Naturopathy – How Not to be a Doctor and Harm the Public Good

1
1074

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is based on the healing power of nature and it supports and stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including: botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, lifestyle counselling and health promotion and disease prevention. – Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors

Naturopathy is a cornucopia of almost every quackery you can think of. Be it homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, applied kinesiology, anthroposophical medicine, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, Bowen Technique, and pretty much any other form of unscientific or prescientific medicine that you can imagine, it’s hard to think of a single form of pseudoscientific medicine and quackery that naturopathy doesn’t embrace or at least tolerate. – Dr. David Gorski

Naturopaths claim that they practice based on scientific principles. Yet examinations of naturopathic literature, practices and statements suggest a more ambivalent attitude. NDhealthfacts.org neatly illustrates the problem with naturopathy itself: Open antagonism to science-based medicine, and the risk of harm from “integrating” these practices into the practice of medicine. Unfortunately, the trend towards “integrating” naturopathy into medicine is both real and frightening. Because good medicine isn’t based on invented facts and pre-scientific beliefs – it must be grounded in science. And naturopathy, despite the claims, is anything but scientific. – Scott Gavura (Science-Based Medicine)

Naturopathic training does not prepare them to be primary care physicians. Their profession is not science-based, does not have a science-based standard of care, and is largely a collection of pseudoscience and dangerous nonsense loosely held together by a vague “nature is always best” philosophy.

This is one of those situations where most people will not believe that the situation can be as bad as it really is. This is similar to when I describe to people, who are hearing it for the first time, what homeopathy actually is. They usually don’t believe it, because they cannot accept that something so nonsensical can be so widespread and apparently accepted in our society. The same is true when I tell people about the core chiropractic philosophy of life energy (at least for those chiropractors who have not rejected their roots), or about what Scientologists actually believe.

One common reaction is the “no true Scotsman” logical fallacy. Defenders will insist that what we are describing is the exception, and that a “real” naturopath is not like that. Obviously there will be a range of practice (especially since there is no standard), but the pseudoscientific treatments that make up naturopathy are not the exception. They are at the core of their education and their philosophy. – Dr. Steven Novella

“Naturopathic medicine” is an eclectic assortment of pseudoscientific, fanciful, and unethical practices. Implausible naturopathic claims are still prevalent and are no more valid now than they were in 1968. – Kimball C. Atwood

Naturopathic medical school is not a medical school in anything but the appropriation of the word medical. Naturopathy is not a branch of medicine. It is a combination of nutritional advice, home remedies and discredited treatments… Naturopathic practices are unchanged by research and remain a large assortment of erroneous and potentially dangerous claims mixed with a sprinkling of non-controversial dietary and lifestyle advice. – The Massachusetts Medical Society

Naturopathy[1] is, and always has been, a declaration of pseudoscience and pseudomedicine mixed together with truism dressed-up in cheap makeup to appear legitimate, respectable, even advanced and modern, and real, as per the first statement at the top in contrast to reliable and respected voices following it. Ignorance in a tutu is still ignorance.

It’s not an alternative way of knowing, a different form of medicine, or a novel line of thought. It’s not cheaper than medicine because real medicine works on the cases needing it and, therefore, utilize the finances of patients properly, i.e., effectively.

Naturopaths are not doctors, medical doctors, or real MDs. By peddling nonsense as sensible, they harm the public good and, thus, become a negative force in society, as purveyors of illegitimate practice. Why deal a light critique to individuals harming public in the most important areas of life, for example, medical care or health?

In turn, as self-proposed practitioners for the betterment of the health of the public, they detract attention and legitimacy away from real medical doctors, real medicine, in addition to the finances of the public. If alternative medicine became effective, then it would become non-alternative medicine, also known as medicine. So, what’s the point of it, in the first place?

