Naturopaths are dangerous quacks

Over at Terra Sig on scienceblogs.com there is an article about the current danger facing some people in Canada who may fall for the charlatan work of naturopaths. The Ontario legislature is considering passing a bill which will allow naturopathic quacks to give out prescriptions. It’s utter lunacy.

Naturopaths (I’m not sure if that’s the proper term, but they aren’t proper doctors, so fuck them) are not qualified to do anything substantial. These people run the risk of prescribing contra-indicated medicines, offering ‘treatments’ which actually ignore the real problem, and allowing them prescription rights will give them respect they have not earned. People may actually seek out these mountebanks thinking they are getting real help. They aren’t.

I recently wrote about Christopher Maloney, charlatan-extraordinaire. He wrote into the local paper implying that black elderberry has vaccination properties for H1N1. He completely misrepresented a small study (which wasn’t even directly on H1N1) and he has put people at risk. He’s a dangerous liar who is unqualified to be giving out medical advice in such a manner. The worst thing about him is that he isn’t an exception – he’s an example, an example of the sort of cherry-picking, misrepresenting, lying, dangerous people who populate the yellow pages under “naturopathic ‘medicine’”.

Here I am reposting a laundry list (originally by Steve Thomas) of why naturopaths should not be given the considerations we offer real doctors.

1) With 23,000 doctors in Ontario, and fewer then 1000 naturopaths, the argument that granting naturopaths prescription rights will ease the burden on the healthcare system is a bit silly.

2) The assertion that the body has the potential to heal itself is not a scientific one. When given “natural” support only, the body will die by the age of 45, probably of infectious diseases. Modern advances in medicine make long-life possible, not herbs and roots from a 2,000 year old playbook.

3) Saying “science” doesn’t make it so. The call of “the healing power of nature at work” to be not magic, but good science, is ridiculous on its face….the human body is really good at succumbing to pathogens and injury, and the “natural” world is really good at killing us.

4) Old and tradition do not a science make. Yes, herbal supplements have been around for centuries. So has prostitution. Old doesn’t mean effective. It means old. I want my medicine to be new, awesome, and if possible, administered by a robot from the future.

5) Regulation does not a science make, even if it was 85 years ago.

6) I wonder, what is the naturopathic remedy for a broken bone? For that matter, how effective is naturopathic birth control?

7) Why the natural fetish? If you’re dying from a disease, do you really care if your treatment is “natural” or not? Why take an herbal supplement that a person tells you *might* work, when you could take the most recent advances in medical technology that we know *will* work?

8) Natural doesn’t mean safe. It doesn’t mean effective. Arsenic, poisonous mushrooms, gravel and bird-crap are also natural and you don’t see me putting them into my body.

9) Lets not forget that many people see a naturopath because they’re dazzled by the word “Naturopathic Doctor, or ND”. Let’s be perfectly clear: Naturopaths are NOT doctors. The Naturopathy Act, 2007 allows them to be called “Naturopaths”, not “doctors.” You need to go to medical school to be called a doctor. Naturopaths just granted themselves that title as a subtle PR stunt.

10) What is the diagnostic method a naturopath uses to test if a body is “in balance”? What laboratory equipment can you use to check for “wellness”?

11) The calls that naturopaths aim to treat the root cause is nonsense, otherwise they wouldn’t be asking to prescribe pain-killers, and anti-inflammatories.

12) If naturopathy is just as effective as medicine, then why don’t these naturopaths just go to med school?

13) The medical community is constantly advocating good health, diet, nutrition and exercise…naturopaths don’t have a monopoly on knowing the merits of preventative health.

14) Naturopathic college of Ontario requires a 4-year Bachelor’s eduction, but does not require for a Bsc or any science pre-requisites. The historical GPA for entry to the CCNM is 3.3 (ranging from 2.8-3.7). Compare that to Med school, which is turning away people with 4.0 averages.

15) The length of time for training is meaningless if the education quality is so lackluster. I can study levitation for 20 years but it doesn’t mean that I could fly.

16) “Every review of our record has recognized the safety of the more natural approach of naturopathic care.” Every review? Really? Black Cohosh, anyone?

17) The authors conveniently left out the deaths attributed to naturopathic prescriptions in Washington and Oregon, showing once again their contempt for honest data-gathering and fondness for cherry-picking whatever information suits their pre-conceived narrative.

18) The CCNM is NOT associated with ANY Canadian university, and it’s dishonest to artificially conflate the two together, even if you’re being indirect about it.

19) “The need for NDs to have prescribing authority was accepted by every other regulated health profession” Not even close to accurate! The bill passed the first two readings because the relevant health care communities had approved of their OWN amendments, and was not reflective of the naturopathy amendments.

20) The CCNM also is also teaching homeopathy and colonic irrigation, neither of which do anything beyond a placebo effect….Back from your cherry-picking trip yet?

21) If passed, the committee to decide which drugs would be prescribed would be made up of naturopaths! Unelected naturopaths deciding what they can prescribe!

22) Since naturopaths *are unqualified* to prescribe medication, granting them these powers will create needless risk of drug contra-indications.

23) This is not about freedom of choice for the patient, and it never has been. This is about granting naturopathy legislative and legal legitimacy because it can’t do so under the rules of science and evidence.

The scientific community is crystal clear on medicine, yet these people would have our very modern system degenerate with some very 19th century modalities.

Oh, and this is actually a rather important post beyond trying to save the health of people. Whereas I had created a category specifically for Andreas Moritz, King Snake Oil Salesman, I think I can expand it to naturopathic ‘medicine’: all naturopathy posts shall go under Pure Bullshit from now on.

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100 Responses

  1. I think you misunderstand naturopathic medicine completely and your just the type of person that probably thinks its normal that the average American is over-weight or obese and that’s just becoming the norm. These fatties walk into a doctors office and have never done an act of physical activity in their life and some doctor thinks some amphetamine pill is actually going to help. You say that’s good medicine and naturopathy is the bad guy. That makes me laugh. Thanks for your biased retarded article. I am a pre-med student NOT PRE-NATUROPATHY student and I think your post is a complete fabrication of bullshit. I think Western medicine is turning to extreme conditions and in the future naturopathic doctors will be more commonly seen than general practitioners especially for day to day health!

