(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/ )
"[from the description] what is it and who can it help? Pamela VanMeer takes a look at naturopathic medicine in this report [...from the video, the reporter] Brenna Steels is a doctor but not in the traditional sense. She's not a medical doctor. She is a naturopathic doctor. She can treat any condition that an MD treats [shown is a dark field microscope] but in a very different way [...the ND] as a naturopath [etc....shows in the dark field microscope's field on a monitor...the reporter] Steels a has a lot of tricks up her sleeve [shown is the ND doing dark field microscopy...] one of them is live blood analysis [shown is blood being taken and put on a slide...the ND] we can see how the liver is stressed. We can see if there is any viruses, pathogens, bacteria [then we hear patient testimonials...shown is applied kinesiology x2...the reporter] NDs have a bachelor degree and four years of medical school [the practice door is show saying] nutrition and homeopathy, acupuncture, live blood analysis [...] they study things like [...] homeopathic medicine [...and we here from] Dr. Adam Prinsen [who tells most type of medicine is] antipathic ";
here, I point out the false labels naturopathic North American educational entities and overseers use including schools, schools' consortia, ND organizations, States, the Federal government, and accreditation bodies [see 001., below]; then, I remind any such future educational consumers that student loan debt is hugely nondischargeable / for life [002., below]:
001. institutionalized falsehood / a "branch of medical science" that is, at its heart, of claims and methods that are patently science-exterior:
Note: what I will point out here is the claim that naturopathy is "science based" or a "branch of medical science" or "of the same science foundation", and then show that that very-same area has, at its heart, quite a science-ejected or non-science-employing core. And one thing to note too: this is SO EASY TO DO.
I have, for years, collected and archived many of the 'science subset naturopathy' claims of the North American schools. On this web page (here), see section I.01.a2. through I.01.a8.
001.b. schools' consortia:
on that same page, see section I.01.a1.
001.c. ND organizations, States, Federal:
on that same page, see section I.02. and I.03.
001.d. accreditation bodies:
I'll just list the accreditors for the 5 U.S. schools:
Note: what a RICO-type apparatus. You have more consumer rights on a used car lot, though a naturopathy education is like a quarter of a million dollars in cost if you include the prerequisites.
002. student loans are for life according to the United States Federal Government Department of Education [perhaps in essence just a branch of the banking industry], in "Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge":
"you must repay your loans even if you don’t complete your education, can’t find a job related to your program of study, or are unhappy with the education you paid for with your loan. However, certain circumstances might lead to your loans being forgiven, canceled, or discharged."
Note: "certain circumstances" my ass. The conditions look quite favorable for banks never to have their loans discharged. But, I notice, there is one category missing in the title of this .gov site: prosecution. I have written in the past to the ed.gov requesting they pursue prosecution of the naturopathy apparatus. This is highly unlikely, as they'd have to prosecute themselves.
and you will be quite wrong, in sum, claiming professionalism subset science subset naturopathy subset nonscience.
here, I cite from a recent press release by a Canadian naturopath who criticizes standard cancer treatment [see 001., below]; and then offers 'alternative' treatments yet what he considers science is quite bizzare [see 002., below]:
"Dr. Sean Ceaser, a Canadian doctor of naturopathic medicine [his bio. is here...] a doctor of naturopathic medicine from Canada [...] offers a variety of natural treatments and therapies from offices in
Winnipeg, MB and Victoria, BC [...] Dr. Ceaser [...] offers various alternative cancer treatment options [...] options like these are preferable to chemotherapy [...]";
so, the naturopath as oncologist. Now, there was a time when such offerings were considered "complementary" and therein did not replace standard therapy but were additional to such. Herein, I think, the ND says 'I have something that replaces standard therapy and is better, solely.'
"[and is quoted as saying] 'the more that we study the effects and the success rate of
chemotherapy, the more we will come to realize its ineffectiveness and
harmfulness [...and speaks of] chemotherapy’s already poor track record for prostate, breast, lung and many other cancers' [...]";
I think it is a gross misrepresentation to lump all chemotherapy as 'all ineffective and all of a poor track record'. Cancer is not just one disease, genetically speaking, and there are different vulnerabilities to chemotherapy agents even when patients have the same tissue with cancer. Of course, we'd all like improvements in cancer therapies. The question is, what is being offered instead? Something plausible and with a mass of supportive scientific evidence, or MAGIC BEANS and UNICORN TEARS.