As noted in “Freethought for the Small Towns: Case Study,” “Canadians’ and Others’ Convictions to Divine Interventionism in the Matters of the Origins and Evolution,” “Making a Buck as a Mountebank – Astrologers, Mediums, and Psychics,” “The Message of William Marrion Branham: Responses Commentary,” “The Fantastic Capacity for Believing the Incredible,” religious fundamentalism, pseudoscience, and pseudomedicine, play off one another, as gullibility in the pulpit informs gullibility in the wellness marketplace, and vice versa.

One ignorance feeds into another. Whether in the local Township of Langley or in the wider province of British Columbia, even in small towns including Fort Langley, this is the nature of the pseudoscience and pseudomedicine landscape. Bad people, even thinking themselves good, bilk the public earning good money, even bad money or minimum wage income.

These individuals and, more fundamentally, fraudulent practices, should be combatted directly, even at the legislative level as they have been enforced in countries like the United States largely through legislative efforts. Why such a directed effort at legislation rather than randomized double-blind trials? Let me know how those homeopathic studies turn out.

In British Columbia, widely, when you do a search, you can find more than 100 places, so associations, colleges, clinics, centres, integrative clinics, medical centres, practitioners, and so on. All devoted to a pseudoscientific practice within one province. All either harming the bank accounts through fraudulent practices, or, potentially, harming the public.

Personally, they should not be able to operate in British Columbia generally, or in the Township of Langley in particular. It’s easily viewable as a wide range of pseudomedicine postulated as real medicine while without proper medical credentials, only fake qualifications, as in ‘real’ to the fake medicine while fake to the real medicine.

There’s a large number of practitioners and clinics of naturopathy, including associations, colleges, and institutes, such as the College Of Naturopathic Physicians Of British Columbia and the BC Naturopathic Association/BCNA.

It’s a – literal – zoo with the number of them. In a general search of the Canadian province of British Columbia, one set includes Dr. Janine Mackenzie ND, Abby Naturopathic Clinic: Dr. Cristina Coloma ND, Horizons Holistic Health Clinic, Edgemont Naturopathic Clinic, Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic, Dr. Aggie Matusik, Integrative Naturopatic Medical Centre, Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND, Dr. Melanie DesChatelets ND, Vitalia Naturopathic Doctors Vancouver, Dr. Grodski – White Rock Naturopathic, Dr. Lindsey Jesswein, ND, Noble Naturopathic, Local Health Integrative Clinic, Dr. Carlson-Rink C., Dr. Andrea Gansner Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Lorne Swetlikoff, BSc.,, ND, Polo Health + Longevity Centre, A New Leaf Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. E. D’Souza-Carey, ND – Family Health Clinic.

Another, second set includes Family Health Clinic: Naturopathic Medicine and Midwifery Care, Integrated Health Clinic, Dr. Jiwani, Naturopathic Physician Surrey Clinic (Not Vancouver) Autoimmune Weight Loss, Dr Andrew Eberding Naturopathic Doctor, Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Meditrine Naturopathic Clinic, Vancouver Naturopathic Clinic, Selkirk Naturopathic Clinic, Cross Roads Naturopathic clinic, OZONE THERAPY BC: Dr. Walter Fernyhough, Dr. Allana Polo N.D Polo Health + Longevity Centre, Pangaea Clinic of Naturopathic Medicine Inc, Dr Eric Chan, Dr Tawnya Ward, Dr. Rory Gibbons, Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Caroline Coombs Naturopathci Doctor, Dr. Brian Gluvic, Kitsilano Naturpathic Clinic, Agency Health, and Richmond Alternative Medical Clinic.

There there’s the third set with Arc Integrated Medicine – Delta & Surrey Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Kali MacIsaac, Naturopathic Doctor, Aspire Naturopathic Health Centre – Naturopath North Vancouver – Dr. Emily Habert, ND, Dr. Hal Brown, Red Cedar Health Ray Clinic, Lonsdale Naturopathic Clinic, Metrotown Naturopathic and Acupuncture, Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic, Flourish Naturopathic, Northshore Naturopathic Clinic, and Dr. Jonathon F. Berghamer.