  2. So real doctors don’t recommend healthy diets and exercise?

  3. Tayson, I think your intentions are well placed but to be honest pre-med kids are a dime a dozen. Please don’t drop the pre-med thing as if it means something. I used to do it myself a lot before I got into medical school and only looking back now do I realize how little I knew as a pre-med, how unqualified I was to talk about a lot of medicine, and how much more I still have to learn as a med student. I’m not trying to patronize you, I just don’t think the pre-med title gives students the right to throw it around. Ok, I’m off my soap box now… To address naturopathy, I’ve seen multiple patients this week alone in hospital with greater than a dozen herbs and natural remedies prescribed by Naturopaths. MD’s tend to get flack for prescribing too many meds, but based on my experience and that of my classmates ND’s have somehow been able to do exactly this by saying these are “natural” remedies. Naturopaths have been able to say this implying that natural means no possible med interactions and no contraindications, often without many studies to back it up like randomized controlled trials or meta-analyses. By selling these ideas ND’s have been able to escape the standard MD’s and DO’s are held to, especially among the patient population in which modern medicine has not worked as well as they wanted. Now I know many people would say, “well if modern meds haven’t worked, why not try Naturopathy?” In principle I would agree, but this can be dangerous if ND’s do not exercise some restraint in presribing. In many cases, regardless of the Naturopath’s good intentions it has the appearance of ND’s taking advantage of desperate people who are looking for any hope of getting well (and this is how much of the medical community sees it). The case studies that are often put forth to support naturopathy are weak simply because anecdotal case studies are not a reliable way to predict how a treatment will affect the general population as a whole. (And yes, I do realize the irony and possible flaw of me talking down about anecdotal case studies and simultaneously talking about the anecdotal experiences of my classmates and I have had with Naturopathy). My biggest gripe with Naturopathy is that it doesn’t have to be this way; Natural meds are not somehow unable to be subjected to evidence-based scrutiny, they could be tested the same way allopaths study Western medicine. The problem is that MD’s aren’t going to pay for studies of natural meds because they don’t use them, and there is a feeling in parts of the medical community that the reasons ND’s won’t do these studies is that they are worried some meds won’t be proven to be more effective than placebo. The part that concerns me most is that the possible interactions between allopathic meds and naturopathic meds are understudied. Like it or not, I recognize that Naturopathy is here to stay for the meantime and if this isn’t addressed then adverse drug interactions could become more prevalent. That being said, there are things Naturopathy does better in my opinion. The first thing that comes to mind is the amount of time Naturopaths get to spend with each patient compared with MD’s. MD’s are lucky to get 10-15 minutes with each patient but from my understanding ND’s get at least 30 minutes if not more. This is part of the bedside manner modern medicine has lost, and hopefully can somehow find again.

  4. In Naturopathy no medicines are given. It teaches how to live naturolly, they don’t bleed, they don’t inject dirty medicines in the vein, they advacate to live as the other living creatures, animals are living. Animals don,t have hospitals, doctors to operate, to inject, to get medical reaction.

    DON’T EVER COMPARE QUAKE ALLOPATHY WITH NATUROPATHY.

  5. LOL “offering treatments that ignore the real problem” >> GPs do that every single day.

    Your verbal sputum doesn’t make you seem any smarter or get your point across any better. Really you just come across as a hate-filled nasty person who can’t control their anger & is intolerant to other philosophies (and actually knows nothing about naturopathy) I assume your attitude has stopped you from actually objectively looking into the BASICS of alternative medicine. If you don’t believe in it, that’s fine. Don’t go to a naturopath! Nobody minds if you rot your liver & brain away with the chemical crap you think is so wonderful. Please, keep going. “I want my medicine to be new and awesome” >>> ummm okay then. New & awesome does not effective make. And number 2 is the best one yet! You must be kidding yourself. Cut yourself Can i also just point out that there are a ton of deaths related to western medicine as well? TONS… but of course you fail to mention that.

  6. Lindsay gets points for the use of the word “sputum”, but she quickly loses them while taking us on a tour of loon town.

  7. Naturopathy is a load of horse shit; Don’t listen to these misinformation health food bullshit propaganda spreading hippies

  8. eww, hippies

  9. Well, you are very well misinformed I must say. First of all you degrade a medicine that has been around for 400years which promotes health and prevents illness. Conventional medicine is largely based upon supporting their financial interest. If you look at alot of articles and research naturpathic medicine is most likely to prevent illness and treat the root cause. Unfortunately pharmaceutical companies finance their studies on THEIR drugs and most of the time when that happens it is proven 90% of the time to be effective. It is very true that the pharmaceutical companies are out for their financial interest and so is conventional medicine. Yes they do discuss diet and exercise but not to the degree that it should be. If you have high blood pressure, a pill is prescribed. Side effects? 106,000 people a year die from taking prescription medications as prescribed. Now supplements? Vitamins? Death rate? Very interesting that a doctor will give you a pill for every ailment you come up with but never seeks to really “cure” that high blood pressure unless it is absolutely out of control then they have no choice but to try and find the cause. I have seen doctors give prescriptions to patients and not mention one side effect. I have seen very if any education done on doctors part as far as prevention. Articles to support vitamins? are absolutely astonishing and all you have to do is RESEARCH. However, this country is falling apart at the hands of the pharmaceutical companies financial needs. We need to be our own advocates because conventional doctors aren’t looking for a cure they are looking for their prescription pads. I have seen both sides of the story. So don’t go bagging on a profession you know nothing about. Are you aware what the number 1 cause of death is in the US? Hospital related deaths, then CAD, then cancer. Very interesting! Deaths related to naturpathic medicine 0, what interesting data!

  10. Also medical schools are given alot of money from pharmaceutical companies so their is a conflict of interest. Doctors aren’t educated in vitamins and nutrition . Most of their training is in trauma/ICU when they are residents so they get little education regarding chronic issues, therefore a naturpathic doctor is the preferred doctor to see. If you get banged up on the freeway, those doctors are brilliant at putting you back together.but for prevention of disease, terrible!!

