings.
"some naturopathic treatments are not only unscientific but blatantly unsafe [...]";
agreed. More specifically, I'd say much more harmful / 'of risk' than beneficial and therein not reasonable as a choice particularly in terms of cost and false hope.
"naturopathic education programs are deficient in the study of the commonly used and scientifically proven effective drugs and other therapies that are so critical to modern approaches to a variety of diseases [...]";
yes. I'd also add, in terms of naturopathic education and science overall, simply this: science is so unlimited by naturopathy that the hugely science-exterior is maintained as scientific. I know this having gone to one of their schools for four years. And with schools like NUHS granting naturopathy degrees, the mislabeling of "science" upon the essentially naturopathic / 'science-exterior' has reached a hyper-absurd extent.
"well-known British scientists have led the charge to drop public funding for universities providing degrees in areas of alternative medicine, which includes naturopathy, homeopathy, reflexology, Chinese medicine and acupuncture [...] these scientifically deficient practices [...even] Germany, the home of homeopathy [...] has called for a halt on public funding for homeopathy."
Australia is similarly coming around. Next, I predict Canada, which is half of the North American naturopathy racket and a kind of hybrid of UK and US naturopathys proper.
002. the comments:
002.a. pmittman posted:
"as a naturopathic physician and president of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences I am compelled to address two inaccuracies in Dr. Bartecchi's article [...and mentions] Part II of the national board examinations (NPLEX) [...] the practice of naturopathic medicine is grounded in [...] the scientific literature. I cordially invite Dr. Bartecchi to come visit SCNM."
Note: if this is who I suspect and assume this is, this is Paul Mittman seeking to clarify "inaccuracies." He is also a DHANP, by the way, an AANP homeopath of the highest order. Now, what's fascinating about NPLEX part II is that it labels homeopathy a "clinical science" when the preponderance of science labels homeopathy ABSURD and IMPLAUSIBLE TO THE Nth. I wish that inaccuracy would be addressed! And of course, we're told 'what we do is grounded in the scientific'. Well, here's the short tour of SCNM: nonsense falsely labeled science. And here's the web-archived 'profession of vitalistic belief' that Mittman had up on his naturopathy school's web site (also here, live).
"the accredited naturopathic education programs are very sufficient in the study of commonly used and scientifically proven effective drugs and other therapies [...] anyone seeking the facts on the curriculum that leads to earning a naturopathic doctor (ND) degree can begin their reading here: http://www.aanmc.org/education/academic-curriculum.php [...and she mentions NDs study] 'the same biomedical sciences as allopathic physicians'."
ah, the cultic label "allopathic" which is a FALSE label naturopaths / homeopaths place upon modern medicine. Modern medicine is as allopathic as modern chemistry is alchemic. And, that science label again! But, how is homeopathy effective, scientific, proven beyond a nonspecific placebo effect when in fact THERE'S NOTHING IN THE PILL? That is a fact.
003. overall note:
of course, once you claim that a system based upon a science-ejected figmentation is a branch of medical science, as AANMC does and I have all those pages archived, I guess ANYTHING GOES within such absurd ground-rules. In label, I'd agree, naturopathy says "science": in fact, no. And that pseudoscience facet is SO EASY TO SHOW.
here, I quote from a 2011 audio interview by New Hampshire naturopath O'Dell wherein we are informed that naturopathy is contextually 'of the science-ejected' yet she claims too that naturopathy overall is simultaneously scientific [see 001., below]; then, I look at the language used to describe naturopathy by her New Hampshire AANP association [see 002., below]:
001.a. the science-ejected 'nature' of naturopathy:
"our main philosophy is that we realize that the body has the ability to heal itself when it's given what it needs. Whether you call it your vis, your chi, your prana, your life force […] the life force [...] your vital force [...host] the healing power of nature, the energy […] your goal is to heal at the core […] really helping in the holistic fashion."
