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Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013, or: Quackery Week 2013

[Ed. Note: This is an extra "bonus" post from Dr. Gorski's not-so-super-secret other blog. He thought the topic would be of interest to SBM readers as well. Fear not. There will be a post on Monday, as usual.]

The vast majority of ideas and treatments that make up the “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) specialty known as naturopathy are quackery. There, I said it. No doubt I will be castigated for being too “blunt,” “dismissive,” or “insulting,” but I don’t care. It is my opinion based on science, and I’m sticking to it.

The problem with naturopathy, of course, is that it is so diffuse and encompasses so many different forms of quackery that it’s hard to categorize. Basically, it’s anything that can be portrayed as “natural,” be it traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy (which is an integral component of naturopathy, something that should tell you all you need to know about naturopathy), herbalism, energy healing, Ayurvedic medicine, the four humors, or whatever. Add to that a number of bogus diagnostic modalities, such as applied kinesiology, live blood cell analysis, iridology, tests for imaginary “food allergies” and “nutrient deficiencies” that conventional medicine doesn’t recognize, plus an overwhelming emphasis on purging the body of “toxins,” unnamed and named but all unvalidated by science, and it rapidly becomes apparent that naturopathy is a veritable cornucopia of pseudoscience and quackery. Seemingly, there is no quackery that naturopathy does not credulously embrace, which is why the success of recent efforts of naturopaths to achieve licensure in several states and even obtain limited privileges to prescribe real pharmaceutical drugs is so alarming, as are their efforts to become recognized as primary care providers under the Affordable Care Act. Basically, naturopathy is a hodge-podge of quackery mixed with science-based modalities magically “rebranded” as “alternative” and “natural.” In that, naturopathy is the ultimate in “integrative medicine,” in which quackery is “integrated” with science-based medicine. As I’ve pointed out many times before, integrating quackery and pseudoscience with real medicine does not elevate the quackery and pseudoscience, but it does contaminate the real medicine with quackery to no good benefit. Unfortunately, it’s insinuating itself into the law.

With that introduction in mind, did you know that the week of October 7 through 13 is Quackery Week in the U.S.? No, seriously, it is. The Senate just passed a resolution declaring that this is so. Oh, it’s true that the Senate didn’t actually call it that. Instead, the resolution (S.Res. 221) was passed, and it declares the week of October 7 to 13, 2013 to be Naturopathic Medicine Week, which is the same thing as declaring it Quackery Week:

S.Res.221 – A resolution designating the week of October 7 through October 13, 2013, as “Naturopathic Medicine Week” to recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.


Well, one out of three ain’t bad, I suppose. Naturopathy is probably affordable (most of the time, anyway), but safe and effective? Not so much. Of course, it’s just a Senate resolution, allegedly passed unanimously; so it’s not as though it has the force of law or anything, but—wouldn’t you know it?—naturopaths are going nuts over it. Indeed, I first learned of this resolution, apparently passed the evening of September 10, at that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post, in an article by a naturopath named Amy Rothenberg who blogs over there entitled “U.S. Senate Passes Resolution for Naturopathic Medicine Week“. Rothenberg, apparently, is President of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors and a Board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Hilariously, she edited a journal entitled the New England Journal of Homeopathy. I guess it’s just like the New England Journal of Medicine, only without all that pesky science. So this isn’t just any naturopath; it’s a naturopath who is pretty high up on the naturopathic food chain, maybe not as high as the president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), but pretty high up nonetheless. Not surprisingly, Rothenberg is elated:

On Sept. 10, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating Oct. 7 – Oct. 13 Naturopathic Medicine Week. The resolution recognizes the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care and encourages Americans to learn about the role of naturopathic physicians in preventing chronic and debilitating conditions.

According to Jud Richland, the American Association of Naturopathic Physician’s CEO:

Passage of this resolution is an historic achievement for naturopathic medicine. The Congress has now officially recognized the important role naturopathic medicine plays in effectively addressing the nation’s health care needs as well as in addressing the increasingly severe shortage of primary care physicians.

Yes, this is the propaganda line that naturopaths like to promote, that they are actually qualified to help address the shortage of primary care physicians by stepping in and—I kid you not—functioning as primary care providers. (Indeed, Amy Rothenberg did just that on HuffPo several months ago.) It’s utter nonsense, of course, as Peter Lipson helped to demonstrate with his Primary Care Challenge directed primarily at naturopaths. The bottom line is, for all their claims of scientific training, naturopaths are taught a system that includes vitalism, the four humors, and homeopathy as bedrock principles. They base a lot of what they do on prescientific belief systems gussied up with “science-y” sounding justifications. For example, Rothenberg herself uses what I like to refer to as “The One Quackery To Rule Them All” (homeopathy) and even advocates using it for autism.

When I first learned of this Senate Resolution, I was curious who was responsible for it. It turns out that it was Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) who sponsored it. No other sponsors are listed. A House Resolution with the same text was apparently introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, but it doesn’t appear to have gone anywhere. Sen. Mikulski, as we’ve seen before, is tightly associated with the Godfather of Woo in the Senate, the man most responsible for the creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). Back when the Affordable Care Act was being debated, she teamed up with Harkin to insert provisions into the law that could be used to justify reimbursing CAM practitioners under the ACA. She also co-chaired a meeting with Harkin at the Institute of Medicine to discuss (in actuality, to promote) “integrative medicine.” Unfortunately, even though Harkin will not run for re-election in 2014, thus eliminating the Senate’s foremost champion of quackery after 2014, Mikulski is still there, chairing the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Indeed, once Harkin has retired, it is likely that Mikulski will take over Harkin’s role as the most powerful defender of quackery in the Senate. After all, here she is with that founding father of quackademic medicine, Dr. Brian Berman, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine:

She’s even appeared on Dr. Oz’s radio show to help him promote integrative medicine as the solution to everything that ills American medicine.

But back to Brian Berman. You remember Brian Berman, don’t you? If you don’t just type his name into the search box for this blog and read away! He is one of the foremost practitioners of quackademic medicine in the United States today and on the advisory council for the NCCAM. Clearly, he is tight with Mikulski, and, no doubt, will work with her to defend NCCAM against any attempts to defund it or make it more scientifically rigorous than its current director, Dr. Josephine Briggs, has tried. As Sen. Mikulski said at the 20th anniversary of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine:

“If we can change healthcare, we can change the world.” During her remarks, Senator Mikulski praised the Center for Integrative Medicine for advancing an understanding of complementary medicine in the United States and its pioneering research initiatives. Senator Mikulski has been a champion for the Affordable Health Care Act, which emphasizes disease prevention, health promotion, and wellness, which are the primary goals in integrative medicine. She also reminisced about first meeting Dr. Brian Berman, the Center’s founder and director, and being impressed with his initiatives and goals to create a healthier world through integrative practices.

“If we can change medicine, we can change the world”? No doubt, but that’s not a good thing when “changing medicine” means diluting scientific medicine with quackery the way homeopaths dilute their remedies with water. Yet those are the changes Mikulski is working towards.

Returning to S.Res.211, however, it’s easy for those of us who recognize what naturopathy is to say that this resolution is a meaningless thing, a resolution introduced by a woo-loving Senator and passed on voice vote, almost certainly with little or no serious consideration. Most Senators don’t even bother to read carefully, much less look into, such resolutions, and it doesn’t have the force of law. Even so, it’s still a problem. You can be sure that naturopaths are going to be promoting it relentlessly between now and October 7. So I had an idea. It’s an idea I had a long time ago for Homeopathy Awareness Week. Basically, I think it would be a great idea for skeptics to make October 7 Naturopathy Awareness Week and make it a point to blog about naturopathy as much as possible. If the Senate wants to endorse quackery by passing a resolution declaring a week devoted to that quackery, I think it behooves us to make sure that as many people as possible know the true nature of naturopathy. It isn’t science-based, nor is it necessarily even particularly “natural.” It’s a hodge-podge of nearly every woo under the sun, much of it based on prescientific vitalism and humoral theory. Helping to let the world know that could be a time to do good and have fun at the same time.

Posted in: Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Science and the Media

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124 thoughts on “Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013, or: Quackery Week 2013

  1. Chris Hickie says:

    Here in Arizona, the state medical board resides online at http://www.azmd.gov. Quite cleverly, NDs have their state regulatory agency ensconced only one letter different at http://www.aznd.gov. At least you can check the ND site for disciplinary actions upon errant NDs (http://www.aznd.gov/PDF/Board%20Actions.pdf), though I have to conclude from this document that NDs can get away with lots more bad behavior than MDs. Just on the first page, one ND is noted as receiving 2 years probation for extreme DUI and substance abuse, but if you actually search him out on the aznd.gov site, there is no mention of this disciplinary action or his current probation next to his license. Also on that same page is another ND who was reprimanded for not having a permit to do CLIA-waved testing (in-office tests like strep tests, hemoglobin tests and urinalysis), but more disturbingly also reprimanded for having “performed experimental therapy in the form of Autologuous Urinary Immune Therapy (AUIT) on patient BB, without complying with experimental criteria including protocols, detailed records, periodic analysis of results and periodic review by a medical peer review committee as approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration or it’s sucessor agency.” [FYI, that is their misspelling--they have lots on their web site] I couldn’t find much on the AUIT, but it sounds rather antineoplaston-ish in that apparently the ND isolates immunoglobulins from a patient’s urine and then inject them back into that patient. O yeah….I guess the concept of urine being almost always purely a waste product of the human body is lost on NDs.

  2. Kimberly Garnett says:

    I sense an ounce of hostility in your tone but really! Is an opinion based on science or is it just an opinion? I am a science based professional and I read about science on both sides of this issue! I think if the medical profession had a better rate of healing people or even promoting more prevention interventions based on proven motivational methods than so many people who are looking towards alternative modalities might be convinced of medicine. But again, many are not looking to medicine today as a means of health. These days people are taking their power of consumerism and doing their best to make decisions for their own health issues. I don’t see where pushing science based is selling it to consumers! Especially where so called health industries are selling toxic products and destroying our environment! We need to find a balance in health promotion and with intervention methods! We really need to put health first above the money invested in selling people something that does not produce the results of healing and health. I agree that not all alternatives have a proven science based record. But let’s not use hostility to motivate consumers. And let’s not think that only medicine has all the answers.

    1. David Gorski says:

      No one, least of all myself, is saying that science-based medicine has all the answers. In general, it does have the best answers, and continually improves those answers through testing and experimentation. I am also saying that naturopathy has few, if any answers. The reason it has no answers is that it is rooted in pseudoscience and pre-scientific vitalistic thinking. Consequently, having the Senate declare a week devoted to naturopathy makes about as much sense as the Senate devoting a week to the appreciation of psychics.

      1. Bob says:

        I’ve been diagnosed with idiopathic cholinergic urticaria and I came across a documentary named fat sick and nearly dead focused on a man named joe cross. This man was very overweight and had the same disease as me but I am not overweight. He went and saw a doctor named dr. Furhman. The doctor put joe cross on a juicing diet which entitled joe to only drink juices of plants/vegetables for 60 days, after those 60 days he eat only plant/vegetable based meals for another 90 days. Long story short joe cross ended up losing lots of weight and cured his chronic disease, also he helped another overweight man with the same disease overcome it. It’s all documented in this video for your viewing if you please. So, my question is do you consider this some quack or legit? I strongly feel this chronic disease is linked to nutrition and exercising but your input would be greatly appreciated

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Naturopaths, and CAM in general, treats criticism as if it were hostility, because it can not stand up to it. Science treats criticisms as an opportunity for improvement. Pointing out that homeopathy doesn’t work isn’t mean, any more than it’s mean to point out to someone the roundness of the earth is a fact despite its apparent flatness.

      The point is, consumers are not making the best choice for their health with naturopathy. At best, it is redundant to real medicine for advice like exercise and healthy eating. In the middle, it wastes time and money with placebos. At worst, it is actively dangerous by leaving cancer and other diseases untreated, as well as discouraging vaccination – the health intervention responsible for saving more lives than any other, ever, in the history of the world.

