Friday, March 10, 2017

MD Tobin's Promotion of ND Cole's Opacity and Pseudoscience Posed as Enlightenment

[this post has been updated, see 003.]

here, opaque naturopathic language and support of what's generally considered pseudoscience, naturopathy's homeopathy, by a medical doctor in Albany, New York; and an email response explaining why my comment to the article has been refused by the MD:

001. at, in "An Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine" (2017-03-09)[2017 archived]:

001.a. MD Tobin, that's right medical doctor, writes:

"I am pleased to introduce Dr. Amy Cole to our holistic health community [...] a native of the Capital Region who returned home to establish her naturopathic medicine practice. As an integrative and holistic physician I am often called a naturopath, which opens the door to my disclaimer and a discussion of the virtues of naturopathy. On that topic I invited Amy to enlighten us all [...]";

so, there's the claim 'holistic & integrative subset naturopathy', and an ND enlightening us.

"[and we're told] Ann Carey Tobin, M.D., FAAFP, is a board certified family physician and certified Eden Energy Medicine practitioner. Her integrative medicine consultation practice, Partners in Healing, is located in Delmar [...] visit Partners in Healing [...] disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical practitioner regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical conditions [...]";

so, Tobin is a practitioner of "energy" medicine.  This kind, apparently, whose founder tells us: "entering the world of your body's subtle energies is a bridge into the domain of your deepest spiritual callings and your eternal essence. While no particular belief system, allegiance, or religious affiliation is associated with Energy Medicine, many people find that energy work touches into the realms of soul and spirit." But the energy of energy medicine doesn't scientifically exist, and medicine is an applied science.  So, I'm fond of correcting such practitioners' categorical labels: not physician, METAphysician because truly we need to go to Cloud CukooLand in order to stomach the nonsense posed as medically relevant.  I'm all for freedom of belief and practice, but please, let's not conflate medicine with religion.  It harms both.  If you can show me the supernatural as immanent, well, that would be amazing.  Ah, the white lab coat and beneath, black ministerial vestments.

001.b. ND Cole tells us, sandwiched between the above language:

"Dr. Amy Cole is a naturopathic doctor that graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport and received her undergraduate degree at Hartwick College [...] naturopathic medicine caught my attention while I was attending undergraduate college [] herbalist mentioned naturopathic medicine as an alternative avenue [...]";

so, UB is the place that labels naturopathy categorically SCIENCE while its naturopathy contains such science-ejected things as homeopathy and such science-exterior things as the supernatural.  What a racket, no matter what 'excuse labels' they use such as: philosophy, holistic, natural, integrative.  And, the preponderant SCIENCE of college-level education BELIES UB's science posture.  To quote Nietzsche: the revaluation of all values.  Indeed.  And naturopaths are not licensed to practice medicine in New York.  Or naturopathy, for that matter. 

"['s some] information [...on] the six main philosophies of naturopathic medicine. They are as follows: 1. doctor as teacher: the doctor is there to help to educate the patient about their body [...]";

ah, promised INFORMATION.  Well, these numbered items are usually termed "tenets" of naturopathy's philosophy.  And when NDs tell use they are educators as above, I'm always amazed because they themselves are so miseducated.

"2. the healing power of nature: this is the belief that giving the body the nutrients that it needs to function properly, and removing any toxins or burdens on the body that may be inhibiting its proper function, will allow the body to heal itself [...] the approach of an ND with a patient includes the above listed philosophies [...]";

so, coded vitalism as HPN.  If it were scientifically true, it wouldn't need to be "belief".  At UB, you can find expressed vitalism as HPN.  But here, we're not allowed to know so we can then truly understand and be truly enlightened.  Sectarian pseudoscience posed as medically relevant is bad for business when properly labeled.  I'd argue that part of naturopathy's philosophy is to MISREPRESENT, as an APPROACH, to the public.  And the Toxin Bogeyman!

"3. first do no harm: avoid doing anything to the body that may harm it [...]"; 

as the State of Oregon '.gov' tells us, this too is bound up with naturopathy's vitalism but again, here we are not told.

 "spiritual aspects that make up the whole person [...]"; 

so, supernaturalism is required within naturopathy.  Again, falsely piled into their label "science" harming both scientific integrity and freedom of belief IMHO. 

"reading the philosophies of naturopathic medicine was an epiphany. This was the version of medicine that I had been searching for [...] naturopathic philosophies are a good start [...]";

meanwhile, she's not even being transparent so getting such transparency in such articles as this is usually for me an epiphany: we're an unethical sectarian pseudoscience.  And whenever is such "good"?

"naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained at four-year post graduate medical colleges [...] similar to conventional medical doctors [...] basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, histology, genetics, physical exam, and diagnostic classes [...and] systems-based classes, such as gynecology, neurology, oncology, gastroenterology, etc. The students also focus on the naturopathic therapies including: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, spinal manipulation, hydrotherapy, and more[...] usually a combination of dietary/lifestyle changes, herbals, homeopathic remedies, nutrients, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, and/or relaxation techniques are used, or suggested, to target the underlying issue [...]";

so, science mixed with the medieval-archaic all falsely termed by UB "science."  And that's not ANY kind of education with integrity, never mind "graduate" and "medical".  How "basing" was the science since nonsense gets later stacked upon it and it's all then falsely labeled?  Pharmacology is not a basic medical science, by the way.  The presence of homeopathy is quite a litmus test regarding naturopathy's ruse.  Aka: file under 'lying', lies of omission.

"in order to get licensure in any state NDs are required to pass rigorous national board examinations after their first two years and fourth year of school [...]";

what were not told is that that exam falsely labels homeopathy a "clinical science."

"in New York, however, there is no licensure bill regulating naturopathic medicine and, therefore, naturopathic doctors are unable to practice medicine in New York. You will find NDs, such as myself, working in NY, but we function as consultants [...]";

ah, the fudge factor.  'Trust me I'm a doctor not doctoring.'  And a bill doesn't regulate, a law does.  A bill is a proposed law.  What's fascinating is that in New York, the Department of Education regulates the professions.  To embrace naturopathy with a law would undo the DOE's integrity.

"you will find more information about the licensing efforts in NY at [...]";

here's some more information: historically, NYANP claiming categorical "science" with also "vital force."

 "she is a co-founder of Elevate Albany Wellness, and has offices at this location in Loudonville, NY, and a satellite office in Bennington, VT [...]"; 

let's go there, below.

002. ND Cole's practice:

002.a. at, we're told in "Naturopathic Medicine" [2017 archived]:

"what is naturopathic medicine?  Naturopathic doctors believe that disease is created from the body being out of balance [...] naturopathic doctors believe once the body is brought back to balance it is able to heal itself [...] naturopathic physicians have 6 basic principles: 1. healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae): this is the fundamental belief of naturopathic medicine.  The naturopathic doctor should serve to guide the body back to balance and encourage the body's ability to heal itself [...]"; 

ah, again, not to the point.  Coded vitalism.  A fundamental belief that isn't transparently communicated.

 "a variety of factors can compromise the balance of the body [...] environmental toxins disrupting the system, poor nutrition, or even spiritual and emotional imbalances [...] 4. heal the whole person (physical, mental, spiritual): naturopathic doctors believe that every aspect of the person's being is important to that person's health whether it be mind, body, or spirit [...]"; 

the Toxin Bogeyman, and the spiritual.  But nowhere in naturopaths' training is 'spiritual training' of any significance.  And again, prove to me scientifically 'the spiritual' that your alma mater says is within science! 

"there are currently five accredited naturopathic medical schools in the United States.  Naturopathic doctors will attend one of these schools.  In addition to the basic science classes that conventional medical schools have, naturopathic medical students also attend classes in nutrition, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and other complementary modalities [...]"; 

homeopathy, the great pretender.  Supposedly from basic science.  Fully accredited nonsense.  Science as anything. And by the way, she tells us "medical ethics" is an eighth semester course. I think it should be termed, instead, "how to do the great naturopathic ruse."

003. my comment and the MD's response:

003.a. I'd written:

"I think people should exercise some caution with this article.  If this article truly were "educational", then it should at least mention counterpoints to its naturopathy proponentry in order to be truly journalistic.  For instance, where is mention of the pseudoscience that is at the heart of naturopathy?  That's an objective fact that I think should have been mentioned. E.g. homeopathy. See the long-standing Wikipedia article, which is spot-on. If we're really going to discuss "the virtues of naturopathy", let's discuss naturopathy's very real reversal of values, too. E.g. the ND's alma mater terms the science-ejected doctoral science. Happy to help if a rebuttal is needed. -r.c.";

not very extreme, IMHO.

003.b. I was emailed this response:

"R.C., I am of the ilk to post most comments that are not clearly spam, marketing or abusive, if I think they will serve the purpose of a constructive dialogue. In the past, though, I find that it often ends up hurting the guest blogger whom I have invited on good faith on the premise that sharing information on their profession will be a positive experience.  I believe in the ability of the public to make their own decision on the subject--perhaps seeking out your site if they have their doubts. Also, this is not strictly a forum for objective journalism--it is a blog filled with personal opinions and experiences. In this case, though, Dr. Cole has presented an objective outline of the training and scope of a naturopath. You have a right to disagree, but I am concerned that in this forum your comment will be hurtful to a sincere wellness provider (even if you feel she is misguided). Be well, Ann [...]";

objective my ass, where are the details?  Because sCAM cannot abide its bubble being burst.
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