001.b. a supposed fully-accredited doctoral-level science status to naturopathy:
"[went to] Bastyr University [...getting] a four-year medical degree [...and is] board certified [...in] naturopathic medicine [...] an accredited doctorate program [...with NDs] licensed [...] primary care providers [...a central principle is] the doctor is the teacher […Bastyr] is very scientifically based [...] research based, scientifically based [...] everything we are taught is backed up."
Note: fascinating! Except for the fact that the CENTRAL framing concept of naturopathy, this "life force", is science-ejected! This is fully accredited licensed falsehood, in my view, in terms of the 'essentially naturopathic contextually'! Also, on that same ND O'Dell page we're told textually:
"we use science based protocols including [...] homeopathic medicines." And there you go, more nonsense in a tuxedo.
"naturopathic doctors are trained at accredited, four-year, post-graduate, residential naturopathic medical programs. The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences [...] the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes [...] a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research [...] naturopathic doctors are guided by six principles [...including #2] the healing power of nature [aka 'vis medicatrix naturae'...] doctor as teacher [...] this set of principles, emphasized throughout a naturopathic doctor’s training, outlines the philosophy guiding the naturopathic approach to health and healing and forms the foundation of this distinct health care practice."
Note: I think the promise therein is that their science as a label is actual science. But, it isn't, in terms of theories like vitalism falsely labeled science. They claim a scientific commitment, but in all the years I've been observing, they haven't published a single experiment regarding this supposed in-evidence vital force. So, I'd say that vitalism is throughout naturopathy just like all that weird stuff in a fruitcake is throughout the fruitcake. And, in sum, the essence of naturopathy is logically absurd: science subset nonsense. I also call this the naturopathillogical.
And you have to wonder, in terms of patients and students: how long with this miseducation by these 'doctors as teachers' go on?
"homeopathic medicine [a subset within naturopathy] is safe and has been shown to be effective in treating various diseases. Homeopathic medicine treats your symptoms by affecting your vital force. Disturbance of the vital force in the body is the root cause of all illness. Your symptoms have manifested as a result of a disrupted vital force. Most of us are searching for long term cures rather than temporarily relief of symptoms. In order achieve this, one must re-balance the vital force and treat the whole person from within [...]
homeopathic medicine has been verified experimentally and clinically for
over 200 years. This revolutionary, natural medical science was
discovered in 1796 by German scientist."
Note: and there you go, that fake reason for illness, that figment known as a vital for at the heart of naturopathy. Meanwhile, on planet Reality, homeopathy is considered bunkscientifically speaking.
"[in] traditional Chinese medicine [a subset within naturopathy...] the body's vital energy (known in English as 'chi' or 'qi'), flows through channels also known as meridians [...] when the flow of vital energy is functioning properly, the organs and systems are working together in harmony. However, if there is a blockage of the qi, or an imbalance, qi backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts flow in other parts. This results in disease, disharmony and dysfunction. Re-establishing regular flow of qi is achieved through needling specific, carefully selected points using thin, sterile needles [...]
modern scientific research has recently confirmed the existence of the body's meridians using infrared thermography. This practice is safe, free of side effects and highly effective."
"Alastair MacLennan, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the
University of Adelaide, said the credibility of universities is under
threat from what he calls hocus pocus medicine. 'Legitimate science and
research in those universities are undermined by nonsensical practices.
They are basically courses that earn money for the university, and give
you respectability if you have a degree in pseudo-science. Some call
themselves doctors but the public is not good at differentiating.'''
licensed nonsense marches on: the science subset nonsense irrationality and absurdity of worldwide naturopathy!