    3. weing says:

      “I am a science based professional and I read about science on both sides of this issue!”

      You mean the scientific side and the pseudoscientific side?

      “I think if the medical profession had a better rate of healing people or even promoting more prevention interventions based on proven motivational methods than so many people who are looking towards alternative modalities might be convinced of medicine.”

      Then why not invest in more medical R&D to improve this rate? Compare the rate of death from coronary artery disease 40 years ago to now, the length of hospital and home stay after an appendectomy, cholecystectomy, to now. The helplessness in treating HIV 25 years ago to now? You think naturopathic and other CAM nonsense has brought this about? And you would have us abandon what’s given us the these things? For what?

      Regarding the promotion of prevention interventions based on proven motivational methods, what would you have us do? You are getting into an area that is outside of medicine. We advise and help patients achieve their goals. We can’t make them want to stop smoking, start exercising, eating correctly. I wish I could, it would make life easier for me.

      “Especially where so called health industries are selling toxic products and destroying our environment!”

      What do you mean by this gem?

      “We need to find a balance in health promotion and with intervention methods!”

      No. Really? And you figured that out all by yourself and medicine still hasn’t?

      “We really need to put health first above the money invested in selling people something that does not produce the results of healing and health.”

      And naturopathic mumbo jumbo and other CAM produces healing and health? What exactly do you think SBM is trying to sell? Do we have unlimited resources to spend on nonsense?

      1. Owahay says:

        Weing: where is the “like button” for your post?

    4. windriven says:

      What, pray tell, is a “science based professional”? You are a scientist or you are not as scientist. Which is it? You dosn’t write like a scientist. You don’t seem to think like a scientist. And when you make statements such as:

      “And let’s not think that only medicine has all the answers.”

      then I know you’re a quack not a scientist. So why the ruse? No one said medicine has “all the answers.” But science based medicine is the ONLY way to find any of the answers. Well, no, there’s also blind luck.

      So to paraphrase Harry Callahan, “are you feeling lucky?” Do you suppose I should risk my life on it?

    5. Chris says:

      I think if the medical profession had a better rate of healing people or even promoting more prevention interventions based on proven motivational methods than so many people who are looking towards alternative modalities might be convinced of medicine.

      Here is an idea, come up with a list of conditions that you feel real medicine has failed, and then post the alternative method that has shown to be more effective, with supporting documentation. Try to stick to conditions that are not self-limiting.

      Perhaps things that I have encountered as a parent could be on the list. Stuff like ear infections, strep infections, nurse’s elbow (it gets out of joint), seizures, warts, migraines, obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, chicken pox, and on and on.

      1. Bob says:

        Im diagnosed with idiopathic Cholinergic urticaria. First I was wrongly diagnosed with common allergies then another doctor said i didn’t have food allergies but allergic to histamine. So I have been doing tons of research and am now convinced it is linked to nutrition and exercising. Because when I was very active I was fine untold I stopped for months and was eating lots of junk food I started having these breakouts whenever I exercised. I then came across a man who made a documentary called fat sick and nearly dead. The mans name is joe cross and he had the same chronic disease I have, but he was very over weight unlike myself. He ended up seeing a doctor named dr. Fuhrman who put him on a primarily plant based diet for 60 days he drank tons of vegetable/fruit juices then for another 90 days only eating plant based meals. He ended up curing his chronic disease and lost tons of weight. He helped another man cure the same disease also the man lost tons of weight. Do u consider this man a quack or is this a realistic approach to helping with chronic diseases? The patient joe cross theory was to flood his body with nutrients and phytonutrients to help his body heal its self.

        1. Chris says:

          Why are you asking me? I am a parent asking someone to compare the effectiveness of alt med to conventional medicine to the conditions I have encountered with my kids. She has yet to come up with that table. Can you try answering my question?

          Though I would recommend that you beware of documentaries instead of actual medical literature. Especially if they claim grand medical outcomes. I know my spouse has reversed the numbers that our family doctor claimed was heading towards Type 2 Diabetes through more exercising and eating better. But he did not have to go vegan and drink a bunch of juice.

          By the way, a search of the word “Fuhrman” in the above search box, and there are three hits. I believe the one you want is this:
          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/simply-raw-making-overcooked-claims-about-raw-food-diets/

          Plus this one: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/your-disease-your-fault/

          1. J says:

            The issue is that in North america, to be a naturopathic doctor you would go to an ND school. This causes both professions to be in competiton with each other

            In Europe, to be a naturopathic doctor, you must first be a medical doctor than you take an extra year to get the natural outlook.

            There is to much ego involved in north america. ND’s and MD’s are always trying to prove each other wrong, instead of working together and using both of there strengths to achieve the best results from there patients.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          How is eating less and eating vegetables “naturopathic”? Losing weight through diet and exercise is a very mainstream recommendation that any doctor, nurse or nutritionist could make, with the understanding that it adds years to one’s life as well as improving quality of life.

          The quackery part is the idea that “flooding the body with nutrients and phytonutrients” helps the person to better burn calories or lose weight. In reality, it’s simply harder to eat a surplus of calories while consuming a heavily plant-based, and in particular minimally processed diet.

          To paraphrase Clinton (?), it’s the calories, stupid.

          1. kyle97128 says:

            Naturopathy is based around maxmizing your body’s immune system, which may include giving the body the tools it needs to fight off disease and stay healthy.

            1. Chris says:

              So when did naturopaths start giving vaccines, which are specifically designed to educate your immune system?

            2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Kyle, what about people with allergies and multiple sclerosis? How will “maximizing their immune system” help them to anything but an early grave?

              How does homeopathy, nothing more than water and sugar pills, have any impact on the immune system?

              How do naturopaths add anything to medicine with their recommendations of “eat healthy food and exercise”, recommendations that are standard for every doctor’s visit I’ve ever been to?

              Beyond eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly, what other “tools” does the body need to fight disease and stay healthy?

            3. windriven says:

              kyle, if you had any clue how the human immune system functions you would understand just how batcrap crazy that notion is.

              Immunization works by giving your immune system a blueprint for the target organism. It doesn’t maximize anything. It simply prepares the immune system for a potential future challenge.

              Eating properly and engaging in regular exercise are important to good health but have nothing specific to do with your immune system. And all the nostrums, roots, berries and sludge offered by quacks maximizes nothing but their bottom lines.

              “Boosting” one’s immune system would have the likely consequence of precipitating one or more of the truly ugly autoimmune diseases. Is that the goal of naturopathy?

              Jibber jabber about ‘boosting the immune system’ is the Marvel Comics version of immunology and betrays a staggering ignorance of medical science.

            4. mousethatroared says:

              @kyle – Maximize my immune system? That’d be a waste of good DMARDs, prednisone tapers and cortisone shots.

  3. ebohlman says:

    This isn’t showing up over at NSSSOB even though the feed for it says it should be there.

    1. David Gorski says:

      It’s there; so I have no idea why you’re not seeing it. It’s yesterday’s post.

  4. I was wondering if ND’s will have Naturopathic RN’s and LPN’s to assist them in their practices? Then we could have NRN Appreciation Week as well! This could be followed by NPh Appreciation Week (for pharmacists) and all kinds of Naturopathic Technicians too! I can’t wait to be x-rayed or mammogrammed by a NXtech and have the results interpreted by an NDRad (Naturopathic Radiologist). A NPlb (Naturopathic Phlebotomist) can draw my blood, perhaps with acupuncture needles, and send it to one of those labs that test saliva and do other useless tests.

    Some aspiring “science based professional” such as Kimberly will surely be “motivated” to study hard and qualify for one or another of these “emerging health professions”. (Quacks love to refer to any study of any quality as “emerging science” on labels to titillate the undereducated in drug and health food stores, so I think it works as well to designate similarly qualified “health professionals’.)

    Personally, I was “motivated” to lose weight (was already exercising) by some Pharma Shill MD (who had me on cheap generic Metformin for five years–the scoundrel!) after I finally became truly diabetic. He sent me to a Registered Dietician (who must be shilling for someone, somewhere). She gave me a notebook with pictures of how my plate should be portioned (size and nutrients), and filled with lots of useful tips, recipes and actual science (or so it would seem, but I should have checked with Google I suppose).

    1. Kathy says:

      “Emerging science” is a bit like “emerging nations” in that neither seem to do much emerging.

    2. davdoodles says:

      I might start practicing as an NProctologist.

      But first, I’m off to patent a profitable new use for ear candles…
      .

  5. davdoodles says:

    “to recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.”

    Seriously, at the risk of breaching some sub-version of Godwin’s Law, isnt this the same rationale Mao used when setting up the Barefoot Doctors?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barefoot_doctor

    No, wait. This is even worse. Sure, the Barefoot doctors might have practised TCM, but that was only when an SBM-based approach wan’t available to them due to resourcing or other then-insurmountable constraints.

    Naturopaths (let alone Congress) don’t even have that excuse. They just leap straight for the stupid.
    .

    1. I don’t think they’re leaping to the stupid. They’re leaping to the money. This “alternative medicine” racket is a burgeoning cash monster.

      Alas, science-based medicine is also so out-of-control financially/access-wise, and so full of its own fraudsters and crooks (cash-grabbing pain pill dispensers, liposuctioning cosmetic surgeons, etc.), it undermines both its own defenses and public health.

      Harkin isn’t some random woo-woo fan, either. Check out his main supporters, a nice little mix of “alt med” and mainstream-med/drug money hogs.

      1. Michele Burklund says:

        38% of all Americans utilize alternative medicine in some form. Why wouldn’t people want doctors that who trained in all conventional sciences AND natural treatments to better inform and help patients. ND’s have extensive training in biochemistry and pharmacology along with botanical medicine, nutrition, and supplements. Most MD’s have to look up contraindications between medicines but ND’s know if the warfarin your taking could interact with the fish oil thinning your blood too much or if taking licorice to aid in heartburn could affect your BP meds. It is only a benefit to society to have specialists in this field.

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          A 2002 CDC study showed that when prayer was excluded, 36% of Americans reported using CAM in the previous 12 months: natural products 19%, breathing exercises 12%, chiropractic 7.5%, meditation 7.6%, yoga 5%, massage 5%, and diet-based therapies 3.5%. The most popular natural products were Echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo, and garlic supplements. Acupuncture and homeopathy came in at less than 1%. 50% of use was for back pain and other musculoskeletal pain, 9.5% for colds, and 4.5% for anxiety and depression. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad343.pdf I know very well about fish oil interfering with warfarin and licorice affecting BP – I learned that in med school. Even if an MD has to look it up, at least he knows to do that, so I see no advantage to naturopaths. If naturopaths were trained in science, they would know better than to use things like homeopathy and iridology.

          1. Michele Burklund says:

            Thanks Harriet, I gave basic examples in which I hoped that most people would get… as this is a platform for the lay person. I’m am so thankful that medical schools are teaching interactions with botanicals now, as there are so many and should be regulated. Which med school did you attend? I would love for you to provide a link to the curriculum for everyone to see your training in nutrition, counseling, botanicals in which we could compare.
            I agree, If an ND’s only job was to make sure there were no potential interactions than why would they have to go to med school? The basic science training is the same as any other medical school and we study the same material for the USMLE1 but our take on the patient is much different.
            Many people chose to be ND’s because they want to approach the patient in a more holistic manner. Myself, like many of my classmates, got accepted into to many conventional medical schools and took the MCATS but intentionally chose this route to help patients in a new way. Clearly MD’s are wonderful people and came into this profession to help people just like ND’s. What’s your overall purpose in this post? The intention of ND’s is to help people and many people either turn to us because conventional medicine treatments have failed them OR to work in with their MD to optimize their health. When new ideas come into light many people feel the need to discourage it because it is unfamiliar but I ask you to look at your real intention behind this. If you were only thinking about the benefit of your patient, would you really discourage them for seeking additional help from a qualified professional? We have much

          2. Michele Burklund says:

            Hi Harriet, I didn’t realize you went to the University of Washington for your MD! That is so funny because Bastyr University works directly with your alma mater to refer patients back and fourth. We have participated in many research studies with them and many ND’s come to speak about specific treatments and we also have many MD’s there guest lecture on specific patient cases. How funny? Of all schools to attend, you chose the one that was most ND friendly. I actually got into the UW and was really considering it because I wanted to specialize in neurology since my father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma 10 years ago. He would not be alive today without cutting edge clinical trials AND naturopathic treatments so it was a hard decision to make. I knew my disadvantages of becoming an ND would be public awareness of what we actually do but I also realized how little resources there actually are for specific patient groups! If you are still living in the area I invite you to come to Bastyr University to see for yourself the teacher, theories, education, and clinical trainings before you decide to post again. We are not your enemy but part of your team!

