Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Disinformed Consent - ND Gleixner Describes Naturopathy Opaquely - Times and Transcript 2011-01-26

here, I detail what I'll call naturopathic pseudojournalistic propaganda.  A New Brunswick, Canada ND disinforms the public about the basis of naturopathy (not surprising, IMHO)! First, I cite from the article itself [see 001.a., below], then from that ND's own web pages [see 001.b., below]; finally, I decode the whole thing via the Canadian ND national organization [see 002., below]:

001. Gleixner, M. (ND BINM 2008) states [a bio. is here]:

001.a. in "Guiding Principles Form a New Health-Care Paradigm" (2011-01-26)[vsc 2011-01-26]:

[notated as I go!]

"Dr. Martin Gleixner, MSc, ND owns the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic [...and] offers professional health care [...] Dr. Gleixner is a qualified naturopathic doctor presently accepting new patients. Additional information can be found on His column appears every fourth week on in Life & Times [...] in two previous columns, I wrote about improving health care in New Brunswick as well as for all Canadians (see for previous columns) [that web page kicks to an page he has up...]

Note: so, this is an advertisement!  Wow, smart.  Publish in a newspaper and direct the readers to your practice!  So, I guess this is trade / commerce.  I see a science credential / posture above!  Not the ND, the MSc.

[, he proposes] an integrated approach [...] a new health paradigm [model, just say model!] that aims to determine and address the true cause of one's medical concerns [...] we can start now by adopting a new approach in the way we think about medicine [...] a  new vision for practicing medicine [...] a framework that can best promote a  patient's health [...therefore these are] ways that we can improve medicine [...this is] change that our health-care system desperately needs [...] 

Note: hmmm.  I wonder what he's offering!  There's a lot of talk of things that are "new" and "true", and an improvement / good change.

  adopting the naturopathic principles discussed herein is not only a timely undertaking, but can help infuse a necessary framework into the way we practice medicine in New Brunswick and Canada [...] as a qualified naturopathic doctor, the following six principles [...these] time-tested guiding principles [...] have provided me with a unique understanding and strong foundation in the way that I practice medicine [...all of them] first do no harm (primum non nocere), co-operate with the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix  naturae), identify and treat the cause (tolle causam), treat the whole person, doctor as teacher (docere), prevent disease and promote health [...]

Note: oh, THAT'S what's being offered, the 'ND sectarian creed'.  I'm an expert on it.  But, what's offered above is only cursory.  Details, if you want to call them that, are offered below.  Then, I'll offer real details so you can make a truly informed decision.

[in detail (wink-wink), via] the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND),, the following excerpt provides an excellent summary of the guiding principles [...]

Note: I'll add to the selected CAND language in 002. below, for the sake of clarity. Needless to say, though the ND congratulates himself on his version of these principles, I find them to be manipulatively inadequate.

[#2] the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae) [HPN-VMN; I've moved the Latin up from 'treat the whole person' principle as that was an error in the article, as the summary listed attests to]: your naturopathic doctor works to restore and support the powerful and inherent healing ability of your body, mind and spirit and to prevent further disease from occurring. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery, facilitating and augmenting this ordered and intelligent healing ability [...] for a more in-depth explanation of this principle, please visit [...]

Note: HPN-VMN is naturopathy's vitalistic central premise, coded here.  What a douche.  We'll see what his own web pages represent it as below.  You do get a glimpse of the supernatural element in naturopathy from the above.

[...#4] treat the whole person [...]  your naturopathic doctor takes into account not only your physical symptoms, but also mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors [...] 

Note: more supernaturalism. 

[...#5] doctor as teacher (docere): your naturopathic doctor will assist you in understanding health and illness. He/she will provide you with an understanding of the factors that affect your health and help you balance and become more capable of maintaining your own health [...]

Note: so, you are also promised that you will be informed, and empowered with naturopathic knowledge!  Wow.

your naturopathic doctor applies all of the above principles [...] these principles can also enhance a doctor's ability to diagnose health conditions, improve patient-doctor interactions, lead to better treatment success, minimize the use of invasive procedures and medical complications, to name a few [...] these guidelines provide reassurance, help them understand the causes behind their disease so that they know how to take care of themselves in the future, and provide them with an understanding behind suggestions and treatments provided by the doctor."

Note: so, the principles are mandatory, and posed as useful. Let's put these claims to the test.