"our body has a natural innate ability to heal itself and I specialize in harnessing that ability [...] their unique nature. An energy that creates those symptoms [...] it's even smaller than microscopic [...] is health and disease a biochemical issue or an energetic issue? So we're talking about energy and we're talking about a therapeutic approach that uses energy not biochemistry [...] what is energy? What is it that animates us? What is it that helps us be alive. What is life? What is life force? [...] chi [...] energy [...] an energetic approach [...] an energetic issue [...] a mysterious force that creates symptoms and that heals [...] if we understand what's unique about the individual and their life force, we can find a way to access that natural defense mechanism [...] we are body, mind and spirit."
his web pages also talk about this naturopathy-essential truly science-ejected vitalism:
.(click to embiggen)
but of course, actual energy in science is measurable, physical, 'in-evidence.' This naturopathic-homeopathic 'energy' is a figmentation that is not necessary to explain anything, and actually is a place-filler that stops the acquisition of actual knowledge.
here, I cite from web pages by a Sydney, Australia naturopath who broadly claims naturopathy is "science" and employs iridology [see 001., below]; but iridology is as scientific as the Tooth Fairy [see 002., below]:
now, there's no text right now on that page. But, the web page menu and address places iridology with "therapies".
Note: but if iridology is anything, it is a DIAGNOSTIC...but...
002. the truth behind the truth regarding iridology and science:
002.a. Wikipedia's [quite pedestrian!] in "Iridology" states:
"as opposed to evidence-based medicine, iridology is not supported by quality research studies and is widely considered pseudoscience [...] the majority of medical doctors reject all the claims of all branches of iridology and label them as pseudoscience or even quackery [...] well controlled scientific evaluation of iridology has shown entirely negative results, with all rigorous double blind tests failing to find any statistical significance to its claims."
Note: simply stated, iridology DOESN'T WORK. And, in that sense, a science claim upon such nonsense...
here, I quote in part from two separate interviews of representatives of Friends of Science in Medicine and Integrative Medicine in Australia, respectively, with my comments in unquoted bold [see 001., below]:
Note: one point I'll make, from this beginning, is that the title here is directly related to an ACADEMIC question, but mainly Phelps evaded that issue and pursued a COMMERCE perspective related to patients / the general population and not STUDENTS.
"Professor John Dwyer [...]
emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales [...and] the
President of the Friends of Science in Medicine [...which numbers
now] 650 [...of the] leading doctors and scientists in Australia [...]";
wow, nice to see that the FSM numbers have grown so fast.
"[...states regarding] alternative and complementary medicines,
so-called [aka sCAM!...]";
loving it. Us skeptics usually consider CAM as sCAM, because that which complements and that which is alternative should really be such, and since so much is usually nonsense, therein s=so-called.
"in this most scientific of all ages,
pseudosciences [and] false ideologies [...] about health are still
foisted upon the public. As doctors and scientists we saw public
harm being done [...] you have to really do a lot of scientific studies
to prove whether something is effective or not [...] our universities
have go to be bastions of good science. Science that has a good
evidence base, where experimental work has confirmed that this is for
real [...] to champion evidence-based medicine [...] to improve the
protection of the consumer [...regarding] health fraud [...]
research is terribly important [...]";
one type of harm I'll mention, since the topic here is basically ACADEMIC, is the harm done to education consumers who participate in falsely-labeled-as-science programs. They are therein miseducated and brainwashed, which is totally the opposite of post-secondary education's mission. For instance, it is quite heinous to see a naturopathy degree posed as within science, and then see the primary text full of nonscience, the science-ejected, and the just plain old cultic.
"[...these practices and ideas lacking] scientific
evidence [...like chiropractic's] mysterious energy flow [...that]
innate intelligence in the spine that controls the health of most
organs in the body [...which is] metaphysical rather than physical [...]";
ye old archaic vitalism nonsense.