            1. Harriet Hall says:

              My school was a bastion of science when I attended, and I am ashamed that it has succumbed to quackademia.

              You say your father’s survival was due to both cutting edge clinical trials AND naturopathic treatments, but how could you possibly know that the naturopathic treatments were responsible? Can you cite any studies showing that naturopathy improved cancer survival compared to standard treatment alone?

              You are not “part of our team.” Our team is science-based medicine, and much of what you do is not that. We can’t even begin to take naturopathy seriously as long as homeopathy is a required course.

          3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            If the basic science training were the same as med school, homeopathy would be laughed out of the classroom, as would be the four humours theory, and therapeutic touch. How do naturopaths decide between ayurvedic medicine versus homeopathy versus acupuncture versus nutrition, all of which involve completely different, contradictory paradigms? Cognitive dissonance?

            The argument that naturopaths are more “holistic” is marketing, not reality. How is naturopathy more “holistic”? Do doctors not screen for mental illness, stress and suffering? And are you seriously arguing that doctors don’t want to help their patients? How condescending and insulting.

            Many people have provided the training requirements of naturopathy, please don’t bother. The hours might look similar, but what’s the point when the basic premise is nonsense and so many of those hours are wasted on nonsense? MDs and skeptics don’t object to naturopathy because it presents new ideas, objections are based on the unscientific nature of your practice, your opposition to incredibly valuable interventions like vaccination, and the complete lack of valid proof for most of them. You recommend interventions based on lab and rat studies, an approach which Big Pharma would love, and would also result in thalidomide being prescribed for morning sickness – perfectly safe in rats and petri dishes.

            You aren’t enemies, you are arrogant, credulous loons.

          4. Chris says:

            Ms. Burklund: “That is so funny because Bastyr University works directly with your alma mater to refer patients back and fourth. ”

            When are they ever going to publish that study on homeopathy they announced through a press release in the early 1990s? Surely they have had enough time to figure out it is worthless and should not be on their curriculum.

            It was through the news reports about Bastyr announcing a big study on homeopathy that I learned what it was, and laughed at its absurdity. That was when it was located down the street from my house at a building that they rented from the Seattle Public Schools in north Wallingford, which is now back to being an elementary school. I took my kids to its playground.

            Oh, and I have learned from the experience of a relative of ours that Bastyr obviously lacks in psychiatric education. There was a clinic in Bellevue called the “Children’s Homeopathic Clinic.” My relative went there after she was released from Harborview’s psych ward, and she was told by a Bastyr naturopath that even though she was feeling better than before from real treatment that the publicly paid psychiatrists know very little. She was talked into trading her real meds for homeopathic compounds. Well, I now get to visit my relative’s grave. Thanks for nothing, Bastyr.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Do you know what would work better than integrating alternative medicine? Testing alternative medicine and abandoning that which doesn’t work. Whatever works will be integrated into real medicine.

          The problem with “alternative” medicine is it never abandons anything. Actually, that’s just one problem, another big one is its embrace of outright nonsense like homoepathy. A third is the illegitimate belief that somehow herbs don’t have adverse effects. A fourth is the equally fallacious belief that a dirty, mixed molecule from an herb is somehow better than a purified, modified chemical extract grown in a steel vat, whose pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are well understood.

          CAM is useless and unethical.

          1. Michele says:

            There are many herbs that have adverse effects especially with pharmaceutical medication. It is very important to have someone trained in both specialities to dispense these products. It seems like there is more of a need than ever for ND’s since so many people are turning to natural treatments. I just hope that you begin to see that your thought processes and lack of information about ND’s is only hurting your clinical practice. You can continue to fight this battle but you might end up obsolete. Times are changing and you can continue to hate ND’s or begin to work with them. If a patient comes to you who is also seeing an ND would you refuse to interact with them for the care of your patient? Remember the reasons of why you decided to become a doctor in the first place. Was it to be right or to help your patient despite your own beliefs?

          2. Chris says:

            “It is very important to have someone trained in both specialities to dispense these products.”

            Yes. They are called pharmacists. And there are also pharmacologists.

            And why would you even bother with homeopathy?

          3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Michele, the problem is we know quite a bit about naturopathy – and science. And what we know about the latter completely invalidates the former. You believe in nonsense, stories of magic and pixie dust that bear no relation to reality but you have the gall to think you add something of value to medicine. Most of the modalities naturopaths draw from are hundreds of years old – you may want to consider why people now live decades longer, in better health, compared to the past when all these other, useless modalities existed.

            Real medicine will never be obsolete, you’ll never replace the gains of a century of scientific research by projecting the imaginings of humanity’s tolderhood onto the human body.

            If a patient comes to you who is also seeing an ND would you refuse to interact with them for the care of your patient?

            I’m not a doctor, but were I – the answer is yes. Aside from herbs, the naturopath’s approach is harmless because you apply little but inert sugar pills and food to the problem. I would certainly ask about herbs, because they are little more than dirty drugs that could have interactions. But aside from that, why would I waste my time? I would try to steer my patient to a nutritionist though.

  6. Bob says:

    It wasn’t meant for him to lose weight. More intended to help his body heal itself from an autoimmune disease. Which worked for him just wondering if u think its quackery but from the documentary it seem like it worked. He was off all medications and till this day he doesn’t suffer from an autoimmune disease anymore.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Had movie cameras existed, you could have made movies about how bloodletting worked three centuries ago, or how praises sung to Thoth worked three millennia ago. There is a reason we do not use anecdotes in science and medicine, it’s too easy to a) outright lie and b) to cherry pick cases that confirm your beliefs, and ignore the ones that don’t. It’s possible that the diet cured his condition, there’s no way of knowing for certain. At least an intervention of diet and exercise bears little risk (though a raw juice diet can actually cause blood sugar swings and is pretty bad for diabetics).

      You know what doesn’t use cameras? Real medicine. If something works, you don’t have to go with direct-to-consumer advertising, doctors just adopt it into practice.

  7. Jane M says:

    Naturopathic Medicine is becoming more and more popular. It’s great to see the publicity around it so that people are informed that there is not just one way to practice medicine.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      In addition to Dr. Hall’s note that popularity isn’t the same thing as evidence, there are other issues. For instance, “naturopathic medicine” is completely undefined. It’s sold as a whole package of care capable of dealing with all aspects of health, beginning to end – but it’s made up of a hodge-podge of mutually-contradictory theories regarding health and disease. Is illness due to stagnant qi, or subluxation, or an excess of blood resolved through leeches, or nutrient deficiency? Naturopathic schools teach all of these theories, without exploring any sort of evidence any have validity, and no way of choosing between them beyond whatever the naturopath happens to like best. It’s either giving you basic advice you could get from free, evidence-based government websites (eat your vegetables, exercise and get enough sleep!), or expensive custom supplements that there is no reason to suspect you need, or repeated therapeutic treatments that you have to pay for each time and the only proof of it working is the word of the person selling it to you. Or, naturopaths might recommend treatment to you based on what they can scrape from the peer-reviewed literature, presented as cutting-edge research based on studies in rats and test tubes. You know what’s safe in rats and test tubes? Thalidomide.

      Naturopathy embraces approaches to evidence and treatment that were, at best, discredited more than 40 years ago.

  8. Michele Burklund says:

    Please read my blog post which outlines a naturopathic doctor’s entire education along with clinical training. This also clears up any misunderstanding about the training and compares the educational and clinical hours directly to specific medical schools. There are links to each site which clearly outlines the facts and anyone can personally verify the information from the direct source. Please keep in mind that all licensed ND’s are trained in all conventional standards of care AND alternative medicine modalities.
    Clearly, people simply don’t know what the education entails.
    http://healthyfashionista.com/2013/09/20/what-is-the-difference-between-a-naturopathic-doctor-n-d-and-an-m-d/

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      Naturopaths claim to emphasize prevention and yet their patients are less likely to be vaccinated, more likely to develop vaccine-preventable diseases, and less likely to get recommended screening tests like mammograms. Apparently in all those hours of education, some important things are being left out or distorted. And as long as naturopaths are taught nonsense like homeopathy, iridology, reflexology, and the idea that wet compresses can abort a stroke, their education will remain beneath contempt.

      1. Michele Burklund says:

        Hi Harriet,

        I’m not sure where you are finding your information but LICENSED ND’s do not advocate for or against vaccinations but give the patient information to objectively decide for themselves by weighing the risks of both.
        http://www.mtwholehealth.com/2011/09/all-naturopaths-are-against-vaccinations-right

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          NDs are licensed in Washington State and have prescribing privileges. This study http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10995-009-0519-5 showed that pediatric patients of naturopaths were significantly less likely to have received vaccines and more likely to have contracted vaccine-preventable illnesses.

          1. Michele Burklund says:

            Yes, that is true that the population that tends to visit a ND does has a lower rate of vaccinations but ND’s do not discourage vaccinations they present factual information directly from the CDC. It is the patient’s right to chose for themselves!

            1. Harriet Hall says:

              That’s the typical argument of the anti-vaccine crowd: they want patients to choose for themselves. Whatever NDs are telling their patients, the result is bad for the individual patients and for everyone’s public health. They should be encouraging vaccines, not just “not discouraging” them.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I’m not sure where you are finding your information but LICENSED ND’s do not advocate for or against vaccinations but give the patient information to objectively decide for themselves by weighing the risks of both.

          Wow, that’s astonishing. Your own page on the subject actually recommends naturopaths over the CDC which employs a panel of toxicologists, pediatric immunologists, epidemiologists and disease specialists to determine what to put in vaccines, when to give them, and how many booster shots are required. Over that body of experts, you recommend yourself and that self-promoting loon William Sears. Do you know what my friends who are doctors recommend? Vaccines. Do you know what my friends who are not doctors recommend? Who cares, they aren’t doctors. Your profession, and you yourself, are misinforming your patients, you aren’t empowering them to make valid decisions. The idea that a parent can “empower” themselves better than a panel of world experts in their very narrow fields is a ridiculous delusion that you should not encourage. You recommend becoming familiar with the symptoms of pertussis so patients can bring their baby to the emergency room early if they get it. Do you know what treatment there is for pertussis? Nothing. Not a goddamn thing. So your advice lets parents do what? Watch their babies cough, turn blue, and die with the full knowledge of what is causing it? Your personal and professional views on vaccination are, put plainly, wrong and dangerous. So, how long do you spend educating yourself, let alone parents, to reach a level that compares to the CDC expert panel? A week? A month? You are driving parents right into the middle of the Dunning-Kruger effect, fooling them and allowing them to fool themselves into believing that somehow they can make sense of an information set that takes decades just to understand. When you say parents should educate themselves about the ingredients of vaccines, how much of a toxicology primer do you think they need to understand the difference between ethyl mercury and methyl mercury, or the oral administration of aluminum (which is ubiquitous in food, soil, air and water, in quantities that renders the dose found in vaccines to be irrelevant). And instead of showing an awareness of your own limitations in your comments, you indulge in a bit of pharmanoia with the delightful “you can’t trust scientists or doctors because vaccines are a source of profit”. Do you charge for your services? Because if you do, then how can we trust your advice?