001.b. we're told by ND Gleixner at his web page:

001.b1. regarding HPN-VMN particularly:

NOTHING.  Yes, that's right, when I search the web page for "force", "medicatrix", "power", and "vital", I get NOTHING.

Note: really.  Wow.

001.b.2. but regarding science, the ND makes a science-competency claim in "NDs and MDs Should Work Together" [saved 2011-01-26]:

"both NDs and MDs are equally trained in the diagnosis of health conditions, in the core medical sciences (anatomy, pathology, physiology, etc.) and in specialty medical fields (pharmacology, gynecology, obstetrics, oncology, geriatrics, etc) [...] naturopathic medicine is not yet regulated in New Brunswick, however, the members of the New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NBAND) are presently working with the provincial government to achieve that goal [...see]"

Note: so, that's it.  No real information.  Just a claim of science, like the MSc posture.

002. decoding what has been mentioned by the ND:

002.a. NBAND and CAND state, regarding HPN-VMN [respectively]:

[notated as I go]

"the principals of naturopathic medicine are [...#2] to cooperate with the healing powers of nature - we cannot have healthy people on a sick planet, so we must take care of our environment and use the gifts of the earth in a respectful manner [...] the aim of the naturopathic doctor (ND) is to support and stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal itself [...]

Note: coded vitalism, still.

 the modalities used by a naturopathic doctor include [...] acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine - the insertion of sterile needles along meridian points to stimulate the bodies own healing energy (qi) [...] homeopathy [...] minute quantities [...] are given to strengthen vitality and heal body, mind and spirit [...]

Note: ah, some explicit science-ejected vitalism and supernaturalism.

medicine [...] is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention [...] a naturopathic doctor blends modern clinical sciences with traditional healing practices [...] training to become an ND includes the prerequisite three years of university premedical sciences courses.  The four year full time ND program at an accredited college includes the human medical sciences."

Note: but there's quite a 'science expertise' claim.
NBAND states at their home page:

"the objectives of the New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors [...includes] to educate the public on the philosophies and values of naturopathic medicine [...] to provide up-to-date and accurate information as it pertains to naturopathic medicine [...] for the protection of public interest [...] within the province of New Brunswick."

Not happening, yet.  HPN is quite opaque at their site about the FACT that qi / vitality and supernaturalism are not science-supportable and are in fact science-ejected.  Perhaps we'll have better luck at CAND, the national Canadian organization, directly below.

002.a2. in the CAND book "The History of Naturopathic Medicine: A Canadian Perspective" (ISBN 15527877882009, 2009)[which I own]:

"copies [...] are available for purchase from the CAND office [...] a limited number of hardcover books have been printed [...] all proceeds from the book will go to support the marketing efforts of the CAND [see many references to naturopathy's defining vitalism] the aim of naturopathic physicians is to treat the patient, not the disease, by directing the vital force and encouraging it with naturopathic therapeutics to stimulate the body’s own defenses [p.031]."

Note: so, there you go.  It's elusive, and you really have to get inside naturopathy to get that explicit, pan-naturopathic vitalistic context transparently stated.

Now, like NBAND, you can also get a glimpse of naturopathy's essential vitalism in CAND's "Questions: Naturopathic Treatments":

"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. Traditional Chinese medicine / acupuncture. Based on balancing the flow of chi (energy) through meridian pathways under the skin, Oriental medicine includes the use of Oriental herbs and acupuncture to regulate and release chi in order to bring the body into balance."


so, what you get represented in a journalistic context from naturopathy just doesn't cut the mustard in terms of professional standards, journalistically or medically.  Beware!  If you are seeking to make a truly informed decision about the naturopathic, you'll have to look further than their propaganda.  They are trained to be opaque about their underlying premise, and to employ a fake science label upon the whole thing.

This junk is not "new": a science-ejected vital force that is a true cause?  No.  Conflating the scientific with the science-exterior is not an improvement of any kind.  Useful?  No.  I guess it is excellent in naturopathyland to propagandize and manipulate.

File naturopathy 'under lying'.  Lies of omission, that is.  And commission.

In honor of ND Gleixner's pseudojournalistic opacity, I've made a Wordle of his 001.a. article:
Now, if you want a little better transparency about naturopathy's essential vitalism, visit ND Cage, the President of the California Naturopathic Doctor's Association [I kid you not] who states: "naturopathic medicine is based on the philosophy of vitalism."  Here's what a Wordle of that page looks like:

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