"[...without evidence like TCM's] merdians [...with] no scientific evidence
what[so]ever [...and is rather] antiscientific [...] teaching
pseudosciences as if there was a evidence base for them [...] as if
there was a scientific base to support them [...] these dangerous
practices [...] we're talking about the pseudosciences [...wherein]
there's absolutely no evidence, and could be no evidence to support
them [...these] nonsciences [...like] homeopathy [...yet such is posed within] a bachelor of science degree [like] chiropractic [...]";
reminds me of my US naturopathy school days, wherein the science-exterior is posed as within science / science-based, though not science and actually sectarian supernaturalism and kind.
ridiculous concept[s...like] iridology, reflexology, healing touch
therapy, kinesiology [along with homeopathy aka things NDs do...] energy medicine [...and there's the] naturopath [who
Note: whom I find STRANGELY inconsistent in her considerations. She speaks of evidence being so important, but also not to delineate 'good from bad', and therein truth from falsehood, or better choices from worse choices. She speaks of 'consumer protection' and 'informed consent' basically, yet for whatever reason it seems to me that CAM's mislabeling and misrepresentation of what is basically science-ejected nonsense as 'in evidence scientifically speaking' is fine, particularly academically.
"Dr Kerryn Phelps [is a] General
Practitioner and President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine
Association [...and defends] natural therapies [...aka the]
integrative medicine movement [...aka] supportive treatments [...]";
"we need to try to get away from
this divisive, hostile position [...this] combative, hostile, divisive position [...] that this group has created [...] that
Professor Dwyer and his Friends of Science in Medicine [who] I like
to call 'the enemies of choice in health care' have started to create
[...or she says] the so-called Friends of Science in Medicine [...]";
my simple observation is this: FSM has as their main trust the MISLABELING of what is not science as science ACADEMICALLY. Yet, here we have the commerce-choice defense. That does not follow. Science is, as I've heard time and time again in terms of the intrascientific, HOSTILE -- hostile to claims until they justify themselves with EVIDENCE. And there is that reverse accusation here: that FSM are not friendly to science or medicine...that they are not friendly. 'Boo-hoo, they won't be my friend'.
she speaks of] naturopathy [...and] science [...and] what's in the
patient's best interest [...respecting] patient preferences
[...which] has the best chance of being effective for them [...] we
help the consumer, our patients, to be discerning consumers, to be
able to put to them informed evidence [...] informed answers [...]
real advice [...] to enhance the health
of the people who come under our care [...] to be able to provide real choice for patients, real
information, as much evidence as we can, that we support research";
the irony is killing me. THE TRUTH is in a patient's best interest, to then discern by being informed about REALITY, and then informed consent follows. Efficacy is based upon science...how else is something known via a rigorous, tested, confirmed process? Just simply WOW.
"I'd like to see anybody show harm
from reflexology. If homeopathy is as useless as he says then he
should not be worried about harm there either [...]";
first, if one were to, sticking with the
ACADEMIC context of the ABC web page title, enroll in one of these
programs labeled science and it is not...I see quite an amount of harm.
It's commercial fraud, first and foremost, and academic NONSENSE. I
have many many saved sources from the naturopathy side stating that both
reflexology and homeopathy are SCIENCE.
"[and she claims such therapies are] strongly supported by evidence [...of] and evidence base that
respects the patient's choice [...] a hierarchy of
evidence [...] to say that, as he did, that
traditional Chinese medicine has to scientific basis is just purely
wrong [...the scientific papers are] robust [...not] pseudoscience
[...and she mentions] yin, yan and merdians";
bullshit, in a tuxedo.
"medicine can't claim to be
entirely evidence-based [...] if you feel better you keep using
it, it's really that simple";
there we go: forget science and stick with prescientific confirmatory modes like what maintained 1600 years of Galenic junk medical thought. And the faults of medicine still do not excuse nonscience programs academically classifying themselves as science.
"we need to back away from saying
this is good and this is bad. We need to say what is going to be in
the best interest of patients";
this is quite a summation / microcosm of irrationality: lets not judge things based upon their merit! And somehow in not delineating between what is best and worst, we'll magically arrive at what's best.