          As for your claim that licensed naturopaths do not advocate for or against vaccines, you are a liar or blind. Your own claims to even understand the literature and to present vaccines as a topic as if the risk of the vaccine were even remotely close to the diseases they prevent display a rather frightening arrogance and ignorance. Licensed naturopaths are perfectly happy (or stupid enough) to pretend vaccines are risky, and will happily cite Wakefield’s discredited research with nary a whisper of what a greedy and deceptive man he is. So tell me again how “licensed” naturopaths do not advocate against vaccines. Merely because they don’t say “vaccines are bad” doesn’t mean they aren’t working to undermine them by sowing unwarranted doubt and fear. Just like you do. Because if you have to learn about the contents of vaccines – it’s because there’s something to worry about, right?

          You pretend that the truth is somewhere between you and doctors. It’s not. You are simply wrong and the fake knowledge and false dilemmas you were spoon-fed in naturopathic college did not educate you, it made you a danger to yourself, your family and your patients.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Who cares about a naturopath’s training compared to doctors? Doctors learn real medicine, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacokinetics and the uses of real medicine. Naturopaths learn about homeopathy, acupuncture, the four humors, Ayurvedic medicine and a host of other magical delusions from the childhood of humanity’s understanding of the human body. All you have to do is note that what reasonable, science-based education naturopaths might get is overlain by such nonsense, and you can dispense with any value the former might bring – you are mixing apple pie with cow pie, and the result is something no rational person can stomach.*

      If naturopaths were truly trained to all conventional standards of care – they wouldn’t be naturopaths because they would understand that their entire discipline is nonsense. There is no misunderstanding, naturopathy is bunk, toddlers playing at being doctors, a discipline defined by tooth fairy science and a self-definition of “not doctors” – the same way an adolescent has chip on its shoulder about being “not their parents”. They should grow up and leave their profession.

      *With apologies to Mark Crislip.

      1. Michele Burklund says:

        Hi William,
        Did you not read my blog post showing how ND’s take all the same core sciences. Please read this post and click on the links to the curriculum and then you will actually understand that we ARE trained in all standards of care in conventional medicine for primary care. We have MD’s teaching specific classes like pharmacology, neurology, cardiology and PhD’s teaching classes like biochemistry, physiology, cadaver lab, and DO’s teaching physical medicine, and ND’s teaching nutrition, supplements, botanical medicine, ect. The best part about ND’s training is how our clinical training teaches us to step back from the symptoms and look at the whole person. ND’s are trained as PCP which means that we know when to refer to specialists and what type of medicine is appropriate whether it be conventional or naturopathic. When ND’s become nationally licensed than you won’t have quacks did not attend medical school misleading patients or not getting adequate care. Please check this out to see for yourself.
        http://healthyfashionista.com/2013/09/20/what-is-the-difference-between-a-naturopathic-doctor-n-d-and-an-m-d/

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          “we ARE trained in all standards of care in conventional medicine for primary care.”
          I see no evidence of that, only numbers of hours and names of courses.
          Classes are not enough to develop the clinical judgment that comes with taking responsibility for the care of seriously ill hospitalized patients and complicated outpatient cases during the post-graduate training of MDs.

          In his review of the major naturopathy textbook, Relman found only 70 health conditions listed (compared to the hundreds of diagnoses listed in medical textbooks) and there was no mention of several major diseases (cancer, heart attacks, meningitis, to name a few). It recommended treatments not known to be effective and omitted treatments known to be effective. See http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Naturopathy/relman1.html

          Take a look at this table of contents from Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine to get an idea of what is missing in your training: http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4

          1. Michele Burklund says:

            Yes I agree if that was our text book!!!! I have never seen that textbook?
            I also agree that clinical judgement is critical to patient care, learning from a textbook is one thing but actually seeing a patient makes everything real! We have thousands of hours of clinical training in many specialities and our required to complete over a thousand primary patient contacts along with preceptor hours.
            Here are the books that were required for my courses in which I have seriously highlighted everywhere and studied for the science boards, and these are just some of the basic science ones that are on my book shelf right now. I see, if you actually though our science training was from that book it would be pretty scary!!!

            1. Clinically Oriented Anatomy (5th edition) Keith Moore & Arthur Dalley
            2. Janeway’s Immunobiology (7th edition) Murphy, Travers, Walport
            3. The Immune System (3rd edition) Parham
            4. Berek & Novak’s Gynecology(15th edition) Berek
            5. Netter’s Sports Medicine Madden, Putukian
            6. The Developing Human, clinically oriented embryology (8th edition) Moore, Persaud
            7. Mark’s Basic Medical Biochemistry, Lieberman
            8. Netter’s Essential Histology, Ovalle
            9. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (8th edition) Kumar
            10. Fitzpatrick’s Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology
            11. Human Physiology (4th edition) Rhoades
            12. Bates Guid to Physical Examination, Bickley
            13 Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, Fishbach
            14. Graff’s Textbook of Routine Urinalysis and Body Fluids, Mundt
            15 Pathophysiology of Heart Disease, Lilly
            16. BRS Pharmacology, Rosenfield
            17. Rapid Interpretation of EKG’s, Dubin
            18. Basics of Oncology, Stephens, Aigner
            19. Moby’s Drug Reference for Health Professionals, Hochadel
            and these are just SOME of the basic science books not including the other book shelf I have on naturopathic treatments. I hope this gives you a better idea of the study materials we use. I honestly think that people just don’t know our training. Clearly, even you thought that was our textbook!

            1. Harriet Hall says:

              Whether or not you used the “Textbook of Natural Medicine,” you can’t deny that it is representative of your profession: it was written by the President of Bastyr.
              What textbook did you use for homeopathy? How can you pretend to be practicing legitimate medicine when you accept homeopathy?

          2. Michele Burklund says:

            Keep in mind that we are trained in a clinical setting rather than a hospital setting. This means that we know how to diagnose and evaluate a patient… which also means we know when to refer! We are trained as primary care physicians but many of us can chose to do clinical training in the ER, especially if the ND’s will be practicing in a rural location. Like any trained doctor, we can evaluate a patient’s condition and know when seeking treatment at an ER or referring to a specialist for further evaluation is necessary. The biggest issue ND’s are facing is lack of knowledge about our training and people like you creating blogs that perpetuate these myths. You seem like a very intelligent woman so I would have though you might perform more research into your post. Keep in mind that my goal (like most ND’s goal) is to work together. We should be a team to help our patients get better!

            1. Harriet Hall says:

              You have missed my point. The fact that you are “trained in a clinical setting rather than a hospital setting” means that your education is lacking and you are not as well equipped to evaluate patients or to know when to refer. Since you were not trained in a hospital setting, you are not even able to realize what you missed.

          3. Chris says:

            So how do you diagnose a fourteen year old with a heart murmur and who has literally slowed down in the previous year? What do you do?

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          You get training in magic and nonsense, even if the hours are equivalent the quality is not.

          How do you defend learning about homeopathy? Or ayurveda? Or traditional Chinese medicine? Or iridology?

          The difference between an MD and an ND is one is not a doctor but does like to pretend they are. At best you are redundant to a nutritionist but normally it’s much worse than that.

        3. Windriven says:

          @michelle birkland

          “Keep in mind that my goal (like most ND’s goal) is to work together.”

          Why would physicians want to work with NDs? What exactly do you bring to the table? Homeopathy? Be serious. Magical thinking?

          Name 5 serious disease processes that Naturopathy has conquered. Smallpox? Polio? AIDS? Appendicitis? The agony of painful rectal itch?

          Naturopathy is the detritus of medicine’s advance, the dregs at the bottom of the barrel after useful drugs, therapies and procedures have been removed by careful use of the scientific process. NDs are modern day shamans forging deliberately into a past of superstition and woo.

          If you want to be a doctor go to medical school.

          1. Harriet Hall says:

            It is unethical for MDs to work with NDs. The AMA Code of Ethics says: ““It is unethical to engage in or to aid and abet in treatment which has no scientific basis and is dangerous, is calculated to deceive the patient by giving false hope, or which may cause the patient to delay in seeking proper care.”

            Not everything NDs do would fall under that definition, but a lot of what they do would.

          2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Not everything NDs do would fall under that definition, but a lot of what they do would.

            Anything that doesn’t fall under the definition is redundant to medicine anyway. The whole profession is indefensible, and they should all retrain as nutritionists.

          3. weing says:

            I think that naturopathy is medicine more or less as practiced in the Middle Ages. If you apply the scientific method to it and abandon practices that don’t have any evidence of working, you will end up with medicine. But their rejection of randomized, double-blind, clinical trials as a guide to treatment has pre-empted them from progress. I think it’s a problem of applied epistemology.

          4. Windriven says:

            @Dr. Hall-

            “It is unethical for MDs to work with NDs.”

            I sure wish someone would mention that over at WSU Med School.

          5. Chris says:

            WSU in Pullman does not have a med school, they have a veterinary school.

        4. Time Management says:

          You are wasting your time trying to educate these buffoons. There is no gaining respect with these individuals because they are either truly stupid, or they have an agenda. Anyone who practiced allopathic medicine knows no one ever gets better. It is impossible, you can’t restore health giving drugs.

          1. Chris says:

            A friendly warning: sock puppets are frowned upon, and could lead to being banned. Choose a name and stick to it.

  9. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    @Michele Burklund

    The principles espoused in your “what is an ND” post are absurd.

    “The Healing Power of Nature”. I hate to break it to you, but nature kills far more than nature heals. Smallpox was completely natural, it was unnatural to drive it to extinction through vaccination – but I’m happy about that. Tumors are natural, and many plant molecules are mutagenic if not outright poisonous. The odd plant molecule does have a physiological effect – which at sufficient concentrations is usually dangerous (mint – soothing in small doses, toxic in large). Not to mention much of nature is acutely poisonous to humans and animals – that’s how many plants avoid being eaten or disperse their seeds in a nice pile of fertilizer (either manure or the corpse of the animal). Your profession is factually incorrect.

    “First do no harm”. This is a principle of medicine, you aren’t doing anything special here. In fact, if you consider time and money to be relevant to a patient’s life, you are wasting the time of dying patients and doubtless wasting their money on ineffective treatments. Not to mention the people that you outright kill through toxic herbs or divert from real treatment. Your profession is unethically deceptive.

    “Find the cause”. Again, this is a principle of real medicine, much as you pretend otherwise. In acute cases, medicine will find the cause and remove it through medications such as clotbusting drugs, vaccination, antibiotics or surgery. In cases of chronic health complaints, medicine is often helpless because the patient does not undertake the self-care necessary to address their condition – is this the doctor’s fault? Further, medicine can find the real cause, not the fake causes of naturopathy. “Stagnant qi” and “reduced vital energy” are not real, yet you somehow pretend they cause illness. Your profession is redundant (and unethically deceptive).

    “Treat the whole person”. What does this even mean? Do doctors ignore their patients’ “physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental social and other factors”? I’m sure you pretend they do, but that doesn’t mean it’s real. Do you think they treat cystic fibrosis with a humidifier? Do they ignore the genetic component of Huntington’s disease, or the social component of depression? And how should a Muslim doctor treat the “spiritual development” of an Orthodox Christian, or an atheist? Your profession lies about real doctors.

    “Doctor as teacher”. What are you teaching them? How to be good consumers of your products? Doctors will inform patients of likely side effects, reassure them if their complaints are harmless, refer to nutritionists and specialists at need. Meanwhile, what are you teaching patients when you give them acupuncture, about nonexistent meridians and “energy”? Your profession is redundant.

    “Prevention”. What the fork is vaccination except the single most effective preventive medical tool on the planet? Handwashing, sterilization, antisceptic surgery, instructions to lose weight, exercise, quit smoking and eat a varied diet of fresh fruits and vegetables are all aspects of conventional care that have been appropriated by non-scientific disciplines like naturopathy, and are often repackaged with some expensive and unnecessary supplements, homeopathic remedies, herbs or nonsensical advice. Your profession exploits your patients and offers dangerous advice.

    “Wellness”. Another mealy-mouthed meaningless term. Your profession is marketing, not science.

    The one point where you hit on something meaningful is when you discuss your lack of credibility – but this is because the entire premise of naturopathy is nonsense wrapped in happy-squishy buzz words, wasteful products and dangerous or worthless advice. Your profession lacks credibility because it is not credible, it is parasitic on science, it recommends inappropriate or unproven treatments, and much of it is based on prescientific nonsense that you are deluded enough to believe. There are two areas where you are distinct from medicine, one is simply wrong and the other is empty.