  11. Jaime loses points for so many run-on sentences.

  12. Get a life. What kind of person gets online and spends all his time degrading a profession he know NOTHING about! You make absolutely know sense in your article! You probably work at a local Mc Donalds picking your ass while only dreaming of a profession you can actually help people. Dude get a life!! You sit here and insult people when they are making their point. What uneducated person does that? Let people make their point. Your article is full of sh**. By the way you are just the type of idiot that conventional doctors like to make money from. You lack education regarding real health.

  13. I didn’t even read your article because you lost me in the first sentence. There was absolutely no factual information. Take this and shuve it Michael!!

  14. I’m not on either side of this, if people want to use these… practitioners than let them, but riddle me this:

    If you only read the first sentence how can you give an account of the of actuality of the rest of the post?

  15. factuality*

  16. Jaime isn’t penalized for run-on sentences this time, but he does lose points for irony.

  17. You lost all points when you wrote your dumbass article. End of story.

  18. Dare I take this route? Dare I? Yeah, why not:

    If I wanted my own comeback I would have wiped it off your mom’s chin.

  19. Good form!

  20. Reading the one sided venom laced nonsense that you have written here I think its time for you to see a therapist Michael although a Psychiatrist may be better in your case to ensure that you get some wondeful Pharma meds, SSRI’s or MAOI’s or perhaps even an anti psychotic like Respiradol may be appropriate. When I last looked so called modern medicine still hasn’t got that much claim to fame as far as curing any disease goes, and a quick perusal of the side effects and lack of efficacy of most Pharma Meds holds little if not less credibility than the natural compounds that many were synthesised from. It you want to be obsessive about things fine, but your writing about it is emotionally based and does not smack of good research and science, just as many medical and non medical remedies, medications and treatment protocols do not. Face it, at the end of the day its all about business and non biased honesty will always be absent in the face of a potential profit no matter what team you barrack for. Have a look at the statistics for iatrogenic poisioning and it really shows the fallacy of how fantastic modern allopathic medicine really is. Surgery and Mending broken bones excepted.
    The only thing mankind ever cured was fish and bacon. The body heals itself.
    Your point 2 is only relative to the so called developed world, but is obsolete when viewed in the light that we live longer because of medicine. We now live longer in the developed world because of better hygene standards and better nutrition not because of any medical brilliance.
    Bottom line is that there is a lot of quackery on both sides of the fence and if you get sick its going to cost you plenty.

  21. Well said Jack Cook! I couldn’t agree more!

  22. Jack loses double points for following suit on Jaime’s run-on sentences. Jaime loses points for imitating Chester the Terrier.

  23. The sentence and grammar structure between the two posters is suspiciously similar if you ask me… Split personality perhaps???

  24. Michael, are you scratching your balls right now? You seem like a real tool if you ask me. Nate, pull your head out of your ass. HAHAHAHA!!

  25. Oh Nate, that sentence is not gramatically correct. Check yo self!

  26. I think we have conclusive evidence that naturopathy can cause severe and irreparable damage to the brain. See above posts by Jaime.

  27. I wish you luck Nate, you will need it. I will no longer stoop to the level of degrading another online. I am a bit above this. However, Nate needs help. I suggest he see a conventional doctor. Maybe a antipsychotic may help relieve his delusional thinking. I suggest this in only a kind manner. Naturopathic medicine can only do so much. Hard chemicals are needed for some individuals. I have worked with many people such as Nate and see his yearning for attention. Maybe he was neglected as a child? Very sad, but help is there for you Nate.

  28. You will no longer stoop to that level.

    Than you immediately stoop to that level.

    I have trouble following your thought process on this, because it certainly doesn’t appear that you are above it.

    My yearning for attention. I see. Perhaps you can elaborate on your psychoanalysis of me? Also I’m not seeing the delusion you are referring to.

  29. I suspected they were one in the same, but alas the IP addresses return from different countries. That doesn’t mean it isn’t one person using a proxy, of course, but it does mean there is no conclusive evidence that these are not two people. (It is, however, worth noting that this post went without any comments for 3 months before it suddenly saw two people who had never posted on FTSOS before.)

  30. To those of you who advocate ND’s rights to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs, why would you want to pay 100 bucks to get your meds when you can just go to MD and get it for much less?

    Also, do you think that NDs are trained enough to prescriibe pharma drugs? They only have 3 years of academics and 1 year of clinic. During the first 3 years, the students are overloaded with information (10 courses per semester). I doubt if anyone could actually retain and process all the things they learn.

    Just because they take the same courses offered in med school doesn’t mean they are actually able to prescribe pharma drugs.

  31. Ricky, why does America have to live and thrive off pharmaceutical drugs? Also ND’s get a very rigorous 4 year education in medical school. They actually get more biology, chemistry and nutrition education. Residents (conventional docs) are placed in a hospital and have to stay awake for 24-36 hours. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want a sleep derprived doctor seeing me. ND want to see people live healthy without drugs.

  32. Some of us don’t live and thrive of pharmaceutical drugs. I avoid some things like the plague, I just hate taking pills and no one can tell me the taste and consistency of cough syrup is better than what it cures. I don’t really like the laundry list of possible side effects on most medications either.

    So I avoid them unless I feel I have no other choice.

    With that said If I find that I’m getting sicker or lets say my right femur, which healed from a break poorly and crooked, is making it some what difficult to walk and sleep and generally get on with my life. I’m going to see a real doctor or take one of the variety of pain killers I’ve been prescribed when absolutely needed.

    I don’t believe in naturopathy. If you have tried everything else, than I can understand going to see any one of a number of the people I consider quacks.

    Because… why not? If there is not treatment for your eyelash cancer and you have 2 months to live, why not try some hot toe jam tea with newts livers.

    Other than that, go to a real doctor.

  33. Also consider how long some soldiers have to stay awake and still be expected to shoot the right thing.

    Believe me if some of those guys can keep up with that (I always tried to stay behind the ones I wasn’t sure about) I’ll trust the resident who’s been up for a WHOLE 36 hours. Poor thing.