Note: so, I just find so much of the Phelp's rebuttal to be false, illogical, irrational, fallacy-laden, evasive, and not actually complementary or alternative therein...so sCAMMY.
"a naturopath is a practitioner who claims to use natural [...] treatments to stimulate the sick body to heal itself [...including] herbs, nutritional counseling, homeopathy, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, massage, mind/body treatments, water treatments, and such therapies as ozone, air and light, ultraviolet, ultrasound and electro-stimulation, among others [...such] fall[s] under the category of alternative medicine which by definition is 'unproven' medicine [...] the inability of naturopaths to apply science-based principles and scientific study to many of their most popular treatment modalities has been a major concern to health care professionals [...] some naturopathic treatments are not only unscientific but blatantly unsafe, and expose their patients to significant health risks and complications. For example, their major textbook recommended treatments that defy medical knowledge and omits any discussion of benefits that patients might receive from many drugs or surgery [...] naturopathic education programs are deficient in the study of the commonly used and scientifically proven effective drugs and other therapies that are so critical to modern approaches to a variety of diseases [...] well-known British scientists have led the charge to drop public funding for universities providing degrees in areas of alternative medicine, which includes naturopathy, homeopathy, reflexology, Chinese medicine and acupuncture. This has led to universities that had provided such degrees to shut down their alternative medicine departments and terminate recruiting students for such courses for 2012. The reality of these scientifically deficient practices has led to more scrutiny of public funding for these programs [...] the worst of which are homeopathic preparations, but also questionable Chinese medicine practices, 'natural methods' to treat cancers, acupuncture, colonic enemas and numerous other unproven therapies for real disease processes. Most of the treatments could have little more than a placebo effect [...] their longstanding opposition to childhood vaccination, in spite of well-documented decreases in childhood disease as a result of widespread vaccination, has been a particular problem".
Note: hear, hear.
002. I'll add:
Carl is being very generous here in terms of his criticism of WHAT-THEY-DO. So much is actually scientifically-ejected, implausible, and downright DISHONEST.
here, I cite from a recent Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine [CCNM] press release [see 001., below]; then, I peel back some layers regarding the 'truly naturopathic' in CCNM's own words [see 002., below]:
"[2011-03-26] "the Center is governed by the CCNM [...] the Center's clinical practice
and visionary research agenda is led by Dugald Seely, ND, MSc, FABNO,
the executive director and founder of the OICC [...and] 'the director of
research and clinical epidemiology at the Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)' [...said] Bob Bernhardt, PhD, CCNM's
president and CEO [...and it's] supervised by the
OICC's chief clinical medical officer, Leesa Kirchner, B.Sc., ND, FABNO [...] for further information [...they provide] Catherine Kenwell. Director,
Marketing and Communications. Canadian College for Naturopathic
Medicine. 416-498-1255 ext. 263 . email@example.com . www.ccnm.edu
[...and] Heidi Vincent. .Marketing Communications and Public Relations.
The Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center. 613-293-3564. firstname.lastname@example.org
so the naturopathic-CCNM connection stated.
"the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center (OICC) has opened its doors [...as] a treatment clinic and an integrative oncology research center [...as] a not-for-profit cancer care and research center delivering whole-person cancer care [...using] integrative methods [...as] 'integrative oncology' [...]";
"[according to ND Seely they'll be] 'providing complementary
therapies in an evidence-based manner' [...it's] a contemporary cancer treatment model [...it's] scientifically grounded, evidence-informed
complementary medicine [...] the OICC is committed to building the
evidence base in the emerging field of integrative oncology [...] the
OICC is a not-for-profit cancer care and research center with a mission
to deliver whole-person care that includes scientifically grounded
evidence-informed complementary medicine [...] the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is Canada's premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. CCNM offers a rigorous four-year, full-time doctor of naturopathic medicine program. The College educates, develops and trains naturopathic doctors through excellence in health education, clinical services and research that integrate mind, body and spirit. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary health-care practitioners. For more information, please visit www.ccnm.edu";
again, that claim of
EVIDENCE, contemporary as in current in context, and that broad claim of "scientific." And RIGOR, EXCELLENCE, and SPIRIT. I'll take them up on that invitation in 002., below. Incidentally, if the scientific now legitimately includes the supernatural, which is what they explicitly state here, they've won a Nobel Prize and they've turned all of SCIENTIFIC knowledge from the past few hundred years particularly ON ITS HEAD. Of course, if they merely mash all these words together and there's nothing LEGITIMATE about these claims, then we are as usual dealing with pseudoscience.