  10. lilady says:

    Michele Burkland: Are you absolutely certain that this studying this textbook was not a requirement when you were a N.D. student? The fourth edition was published, October, 2012; which edition did you read?

    http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Textbook-of-Natural-Medicine-Joseph-E-Pizzorno-Michael-T-Murray/9781437723335

    Table of Contents

    SECTION I: INTRODUCTION 1. Eastern Origins of Integrative Medicine and Modern Applications 2. Functional Medicine: A 21st Century Model of Patient Care and Medical Education 3. A Hierarchy of Healing: The Therapeutic Order 4. History of Naturopathic Medicine 5. Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine 6. Placebo and the Power to Heal 7. Positive Mental Attitude 8. Research in Natural Medicine SECTION II: PHILOSOPHY OF NATURAL MEDICINE 9. Apoptosis Assessment 10. Bacterial Overgrowth of the Small Intestine Breath Test 11. Cell Signaling Analysis 12. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate 13. Fantus Test 14. Fatty Acid Profiling 15. Food Allergies 16. Genomics, Nutrigenomics, and the Promise of Personalized Medicine 17. Hair Mineral Analysis 18. Heidelberg pH Capsule Gastric Analysis 19. Immune Function Assessment 20. Intestinal Permeability Assessment 21. Laboratory Tests for the Determination of Vitamin Status 22. Lactose Intolerance Testing 23. Metal Toxicity: Assessment of Exposure and Retention 24. Mineral Status Evaluation 25. Oral Manifestations of Nutritional Status 26. Rapid Dark Adaptation Test 27. Stool Analysis 28. Urinary Organic Acids Profiling for Assessment of Functional Nutrient Deficiencies, Gut Dysbiosis, and Toxicity 29. Urinary Porphyrins for the Detection of Heavy Metal and Toxic Chemical Exposure 30. Urine Indican Test (Obermeyer Test) SECTION III: THERAPEUTIC MODALITIES 31. Acupuncture 32. Ayurveda: The Science of Life and Mother of the Healing Arts 33. Botanical Medicine — A Modern Perspective 34. Botanical Medicine — Understanding Herbal Preparations 35. Environmental Medicine 36. The Exercise Prescription 37. Fasting 38. Glandular Therapy 39. Homeopathy 40. Hydrotherapy 41. Manipulation 42. Nonpharmacological Control of Pain 43. Nontransfusion Significance of ABO and ABO-Associated Polymorphisms 44. Nutritional Medicine 45. Peat Therapeutics and Balneotherapy 46. Rotation Diet: A Diagnostic and Therapeutic Tool 47. Soft Tissue Manipulation: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Potential 48. Spirituality and Healing 49. Unani Medicine NEW! SECTION IV: SYNDROMES AND SPECIAL TOPICS 50. Cancer — Integrated Naturopathic Support 51. Chronic Candidiasis 52. Dietary Fiber 53. Functional Toxicology 54. Homocysteine Metabolism: Nutritional Modulation and Impact on Health and Disease 55. Hyperventilation Syndrome/Breathing Pattern Disorders 56. Immune Support 57. Intestinal Protozoan Infestation and Systemic Illness 58. Maldigestion 59. Sports Nutrition 60. Stress Management SECTION V: PHARMACOLOGY OF NATURAL MEDICINES 61. Alkylglycerols 62. Allium cepa (Onion) 63. Allium sativum (Garlic) 64. Aloe vera (Cape Aloe) 65. Angelica Species 66. Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood) 67. Artemisia annua (Sweet Wormwood) 68. Bee Products D Pollen, Propolis, and Royal Jelly 69. Beta-carotene and Other Carotenoids 70. Boron 71. Bromelain 72. Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) 73. Capsicum frutescens (Cayenne Pepper) 74. Carnitine 75. Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) 76. Chinese Prepared Medicines 77. Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh) 78. Citicoline (CDP-Choline) 79. Coenzyme Q10 80. Coleus forskohlii 81. Commiphora mukul (Mukul Myrhh Tree) 82. Crataegus oxyacantha (Hawthorn) 83. Croton lechleri (Dragon’s Blood) 84. Curcuma longa (Turmeric) 85. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) 86. Echinacea Species (Narrow-Leafed Purple Coneflower) 87. Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) 88. Ephedra Species 89. Epilobium Species (Fireweed) 90. Fatty Acid Metabolism 91. Fish Oils and Omega-3 Fatty Acids 92. Flavonoids D Quercetin, Citrus Flavonoids, and Hydroxyethylrutosides 93. Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo Tree) 94. Glucosamine 95. Glutamine 96. Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) 97. Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) and Other Berberine-Containing Botanicals 98. 5-Hydroxytryptophan 99. Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) 100. Lobelia inflata (Indian Tobacco) 101. Medicinal Mushrooms NEW! 102. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) 103. Melatonin 104. Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) 105. Mentha piperita (Peppermint) 106. Microbial Enzyme Therapy 107. Natural Products and Quality Control NEW! 108. Naturally Occurring Antioxidants 109. Opuntia Species (Prickly Pear) 110. Panax ginseng (Korean Ginseng) 111. Pancreatic Enzymes 112. Phage Therapy: Bacteriophages as Natural, Self-limiting Antibiotics 113. Phosphatidylserine 114. Piper methisticum (Kava) 115. Prebiotics 116. Probiotics 117. Procyanidolic Oligomers 118. Pygeum africanum (Bitter Almond) 119. Ruscus aculeatus (Butcher’s Broom) 120. SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine) 121. Sarsparilla Species 122. Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) 123. Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) 124. Soy Isoflavones and Other Constituents 125. Tabebuia avellanedae (LaPacho, Pau D’Arco, Ipe Roxo) 126. Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew) 127. Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) 128. Taxus brevifolia (Pacific Yew) 129. Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle) 130. Uva ursi (Bearberry) 131. Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) 132. Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) 133. Valeriana officinalis (Valerian) 134. Viscum album (European Mistletoe) 135. Vitamin A 136. Vitamin K NEW! 137. Vitamin Toxicities and Therapeutic Monitoring 138. Vitex agnus castus (Chaste Tree) 139. Water: The Most Basic Nutrient and Therapeutic Agent 140. Zingiber officinale (Ginger) SECTION VI: SPECIFIC HEALTH PROBLEMS 141. Acne Vulgaris and Acne Conglobata 142. Affective Disorders 143. Alcohol Dependence 144. Alzheimer’s Disease 145. Angina 146. Aphthous Stomatitis 147. Asthma 148. Atherosclerosis 149. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) 150. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children 151. Bacterial Sinusitis 152. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia 153. Bronchitis and Pneumonia 154. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 155. Celiac Disease 156. Cervical Dysplasia 157. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 158. Congestive Heart Failure 159. Cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome 160. Dermatitis Herpetiformis 161. Diabetes Mellitus 162. Endometriosis 163. Epilepsy 164. Erythema Multiforme 165. Fibrocystic Breast Disease 166. Fibromyalgia Syndrome 167. Gallstones 168. Glaucoma 169. Gout 170. Hair Loss in Women 171. Hepatitis 172. Herpes Simplex 173. HIV/AIDS: Naturopathic Medical Principles and Practice 174. Hypertension 175. Hyperthyroidism 176. Hypoglycemia 177. Hypothyroidism 178. Infectious Diarrhea 179. Infertility, Female NEW! 180. Infertility, Male 181. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) 182. Insomnia 183. Irritable Bowel Syndrome 184. Kidney Stones 185. Leukoplakia 186. Lichen Planus 187. Macular Degeneration 188. Menopause 189. Menorrhagia 190. Migraine Headache 191. Multiple Sclerosis 192. Obesity 193. Osteoarthritis 194. Osteoporosis 195. Otitis Media 196. Parkinson’s Disease 197. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 198. Peptic Ulcer — Duodenal and Gastric 199. Periodontal Disease 200. Porphyrias 201. Pregnancy Health and Primary Prevention NEW! 202. Premenstrual Syndrome 203. Proctologic Conditions 204. Psoriasis 205. Rheumatoid Arthritis 206. Rosacea 207. Seborrheic Dermatitis 208. Senile Cataracts 209. Streptococcal Pharyngitis 210. Trichomoniasis 211. Urticaria 212. Uterine Fibroids 213. Vaginitis and Vulvovaginitis 214. Varicose Veins APPENDICES Candida Questionnaire Cervical Escharotic Treatment NEW! Crohn’s Disease Activity Index Fasting — Patient Guidelines Gluten and Gliadin Content of Selected Foods Glycemic Index, Carbohydrate Content, and Glycemic Load of Selected Foods Hydrochloric Acid Supplementation: Patient Instructions The Optimal Food Pyramid Patient Instructions for Measuring Basal Body Temperature Rotation Diet Master Chart and Plan Seligman’s Attributional Style Questionnaire Supplier Certification: Compliance Guide and Questionnaire NEW! Vaginal Depletion Pack

    Publisher: Churchill Livingstone Inc

    1. Michele says:

      Yes, I am absolutely certain. I have not read it but it does look interesting.

  11. Michele Burklund says:

    Harriett, Yes, your school actually promotes the interaction between ND’s and MD’s. We have many MD students from the UW do clinical hours at our clinic to learn our approach. I guess they really have come along way since your time! BTW, you never showed me your old curriculum in which they spoke taught botanical interactions with medications. I do think that it is excellent! and also yes, in neuro-oncology is it almost standard protocol in many hospitals that specialize in this research to integrate 20mg of melatonin with glioblastoma patients because of clinical research. Here is just one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8570130
    I do understand that this is a platform against many types of medicine and wish I had the time to continue this conversation but it seems as though you have made up your mind. I also understand that many people simply like to debate. This could literally go on forever. I wish you the best in life and health! I hope that you are able to provide the best resources and options to your patients even if it conflicts with your personal beliefs. I also hope that you spend time talking to them about their well being since health encompasses many areas than just the physical. My goal is to inform the uneducated about our training but you can’t help or teach people who are not able to open their minds. You are more than welcome to personally reach me and come to Bastyr University to understand our training, especially since you live in the area. Please come by and adequately research before you post again.

    1. lilady says:

      @ Michele Burklund: Beating a hasty retreat, eh?

      Do you provide timely and complete vaccinations to infants and children, adhering to the CDC/AAP Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule? I don’t see any of these vaccines discussed in that basic “Textbook-of-Natural-Medicine”.

      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-schedule.pdf

      The “Textbook-of-Natural-Medicine” does not provide any information about evaluating an infant or child for meningeal signs/symptoms of bacterial meningitis and/or bacteremia. How would you evaluated an infant or child for invasive bacterial illnesses caused by H. influenzae type b, S. pneumoniae or N. meningiditis?

      Do you honestly believe that any of those vitamins, supplements or herbs that appear in that textbook or that you hawk on your internet site, are suitable treatments for invasive bacterial diseases?

      1. Michele says:

        We do not use that book in which you site and the classes taught in infectious disease are my MDs and PhDs which discuss all CDC requirements. I can say this education is comparable to other medical schools because I have taken additional courses as the University of Nebraska’s Medical School on infectious disease topics. Yes, we also provide handouts on all vaccinations as PCPs. Like I said before, it is the patient’s choice but they should have all of the information provided in order to make that decision.

        1. lilady says:

          You still have not replied to the questions that I posed to you, about your diagnostic skills.

          How would you evaluated an infant or child for invasive bacterial illnesses caused by H. influenzae type b, S. pneumoniae or N. meningiditis?

          Come on now Michele, in spite of your claim that you took classes in infectious diseases at a medical school, you would be clueless if an infant or a child presented with signs of bacterial meningitis or bacteremia.

      2. Michele says:

        Keep in mind that ND’s understand when prescribing pharmaceutical medication is needed and are trained in pharmacology and infectious disease. They also have the prescription right to do so and will in those cases as PCPs.

        1. Chris says:

          Then why would the bother with homeopathy?

        2. weing says:

          “Keep in mind that ND’s understand when prescribing pharmaceutical medication is needed and are trained in pharmacology and infectious disease. ”
          Interesting. Are NDs also liable for a bad outcome if a medication was not prescribed? For example, a patient with a seizure disorder on an appropriate anticonvulsant comes to you. They want to be able to drive a car but recently had a seizure. Would you take the responsibility and say they are safe to drive if they take your naturopathic meds?

          1. Michele says:

            Of course they would be liable like any PCP and would alert the patient that is against the law in WA state to not drive for one year after a seizure and also report it to the state. I do not know of any ND that would not prescribe seizure medication if it was warranted… but they might in addition try to reduce seizure sx with a ketogenic diet.

          2. Chris says:

            Why wouldn’t an ND refer to a real neurologist?

          3. lilady says:

            Why would you even suggest a ketogenic diet in lieu of anticonvulsant medication for the treatment of seizures, Michele?

            Is that the Standard of Care for Naturopaths to prescribe a ketogenic diet for children with a seizure disorder? It’s not the Standard of Care for medical doctors who are pediatricians or pediatric neurologists; they refer a child with intractable-to- treatment seizure disorders/histories of multiple episodes of status epilepticus to a specialty hospital for evaluation. Children are admitted to these specialty hospitals for induction of the ketogenic diet, after, (not before), anticonvulsant medications have failed to control their seizures.

            http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/specialty_areas/epilepsy/pediatric_epilepsy/ketogenic_diet.html

            Tsk, tsk, playing pediatric neurologist now, eh Michele?

          4. Chris says:

            “Why would you even suggest a ketogenic diet in lieu of anticonvulsant medication for the treatment of seizures, Michele?”

            This is precisely why Not Doctors naturopaths are dangerous. Even our family doctor who went through a real medical school and a multiple year residency referred our son to a real neurologist. And later that same family doctor referred our son to a pediatric cardiologist, after he had symptoms I mention in a question that Michelle has ignored.

            Come to think about, I doubt that NDs even know what a heart murmur even sounds like. And I sincerely doubt they could get or even interpret either an EKG or EEG, things that my son have had several times each.

            1. Harriet Hall says:

              IF ND training is comparable to MD training, it should be simple enough to demonstrate that by comparing their performance on steps 1, 2, and 3 of the USMLE, the professional exams that an MD must pass to become licensed in the US.

              If NDs’ practice of medicine is equivalent to MDs’, it should be a simple matter to demonstrate that by comparing patient outcomes (not just patient satisfaction).

              The only study I have been able to find was one in hospitalized patients in Germany where the patients of naturopaths had longer hospital stays.

          5. Chris says:

            Checking the Bastyr four year curriculum, you can see there are more classes in homeopathy than in neurology. Even more than cardiology.

          6. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Checking the Bastyr four year curriculum, you can see there are more classes in homeopathy than in neurology. Even more than cardiology.

            They’re diluting the real medical knowledge to make it more powerful. Any chance Bastyr is built on a fault line? Succussion!

          7. Chris says:

            Well, yes, it is in earthquake territory. It is actually in a complex that was part of a seminary.

    2. Harriet Hall says:

      Please reject homeopathy before you post again.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Looks like she doesn’t.

        1. Chris says:

          A quote from that link: “Every time I try to explain that homeopathy technically doesn’t have any medicine but the energy of the medicine, I tend to confuse my patients even more! ”

          Oh, good grief, that is just incredibly bad. There is absolutely no way I would take her, or any other Bastyr graduate seriously. Instead of working with science and evidence, they deal with imaginary explanations.

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Yes, your school actually promotes the interaction between ND’s and MD’s.

      To quote Dr. Crislip, when you combine apple pie and cow pie, you don’t make the cow pie taste better, you just make the apple pie taste worse.

      Medicine is the apple pie, you add nothing valid to medicine that medicine doesn’t already have.

      you never showed me your old curriculum in which they spoke taught botanical interactions with medications

      Well, it would have to be researched first. In the meantime, doctors generally advised against pretending herbs were medicines until proven to work. Unlike, say, naturopathy, which has recommended herbs for a very long time without ever appreciating that they are either ineffective or have their own adverse effects your profession was unaware of.

      specialize in this research to integrate 20mg of melatonin with glioblastoma patients because of clinical research

      So, do you have anything aside from a 17 year old, small-n study? A look at the research on this topic in the past five years turned up three studies. Do you have any actual indications that it is a current mainstream treatment? Because otherwise all you’re doing is proving that your profession recommends treatments well in advance of adequate evidence.

      I do understand that this is a platform against many types of medicine

      Actually, the problem is that naturopathy isn’t medicine but you’re pretending it is.

      I hope that you are able to provide the best resources and options to your patients even if it conflicts with your personal beliefs.

      You owe Orac a new irony meter.

      My goal is to inform the uneducated about our training but you can’t help or teach people who are not able to open their minds.

      The problem is – we know what your training is. We also understand why it’s not just a waste of time, but is actually dangerous. We aren’t uneducated, we apparently know more than you, since we know why what you are learning is corrosive to critical thinking and common sense.

      I will note that you haven’t actually pointed to any factual inaccuracies in any of the criticisms ventured of your training or reasoning. You’ve merely asserted that you are right,we are wrong, and that we’re somehow insufficiently educated to understand your points (despite being obviously familiar with your curriculum and arguments). So it sounds like you’ve got no actual rebuttals and are just flouncing off while pretending you’ve won.

      1. Michele says:

        What are your credentials William? why do you spend so much of your live creating negativity around you? Did you have a bad experience in your life in which you are desperately trying to find an outlet? I have no idea how you have so much time on your hands to sit on the internet and respond to posts all day but I do wish you the best in life and hope that one day you can see the beauty in nature. Take care, Michele

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I’ve got a brain in my head. Now, instead of attacking my credentials, perhaps you could reply to my substance? Instead of being a tone troll and “attacking my negativity”, perhaps you could say something other than well-meaning platitudes? Keep in mind, bloodletters had the best of intentions, even as they killed their patients. You are an updated version of the same arrogance. Your profession is marketing, not medicine.

          I like nature, I just acknowledge that it doesn’t care if I exist, it doesn’t care if I am healthy, and that it is responsible for many of the things that are dangerous to me – like smallpox, snake venom, favism, cystic fibrosis, huntington’s disease, diabetes (type I and type II both), aging, meteor strikes, polio, earthquakes, drowning and death during childbirth.

          Make no mistake, I’m not an unhappy person. I just find your profession contemptible and useless, I dislike your profession’s propensity for marketing buzzwords over substance, I dislike how you pretend to be doctors and pretend that partnering with doctors will somehow make medicine better rather rather than being parasitic on it. If my venom and contempt come out in my comments, it’s an expression of how very sick I am of credulous loons like yourself putting people’s lives at risks through your arrogance.

          You should change professions.

          1. Michele says:

            You lost me a long time ago when you said you weren’t a doctor and failed to speak of your credentials.

          2. Chris says:

            “a doctor”

            Neither are you. Especially if you think homeopathy is worth more than the giggles one gets from the sheer idiocy.

          3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            So my point that smallpox is natural and dying of it also natural – that’s only relevant and applicable if I have an MD? What if I have a BSc? What about a BA? What level of qualification is necessary to point out that your education was a waste of time and your profession is redundant to, parasitic on, or dangerous compared to real medicine?

            Dr. Hall is a doctor, what if she copied and pasted my comments, is that adequate qualification?

            What you’re really doing is taking the intellectually lazy path of ad hominem, pretending that because I haven’t self-identified as an MD my opinions don’t have any weight and you don’t have to reply to them. And really what you’re doing, is noticing that you can’t refute my points, so you’re pretending you don’t have to.

            You have wasted your time and money, and are a danger to your patients (and you’ve also wasted their time and money).

        2. lilady says:

          Wanna go a few rounds with me on the subject of vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, Michele?

          Wanna go a few rounds with me on the subject of types of seizures, anticonvulsants and induction of ketogenic diets for seizure control, Michele?

          lilady, R.N. BSc-Nursing

    4. weing says:

      “We have many MD students from the UW do clinical hours at our clinic to learn our approach.”
      What might be better would be a department of SBM, with an MD teaching at your school the principles of evaluation of studies and of applying the scientific method to clinical practice. I have no problem telling patients to eat 2-3 servings a cherries a day with their allopurinol to prevent gout attacks.

  12. Mark says:

    I wonder why there is such a huge demand for both naturopathic treatments and vitamin and herbal treatments?

    I believe the answer lies with a disenchantment with many people in the results that they are getting from mainstream medical practioners.
    Are people that stupid that they would spend billions of dollars on alternative medicine treatments yet get no results ?
    I dont think so.
    Rather alternative practioners and therapies are just filling a market need because mainstream medicine has moved so far away from individual personalised care and moved too close into a cosy relationship with pharma companies that they are often more experts in dosing drugs and doing blood tests than caring for the indivuduals needs.

    I also think they have very limited knowledge of nutrition. I mean how many hours to doctors spend in medical school on nutrition? Not very much I would say in most cases.
    Many people get good results from alternative practioners so they dont care whether it is placebo or pseudo science or whatever all they know is they got better or felt better which is something they werent getting from their mainstream medical practioners.

    Mainstream medicine is not under threat from alternatives at all as it still does the job for most of our medical requirements however it also needs to realise that it is falling short in certain areas.

    Rather than attacking and being condescending and patronising of alternative approaches it might be better off looking at what is working in this area and incorporating some of that in their own practice.

    There is a more a move these days to medical centres that incoporate GPs, Naturopaths, Osteos etc under the same roof. The dinosaurs that cant see that will become just like the real dinosaurs …extinct.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      There is a huge demand for naturopaths because people are suckers for the naturalistic fallacy – the idea that “natural” is better (despite smallpox, cobra venom and the deathscap mushroom all being perfectly natural). Plus, there’s not actually that much demand for these services; if you classify massage and prayer as part of the same set, then a high percentage of the population uses them. Once you take out these not-really-CAM modalities, the uptake rates for the remainder like homeopathy and chiropractic drops precipitously. Naturopaths and their ilk definitely spend a lot of time on beautiful marketing to make it look like it is popular, but it’s still a relatively rare as a treatment (less so if you consider it exclusively, as an outright alternative to medicine).

      Are people that stupid that they would spend billions of dollars on alternative medicine treatments yet get no results ? I dont think so.

      This is an argument from popularity, even large groups of people are quite able to be wrong about their health. Witness the success of bloodletting for thousands of years, or acupuncture. Witness people believing that heavier objects fell faster, that the sun orbited the earth, that there was only one galaxy, that one could sail uninterrupted from Europe to Asia. Yes, people can very much spend billions of dollars on useless treatments (homeopathy).

      Rather alternative practioners and therapies are just filling a market need because mainstream medicine has moved so far away from individual personalised care and moved too close into a cosy relationship with pharma companies that they are often more experts in dosing drugs and doing blood tests than caring for the indivuduals needs.

      I don’t know about your doctor, but mine provides individualized personalized care. And all I want from my doctor is reassurance that I am healthy, or in cases where I am not – treatment recommendations to get better (which will often involve appropriately dosed medication). What else do you want? Naturopaths and related loons will often bleat about “holistic” care – which at best sounds like merely taking a detailed personal history (which my doctor has done, and has updated over the years as I get sick and better) and at worst seems to imply some sort of need to prattle about “spirituality”. Which I am uninterested in.

      I mean how many hours to doctors spend in medical school on nutrition?

      Unless you consider the hours they spend learning about the biochemical pathways of individual vitamins and minerals, their interactions with tissues and organs, their absorption and excretion, and what deficiency and excesses look like clinically. If you are complaining that doctors don’t set up meal plans, well you could consider that they defer to the appropriate expert – the USDA in general, and nutritionists for specific needs. And do you really need your doctor to tell you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and to get enough exercise? Mine doesn’t – because I’m in good health as I already do those things.

      they dont care whether it is placebo or pseudo science or whatever all they know is they got better or felt better

      Which is fine if they are paying for it out of pocket. But if naturopathy and other CAM services are paid for out of tax dollars or insurance premiums, then it costs everybody and inflates up the price of care with useless tests and interventions. Not to mention, CAM practitioners are not trained to the same standard as real doctors, and can’t provide the diagnosis and treatment necessary for serious illnesses (or even mild ones) particularly those with deceptively mild presentations like meningitis. And that’s not even counting their practice of discouraging vaccinations or urging patients to stop taking life-saving medications like insulin.