The fourth set includes Dr. Scarlet Cooper, ND., Dr. Terrie Van Alystyne, Naturopathic Physician Whistler, Butterfly Naturopathic, Dr. Jason Marr, ND: Naturopathic Doctor, Peninsula Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Karen Fraser, Yaletown Integrative Clinic, Serenity Aberdour ND – Horizon Naturopathic Inc, Dr. Tasneem Pirani-Sheriff, ND, Avisio Naturopathic Clinic & Vitamin Dispensary, Dr. Robyn Land, Naturopathic Physician, Springs Eternal Natural Health, Dr. Alaina Overton, Cornerstone Health Centre: Maryam Ferdosian, ND, Dr. Kim McQueen, BSc, ND, Dr. Safia Kassam, and Restorative Health.

The fifth set of them include Dr. Esha Singh, ND, Dr. Bobby Parmar Naturopathic Doctor, Lansdowne Naturopathic Centre, West Kelowna Integrative Health Centre, Dr. Shalini Hitkari, ND, Dr. Jolene Kennett, Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Karina Wickland, ND, Dr. Phoebe Chow – Lumicel Health Clinic, Dr. Maltais Lise, Vitality Wellness Centre, Dr. Lisa Good, ND, Dr. Heidi Lescanec, ND, Dr. Rod Santos, ND, Inc., West Vancouver Wellness Centre, Dr. Kully Sraw, Naturopathic Physician, Juniper Family Health, Dr. Peter Liu, ND, Garibaldi Health Clinic, Dr. Kayla Springer, ND, and Dr. Donna Ogden, ND, MSc, Naturopathic Doctor.

The sixth – yes, there’s more – set includes Dr. Cortney Boer, ND, Burnaby Heights Integrative HealthCare Inc., Dr. Amelia Patillo, ND, Jamie Sculley, Dr. Ewing Robert J., Central Park Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Kira Frketich, Living Wellness Centre, Dr. Jennifer Brown, ND, Dr. Randi Brown – Naturopathic Doctor, West Shore Family Naturopathic Ltd., Rejuv-Innate Naturopathic Clinic-Dr. Jamie Gallant, Dr. Tonia Winchester, Nanaimo Naturopathic Doctor – Tonic Naturopathic, NaturopathicVictoria.net, Fourth and Alma Naturopathic Medical Centre, Cheam Wellness Group, Maureen Williams, Dr. Meghan Dougan, ND, Dr. Brittany Schamerhorn, ND, and Dr. Jenna Waddy.

The seventh – almost there – set includes Inner Garden Health, Dr. Brit Watters, ND, Dr. Laruen Tomkins, ND, The Natural Path Clinic Inc., Elizabeth Miller, Dr. Jennifer Moss – Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Penny Seth-Smith, Seeded Nutrition, Northern Centre for Integrative Medicine, Aqua Terra Health, Dr. Kelsea Parker, ND, Maple Ridge Naturopathic Clinic, Newleaf Total Wellness Centre, Vitality Integrative Health, Dr. Orissa Forest, BSc, ND, Acacia Health – Dockside, Dr. Megan Kimberley, Naturopath, Dr. Landon McLean Healthcare, Back to Our Roots Indigenous Medicine, and N.A. Hemorrhoids Centre.

The eighth set is Legacies Health Centre, Kelowna Naturopathic Clinic, Marseille’s Remedy – Traditional Oil Blend, Lani NYkilchuk, ND, Dr. Heather van der Geest, ND, Hummingbird Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Elli Reilander, ND, BodaHealth, The Natural Family Health Clinic, Dr. Chelsea Gronick, Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Carla Cashin, ND, Dr. Karen McGree, Saffron Pixie Yoga & Naturopathy, Wild Heart Therapies and Farmacy, Dr. Andrea Whelan, Well+Able Integrated Health LTD., Dr. Kim Hine, ND, Dr. Graham Kathy, Dr. Emily Freistatter, Naturopathic Doctor, Inner Garden Health.