"[they offer] therapies to strengthen the body's inherent healing ability [...to] support the patient's healing ability[...] the Center offers naturopathic medicine";
now, there's their coded underlying premise coded as ever providing no transparent explanation of naturopathy's primary context, as usual. This manipulation is one of their best. You think / you are offered the language is representing a pedestrian idea. But, it actually codes something very very science-ejected and sectarian. It's a kind of linguistic bait-and-switch, or camouflaging.
I expect the same pattern with Canadian naturopathy's extension into something so SERIOUS like oncology: a knowledge-type muddle which really is heinous because it is brainwashing post-secondary students with junk-thought, and it is engaging in COMMERCE in a very unfair manner.
sounds very different from the absurdity that I know naturopathy to be! For instance, being "careful, in-depth, and seeking what is proper and effective IMMEDIATELY knocks out one of their favorite treatments, homeopathy. It also leads to the conclusion that the naturopathic claim that science legitimately contains what is nonscience. But, in naturopathyland nonsense is sense;
"what naturopaths do [...includes] naturopathic oncology [...] how we are different from medical doctors [...we treat] the root cause [...and speaks of cancer] physiology [...and] genes [...and] mistletoe injections, intravenous vitamin C [...and studies that are] very mainstream [...for] pancreatic cancer [...regarding] Iscador [...and] vitamin C [...as] viable treatment in pancreatic cancer [...] I've seen quite a few naturopaths use it [...] I've seen it work [...] although the research isn't there [...] there's good results [but such doesn't work, and why should it]."
again, that naturopathic thought-muddle: useful for cancer but not known in any rigorous way to be useful. Yet, they do make money along the way.
here, I cite from a recent Vancouver Sun [VS] video about naturopathy [see 001., below]; then, I illuminate what is grossly overlooked [see 002., below]; and finally, I better answer the question posed by the VS [see 003., below]:
"[from the description] the Sun's food and science reporter Randy Shore [...]";
there's a weird combination!!! I think one part of that mixture here may be an example of ravenous gullibility, and it's not the science part!
"explains the benefits of using a naturopathic practitioner to help improve your health [...this] Empowered Health episode [...is] designed to put you in control of your health [...]";
sounds good! One way to get empowered and in control is to get knowledgeable. But, right away, we're not getting objectivity me things -- we're getting the language of one-sided UNCRITICAL PROMOTION.
"[from the video] naturopaths are guided by a set of principles [...] naturopathic doctors believe that the body has the power to heal itself [PTHI...]";
I'll talk about this more in 002. below.
"your treatment may include herbal and botanical remedies, vitamins and minerals, natural health products, and homeopathic medicines [...and] practices like traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy"
homeopathy! Which I'll talk about in 002., below too.
"naturopaths complete three years of university then four years of training in the same basic sciences that medical doctors receive [...] naturopathic medicine has its own peer reviewed scientific journals where research is vetted and published [...]";
and the old 'it is science' claim.
Note: and that's all you get, really. You would think that someone who is a "science" reporter would engage in some ANALYSIS and RESEARCH, instead of repeating the language that you basically find on any ND web page. So much has been left out that I feel instead manipulated and uninformed from this video, not empowered and informed. So, I'll inform and empower you myself with some interesting facts about 'the essentially naturopathic.'
