Friday, February 2, 2018

Consumer Reports on Naturopathy 2018: Somewhat Bothersome Bogosity, But If You So Choose...

here, some musings on a recent warning article concerning naturopathy:

001. at consumerreports.org, in "How 'Natural' Doctors Can Hurt You", Jeneen Interlandi warns (2018-02-01):

"among the most controversial healthcare professionals you might run into these days are those who practice what’s known as naturopathic medicine. That approach to healthcare is based on the belief that the human body possesses 'an inherent self-healing' ability [ISHA], according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [...]";

ah, how about you go and look at the most pedestrian of knowledge sources, Wikipedia, which has accumulated quite the consensus concerning naturopathy, that it's basically 'an unethical sectarian pseudoscience' and that that euphemism of ISHA is actually the science-ejected idea of vitalism? That's important because it shows just how CODED naturopathy is, and how they rely on this opacity to further their commerce. That is unethical, and that is what ND students are trained into.

"critics say that many keystones of naturopathic care, such as homeopathy and intravenous vitamin treatment, haven’t been scientifically proved [...] a variety of 'natural' or 'holistic' treatments [...]";

science doesn't prove or disprove things, it supports or doesn't support the validity of activities and explanations based upon evidence.  And yes, homeopathy is an essential part of naturopathy. But because homeopathy is within naturopathy's "clinical science" licensure exam, it's actually this bad: naturopathy is a complete erosion of scientific integrity.  In that sense, it as a product is unmerchantable.  But this "consumer" magazine seems fine leaving it on the table as an option.  And of course, need I point out that the labels "natural" and "holistic" are useless: since they are so vague that one has to replace them in conversation with actual details.

"homeopathy, for example, is based on the notion that tiny doses of a toxin can cure certain medical conditions [...] but a large and growing body of research has found that homeopathy doesn’t work any better than a placebo, or sugar pill. Some critics say that even less contentious parts of naturopathy tend to be steeped in pseudoscience [...] the American Academy of Family Physicians, which represents many primary care doctors - worry that granting N.D.s the same rights and privileges as M.D.s and D.O.s could harm consumers. They say that N.D.s aren’t as rigorously trained as medical doctors - who usually study for about a decade before practicing on their own - and that many naturopathic treatments are ineffective and potentially dangerous [...] 'no one disagrees that diet and lifestyle are important,' says Michael Munger, M.D., president of the AAFP. 'But a lot of the specifics naturopathy offers are bogus' [...] for example, N.D.s sometimes base dietary advice on a patient’s blood type. But a 2013 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that there was no scientific evidence to back that approach."

agreed.  But, THERE'S NOTHING CONTENTIOUS about homeopathy.  There's NO anguishing about homeopathy: it doesn't work, it can't work.  It's not an issue.  That's false balance.  And I applaud the AAFP, which has a position paper against naturopathic licensure. And that blood type diet guru has his own center within a naturopathy school within what they term there a "division of health sciences."

"the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians says it wants N.D.s in all states to be recognized as licensed medical professionals because that would differentiate its members from unlicensed naturopaths. And it argues that N.D.s should be allowed to work as primary care physicians, prescribe medication, diagnose diseases, and seek insurance payment just like M.D.s and D.O.s. Lobbying by the AANP has prompted 15 state legislatures to consider bills that would expand or clarify the scope of what N.D.s can do [...]";

ah, the difference that doesn't make a difference.  And it's AANP that still states homeopathy is a "medicinal science", which makes AANP a purveyor of obvious falsehood.  So, it's rather ironic that they're looked to DISTINGUISH.  Rigorous knowledge distinction obliterates naturopathy's claims.  So, why isn't the author more EXTREME in accurately portraying naturopathy's utter knowledge-falsehood?  After all, who would in their right mind see someone who can't tell the difference  between PATENT nonscience and science for medical problems?  So, the degradation of "medical" continues.


"to make matters even more confusing for consumers, there are two main branches of naturopathic practitioners: naturopathic doctors (N.D.s), who have graduated from a four-year naturopathic school and passed a licensing exam given by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education; and unlicensed naturopaths, who have not completed those steps but practice anyway [...] the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians says that distinguishing between N.D.s and untrained naturopaths would protect consumers. 'Without licensure, it’s kind of the Wild West,' says Robert Kachko, an N.D. in Connecticut and a board member of the organization. 'If anyone can call themselves a naturopath, you end up with people going to completely untrained practitioners, thinking that they’re seeing a real doctor.'";

again, the difference that doesn't make a difference.  Here's were it seems the author begins to advocate for 'that better kind of unicorn wrangler', if even slightly. As I just said, CNME's licensure exam is so bad that homeopathy is claimed to be science therein.  Just as it is within the naturopathy schools.  Imagine a veterinary licensure exam that included unicorns, Bigfoot, and the Easter Bunny.  And again, that idea, that absurd idea from the AANP that they're "distinguishing".  As I've pointed out so often, the mantra of naturopathy is "naturopathy blends..."  I'd argue that AANP CNME naturopathy actually TRAINS one to be a charlatan.  And of course, naturopaths are NOT "real" doctors.  "Real" doctors don't practice unethical sectarian pseudoscience and have not ethical qualms about posing the PATENTLY science-ejected as science.  Kachko, by the way, is a UBCNM ND graduate and there you can find, falsely labeled as "science", naturopathy and its innards like homeopathy, vitalism, supernaturalism and kind.  Yet, at his practice, we're told "same basic and clinical sciences as an M.D." while homeopathy and kind is advocated.

 "if you’re considering naturopathic medicine, think twice [...] if you opt for naturopathic medicine anyway, be skeptical of claims that it’s safer, more natural, or less profit-oriented than conventional medicine. Remember that while N.D.s have more formal medical education than naturopaths, neither practitioner is as rigorously trained as an M.D. or a D.O. And keep in mind that most naturopathic treatments are usually not covered by insurance, so you’ll most likely have to foot the bill yourself [...]";

at least we end with a pro-medical piece of advice.  Yet, I'd argue that if you go to a naturopathy, you haven't been skeptical enough. But what I find interesting more so is that Consumer Reports should first and foremost be reporting naturopathy as illegal as in false advertising and screaming aloud that this is falsehood in the marketplace, not just a bad opinion among many opinions where you shouldn't spend your money.  I'd have thought the "consumer" part of the organization would mean an concern for legal boundaries in the marketplace, policing such, and contextually warning about such.
   
"Timothy Caulfield, a professor of health law at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and a longtime skeptic of alternative medicine, says he understands why naturopathic medicine appeals to some consumers: N.D.s are attentive, and treatment plans are personalized. The problem, Caulfield says, is that many of their treatments aren’t evidence-based. 'I went to a naturopath, and it was a totally pleasant experience,' he says. 'But I left with $250 in homeopathic solutions and herbal supplements that are completely useless' [...] 'patients can easily be misled into thinking that an N.D. license is the same as an M.D.’s,' says Britt Hermes, a former naturopathic doctor who says she grew disillusioned with the field after observing what she considered unethical treatment of cancer patients. 'It’s essentially allowing them to practice medicine without any real medical training' [...] proceed with caution."

agreed.

002. additional comment:

 I also think CR is going to have to work on their graphics.  The people pictured, presumably depicting the dangers of naturopaths and their services, are pitch black or blackened.  And in this day and age America, a more progressive age of 'not being racially dog-whistling, fear-mongering, and insensitive', such Manichean representations are just plain wrong.
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