http://www.drceaser.com/alternative-cancer-treatments [...] for more information on intravenous vitamin C and other alternative cancer therapies [...] alternative natural therapies which offer anti-cancer benefits without side effects [...] alternative cancer therapies such as high-dose intravenous vitamin C
are natural chemotherapy agents [...] the high doses given during vitamin C treatment [...] intravenously [...which] causes oxidative damage to these cancer cells which
then die off [...]";
"Linus Pauling's claim that high-dose vitamin C prolonged the life of cancer patients was based on improper statistical analysis of data from a case series. Subsequent clinical trials found no benefit from what he recommended. Case reports indicate that high-dose vitamin C can produce kidney damage. And laboratory studies have shown that vitamin C might even accelerate cancer growth. Thus, even if supplementary vitamin C is eventually be found to have some use in fighting cancer, that role is not likely to be extensive. Despite these hard facts, many people still claim that high doses of vitamin C are useful as a cancer treatment. Responsible health professionals should clarify this issue so that patients neither forfeit scientific care nor put themselves at risk by using a product that has no demonstrated merit";
"more recently, vitamin C given intravenously (IV) has been touted to have different effects than vitamin C taken orally. This has prompted renewed interest in the use of IV vitamin C as a cancer therapy. However, there is still no evidence that vitamin C has any effect on cancer. Until clinical trials are completed, it's premature to determine what role, if any, IV vitamin C may play in the treatment of cancer";
so, what the naturopath is really admitting to is his experimentation upon people with life threatening disease without, I'd bet, proper ethical considerations. I'm also wondering what indications exist, from the ND's own web pages, demonstrating his understanding of what is legitimately SCIENCE and efficacious.
"Dr. Sean Ceaser [...] Dr. Ceaser is a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians [...] uses some of the most powerful natural alternative cancer treatments available anywhere [...] to give the best available care for every type of cancer and every stage of cancer [...]";
safe to say he basically practices oncology.
"[he touts] these powerful cancer therapies [...] high dose IV vitamin C, mistletoe therapy- Iscador, ozone therapy, IV hydrogen peroxide, IV careseng / pandimex, IV artemisinin, IV chelation therapy, IV alpha-lipoic acid, IV high dose vitamin and mineral therapies, IV amino acids, detoxification protocols, dietary therapy supplementation [...]";
all very odd sounding answers to something as serious as cancer. If the actual non-efficacy of vitamin C is any measure [falsely labeled "powerful"], then these therapies efficacies are being, to be polite, likely 'oversold' and instead this is a list of snake oil / magic beans / unicorn tears posing as effective cancer treatments.
"homeopathy is a 200 year old healing science that uses very diluted animal, plant or mineral substances in order to stimulate the body's own natural healing response to disease. There are no active chemicals in these medicines [very true...] to learn more about homeopathy and the different treatment options available, please contact me";
homeopathy is not a science. It is, in fact, science-ejected and ineffective.
here, I excerpt from, of all places, a Huffington Post piece on homeopathy that actually engages in the area from the point of view of scientific skepticism ISYN [see 001., below]; then, I share web pages of a university I personally experienced that is engaged in pushing homeopathy as "science" and it is quite the example of 'higher education scumbaggery and snake oil endorsement' [see 002., below]:
CSM: "do you have any homeopathic treatments in your medicine cabinet? [...] I think you'd be surprised to find out what homeopathy is really all about [...]";
the more homeopathy is looked at the faker, ironically, it turns out to be.
BG: "homeopathy is about taking very very very high dilutions of any kind of natural substance or unnatural substance [...] the idea is that the more highly diluted it is the more powerful it becomes [...] a dilution that is so profoundly diluted that it's roughly the same as, and I'm not making this up, one molecule of the original substance in a sphere of water whose diameter is the distance from where I am in London to the edge of the sun [...] there's obviously no trace of the original molecule in there [...it's a] placebo [...a] dummy sugar pill [...] sugar pills withno medicine in them [...] ";
really. Never mind that the video doesn't show a sphere but an ellipse. My other regret here is that BG, in paraphrasing what a placebo is, doesn't specifically point out when he says "they get better" and "that's the power of the placebo effect" how little patients in studies taking placebos get better in actuality in terms of physical, tangible illnesses as opposed to self-reported more subjective, and say participatory, psycho-emotional complaints.
CSM: "Novella [...] wrote a scathing report in a recent issue of Skeptical Enquirer entitled 'Pseudoscience in Our Universities' (here). In it he describes the disturbing trend of complementary and alternative medicine departments cropping up in institutions of higher learning across Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States including those that teach homeopathy as a legitimate medical practice [...]";
BG: "I think it's really important to have university departments subjecting alternative therapies to fair tests to see if they work or not [...] the idea that you would train people up and endorse cherry picking badly designed studies in order to help people flog pills to their patients I think is an extraordinary act of scumbaggery on the part of universities [...] when you walk into a university science department it is actually much more difficult to tell that what you are being fed is untrue";
you said it brother. Reminds me of naturopathy school.