002. deep within naturopathy:
is this fact [amongst other absurdities]: the central belief of naturopathy [PTHI, you might say] is simply this: vitalism (which is science-ejected yet falsely claimed as science-based). I've been blogging about such absurdity here for more than 600 posts, roughly.
to state it simply: naturopathy engages in commerce both academically and clinically via false labels that are QUITE EASY to expose. Science is used as a label upon the hugely science-ejected, inefficacious treatments like homeopathy are falsely labeled powerful, etc.
003. so to answer that VS question "what is a naturopathic practitioner?":
in my view, an ND is someone who has been grossly MISEDUCATED and is basing their context on what is FALSE. 'The essentially naturopathic' is, truly, nonsense.
why weren't we told this? This information isn't hard to find these days. It merely requires some science, some internet browsing, and some thoughtfulness.
For instance, here are the first-page results using the term "naturopathic science" [without the quotes; 2012-03-22]:
It seems to me the VS wants only one side -- the promotional, incomplete, manipulative and false side -- of naturopathy to be known. Obviously from the search above there is ANOTHER SIDE. And, in my opinion, it is sciencebasedmedicine.org and quackwatch.com that get it right.
here, I cite from National University of Health Sciences [NUHS] who hosted a presentation by ND Pizzorno [see 001., below]; then, onward to the Slideshare presentation notes they have up which clearly states the science-ejected "nature" (literally) of naturopathy [see 002., below]; and then, the continuous false labeling [see 003., below]:
"Speakers' Notes [...the presentation title and link is] 'Role of the Natural Medicine Physician [aka naturopathy and kind] within the New Health Care Paradigm' [by] Joseph Pizzorno, ND."
Note: this is 'old science-based Joe.' Why do I call him that? Well, he's been around for years promoting the label "science-based" upon naturopathy. For instance, here's a Los Angeles Times 1996 AP article [vsc 2012-03-19] wherein he's quoted as stating naturopathy is "science-based natural medicine." Pizzorno is, by the way, a 1975 graduate of NCNM. NUHS claims to be 'of science' in its very title. So, you would reasonably expect the contents of ND Pizzorno's lecture there -- based upon these commerce and academic labels -- to be SCIENCE.
"presentation transcript [...] in legend, Hygeia is the daughter of the god of medicine, and is closely correlated with the origin of the vis medicatrix naturae [...] is a belief in wellness a recognition of the vis? The VIS embraces VITALISM [his caps]. Natural medicine is fundamentally a vitalistic practice (vis medicatrix naturae) [...requiring] understanding the vis [...] I have been involved in naturopathic medicine for 35 years and I still can’t define it. Nonetheless we can see the Vis in others—it is something we all sense [...] the level of a patient’s vitality; when it increases you know you are on the path to cure, but if it decreases then you are only palliating symptoms and suppressing the individual’s expression of the Vis [...] VMN = the healing power of nature. VMN = the self-organizing property. The VMN functions in any given living system as the tendency to organize that system so as to maintain existence.The Vis is universal [...] an internal intelligence for self-maintenance [...] the Vis exists universally and is a cosmological reality [...] the vis is not weakened or strengthened by the weakness or strength of the individual. The VMN exists internally and universally [...] naturopathic medicine distinguishes itself philosophically from mainstream medicine by its core principle: vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature. Its insistence on referring to the vital force [...] my current thinking: Vis is the manifestation of the universal consciousness in biological form. Our environment, beliefs, interactions with others, actions, lifestyle,diet, etc. modulate the manifestation of Vis as our vitality, but Vis itself is immutable. As we harmonize with the Vis, our consciousness expands [...] natural medicine physician of the future fully understands and embraces the vis [...the future is] FULLY embracing the VIS [his caps]."