  34. Nate that is your opinion. I wonder what you do for a living? You see the lay community is very naive to medicine. I have seen both sides of the fence and I can contest that conventional medicine does save lives. Yes, in fact if you need a surgery or are hit by a train, you better go to the ED. However, conventional medicine is based on pharmaceuticals. It is based on making money for itself. It is not based on prevention. If you say your sick to your stomach, there is a pill. But, I wonder what is the cause and can it be fixed? Yes, with a pill. There is a lifestyle that needs to be changed in order to prevent getting sick. Conventional medicine sees things very different than natural medicine. I can guarantee you that thousands of people have been helped by homeopathy medicine. We can sit here all day and argue back and forth. The truth is that if you haven’t been around both medicines, you know nothing of what your talking about. You are just a typical American that is a consumer. I don’t mean to insult you, however, you don’t know what your talking about. It is people such as yourself that get sick go to a DR. and stay sick. And yes residents work long hours and they don’t think straight when fatigued. Have you experienced that? Just curious?

  35. I thought it would have been obvious what my occupation was, soldiering (at least until a week ago, just got out). I was an infantryman.

    The best way to solve a problem is to find a way to make a profit by fixing it, hasn’t failed yet.

    If naturopathy were that effective, outside of the placebo effect, believe me, the medical industry would fall over themselves to get in the market. Alas, if it looks like a duck…

  36. Yes, you stand correct Nate. To find a way to make a profit. Natural medicine is just that, natural. It cannot be patented. The pharmaceutical company has taken over in that respect. PROFIT!!! Drugs are developed from natural medicine, herbs, vitamins.Then patented. It is a profit. Of course there is no money to be made on a herb you can grow on your own!!! So therefore it must be quackery, right? (Because my doctor doesn’t know anything about it) Scientists who work on studies for herbs, vitamins don’t get funded by drug companies.

    Also, some hospitals are actually hiring ND’s to work along side conventional doctors. Over half Americans have used natural medicine at one point in their life. You are very uneducated on the topic as I can see. Your insults regarding natural pathic doctors make me laugh. You are very unfortunate.

  37. Stupid people make me angry!!

  38. and it talks like a duck….

    and it’s as ineffective as a duck….

    than I must assume….

  39. People who don’t know what they are talking about go straight to insults. Someone with an intelligent thought on the matter argues their point. I see you have no point Nate. You get online and insult a career and profession you know nothing about. You can’t even defend yourself. The only defense you have is “duck” . Because you lack the intellect to truly understand a topic. “duck” “duck” “duck”…quack quack yourself back to research before you go argue. You won’t look so stupid.

  40. To be honest I don’t like to. I’m just really tired of the subject.

  41. Honestly, I don’t care if naturopaths exist or not. It doesn’t effect me. I don’t believe that most of it is effective medicine. Being fairly well trained in the outdoors I do admit that many plants have medicinal qualities. I don’t chew on willow bark when I have a headache though, I take an aspirin.

    I know which one works better as well.

    So I am sure parts of the “practice” is sound. I have my doubts about most of though.

    If you want to research, look who commissions studies. I looked at one the other day that showed union members live longer lives. Commissioned by SEIU, forgive me if I distrust their methods. The same is true of the studies showing naturopathy to be a useful endeavor.

  42. Jaimie:

    I have problems with naturopaths.

    1. They try to incorporate too many “good things” into their profession. It is actually killing the students’ minds in colleges. You tell me if learning 10 subjects at once can work for you. I don’t think so. Why can’t they major in the areas of their interest? For example, ND, specialized in botanical medicine? This would allow more education in concentrated area!

    2. I can put up with naturopaths if they take out homeopathy away from practice. This is just simply placebo and bullshit at its purest form. I mean who in the right mind would think that diluting and shaking toxin and tapping on the leather bible would make a good remedy? Give me a break. This is a cult.

  43. Hello there,

    First off, I am a medical student. I spent several years in “limbo” trying to decide between Allopathic and Naturopathic medicine and eventually found out about the Osteopathic stream, which is virtually nonexistent (and hence derives much skepticism) in Canada. THIS IS NOT due to my perceived lack of efficacy in relation to natural therapeutics. It is because I live in Canada and our Universal health care system does not incorporate ND’s fully (there is some reimbursement in some provinces for low income families)

    This article, and the various digressions between the poster and his peers, are regretfully misinformed. Really quite awful. I won’t go on about this ad nauseam, you’ve accomplished this well already. But do consider:

    The United States spends roughly $4,500 per person on health care each year. Costa Rica spends just $273. That small Central American country also has half as many doctors per capita as the United States. Yet the life expectancy of the average Costa Rican is virtually the same as the average American’s: 76.1 years. According to public health researchers, the biggest reasons are behavior and environment. Costa Ricans consume about half as many cigarettes per person as we do. Not surprisingly, they are four times less likely to die of lung cancer. The car ownership rate in Costa Rica is a fraction of what it is in the United States. That not only means that fewer Costa Ricans die in auto accidents, but that they do a lot more walking, and hence they get more exercise. Thanks to a much lower McDonald’s-to-citizen ratio, the average Costa Rican thrives on a traditional diet of rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, and a moderate amount of fried food–and therefore enjoys one of the world’s lowest rates of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses.

    -80% of the world uses botanical medicine as their primary form of healthcare (UN Stat). The life expectancy of these countries varies greatly, but many are comparable with those countries which use near exclusive conventional medicine.

    -Canadian (MD) physician’s are, as of this year, recommending on average a dose of 1000IU of vitamin D during the winter to prevent colds and flu, with a nod to the added benefits in calcium absorption. ND’s had been speaking of this for over a decade, but because they use case studies near exclusively (I can explain why this is in another post if you should like), it makes it very difficult to incorporate these ideas into a healthcare system.

  44. *”this is not due to my perception of lack of efficacy in relation to…”

  45. I wonder how many Costa Ricans come here for their health care.

  46. Plenty of American citizens travel outside of the country for superior service at a cheaper price. It is true that the same applies to people traveling to the U.S. (Some wealthy Canadians will make the trip to skip the line in Canada)

    It is very clear to me that you are poorly read on this subject. I implore you to do proper research, you will find that:

    1) Yes it is true that Naturopaths practice a very different form of healthcare. They are prevention oriented. Many barely reference Homeopathy at all. The focus is on regular exercise, nutrition, botanical medicine and psychological well being.