CSM: "an institution of higher education is a sacred place where students learn to learn, to problem solve, to question the status quo and to make reasonable evidence-based decisions about the world around them. To present snake oil as science is an utterly contemptible violation of trust [...]";
well, I'm not sure sacred is the best word here. There is that sentinel-type role that higher education holds as an institution of knowledge and such, in trust.
Note: at that above home page, we're told: "contact [...] University of Bridgeport, Division of Health Sciences, Office of Admissions, 126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604, email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone (toll free): 1-888-822-4476, fax: 203-576-4941." Yes, science subset naturopathy is the claim.
has a whole page explaining their mandatory and elective courses in homeopathy (here). Also, homeopathy is required to be practiced in their clinic in order to graduate and homeopathy is on the national examination in order to be licensed. Talk about scumbaggery and snake oil endorsement: that North American NPLEX licensure exam falsely labels homeopathy a "clinical science."
here, I cite from and comment upon the reported death of a very politically connect-ed [yes, perhaps a pun about Connect-icut] naturopath [see 001., below]; then, I cite the huge natupathillogicality that typifies the degree he had and the Connecticut school where I met him when I was an ND student [see 002., below]:
"Sen. George L. 'Doc' Gunther [...of] the state's 21st Senate District [...] Shelton, most of Stratford, and parts of Monroe and Seymour [...] died early Sunday in hospice care after a lengthy battle with cancer [...he] holds the record as Connecticut's longest-serving legislator [...in office from] 1966 to 2006 [...which was] 20 terms in the state Senate [...he was] 92 [...]";
of course, any criticisms I levy here are not 'to the man', and particularly I applaud his public service. But, isn't it interesting that his major contributions are not 'naturopathic' but instead much more about issues and causes that represent BROAD community interests! E.g., "Gunther championed scores of environmental and conservation efforts [...and was] the founder of the Connecticut Air and Space Center in Stratford." [I've seen the Corsairs there, and they are truly one of my favorites]. I'm not sure how much politicking he employed regarding naturopathy, as the CT law is quite old, to the extent that, in my opinion, it isn't even a naturopathy statute but a Frankenbuild of old 'drugless practitioner' early 1900 crap.
"Gunther gets his 'Doc' nickname from his profession -- he was a naturopathic physician [...]";
ah, profession subset naturopathy.
"Michael Riley, president of the state Motor Transport Association and a longtime lobbyist [...who] at Gunther's retirement party in 2006 [...] dressed in costume as Pope Benedict XVI [...said] 'he was one-of-a-kind and everybody loved him. He would prowl the halls of the Capitol with his inappropriate remarks. He got away with murder [...]";
oh, how I will detail 'naturopathic murder' in 002., below. It's a kind of 'murder of professionalism' and 'murder of science'. I like the blasphemy, too. For I have blasphemed naturopathy.
002. oh UBCNM, my alma mater [which I left in DISGUST]:
Note: this is, blatantly, commerce occurring under false labels and I am continually in communication with quite non-responsive oversight entities who are parties to the racket. I have wondered if the good 'Doc' had enough pull or respect to basically squelch any complaints again naturopathy-the-pseudoscience and its state endorsement. I met the 'Doc' at UBCNM during some kind of opening of their clinic, I believe, around 1999. And yes, he was larger-than-life and quite memorable.
"[regarding] the recent passage of New Hampshire House Bill 351 [...the New Hampshire] state Senate narrowly approved HB 351 in a 13-11 vote in early May and Gov. John Lynch signed it into law on June 20 [...]";
so now we know who to hold responsible.
"[the bill] requires all private health insurers to cover services provided
by naturopathic doctors [...]";
wouldn't it be interesting if a major therapy provided by naturopaths is FAKE and is about as real as unicorn tears and magic beans? Read on. Oh how licensed falsehood marches on!
"Dr. Robyn Conte, ND, director of Starry Brook Natural Medicine in Exeter [says] such providers face their fair share of challenges and misconceptions, despite being subject to much of the same training and academic rigor as traditional doctors [...]";
and so now we cut to the chase, in terms of the ideas of clarity and rigor. What can we clearly say about naturopathy's worldview through a lens of scientific rigor?
"'our thoroughness and the time we spend with each patient is I believe what sets us apart', Conte said [...] 'a lot of times we'll have patients who've seen every specialist up and
down the Seacoast, but who still haven't gotten to the root causes for
whatever ails them' [...] 'our motto of 'health care the way it should be' [...]";
so lets be thorough about naturopathy's ROOTS. Notice, though, we still haven't been told what it is naturopathy is.
"[...] homeopathic medicine treats the vital force(known as qi in Chinese medicine) [...] the body's innate healing response [...] the source of illness not just the symptoms [...]";
and there you go, a root belief within naturopathy that an invisible, science-ejected geist controls the body. We were promised thoroughness, rigor, that misconceptions would be explained but a vital force or qi is as much real as the Tooth Fairy.