Note: ah, ye old science-ejected vitalism at the core of the therefore quite falsely labeled "science-based." This is the absurdity, irrationality and dumb-assedness at the heart of naturopathy / natural medicine. He begins with a history lesson. But the unspoken lesson is that many ideas have been tossed onto the junk-pile of superstition and obsolesce. Vitalism is such a belief.
Several other things from this lecture:
he mentions "advisory" and "physician visits" but I'm temped to term them 'ad-VIS-ory' and 'VIS-its'! Thanks for the nutty advice Joe like "placebo is still more effective than virtually every drug" -- really!;
this whole 'all of reality is a universal consciousness / an intelligent living whatever' is pantheism and kind, dressed down, and therein what's really being espoused is a religion disguised in labels of "science". In fact, in naturopathy school, since 'vis' is also within the body and equated with god essentially, I got the impression is is also what I term autoentheism...a god-within belief system falsely labeled science;
how scientific is something claimed as scientific that is not in any way definable? It's like saying 'I really don't know what kind of cloths the Emperor is not wearing: I know we can't prove that the cloths are there because he's naked, but I know they're they and I'm framing my whole context around that fact and I'll blithely ignore all that uncoveredness as cosmological reality!';
"scientific materialism is an incomplete description of reality" really means 'in spite of science being reliant upon evidence, we have our metaphysical / supernatural / unevidenced model and that is our fundamental position; what's imagined and what's real are the same thing';
basic science is claimed as embraced except when it comes to that central naturopathic beliefs, like vitalism [and things like homeopathy!];
modern medicine is falsely posed as allopathy;
the past is posed as the future! This fits well with 'the reversal of all values' at the heart of naturopathy: natural is really supernatural, science is really nonscience, facts are actually beliefs as necessary in this world as belief in flying carpets, dragons, and magic beans. Therein, truth is really falsehood: in claiming all this "science" upon the broadly science-exterior!!!
"National University of Health Sciences. Lombard,IL, United States Education. www.nuhs.edu. 1-800-826-6285. National University of Health Sciences is the nation’s premier institution for integrative health science education. Here you’ll find outstanding preparation in integrative health care professions such as chiropractic and naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and oriental medicine, massage therapy, biomedical science, and more."
Note: so, the 'licensed falsehood' commercial and academic racket continues.
"iridology is where I look into your eyes and tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your whole body system [...including] personalities, constitutions [...] we look at the structure and we look at the colors and that gives us a huge insight into many areas of your whole personality, your whole health, weaknesses, strengths, what can be enhanced, what needs to be really monitored and looked after. The eyes shows us the inside to you."
"[the section is titled] Defending Science in Australia [...and begins at 00.22.40]
[per Richard Saunders] the Friends of Science in Medicine [...] a group of concerned scientists and citizens [...concerning] the ongoing waste of time and money and resources [...] courses in [...] nonsense. And I don't use that term lightly [...] hardcore nonsense [..] iridology, homeopathy, reiki, reflexology [which is hugely 'what naturopaths do in Australia!!!'...] Australian Skeptics [...] think this is a wonderful idea [...] we are supporting them [...] but what an important initiative it is and man haven't the opposition, the quacks, been quacking loudly about this [...] the alternative medicine [...like] homeopaths [...offering] false balance [...aka] the flat earth [...claiming it's] scientifically proven [...and] effective [...it's usually a] Gish galloping [...but specifically regarding homeopathy] there's nothing in it [...it] has no ingredients [...] it's a lie, it's a sham, it's a scam [or you could say sCAM, 'so called complementary and alternative MEDICINE']. If it were any other product it would be illegal to do this [...but] homeopathy gets a free pass [medicine without medicine! -- 'so-called']
[...Steve Novella] why is this being supported and taught as if it were legitimate in universities? It becomes an issue of academic standards
[...RS] they're failing to uphold the standards of science
[...and SN mentions the] utter pseudoscientific nonsense that your university is teaching."
Note: not new ground, but interesting. Hear, hear.