    2) we are entering a new age of blending of systems: andrew weil at the university of arizona teaches therapies very similar to Naturopathy under the label “integrative medicine”. You should be aware, for your own sake, that these practitioners may soon be treating you without your knowledge! oh no!

    3) Most physicians these days quite openly recognize that there is no competition between ND’s and MD’s (well at least prior to this prescribing authority). MD’s are much more focused on surgery, trauma and treatment of acute symptoms. ND’s deal with chronic issues. Do your research. Most of the MD’s and future MD’s I speak to make a HUGE DISTINCTION between a) Naturopathic Physicians, who have graduated from an accredited Naturopathic Medical College and have very similar medical science backgrounds, running at 4 years post secondary currently and b) “Naturopaths” who are unlicensed, by their own definition do not diagnose or treat disease (they are about imbalances and other magic), but are charlatans (in my opinion).

    Do you research! sheesh. Naturopaths basically substitute surgery and clinical ICU rotations for functional nutrition, botanical medicine (western, chinese, ayurvedic), TCM (traditional chinese medicine), and psychological counseling.

    Look up all the various MD’s who have complemented their already rigorous education with ND studies. Look at what they say. Consider it.

    Good Day.

  47. What, no sarcastic commentary from the peanut gallery? shame.

  48. You don’t even know what’s going on and act like you do. I’ve worked in the medical industry and know what it’s like. I don’t feel bad for you at all because people like you are exactly what they want. I really don’t feel bad for people who open their mouths or write stupid blogs likes this and don’t know a single thing they are talking about or writing about, because they are too lazy to do any real substantial research. You really think most doctors are doctors for the sake of your wellness?

  49. Keep up the good work, Michael Hawkins!

  50. The Hunzas lived to over 100 without any help from doctors until they adopted western diets. The Marquesans lived even longer until they did the same thing. Just google it.

    Further evidence: Doctors can’t even cure rheumatism, I went on an all fruit diet after discovering naturopathy (no starchy/preoteinaceous fruits plz) and after 3 days it felt like I had rubber pads between my knees. You and allopathy deserve each other I think, enjoy living with chronic fatigue and achy joints while your body rapidly deterioates from the posionous crap you call food.

  51. Ok straight up, if your kid has leukemia are you going to go to a fucking naturopath? If you have diabetes are you gonna go ooh well fuck injecting insulin injecting isn’t natural. Instead ill go eat some shit that has natural and organic written on the packet. I’ve even heard of parents not giving their kids vaccines because of this shit, go worship the sun you unintelligent assholes.

  52. ^ I like this guy.

  53. “Legit Dude”

    You don’t seem to understand the point of Naturopathic medicine. You do not run to a naturopath if you already have a serious disease, you go to a naturopath to prevent disease and ease symptoms. You will never meet a Naturopath who will claim to cure cancer – but they will claim they can alleviate the side effects from the cancer as well as chemo or radiation treatment a person is going through. If their was a naturopath who said otherwise, than yes I agree with you and I think their medical rights should be revoked.

    Naturopaths can help cure migraines, depression, arthritic side effects, and help you find a diet that alleviates ones intolerances.

    A good Naturopath will help you as far as their abilities but will recognize when you need to seek further medical attention. Most NP work in close contact with MDs and will recommend doctors to you if you are needing further diagnosis.

    I live an entirely gluten free diet because I discovered that I am a celiac and I would never go back. I feel more alive every day. My father has RA and has changed his diet based off a naturopaths recommendations and again, he would never go back. Previously he was on many medication to decrease his RA inflammation, these would leave him feeling nauseas and tired.

    If I have cancer one day I will go to an MD; But if I have any issues with my diet, intolerances, energy deficiencies, or muscle weakness I will go to a Naturopath.
    I am in no way against MDs to be clear. I fully believe in living on both sides of this line, trying to keep yourself healthy naturally but also allowing your body assistance with medication when necessary.

  54. Your missing the point of naturopathic medicine. Of course there are cases where a patient needs to see a medical doctor. But if you can maintain and strengthen your health without pumping harsh chemicals into your body, then people should really consider that option. You sound like a arogant son of a bitch.

  55. Ooo, boring insults? Lemme try…

    You sound like a dolt.

    Wee!

  56. fuck all of you people who are against the author of the article!!! I agree with the author of the article a hundred percent. the fact remains naturopaths are dandgerous quacks just like he said. the pharmaceutical industry has tried tested and true medications that are scientifically proven, not some wishy washy natural shit. so fuck all of you people who think naturopaths are real doctors, because they arent.

    all lof you people who are for naturopaths, I hope you all die young from not getting proper medical treatment from a real doctor!!!

  57. Naturopathy is a drugless, non-invasive, rational and evidence-based system of medicine which imparts treatment with natural elements based on the theory of vitality, theory of toxemia and theory of self-healing capacity of the body. Molecular-biological and molecular-genetic research has shown that important cellular-based autoprotective mechanisms are mediated by heat-shock proteins (HSPs) or stress-response proteins, also called ‘chaperones’. This can happen because cells react to extracellular stimuli by activating signal transduction pathways which result in activating the genetic program. The phenomenon seen here is basically due to the body’s own defense mechanism which makes it capable of reacting to harmful influences and allows it to stabilize a structure and/or function of the body for a certain period. Naturopathy makes use of this self-healing capacity of the body in healing. Naturopathic (or therapeutic) fasting gives body the opportunity to rest and use these innate healing powers in fighting diseases.

    NO ‘Medical science’ is complete today… So why not integrate the best practices available? You need to ‘see’ the science behind any ‘philosophy’. I doubt the author of this article would comprehend any of this considering his biased opinion. Also, for your information, Naturopathy DOES NOT make use of any medicine. So, first get your facts right. Oh wait.. How can you? You only know to ridicule theories….