"homeopathy works [...] homeopathic medicines treat a variety of health concerns [...] homeopathy is based on the 'law of similars' [...] natural laws of healing [...]";
actually, homeopathy doesn't work and there is no support from science regarding a law of similars. True thoughtfulness takes into account ALL the evidence regarding homeopathy, and we know it is bunk. Sectarian cherry-picking, on the other hand, picks selective weak but positive examples of homeopathy's efficacy.
"the diagnosis and treatment plan I will be given by Starry Brook Natural Medicine is based upon traditional Chinese medical principles and/or naturopathic philosophies and may not constitute a western medical diagnosis";
Note: and therein, one signs away any right to use modern scientific methods to evaluate or criticize what an ND has done to you. Let say, if you are harmed or feel deceived. Ah, "health care the way it should be." That to me doesn't sound like a level playing field.
here, I excerpt from and comment upon a recent article in Naturopathic Doctor News and Review [NDNR] regarding -- ISYN -- epistemology [the study of knowledge], science, and naturopathy by National College of Natural Medicine's President and CEO PhD Schleich [see 001., below]; then, I employ NCNM and the State of Oregon's own definitions of naturopathy as examples of the 'knowledge ambiguation' that truly is the hallmark of naturopathic epistemology [see 002., below]:
001. Schleich, D. (PhD UT) states in NDNR's "A Perfect Storm of Epistemology and Turf: The Debate About Unique Knowledge Within Naturopathic Medicine" (2012-08; p.29-30)[my notes are in unquoted bold black, the bold blue headings demarcate subject matter]:
Note: that page tells us "NCNM is the parent school of naturopathic medicine in North America." That is quite true. NCNM used to be called National College of Naturopathic Medicine, and it is the trunk of the naturopathy tree, so to speak. Over all, I see neither a debate / a storm and nor issues of turf here. Isn't unique knowledge just an excuse for 'crap we can't justify' that we falsely label "science" anyway?
on needed clarity:
"there is widespread misunderstanding of what naturopathic medicine actually is [...]";
yes, there is! People are led to believe it is a "science" when in fact its premises are science-ejected. Organized naturopathy creates this misunderstanding and thrives on it.
that false allopathic label:
"the dominant octopus of allopathic biomedicine [...]";
modern medicine is as allopathic as modern astronomy is astrologic: it's a nonsense label homeopath Hahnemann originated to speak of medical methods from two-hundred years ago that are quite abandoned.
on the term:
"the term naturopathy itself can be traced back to the teachings and
concepts of Benedict Lust [...] in an editorial in the Naturopathic and
Herald of Health, Benedict Lust in 1902 explained that naturopathy was
'purposely a hybrid word' [...but, also,] the actual term naturopathy came from a word coined by the
German homeopath John Scheel [(my link)...who] formed the word from a combination
of Latin and Greek to translate literally as 'nature disease.' The
term, then, is an actual misnomer[...AND] the understanding of 'naturopathic medicine' and 'naturopathy' varies among many geographic locales and regulatory jurisdictions [...]";
I really find it hard to believe that someone CHOSE to mistakenly name the area. It is often said that homeopathy is inherent to naturopathy (e.g., Orac says it often). That the term natur-o-path-, truly, is quite illiterate in terms of classical linguistic form and came from a homeopath is quite appropriate for this arena that falsely labels the patently science-ejected science-based: truly, an ultimate reversal of values, aka the elevation of nonsense unto an oxymoronic 'professionally labeled stupid'. Notice too that we're told by NCNM's president that naturopathy "varies" yet NCNM simultaneously tells us it is distinct.
"naturopathic medicine has many roots and branches which stretch
back into the healthcare landscapes of 12 decades yearning for space yearning for place [...] our challenge in the second decade of the second century of our medicine [...]";
how poetic! So, that's 120 years, TIMED. But, why therein why oh why, do naturopaths also claim that their essential concepts are "timeless" and on that there same ND Weeks's page "[who is a] naturopathic doctor and applied kinesiologist [...claiming to practice a branch of] medical science"? How rich, perhaps richer than his platelet rich plasma therapy.
the 'of the professions' claim and knowledge:
"[he speaks of] the naturopathic profession [...] the profession as it struggles [...] many of our own profession’s scholars have contributed to the
long-emerging conversation about what the essential, codified knowledge
of naturopathy or naturopathic medicine actually is [...] the energy of naturopathy emerged from its professional formation intentions [...] the U.S. naturopathic profession, at Rippling River, Ore., itself was zeroing in on a definition [...] the FNM Project is finally codifying the knowledge of a profession [...]";
profession, profession, profession.
"our medicine has continued to evolve for over 100 years [...] the
nature of the medicine [...] the essential knowledge within naturopathic
medicine itself [...] the essential epistemology of naturopathy [...] the barest beginnings of an epistemology of naturopathic medicine [...] the question arises 'what is the unique knowledge of naturopathic medicine anyway?' [...]";
interesting question. I'll deal with this in 002., below.