      Mainstream medicine is not under threat from alternatives at all as it still does the job for most of our medical requirements however it also needs to realise that it is falling short in certain areas.

      Don’t you think the answer is “improve real medicine” rather than “pay for useless care”? If your car tends to roll over, isn’t the rational approach to improve the car rather than to buy a sset of cardboard training wheels?

      Rather than attacking and being condescending and patronising of alternative approaches it might be better off looking at what is working in this area and incorporating some of that in their own practice.

      Medicine does this – witness for instance the adoption of St. John’s wort as a treatment for depression, or spinal manipulation for low back pain by physiotherapists. The problem is, CAM is often unresearched, if not patent nonsense, and when the research is done and the CAM approach is found to be useless, CAM practitioners keep recommending it. How is that anything but a flat-out waste? Homeopathy was known to be impossible more than a century ago, but naturopaths are trained in homeopathy right now. The only thing that “works” for naturopaths and their ilk is their ability to spend a lot of time with a patient and carefully listen to them – acting like a form of health-specific psychotherapist. Doctors would love to have this luxury of time, but it requries the patient, or the state, to shell out a buttload of money. There are ways of improving this – but it requires systemic changes. What isn’t required is to integrate nonsense with real medicine.

  13. Mark says:

    Okay I would like to take up the point about nutrition and doctors vs naturopaths.

    I will give my own example of where naturopaths can fill a void that doctors cant.
    I was having a lot of bowel issues and went to the doctor and was diagnosed with IBS of which i was told there was no cure.

    I went to a naturopath who asked about my diet and the she suggested a diet plan. She specifically recommened eating rolled oats every morning for breakfast to support the bowel. Do you know what I felt almost immediately better and have continued to this day eating oats every morning. A pretty simiple things you might say but it was big for me.

    Now you can say what you like but a mainstream doctor is not trained in nutrition and how it reacts with individuals. I got the results from a naturopath and no result from the doctor.

    I also had a problem with GERD which the doctor was helpful with suggestions but the treatment suggested was with PPIs which when i researched had a lot of possible side effects. I opted with the naturopath who suggested slippery elm powder which I have found very effective along with foods to avoid and eating small meals etc

    Now would I go to a naturopath if I had a broken leg, rabies, dengue fever, cancer etc no I wouldnt but for fine tuning the naturopaths win hands down in my opinion and they actually help you avoid getting to the point where your only recourse is a doctor and the meds or surgery.

    Why dont we talk about the massive over prescription of statins by doctors which all have lots of potential side effects and which most of the research suggests offers little help to people without CAD yet apparently 75 percent of people who take them dont have CAD. This is especially disturbing considering that there are other ways to deal with C levels like fish oil, flaxseed oil etc Now I could go on and on but I hope you get my point and the same point is being made by many people out there who are getting similar results to myself.

    So you can say what you like about naturopaths and no doubt because it is an unregulated industry there are a lot of dubious practioners out there but as I have pointed out I have personally benefited from naturopathic treatment by way of diet adjustments and supplements that have actually kept me having down the track more serious issues.

    1. Carl says:

      Mark, a glance at the FDA food pyramid could have told you to try eating more whole grains. Nothing about the guy being a “naturopath” gave him special insight to suggest getting more fiber if you have bowel issues.

      You have one anecdote, and you are extrapolating to assume that all doctors are as bad as yours was (if that story was even true)..

      1. Mark says:

        How would the food pyramid tell me which grain to try? I was already eating muesli at the time!

        Yes I have one anecdote which is mine and my experience. Do you want me to go out there and grab the millions of others from people who have also benefited from these types of treatments?

        And I dont think my doctor was bad just not trained in that area of personalised nutrition.

        1. weing says:

          @Mark,
          You needed a dietitian.
          Your doctor wanted you on long term PPIs? Why? Dietary modification is standard treatment for GERD.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          The problem with anecdotes is dead people can’t give them. There are people for whom naturopathy was deadly. They can’t show up here and say “it worked for me”, because they’re dead.

          1. Mark says:

            The problem with anecdotes is dead people can’t give them. There are people for whom naturopathy was deadly. They can’t show up here and say “it worked for me”, because they’re dead.

            I would love to compare the numbers of people killed by prescription drugs, surgical errors per year as opposed to those killed by naturopathy or by those killer herbs! But it is a no contest really so I dont know why you try and bring it up because you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

            Or we could talk about how according to a lot of recent research prostate cancer and for women breast cancer treatment is actually treating thousands of people unecessarily a year and ruining their lives by doing so but that is not the poiint of this present discussion but hey if you want to discuss it feel free but you are on very shaky ground there.

            Back to topic
            I dont think you are listening to what I am saying.

            I was already eating a high fibre diet but I still had IBS.

            Oats were suggested by the naturopath and they fixed the problem for me.

            The doctor talked about stress and general tips about diet but his suggestions didnt work.

            Slippery elm I have been taking for 25 years and I have had no side effects and it is has proved very effective in managing gerd symptoms. I doubt whether there are any interactions with pharmaceutical meds but i dont take any so it is not an issue for me.

            How do you extrapolate that I only go to a naturopath when I am in good health when I have already mentioned gerd and IBS ? Again you are not listening to what i say at all.

            Finally no naturopath fed me any spiel about statins. You might be interested in some of the studies below re statins

            Fernandez G, Spatz ES, Jablecki C, Phillips PS. Statin myopathy: a common dilemma not reflected in clinical trials. Cleve Clin J Med. 2011.;78(6):393-403
            Jackevicius CA, Mamdani M, Tu JV. Adherence with statin therapy in elderly patients with and without acute coronary syndromes. JAMA. 2002; 288:462–467
            Culver AL, Ockene IS, Balasubramanian R, Olendzki BC, Sepavich DM, Wactawski-Wende J, Manson JE, Qiao Y, Liu S, Merriam PA, Rahilly-Tierny C, Thomas F, Berger JS, Ockene JK, Curb JD, Ma Y. Statin use and risk of diabetes mellitus in postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):144-52
            Blaha MJ, Nasir K, Blumenthal RS. Statin therapy for healthy men identified as “increased risk”. JAMA. 2012;307(14):1489-90
            Redberg RF, Katz MH. Healthy men should not take statins. JAMA. 2012;307(14):1491-2
            Mitka M. Some question use of statins to reduce cardiovascular risks in healthy women. JAMA. 2012 Mar 7;307(9):893-4

          2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Comparing the number of people taking herbal medicines versus the number of people taking prescription drugs is a false comparison. Drugs are given for serious, life-threatening conditions, to people in hospitals or in distress. Herbs are generally useful for the worried well with minor, self-limiting conditions, or people who will soon be dead because of their unmedicated condition. One can’t justifiably say “slippery elm worked for me therefore all naturopathy works”, that’s illogical. All medications are tested on a per-item and per-condition basis, meanwhile the entire endeavour of naturopathy is predicated on untested substances, or a marketing ploy that rebrands conventional treatments as “alternative”.

            If you would really like to test herbs versus drugs, you would have to compare conventional care with herbal care, an unethical study because too many people in the herbal group would die. The thing is, we had those drugs for centuries. They didn’t work. People died in droves. It is only until the application of empirical research and the iconoclastic approach of science that life expectancies began to rise. If herbs are so effective, why did anyone die of disease in the past?

            Note that the source of your criticisms of statins is the scientific literature; even in criticizing medicine, naturopathy and its promoters are forced to be parasitic on it. Even on this very website there are a large number of posts discussing the risks of breast cancer overtreatment (see here and here for a start). Meanwhile, what happens when naturopathy tries to treat breast cancer? People die.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      One of the recommendations for IBS is simply increasing fiber intake, so again naturopathy is merely being parasitic on real medicine while pretending their advice is somehow “alternative”.

      While slippery elm was suggested, did the naturopath indicate that the evidence supporting its use is lacking? Or that it could interfere with medications? Or that its effect appears to be basically acting as a fiber supplement by making you poop a little more (though that’s more for IBS than GERD)? And you realize that even real scientists don’t know what the long-term effects of consuming slippery elm might be? ‘Cause it turns out that sometimes when traditional herbs are studied, some of them cause kidney failure. Your naturopath doesn’t know if it does or not, all she can say “in her experience nobody has died”. Well, in my experience I’ve never met anyone with cancer – that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      Now would I go to a naturopath if I had a broken leg, rabies, dengue fever, cancer etc no I wouldnt but for fine tuning the naturopaths win hands down in my opinion and they actually help you avoid getting to the point where your only recourse is a doctor and the meds or surgery.

      So, you’re basically saying you show up to a naturopath’s office in good health and ask them to sell you supplements, then you buy them?

      Also, if you had dengue fever, it might be because of your naturopath. Comparable “health” “professionals” have recommended homeopathic preparations to prevent malaria, rather than basic bite prevention. Naturopaths also recommend homeopathic preparations.

      Did your naturopath feed you that little spiel about statins? And your “benefit” from naturopathy – how is it in any way different from following the advice of a registered dietician? Because they would tell you the same thing. Kinda makes the good parts of naturopathy, dietary and lifestyle advice, totally redundant to real health professionals, doesn’t it?

      1. Mark says:

        The problem with anecdotes is dead people can’t give them. There are people for whom naturopathy was deadly. They can’t show up here and say “it worked for me”, because they’re dead.

        I would love to compare the numbers of people killed by prescription drugs, surgical errors per year as opposed to those killed by naturopathy or by those killer herbs! But it is a no contest really so I dont know why you try and bring it up because you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

        Or we could talk about how according to a lot of recent research prostate cancer and for women breast cancer treatment is actually treating thousands of people unecessarily a year and ruining their lives by doing so but that is not the poiint of this present discussion but hey if you want to discuss it feel free but you are on very shaky ground there.

        Back to topic
        I dont think you are listening to what I am saying.

        I was already eating a high fibre diet but I still had IBS.

        Oats were suggested by the naturopath and they fixed the problem for me.

        The doctor talked about stress and general tips about diet but his suggestions didnt work.

        Slippery elm I have been taking for 25 years and I have had no side effects and it is has proved very effective in managing gerd symptoms. I doubt whether there are any interactions with pharmaceutical meds but i dont take any so it is not an issue for me.

        How do you extrapolate that I only go to a naturopath when I am in good health when I have already mentioned gerd and IBS ? Again you are not listening to what i say at all.

        Finally no naturopath fed me any spiel about statins. You might be interested in many of the studies out there thou

  14. Mark says:

    The problem with anecdotes is dead people can’t give them. There are people for whom naturopathy was deadly. They can’t show up here and say “it worked for me”, because they’re dead.

    I would love to compare the numbers of people killed by prescription drugs, surgical errors per year as opposed to those killed by naturopathy or by those killer herbs! But it is a no contest really so I dont know why you try and bring it up because you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

    Or we could talk about how according to a lot of recent research prostate cancer and for women breast cancer treatment is actually treating thousands of people unecessarily a year and ruining their lives by doing so but that is not the poiint of this present discussion but hey if you want to discuss it feel free but you are on very shaky ground there.

    Back to topic
    I dont think you are listening to what I am saying.

    I was already eating a high fibre diet but I still had IBS.

    Oats were suggested by the naturopath and they fixed the problem for me.

    The doctor talked about stress and general tips about diet but his suggestions didnt work.

    Slippery elm I have been taking for 25 years and I have had no side effects and it is has proved very effective in managing gerd symptoms. I doubt whether there are any interactions with pharmaceutical meds but i dont take any so it is not an issue for me.

    How do you extrapolate that I only go to a naturopath when I am in good health when I have already mentioned gerd and IBS ? Again you are not listening to what i say at all.