  58. I’m quite sure you don’t understand most of what you said. If you did you would realize that all you’ve done is throw out a few buzzwords, a very broad outline, and then declared “Naturopathy! Naturopathy!”. You did not explain how naturopathy pertains to cell biology (which you conflated with genetics for no good reason). You did not explain the biological basis of vitalism (probably because it has none). You did not explain how fasting allows the body to utilize any of its cellular pathways. Indeed, fasting would lower the nutrients available to the body, including the ions needed to use gateways and maintain homeostasis.

  59. Firstly, I am just going to ignore your first two sentences (partly because its not about me, or my understanding about the subject – Yes, I am not self-obsessed and don’t believe in ridiculing others and thinking I am right). Secondly, I appreciate the cleverness with which you have turned questions into statements (showing your scientific inquisitiveness). Again, I may not be a scientist (or I may be – a bad one – or a good one), and may not be able to answer your questions, at least now. Nevertheless, will try to.

    Well, coming to your ‘questioning’ on Naturopathy’s pertinence to cell biology – I must say you are confused dude. I just explained the possible science behind one of the theories on which Naturopathy is based (self-healing ability of the body – autoprotective measures). And, the MAPK or other signal transduction pathways (which acc to you is simply genetics – LOL) is all about stabilizing body structures!! If you, or anyone for that matter, has a better technique of detecting subtle protein changes in protein activity (in signaling pathways – other than microarray analysis), please share it with the world! Hence, the importance to understand that! You must be knowing body is NOT just biology! Also, the inability to show the biological basis of vitalism (at least now) lies in you, me, and other scientists; and not in the theory..

    Anyways, fasting reduces metabolic rate, oxidative stress, and alters neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous system function. You can just probably readly books on Fasting or even calorie restriction and specific pathways…

    And you have said it yourself – Fasting maintains homeostasis…

    And as we are on it would like to answer the question no. 6 from your original article. Body heals the bone. The physician just immobilizes or assists in the healing. There is no fucking remedy (or medicine) for that!

  60. First, you didn’t ignore my first two statements, even you think otherwise.

    Second, you went from signal transduction to genetics, hence the confusion and conflation on your part.

    Third, you did not explain possible theories (the word you want is “hypotheses”, by the way) behind naturopathy. You broadly referenced one protein kinase within a cascade. And isn’t it funny? I still have my cell biology textbook and the section on MAP kinases says nothing about naturopathy. In fact, the book entirely lacks mention of such alternative medicine.

    Fourth, you’re just randomly going on about detecting changes in protein activity. Moreover, you’re not even being specific. It sounds like you’re talking about changes that occur throughout pathways, but I suspect you mean something else.

    Fifth, the inability to show the biological basis for vitalism lies in the fact that alt-med folk define it as separate from biological functions. (How convenient.) Also, if theory explains vitalism (though it doesn’t – because there is no theory), then it doesn’t make sense to say that you, me, or anyone else is at fault for not being able to explain it. That would be like saying theory explains gravity (a true statement), but no scientist can offer up a physical basis for it. Theories are created by people. That means they are inherently explainable by people.

    Sixth, your claim was that fasting allows for rest and the ability to fight diseases. A lack of nutrients diverts the body from fighting off diseases and sickness.

    Seventh, it depends on the type of fracture. Certain breaks require surgery which involves pins, screws, and rods. I’m not going to trust a naturopath with that.

  61. First – ignored (read, but ignored – I need to mention this coz you have difficulty in understanding simple things)

    Second – Again, just a possible hypothesis mentioned trying to relate it with one of the principles of Naturopathy. Obviously, I need to spell out everything for you (which I consequently did in the second comment to clear YOUR confused and ignorant mind)

    Third – I can explain the three theories (and not hypotheses btw), try to relate them with science and then possibly think of rationalizing them. The textbooks obviously won’t mention Naturopathy or Medicine in the basic sciences (duh!).. I just attempted to relate them with theories..

    Fourth – Let me explain in a more simplified way – body always tries to maintain a state of homeostasis. A naturopath simply assists the body in achieving that. There are many ways we could measure this objectively. One of it is protein activity in protein pathways (strictly to understand science and explain it to people like you). There are others like circadian rhythms, basic blood composition, vital signs etc.. that are more clinically significant.

    Fifth – Vitalists DO NOT claim that vital power is different from the biological functions. Naturopaths agree with the value of biochemistry and physics in physiology, but believe that living organisms are more than just the effects of these sciences.

    Sixth – I still hold the claim. Water fasting (for 12 to 24 hours or more) when done along with physical, physiological and sensory rest, has different effects on different systems of the body. It may not be advisable in immune-compromised conditions, but, it certainly is recommended in cardiovascular, digestive, musculoskeletal disorders. Again, I am not saying that this is ‘the’ panacea or the Supreme Remedy, but a very effective way of normalizing bodily functions. BTW calorie restriction is currently the only way which has shown to increase longevity. It is also shown (in clinical trials) that CR is effective in improving cognitive functions, reducing obesity and even some types of cancer… So why not integrate??

    I am quoting a study here published in ‘Oncogene’ – “The dietary recommendation for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, as described by the American Cancer Society, is to increase calorie and protein intake. Yet, in simple organisms, mice, and humans, fasting–no calorie intake–induces a wide range of changes associated with cellular protection, which would be difficult to achieve even with a cocktail of potent drugs. In mammals, the protective effect of fasting is mediated, in part, by an over 50% reduction in glucose and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) levels. Because proto-oncogenes function as key negative regulators of the protective changes induced by fasting, cells expressing oncogenes, and therefore the great majority of cancer cells, should not respond to the protective signals generated by fasting, promoting the differential protection (differential stress resistance) of normal and cancer cells. Preliminary reports indicate that fasting for up to 5 days followed by a normal diet, may also protect patients against chemotherapy without causing chronic weight loss.” (Read complete abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21516129)

    So, it just shows how ignorant you are when you say – “A lack of nutrients diverts the body from fighting off diseases and sickness.” lol

    Seventh – Defending yourself eh? Good to see you in a defensive mode.. lol

    I never said (nor meant) that in fractures where surgery is recommended, you should go to a Naturopath! Which dumbass would do that?!