"it is valuable [...] to look again at the epistemological roots of naturopathic medicine [...] to take a look at the origin, nature, methods, and limits of the knowledge base of the system of medicine we cherish [...]";
yes, it is.
"these roots are examined briefly in chunks of naturopathic history and philosophy courses [...]";
"[and speaks of] defining naturopathic medicine’s epistemological place [...] we simply must be confident about the nature and grounds of knowledge with reference to the limits and validity of that demarcated knowledge [...]";
blah blah blah. Demarcated my ass: indeed, naturopathy "blends". So, we have the 'blended demarcated' oxymorony.
on knowledge ambiguation:
"[he quotes] 'there is knowledge other than the scientific; we need a new form of science and medicine. Instinctive common sense and experience are good enough; and medicine is not scientific anyway' [...]";
I think this speaks volumes for what naturopathy does and wants: a lower standard of knowledge than what science produces, called science but not science, instead 'of anecdote and empirical whim', perhaps something like medicine by Ouija board. I personally think modern medicine is quite scientific roughly speaking, and anyway even if it wasn't, it is not acceptable for naturopathy to claim "science-based" commercially, professionally, and academically when patently not just because someone else does such.
002. NCNM's and the State of Oregon's knowledge ambiguation [and epistemic falsehood; which I've also in the past termed 'epistemic conflation while claiming epistemic delineation']:
"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] first do no harm — primum no nocere: the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process";
Note: yet, true scientific analysis reveals that a life force in charge of physiology is objectively science-ejected FOR DECADES. And, though based on falsely stating such as able to survive scientific scrutiny and as being in fact, naturopathy still claims to be a profession. But, what profession is based on falsehood? What is distinguishing in all of this is naturopathy's knowledge kind muddle, ironically, wherein science is blended with nonscience and all called, quite fraudulently, science-vetted.
here, I purposely collide two stances regarding homeopathy, one from the position of scientific skepticism and rigor via the James Randi Education Foundation [JREF] blog, and one from the sectarian pseudoscience I'll call the 'North American Naturopathy Apparatus' [NANA; see 001., below]:
"homeopathy is pure, 100%, unadulterated nonsense. They are sugar pills [...] on which a magic ritual has been cast [...and] they don't work [...] homeopathic potions have been tested in clinical trials and they don't work [...] 'the findings of currently available Cochrane reviews of studies of homeopathy do not show that homeopathic medicines have effects beyond placebo' [...] homeopathy is bunk [...] homeopathy is quackery [...and speaks of] the pseudoscientific status of homeopathy [...] ";
did he mention THEY DON'T WORK?! Usually, magical potions don't work in this here physical universe.
"[and regarding the FDA's criticisms of the manufacturing of these magic beans and unicorn tears] no one in the homeopathic community noticed that 1/6 [of the] bottle[s] of homeopathic product coming out of this company were just sugar pills. That's probably because the other 5/6 of the bottles are also just sugar pills [...that] there isn't the same amount of fairy dust in every pill";
this is where one starts to feel very VERY weird, like Bizzaro World weird.
002. meanwhile, NANA states:
002.a. via their national US organization, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians in "Position Paper - Homeopathy" [saved 2012-08-20]:
"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 [...] homeopathy has been recognized, through rigorous testing and experimentation, as having significant scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and safety [...] it is the position of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians that [...] homeopathy is taught in the Naturopathic Colleges and its practice should be included in the naturopathic licensing laws. Naturopathic physicians recognize other licensed practitioners of the healing arts who are properly trained in homeopathy";
properly trained in potions of magic beans and unicorn tears.
Note: well, that's dated 1993 and still up on their site. There's also their more recent web page "Homeopathy: A Primer" [vsc 2012-08-20]:
"by Christopher Johnson ND, Thrive Naturopathic [...]";
"what conditions respond to homeopathy? Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine, and as such is helpful with the entire spectrum of human illness [...] how effective is homeopathy? Homeopathy’s effectiveness is supported by a large body of research in the medical literature [...]";
"only in naturopathic medical schools do students formally learn homeopathy both in the academic and clinical settings [...] all other medical professionals learn homeopathy outside of their official academic and clinical training. To find a naturopathic doctor in your area who is trained in homeopathy, visit our Find a Doctor page [...]";
yes, been there, HATED IT. So, the AANP is quite adamant that homeopathy is FUSED to naturopathy and that it works. And they promote it.
002.b. via their national Canadian organization, the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors in "Questions: All Questions":
"naturopathic doctors use a variety of non-toxic, non-pharmaceutical treatments. All naturopathic doctors in Canada are trained in the following natural therapies [...] homeopathic remedies are minute dilutions of plant, animal and mineral substances designed to stimulate the body's 'vital force' and strengthen its innate ability to heal";
a claim of efficacy by way of an imaginary Tooth Fairy -like force.