    Finally no naturopath fed me any spiel about statins. You might be interested in some of the studies below re statins

    Fernandez G, Spatz ES, Jablecki C, Phillips PS. Statin myopathy: a common dilemma not reflected in clinical trials. Cleve Clin J Med. 2011.;78(6):393-403
    Jackevicius CA, Mamdani M, Tu JV. Adherence with statin therapy in elderly patients with and without acute coronary syndromes. JAMA. 2002; 288:462–467
    Culver AL, Ockene IS, Balasubramanian R, Olendzki BC, Sepavich DM, Wactawski-Wende J, Manson JE, Qiao Y, Liu S, Merriam PA, Rahilly-Tierny C, Thomas F, Berger JS, Ockene JK, Curb JD, Ma Y. Statin use and risk of diabetes mellitus in postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):144-52
    Blaha MJ, Nasir K, Blumenthal RS. Statin therapy for healthy men identified as “increased risk”. JAMA. 2012;307(14):1489-90
    Redberg RF, Katz MH. Healthy men should not take statins. JAMA. 2012;307(14):1491-2
    Mitka M. Some question use of statins to reduce cardiovascular risks in healthy women. JAMA. 2012 Mar 7;307(9):893-4

    1. weing says:

      “I was already eating a high fibre diet but I still had IBS.”

      A high fibre diet is used in IBS but not in all cases

      “The doctor talked about stress and general tips about diet but his suggestions didnt work.”

      Why not?

      “Slippery elm I have been taking for 25 years and I have had no side effects and it is has proved very effective in managing gerd symptoms.”

      You have been taking this for 25 years? Why? Just to treat symptoms? Have you ever had your GERD symptoms evaluated to find the cause?

      “Finally no naturopath fed me any spiel about statins.”

      And that is good because……..

      All the references you provided are ‘spiel’ about statins from MDs and not naturopaths, so I presume you will not listen to them and insist on taking a statin because you don’t need it.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Where are your facts to back up your opinion. Other than using the term “quackery” about 100 times, you gave no examples as to why this option should be overlooked. Don’t post anything without including facts and you just sounded stupid the entire time, since you didn’t even say why you thought naturopathic medicine was wrong…
    Close-minded people like you disgust me.

    1. Chris says:

      ” you gave no examples as to why this option should be overlooked.”

      What particular option listed by Dr. Gorski has been shown to be effective for anything:

      Basically, it’s anything that can be portrayed as “natural,” be it traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy (which is an integral component of naturopathy, something that should tell you all you need to know about naturopathy), herbalism, energy healing, Ayurvedic medicine, the four humors, or whatever. Add to that a number of bogus diagnostic modalities, such as applied kinesiology, live blood cell analysis, iridology, tests for imaginary “food allergies” and “nutrient deficiencies” that conventional medicine doesn’t recognize, plus an overwhelming emphasis on purging the body of “toxins,” unnamed and named but all unvalidated by science,

      I have a kid with some medical issues. Just give me the scientific evidence that anything on that list is effective for anything on this list: seizures, complex migraines and obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Thank you.

    2. Chris says:

      Myself: “complex migraines”

      Please explain how a naturopath differentiates a complex migraine from a stroke. The external symptoms are practically identical. So much so that the 911 operator thought it was a stroke, plus after several tests in the hospital’s emergency department it was assumed to be a stroke, but it was only cleared up after a head MRI a day later.

      So do naturapaths have access to MRIs, or even EEGs? Do tell us all about their wonderful diagnostic skills.

      Plus, I am very interested in how to prevent the medical issue which is considered genetic. How do we prevent genetic disorders? Which of the “four humours” does that involve?

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Jennifer, did you read the following sentence?

      The problem with naturopathy, of course, is that it is so diffuse and encompasses so many different forms of quackery that it’s hard to categorize.

      You might also want to check out some of the articles in the naturopathy category linked at the bottom of the page. If you’d like you could try reading these articles too:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/naturopathy-and-science/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/legislative-alchemy-i-naturopath/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/legislative-alchemy-naturopathy-2013/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/another-state-promotes-the-pseudoscientific-cult-that-is-naturopathic-medicine-part-1/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/another-state-promotes-the-pseudoscientific-cult-that-is-naturopathic-medicine-part-2/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/another-state-promotes-the-pseudoscientific-cult-that-is-naturopathic-medicine-part-3/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/another-state-promotes-the-pseudoscientific-cult-that-is-naturopathic-medicine-part-4/

      Opponents of naturopathy don’t tend to be closed-minded. We just know something about how the body works, including how it naturally dies due to untreated cancer, or disease, or snake venom. Naturopathy should be overlooked because it is made up of unproven treatments (which are unethical to use since you could be actively harming the patient, or wasting their time and money), disproven treatments like homeopathy (which are completely unethical and absolutely waste patients’ time and money) or proven treatments part of mainstream care that are repackaged and sold (at a premium) as “naturopathic” (examples include certain herbs, expensive vitamins, and recommendations – which aren’t really unethical, but are both redundant to and parasitic on real medicine, and are often repackaged in ways that cost considerably more than what you can buy in a corner drugstore; not to mention the complete waste of time and money that is the consultation). And that’s assuming they aren’t doing something stupid like recommending against proven treatments like vaccination or chemotherapy, which naturopaths do.

      Thoughtless people who have fallen for naturopaths self-serving rhetoric make me sad. They, and their children, are more likely to suffer from untreated health problems, catch vaccine-preventable diseases, and spend a lot of time worried about “contamination”, or “toxins” than you really need to. And that’s assuming no direct harm, such as accompanies reccommendations to eat organic food (number one source of E. coli infections? Organic sprouts, which are fertilized by raw cow feces).

      Maybe next time follow the deep links.

      1. Chris says:

        You know how the body works? How is that when you don’t even have nutrition classes in medical school. The only person who sells snake oil is allopaths. Tell me one patient you have cured. You can’t because drugs can’t restore health. If you think so, then you should have your license revoked.

        1. Chris says:

          “You can’t because drugs can’t restore health.”

          So just because insulin does not “cure” diabetes it is worthless? So should all kids with Type 1 Diabetes be allowed to die horrible painful death because you don’t like real medicine?

          And, do you have a way to restore health to someone who was born with a genetic sequence that causes obstruction hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I’d love to see how we could have avoided the multiple 911 calls, the surgery and beta blockers.

          By the way, WLU is not a medical doctor. He just likes to debate people on the Internet. It is his hobby, and I enjoy reading what he writes. Especially when it brings out amusing fact free comments from the likes of you.

        2. Chris says:

          A wee word of advice: lurk on a blog before commenting and get to know the people who post on it, especially the prolific ones.

  16. Dose of Reality says:

    Naturopathic is quackery? That’s interesting. Here’s is evidence based medicine:

    The USA spends more money per capita than any other nation and we rank 38th in overall health. That’s evidence.

    You people claim that science is the end all be all but yet more and more people are seeing alternative practitioners? Right, because allopathy works, right, that’s why people are leaving?

    I know of countless stories of people being cured by ND’s, but never MD’s. If you think that you can restore health by giving a drug that has many side effects, then you are truly stupid.

    It’s funny to see you folks continue your onslaught trying to disparage other medical professionals because you are losing your ability to control things. What’s wrong, are you not making enough money anymore of your fraudulent claims selling your snake oil which maims and kills people? Vioxx killing 100,000 people what? Bayer knowingly distributing HIV tainted aspirin what? The AMA being sued and paying out money for trying to destroy Chiropractors what? Rockefellers and Carnegies funding the Flexnor report to destroy homeopathy and naturopaths what? The AMA not allowing people in medical school in the early 1900′s if they could pay for it by themselves because they would not be indebt to them forcing them to follow their rules and write for pharma drugs what?

    You people are truly stupid and should have your license revoked.

    1. windriven says:

      @Dose of Stupidity

      “The USA spends more money per capita than any other nation and we rank 38th in overall health. That’s evidence.”

      Yes. That is evidence of a health care system that delivers premium care to those lucky enough to have quality health insurance and truncated care for those who don’t. That is a reflection on our politics and our ethics, not on science or medicine.

      “You people claim that science is the end all be all but yet more and more people are seeing alternative practitioners? ”

      Citation please. Your assertion doesn’t make it so. The numbers that I’ve seen suggest a piddling few go to sCAM artists and then only for the trivial and the hopeless.

      “I know of countless stories of people being cured by ND’s, but never MD’s.”

      Then you need to get out more. You don’t fear smallpox or polio because of science based medicine, not because of NDs (Not Doctors?). NDs do not save premature babies, bring fertility to couples who need in vitro fertilization techniques, bypass diseased coronary arteries, or cure lymphomas. That is MD work.

      It strikes me that you are a pathetic little wannabe who has never confronted the kinds of disease that once plagued humanity, cutting lives short and stunting others. Science based medicine isn’t perfect but it strives to be better every day. Not by peddling bullshit to the worried well. By confronting desperate diseases, learning about them, tearing them down to the bare walls, and relentlessly working to master them. Science based medicine has done more for humanity in the last hour than the whole range of sCAMs have done in history.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Naturopathic is quackery? That’s interesting. Here’s is evidence based medicine:

      The USA spends more money per capita than any other nation and we rank 38th in overall health. That’s evidence.

      For one thing, that’s not evidence-based medicine; at best, that’s evidence-based economics. For another thing, what does that have to do with naturopathy being, or not being, quackery? It’s definitely evidence that the US should adopt some sort of true, national health care system – but it provides no evidence about naturopathy being safe or effective.

      You people claim that science is the end all be all but yet more and more people are seeing alternative practitioners? Right, because allopathy works, right, that’s why people are leaving?

      We see this claim a lot, but what evidence do you have? Further, most studies I have seen, once you take out massage (not really alternative, if used for musculoskeletal problems) and prayer (neither medicine, nor requiring a practitioner), the rates are extraordinarily small. Plus, popularity doesn’t mean efficacy. Bloodletting was hugely popular in Europe, mercury in China, but both were deadly even though both were used ubiquitously. Surely you can see that something may be popular and ineffective.

      I know of countless stories of people being cured by ND’s, but never MD’s. If you think that you can restore health by giving a drug that has many side effects, then you are truly stupid.

      You know what they say about the plural of anecdotes – only stupid people think they prove anything. If the order is always “See MD, MD no help, see ND”, what about the people who go “See MD, MD fixes condition, don’t bother with ND”? You would have absolutely no awareness of them, or their problems – would you?

      It’s funny to see you folks continue your onslaught trying to disparage other medical professionals because you are losing your ability to control things.

      Naturopaths are neither medical, nor professional, and are actually pretty dangerous.

      What’s wrong, are you not making enough money anymore of your fraudulent claims selling your snake oil which maims and kills people? Vioxx killing 100,000 people what? Bayer knowingly distributing HIV tainted aspirin what?

      Well, I could respond with herbs tainted with heavy metals what? Herbs cause kidney failure what? Herbs you buy aren’t actually the herbs advertised what? but that would be juvenile. Instead I’ll point out that Vioxx is off the market, and you appear to be mixing up urban legends about aspirin with urban legends about Bayer’s clotting products.

      Rockefellers and Carnegies funding the Flexnor report to destroy homeopathy and naturopaths what?

      The Flexner report was published in 1910, naturopathy as a discipline was invented in the late 19th century, but went into decline in the 30s, more than two decades later, after penicillin rendered it’s offerings moot with the advent of genuinely effective medicine. The Flexner report would have lauded and endorsed homeopathy were there any evidence it worked. That was more than a century ago, and there is still no evidence that homeopathy is anything but 9-calories-per-dose placebo.

      The AMA not allowing people in medical school in the early 1900′s if they could pay for it by themselves because they would not be indebt to them forcing them to follow their rules and write for pharma drugs what?

      Considering almost none of the medical schools were worth getting into at that date, I’m not sure what point you are trying to prove.

      Anyway, this is yet more false dilemma – you think if you can criticize real medicine, it will distract from the complete lack of evidence to support naturopathy. If naturopathy is so effective, why don’t randomized controlled trials demonstrate this? Instead of trying to tear down medicine, why not provide evidence that naturopathy works?

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