  62. 1. Ignoring involves not responding to it. Try dictionary.com.

    2. You’re losing track of the beating. You conflated cell bio with genetics. Now move on.

    3. I’m a fair guy, so I can give you a little on this one. But just a little. I thought you were referencing naturopathic theories. Of course, no such thing exists. However, while hypotheses is not the word you want, you still don’t want theory. You just described a few facts, not any broad principles. It would be like you pointed out that apples fall and then you said that you just described the theory of gravity.

    4. I knew you were trying to get to something else. Yes, the body wants to maintain a state of homeostasis. Yes, there are ways we can measure different activities within the body. But no, a naturopath does not utilize any of this information. In fact, most naturopaths don’t even have to take cell biology to get into naturopathic ‘universities’. And then when they are admitted, their doctoral programs still don’t require the course.

    5.

    Vitalism is the belief that life cannot be reduced to a collection of physical and chemical data, andthat the human body has an innate wisdom or inner drive toward vitality and health.

    http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/97/Naturopathic-medicine.html#ixzz1sXjubvvf

    In other words, vitalism is separate from physical and chemical processes. The fact that you want to set up a strawman where you pretend like I said naturopaths reject biochemistry and physics is entertaining, but not relevant to the issue.

    6. Except in very specific circumstances, fasting does not help the body. Moreover, calorie restriction is not the same as fasting, but nice try on moving the goal posts. Furthermore, calorie restriction increases can increase longevity, but that’s no more than healthy eating. If I want advice on that, though, I’ll go to someone trained in nutrition, not a naturopath.

    First, restricting food intake for cancer patients may have validity, but like many naturopaths, you’re glomming onto evidence that agrees with your bias. Wait until the next study. Especially in oncology. Most studies that show promising in the early stages do not pan out. Second, half of the basis for the logic of the study you’ve cited is referencing the bodies common marasmic response to starvation. In other words, except in specific circumstances, fasting has a negative impact on the body. Third, the vast majority of what’s doing the fighting against the cancer is chemotherapy, that evil stuff from evil science.

    (Going back to a point you made earlier, I did not agree that fasting maintains homeostasis. I said it would lower the the nutrients needed in order to maintain it. In fact, I suspect that will be a compounding factor in the study you cited.)

    7. Are you high? “Defending” myself? You raised a point and I responded to it.

    You denigrated the role of real doctors in bone healing. Without surgeons, many bones would not heal correctly. But maybe you think a naturopath would have been useful here.

  63. @legit dude

    Without the sun we would all be dead, asshole.

    @Michael Hawkins

    You have no right to judge naturopathic physicians; there are pros and cons in every type of medical field.

  64. I’m not sure what a naturopathic “physician” is.

  65. If you do not know what naturopathic physicians are or do, then stop bashing them. Again, there are pros and cons in naturopathy, and there are also pros and cons in conventional medicine.

  66. I know what a naturopath is, and I know what a physician is. It’s just that I don’t know what a naturopathic physician is. I’m rather certain the two concepts are mutually exclusive.

  67. Here we go with that “debate” mentality about any pseudoscience or junk medicine. Pro’s and cons in naturopathy? Yes, that’s true if your source of science happens to be google hits. But real science based medicine thinks that naturopathy is a con. So I’ve found you a con. if you want to debate, go talk about how to fix the budget deficit. If you want to bring crap to the argument, then extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And as the proponent of naturopathy, Anonymous, it’s up to you to bring an affirmative defense. I won’t hold my breath, since science does not support one tiny little bit of the lies of naturopathy.

  68. It’s been my observation that naturopathic doctors as a group do far less harm than allopathic doctors, so I would be careful about denigrating them. I personally know several patients who have greatly benefited from naturopathic medicine. I am not a medical practitioner myself, but I have had extensive experience in both the naturopathic and allopathic professions as an educational administrator. Although I recognize that most naturopathic doctors do not have the post-doctoral training that allopathic physicians have (hospital internships and residencies), I still believe that licensed naturopathic doctors who have graduated from properly accredited programs are well qualified within their scope of practice. My personal opinion is that prescribing synthetic pharms does not seem compatible with naturopathic care, but prescribing natural substances does. I would support legislation that allows it.

  69. @Michael Simpson

    I never said I was debating, and I also never said that I advocate naturopathic medicine. What you call ‘real science’ is mainstream science, so of course it would not back up alternative medicine. However, I am not saying that conventional medicine is a ‘con’, as you have blatently labeled naturopathic medicine. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said “Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine thy food”, so there must be some validity in that statement. Paracelsus, a fifteenth century physician and the father of body chemistry, said, “Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.” He is also a notable figure in medicine, so this statement must also be sound. Naturopathy advocates both proper diet and fasting. Both Hippocrates and Paracelcus support naturopathic medicine, so it is not a ‘con’. I am only defending naturopathy because you flagrantly attacked it.

  70. The EVIL money grabbing pharmaceutical industry are FEEDING OFF ALLOPATHIC DOCTORS. WITHOUT THEM THEY WOULD BE RUINED> THEY MAKE TRILLIONS SELLING TOXIC DRUGS TO THE PUBLIC. THE CAUSE OF DISEASE IS THROUGH THE DIET. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. FOOD TODAY IS LACKING IN NUTRIENTS, LOADED IN CHEMICALS FOR THE BODY TO THRIVE. THE GP HAS HARDLY TOUCHED ON THIS SUBJECT DURING MED SCHOOL WHICH IS A SHAME. NATUROPATHS FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE DISEASE WHEREAS ALLOPATHS JUST CURE THE SYMPTOMS. ITS A LITTLE LIKE KILLING THE ALARM BELLS AND NOT NOTICING THE SMOKE, NO WONDER THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE DYING OF DEGENERATIVE DISEASES TODAY. THE FOOD INDUSTRY IS KILLING THE PLANET WITH ALL THE GM ,PROCESSED,ANTIOBIOTIC TOXIC LADEN FOOD WITH ARTIFICIAL COLOURS & FLAVOURS, PROCESSING AND TOXIC BPA PLASTICS. DISEASE CAN BE CONTROLLED AND PREVENTED USING NATURAL MEDICINE THE BODYS, WAY OF HEALING!! HELP THE BODY TO HEAL ITSELF. THESE STUPID PEOPLE THAT RUBBISH NATUROPATHY ARE UNEDUCATED , EGOTISTICAL AND IGNORANT !