"licensed naturopathic physicians have attended four-year professional-level programs at accredited institutions, where they have been educated in the same basic sciences as allopathic physicians. Some member schools in the AANMC actually require more hours of basic and clinical science than many top allopathic medical schools [...] students of naturopathic medicine use the Western medical sciences as a foundation [...] they offer the world a healing paradigm founded on a rational balance of tradition, science and respect for nature [...] while earning their degree, doctors of naturopathic medicine learn virtually all the modalities of proven natural therapies [...including] homeopathy";
so, there's this science subset naturopathy subset homeopathy irrationality claimed as rational.
and the naturopathy licensed falsehood apparatus marches on.
003. what I hope to see in the future:
restitution for anyone who feels they've been treated fraudulently / wrongly / falsely in the past decades by naturopathy. I can't see how the racket can continue based upon the sentiments for justice that exist in a civilized modern society. They just don't realize they are insolvent already.
"[from the description] Clinical Naturopathic Medicine is a foundation clinical text integrating the holistic traditional principles of naturopathic philosophy with the scientific rigor of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to support contemporary practices and principles [...]";
so the foundation of naturopathy is claimed to have, essentially, INTEGRITY. I don't see how that is possible in the sense of logical integrity when those very principles and their philosophy stuff, and specific practices, actually are REFUTED by scientific analysis! For instance, as I own this textbook, the books states:
"[location 15967] naturopathic diagnosis [via] iridology: the gallbladder region can be located in the right iris and is positioned at 8 o'clock between the liver and the duodenal areas; all three regions are positioned on a straight radius extending from the pupil to the sclera border. The realm of iridology does not extend to the ability of being able to identify gallstones as any markings in the iris refer to the tissues of the gall bladder rather than the gallbladder contents"
"[location 1734] the following three principles are fundamental and are still in place today: [#1] belief in a vital force that underlies all living organisms. It is this force that unifies all living organisms and is responsible for restoration and preservation of health" and "[location 15421] both the modern and traditional naturopath delivers treatments so that the primary goal of supporting the body's own innate ability to heal (vitality, life force, vis medicatrix naturae) is fostered"
which is an idea quite science EJECTED. Claiming, as is claimed above in my view, that naturopathy's foundation has integrity, particularly via scientific rigorous analysis, is quite patently FALSE.
"[from the video...] the best experts in the industry [...] 'a major gap in the market' [...] 'clinical naturopathic medicine was a logical evolution' [...] 'a solid foundation in the practice of naturopathy' [...] 'to properly equip the reader with therapeutic strategies' [...via] 'Elsevier Australia'";
oh how the irony delights me: wherein values are reversed, and what is nonsense is best, logical, solid, proper. What's really rich is that the book's imprint is "Elsevier Health Science Division" according to books.google.com.
here, I transcribe and comment upon parts of a recent interview of a naturopath in Seattle by public radio there [see 001., below]; then, I visit his practice page and share some details the interview didn't mention [see 002., below]:
001. the University of Washington's KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio (PSPR) kuow.org states in "Discussing Naturopathy With A Naturopath" (2012-08-15) (for the mp3, click here) [vsc, downloaded 2012-08-15; my comments are in unquoted bold]:
"[from the description, as reported by Ross Reynolds; 'RR' below] what is a naturopath? How does their practice of medicine differ from a conventional doctor's? Ross Reynolds sits down with a local naturopath to discuss training of a naturopath, the treatments they give and he takes your calls. Guest(s): Dr. Patrick Donovan [ND Bastyr 1985; 'D' below] is a naturopath; he runs the University Health Clinic and teaches at Bastyr University [...]";
just to clarify here, the clinic mentioned is not Bastyr's teaching clinic. It is named based upon its address in the university district of the city. But that is a very good question: what precisely is a naturopath? And what is the primary difference?
RR: "define naturopathic medicine to us."
yes, please do. As an academic, this shouldn't be so hard in terms of clarity and precision.
D: "naturopathic medicine is a practice of medicine that's based on some fundamental philosophies and concepts of living systems and how nature itself works and applying those philosophies and concepts to our patient care [...]";
and that's all you get. What could those philosophies and concepts be? I'll share that below in 002.
RR: "give us an example of how a naturopath might deal with a patient's problem versus how a traditional family practitioner might deal with the same problem." D: "surprisingly, it might not be different at all [...and states] the educational piece is very similar to a medical doctor or DO [...]";
so, there's this claim of 'so little difference'.
D: "our basic fundamental education teaches us how to be a good general practitioner [...and speaks of] allopathic measures [...and] 13 to 15 hours of boards [...and says] just practice medicine [...] there's just good medicine [...] put our patient at the center of the care model [...]";
oh the riches here! We have the claims of "good", the false label upon modern medicine as "allopathic", board exams mentioned that label such nonsense as homeopathy "clinical science", and I'm not sure if the patient can be at the center of naturopathic concerns when naturopathy first and foremost is based on philosophies and concepts as its primary framings / concerns.
D: "naturopathic medicine is evidence-based medicine [...and speaks of]
the best kind of scientific data you can have [...] one has to pay
attention to a lot of things when one looks at the literature";
I take this as a claim of scientific rigor girding 'the essentially naturopathic'.
002. ND Donovan's practice page [he practices with Fahoum, M. (ND Bastyr 2004)]:
"naturopathic medicine is a system of healthcare—an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness. [...] naturopathic medicine is natural, effective holistic medicine [...] naturopathic methods incorporate the scientific and empiric [...] and application of the latest scientific research [...] naturopathic physicians are trained in standard medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, pharmacology, cardiology, neurology, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, embryology, pediatrics, dermatology and physical medicine. The training also includes extensive study of naturopathic philosophy and therapeutics including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy and counseling";
I think it's safe to say the claim here is science subset naturopathy and homeopathy. But, we know homeopathy, for starters, is science ejected ineffective nonsense.
Note: partner ND Fahoum in "Dr. Mona Fahoum" [vsc 2012-08-15] states this 'naturopathy as science' claim in even more stark categorical terms: "after U of W, she went on to study the science of
natural medicine at Bastyr University, graduating in 2004 with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine." Bastyr itself labels naturopathy starkly "science based" (here's my archive).
002.a2. and speaks of 'the essentially naturopathic'":
"naturopathic medicine is defined by the principles that underlie and determine its practice rather than by the substances used. [...] the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine: [include #1] the healing power of nature: this is the self-organizing and healing process inherent in all living systems. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process";
and that's all you get, HPN = HP. But, we can peel back that veneer.
002.b. because ND Donovan's biography page is here and it tells us:
"he has contributed chapters to the Textbook of Natural Medicine [TNM]. "
the TNM is the Rosetta Stone of sorts to the essential premises of naturopathy. In the interview, and in the practice page definition above, we are not fully informed but are instead shallowly informed. The "Textbook of Naturopathic Medicine" (2006, 3rd ed.; ISBN 9780443073007) [the chapter I excerpt from is archived here] states: "the vis medicatrix naturae [is] the vital force, the healing power of nature [p.034...aka] your life force [p.035...] any naturopathic modalities can be used to stimulate the overall vital force [...] an entire physiologic system (immune, cardiovascular, detoxification, life force, endocrine, etc.) [p.36]." So, naturopathy's central textbook claims physiology includes a science-ejected concept known as vitalism. This is their essential philosophy and concept. What's really interesting is their claim also in that chapter: "science-based natural medicine was a major driving force behind the creation and mission of Bastyr." Yet, life forces are science ejected for several decades. In a major sense, the philosophies and concepts of naturopathy are irrational and kept SECRET often-most (yet, here's my archive of Bastyr's vitalism).
Note: so, earlier, we were told that naturopath's overall are "good general practitioners" seeking to practice "good medicine". But, is a foundation based upon what is false good [science subset patent nonscience]? While claiming science, incidentally and similarly, ND Fahoum also states "as a naturopathic family practitioner, Dr. Monawar Fahoum’s interests and specialties include homeopathy" [that's science subset magic beans and unicorn tears].
003: the interview description stated that how things "differ" would be discussed, but it was not dealt with in detail, so here's my take:
naturopathy and modern medicine differ GREATLY in that modern medicine is not based upon a broad foundation of irrational nonsense [the naturopathillogical] wherein the science-interior is equated with the science-exterior. ND Donovan speaks a lot about things being patient-centered. But, first and foremost, such a goal must place informed consent as primary. How can one truly be informed to consent when important details are not mentioned BEFORE the patient engages with the knowledge-type muddle known as naturopathy?
"[as reported by Craig Hislop] Dr. Joel Wallach [ND NCNM...] advocates the use of colloidal minerals [...and] claims it has taken him five days to get sick individuals healthy enough to be taken off heart transplant lists and in the space of two months says he was able to help re-grow the liver of seriously sick liver transplant patients [...he says] 'I take people with Parkinson’s disease who are terminal Parkinson’s patients and in three months time they are normal. With us, people who have been diagnosed by five neurological clinics with terminal Alzheimer’s disease in 10 days time they’re perfectly normal. We do this all the time [...] we can re-grow cartilage, we can re-grow discs in your back and you won’t need back surgery'";
well, line him up for a Nobel Prize because such is UNHEARD of. Perhaps it is even too good to be true.
"Joel D. Wallach, M.S., D.V.M. (University of Missouri) and N.D. (National College of Naturopathic Medicine) is a veterinarian and naturopath who claims [...] that all diseases are due to mineral deficiencies, that everyone who dies of natural causes dies because of mineral deficiencies, and that just about anyone can live more than one hundred years if they take daily supplements of colloidal minerals harvested from pits in Utah [...]";
"Wallach [...] certainly didn't learn any of it from science texts [...e.g.] a research team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, reported the results of a 13-year study on 10,758 Americans which failed to find any mortality benefits from vitamin and mineral supplements [...] the study also found no benefit from taking vitamin and mineral supplements for smokers, heavy drinkers, or those which chronic diseases [...] the simple fact is that there is no compelling scientific evidence that
vitamin or mineral supplements effect the health or longevity of most
people. Of course, those suffering from a vitamin or mineral deficiency
should take supplements, but there is no merit to Wallach's claim that
most or all diseases are due to mineral deficiencies";
sounds like Wallach is American enterprise at its finest. Good thing naturopaths like him are licensed.
here, I cite from a 2012-08-10 Tuscon Citizen article by NMD (Not-a-Medical-Doctor) Lauren Deville extolling the virtues of the empty-remedy system known as homeopathy. My comments are in unquoted bold:
"[recently in] a clinical trial performed in France with 101 subjects, all women over 50 with more than 5 hot flashes daily demonstrated that a combination homeopathic remedy was effective in treating menopausal symptoms (specifically measured by hot flashes [...] I have also found clinically that hormonal symptoms in general, menopausal or otherwise, respond quite well to homeopathic treatment [...]";
since homeopathic remedies are inert scientifically speaking, this statement, as scientifically and skeptically analyzed, supports the more parsimonious hypothesis that hot flashes have a very psychogenic component.
"making it a good alternative";
no, magic beans and unicorn tears posed as specifically efficacious is not an alternative unless self-deception and deceit are on the table as alternatives to legitimate knowledge and therapy.
"a remedy specific to each subject in a study doesn’t lend itself particularly well to the traditional 'double blind placebo controlled trials' that are the gold standard of medical research [...]";
this is a fake reason for lack of attempting a homeopathic study. Even if plausibility were considered separately, homeopathy CAN be studied rigorously by having the scripts filled by a pharmacy wherein cohorts can be randomized, doses can be coded, and a cross-over could happen QUITE EASILY. It is RIDICULOUSLY IGNORANT to think that testing a specific system of pill-dispensing cannot be run as a double blind placebo controlled cross over. It's not even that expensive. But, the naturopathy schools don't run them because homeopathy is a sacred cow they do not wish to show the true colors of.
"for you skeptics out there, here are a few other studies that demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathic treatment for a variety of different conditions [...such as] homeopathy for childhood diarrhea [...] how healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment [...] homeopathic treatment of patients with migraine [...] homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic low back pain [...] homeopathic treatment of patients with psoriasis [...] homeopathic medical practice [...] I could go on. But, as always, the proof is in the pudding, and it works. I’d love to see homeopathy introduced as part of our standard of care in this country [...] Dr. Lauren Deville is board-certified to practice naturopathic medicine";
this is called cherry picking, the selection of only favorable data of low quality. This is often called pathological science. There's enough junk published that one could probably find selective support for all kinds of junk ideas and weird claims
and please go on. But I dare you to go where you do not dare, to ALL the evidence, rigorously vetted, regarding homeopathy and naturopathy nonsense.
here, I quote from a recent post at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians' official blog regarding homeopathy [see 001., below]; which the naturopathy apparatus / racket in North America labels science [see 002., below]; though science has discarded homeopathy as MAJORLY BOGUS [see 003., below]:
"[by ND Edwards] I graduated from NCNM in 1988 and the Oregon College of Oriental
Medicine (OCOM) in 1989 [...and now] primarily teach naturopathic
medicine at Bastyr and NUHS [(that's a science subset naturopathy claim)...] the most recent post [at this blog] by my dear friend Dr. Shiva Barton was titled, 'why is homeopathy dead?' [...] once I read the post about how fewer naturopathic graduates are using homeopathy and the reasons why, it became clear to me what I wanted to write about, which is why I love homeopathy [...]I became ever more impressed with the phenomenal healing capacities of homeopathy. I witnessed significant pathology resolve and even more impressive to me, I observed significant and often deep seated psychological disorders resolved [...] this is where the correctly chosen remedy can work miracles [...] I keep hoping that the field of psychiatry will finally accept homeopathy because it will transform the practice [...] if someone were to tell me that I could only use one therapy in my practice (in addition to basic nature cure) I would choose homeopathy, because in my experience, there is no other therapy that has such profound and broad effects. That’s why I love homeopathy";