The ninth set is Dr. Emily Pratt, BSc, ND, Inc., Life Integrative, Dr. Michael Tassone, ND, Harbour Health: Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Chiropractor, Naturopath, Broadway Wellness, Spokes – Clinical Naturopathy, Dr. Fulton Lynne, Electra Health, Dr. Macdonald Deidre, Ray Lendvai Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Maryam Ferdosian, ND, Yinstill Reproductive Wellness, Prajna Wellness, Fountain Wellness & Physiotherapy, Qi Integrated Health, Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine, Apex Chiropractic Coquitlam, Kamloops Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Carmen Anne Luterbach, and Dr. Mar Christopher.

The final and tenth set is Dr. Lawrence Brkich, The Phoenix Centre, Cave Cure & Therapies, Twisted Oak Holistic Health, Coast Therapy Maple Ridge, Balance Natural Health Clinic, Dr. Theresa Camozzi, ND, BC Pulse Therapy, Naramata Lifestyle Wellness-Best Naturopathy, Meditation, Weight Management Centre Okanagan, Acubalance Wellness Centre, Ltd., Dr. Milanovich David, Catalyst Kinetics Group, and Dr. Kimberly Ostero, BSc., ND, and Kontinuum Naturopathic Medicine, Inc.

The obvious benefit in these titles compared to the astrologers, mediums, and psychics, is the appearance of professionalism, while, in a mysterious manner, acquiring an entire reputation based on a fallacious premise, pseudomedicine, in addition to a false title.

It’s less turtles, turtles, turtles, all the way down, and more falsehoods all the way down, and to the top. People with all the accoutrement of the professional and medical world while, in fact, lacking the substance, the content, and so mimicking, or parroting, the forms and stylings of them.

A shame, a scandal in the province, a waste of the public’s dime, a tax on the wellbeing of the province as a whole because real medicine exists, and ignorance without proper medical bases, while idiotic in its proposition and imbibing by the general public. Everyone’s to blame here; while, some are more culpable than others.

This shows both a failure in critical thinking on the part of the public, individuals entering into the schools for training, and a firm action on the part of the proper authorities to regulate public health in such a manner as to delegitimize failed philosophies from the 1800s proposed as modern medicine.

As stipulated, succinctly, by the skeptic Wiki, RationalWiki, the titles of ND in British Columbia naturopaths and naturopathic physicians, self-proclaimed, as in Naturopathic Doctor, does not mean a doctor, a physician, or a medical doctor.

These titles, ND, remain false proclamations of credentials and qualifications, by and large, rejected by both mainstream medicine and mainstream science. These are a manner in which to attempt to co-opt the earned legitimate legacy of modern medical science and modern science, as per credentials, e.g., MD, with illegitimate pseudoscience and pseudomedicine.

In fact, the issue in North America is widespread, as stated by RationalWiki, in “Alternative Medicine Education,” “…there are actually 7 accredited institutions in North America that award this degree (as of 2012), 5 in the United States (Bastyr University, National College of Natural Medicine, National University of Health Sciences, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine) and 2 in Canada (Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, and Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine). For those who want a shorter route, it is also widely available from diploma mills.”

These individuals will use the title of “Dr.” If you don’t believe me, then I would propose looking at the ten sets above. How often does the use of the term ‘Dr.” get used in the public face of the institutions?

Next, we can ask about the private face. How many? How often? It is probably more, and more forcefully, because “Dr.,” rightfully, earned the title because the education is more difficult and the positive effects on society far more great.

That which was known as health fraud in prior generations through consistent efforts continues to be regarded more as medicine rather than ‘medicine.’

It should be halted, deconstructed, and shown for its farcical foundations and direct, and indirect, harms on the public.

 [1] Even Wikipedia, as a minor resource, it states:

Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as “natural”, “non-invasive”, or promoting “self-healing”. The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and folk medicine, rather than evidence-based medicine (EBM). Naturopathic practitioners generally recommend against following modern medical practices, including but not limited to medical testingdrugsvaccinations, and surgery. Instead, naturopathic practice relies on unscientific notions, often leading naturopaths to diagnoses and treatments that have no factual merit.

Naturopathy is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to condemnations and criticism from the medical community, such as the American Cancer Society, naturopaths have repeatedly been denounced as and accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply