Sunday, March 9, 2014

ND Bailey in NDNR 2014: The Vitalism [Vis] that Dare Not Speak of Itself and Its Epistemic Failure

here, I cite from a 2014-02 Naturopathic Doctor News and Review [NDNR] paper-based article on ND Bailey, and I do some rummaging on 'the unspoken and misspoken':

001. at NDNR, Rev. ND Bailey (NCNM 1983) writes in "The Model I Hold Dear" (2014-02) [ocr'd 2014-04; my comments are in unquoted bold]:

"each of these 6 principles, tried and tested, have become the pillars for our naturopathic care of our patients: 1. the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae) [...] 3. first do no harm (primum non nocere)."

and that's all you get there.  HPN-VMN, and it being TRUE.  Me, I'm not satisfied with that OPACITY and 'true' label, based on all I know.  NDNR has an 'author page' for ND Bailey that links to his practice page.  So, let's go there.

002. ND Bailey's practice pages:

002.a. his biography page "Dr. Bailey" (2013 archived here) states:

"the 2010 American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Vis Award was awarded to Dr. Steven Bailey. The Vis Award acknowledges persons who represent the Vis, the Healing Power of Nature, as demonstrated through their work, life, and community service. The Vis Award recipients are naturopathic students, facility members, or clinicians who exemplify the Vis Medicatrix Naturae by their understanding and application of the Healing Power of Nature."

whatsoever could that VMN-HPN MEAN?  Again: OPACITY.

by the way, NDs pronounce "vis" as 'veez.'  Personally, in terms of my New York dialect, I can't manage that.  So, I say 'vis' just like I don't pronounce other borrowed words that exist in English now in their original languages' accent.  Call me provincial!

oh, and we're told "Steven Bailey received his doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the national College of Naturopathic medicine (NCNM) in 1983."

002.b. OPACITY! ND Bailey's 2013 archived page "Naturopathy" states:

"the guiding principle of naturopathic medicine is found in the Latin phrase 'vis medicatrix naturae [...] let nature be the force of your medicine' [...] a program that supports and encourages your body’s own healing process [...] the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing [...] these principles stand as the distinguishing marks of our 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. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of vis medicatrix naturae."

so, LF = HPN-VMN.  Decoded!  Oh, and a little detail: ND Bailey tells us "these principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis."  So, the claim is that this stuff is within science, 'true'.

003. further decoding the vis [the unspoken at NDNR], and transparently communicating its nonscientific status [the misspoken at NDNR and ND Bailey's web page above]:

003.a. so, at ND Bailey's alma mater, NCNM, we are told in "About Naturopathic Medicine":

that naturopathy is based upon vitalism, supernaturalism and teleology, and is comprised of such activities as homeopathy, and all of this is within science.

003.b. YET, in the 2012 National Academies Press publication "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" we're told:

"science is replete with ideas that once seemed promising but have not withstood the test of time, such as the concept of the 'ether' or the vis vitalis (the 'vital force' of life)."

fascinating!  As you uncover naturopathy layer by layer, like some kind of epistemic archeologist, you find at the heart of naturopathy a science-ejected notion and really bad communication habits.  Notice the NDNR article did not communicate the 'nature' of VMN-HPN clearly, and the claim that it is, as ND Bailey wrote "tried and tested" is PATENTLY false.  Oh, the reversal of values inherent to naturopathy: wherein "tried and tested" means 'scientifically vetted and then EJECTED from science.'

004. final thoughts:

 on his biography page cited above in 002., we were told:

"[ND Bailey] stays abreast of medical science and naturopathic medicine."  Sure, wink-wink.

we're also told by ND Bailey:

"Reverend, Steven A. Bailey, ND was ordained on Nov. 21 2010. This honor represents the culmination of theological study, personal commitment, community service, and a walk in grace with the divine. Dr. Bailey continues his naturopathic practice, serving body, mind and spirit."

and I'm thinking, based upon the contents of NCNM's and ND Bailey's naturopathy definition pages, 'should all NDs be addressed Reverend?'  I did a Naturocrit Podcast (Episode 001b) on the 'autoentheism and sectarian such and such' which ND Sensenig talks about as 'at the heart' of naturopathic medicine.

isn't it more HONEST to say 'naturopathy is sectarian medicine, and to better serve the public by way of transparency and integrity, it is better to call us NDs Reverend instead of DOCTOR to signify that sectarian context properly?'

after all, on his "Naturopathy" page cited above, and at NCNM's, we were told naturopathy requires:

"the physician must also make a commitment to her/his personal and spiritual development."

sounds like the practice of the religious to me.
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