  71. The goal of allopathy is to provide a luxury or privilege to the public. The goal of naturopathy is to educate the public on how to take control of their own lives and to take 100% responsibility for their health. Naturopathy is more of a ‘do-it-yourself’ type of approach. There have been many deaths related to pharmaceutical drugs. However, one cannot disparage the great number of people that synthetic medicine has helped. Everyone has the right to their own choices.

  72. Where the fuck do you people come from? Honestly, where?

  73. I really want to know. I somehow doubt black elderberries would help with the intractable pain I’ve suffered from for the last 3 of my 25 years. Thankfully, the VA only prescribes things that work.

    Please though, feel free to imbibe bullshit as much as you would like.

  74. wow i cant believe the amount of idiots here advocating naturopathy, have fun dying at 45, natural selection.

  75. Without any expectation that I will receive any kind of sensible response from the likes of Elaine I will ask for the nth time, where n is a very big number indeed:

    1. Why would not a single evil pharma company patent and market compounds that actually worked, so as to bankrupt its rivals? Do they all have to sign some Universal Code of Evil Conduct that not a single pharmacologist in any country ever tells about or disobeys?

    2. Do all doctors, all over the world, sign the same unbreakable contract and also never tell? Are medical students thrown out or doctors struck off for showing traces of morality or a conscience?

    3. If modern medicine is super-evil and designed to hurt us, why has life expectancy done nothing but rise for the last century?

    4. Do you think that SHOUTING and lots of spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and exclamation marks shows that you are less UNEDUCATED , EGOTISTICAL AND IGNORANT than people who do not do these things? I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with you on the first and last of those things at any time, Elaine. The middle one… well, are you really saying that thinking you alone have the smarts to see what the rest of us brain-dead morons cannot understand is not egotistical?

    Can you spell “IRONY”? No, I thought not.

  76. i can’t believe how ignorant many posters on here are being. you see ND’s for different reasons that MD’s. naturopaths can not and do not claim to heal serious diseases. as many others have previously stated, ND’s do nutrition, dietary counselling, herbal medicine, manual therapies, lifestlye education and other modalities to treat illnesses and restore health naturally. obviously, you will find some ND’s out there who are fakes and just try to take money from you, but i’m sure you’ll find MD’s that do that as well. obviously you would choose a MD over a ND for serious issues. i think some people really need to grow up.

    while i do believe that most ND are legit (because i know what they ACTUALLY do), i don’t believe they should be allowed to give out prescriptions- i’d just leave it up to my many local MD’s who would give you one if you asked.

  77. Gentlemen;I completely disagree with some of the comments found here.For example there is a herbal product that has shown to be able stop the progress of the Aids virus permanently without any side effects of any kind.I will provide proof of this to whoever wants this information
    Luis Reichman
    export89@hotmail.com

  78. Just read your most of your article and some of the comments; don’t know what your experience has been with naturopaths, but your article is definitely full of hate. I, actually, am considering attending an accredited naturopath medical school. There are not many– the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools lists only 7– 2 in Canada and 5 in the U.S. I was a pre-med student who studied nutrition many years ago in college (about 25 years ago), but I didn’t attend medical school due to family obligations. I wanted, and still want to be, a doctor, but I have always wanted to be a doctor who put nutrition in the fore front of fighting disease. Most medical schools have one or two classes on nutrition. I agree that most people who consider themselves “naturopaths” are complete quacks–I researched one where I live and the woman had taken just one nutrition class. However, I believe that the schools that are accredited have some merit and this is a field that should be given more recognition. Also, at
    this time, there are only 16 states that recognize a naturopathic doctor.

    If you research this career, you will see that naturopaths do not and should not replace an MD; they should and can/do work in conjunction with them. There are clinics that have both types of doctors and an MD can refer a patient to a ND and vice-versa. In our society today, many of our health issues are related to weight–obesity is at an all time high; this is where the naturopaths can come in–prevention of diseases, wellness class, education, etc.

    ND’s can also work for corporations as wellness consultants, etc. There is a growing need for competent people in this field and it needs to be regulated just like the “normal” medical field to weed out the quacks.

  79. Michael I don’t think it was appropriate to spill such hate into your article, you have to remember these are people. If you don’t agree with natural ways of health then fine but there is no need for hate.

    Having said that I am an extreme believer in healing your body the natural way. Having my mother diagnosed with breast cancer when i was just 15, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me that the doctors would want to put a carcinogen to help cure cancer (chemotherapy). I started to do research for myself and found a body of knowledge that just made so much more sense than allopathic medicines. After gathering information about nutrition and enabling your body to heal itself I presented it to my family and they quickly jumped on board. The Chemo was discontinued and my mother followed the Gerson Therapy while on naturopathic supervision ( Look up the Gerson Therapy). Long story short her cancer regressed and now ,6 years later, she is completely cancer free.

    After seeing such a great turn around I quickly tried to spread word as much as possible but it was immediately met with hate and disgust. People are so set in their ways and once you tell them something different they scoff at you. It is human nature to be scared or become agressive when their very dogma is threatened.

    At your point of “old doesn’t mean it’s better” in the case of health it does. Indigenous people who live according to their ancestors are the healthiest peoples on the planet. If you don’t believe me do a quick google search of doctors investigating the health of indigenous people. The reasoning behind this is that their ancestors had grown accustomed to a diet and through thousands of years of evolution, the diet is directly connected to their health. If suddenly these indigenous people were removed from their diet, health problems will ensue. It’s much how the native americans’ health has deteriorated after adopting a western meat heavy diet instead of staying true to their roots and sticking to a plant heavy diet. Now that’s not to say that plants are the only way for a person to reach optimal health, for example eskimos’ ancestors relied on a heavy fish/meat diet and if they were to suddenly adopt a strong plant and herb diet, there would be repercussions.

    “I want my medicine to be new, awesome, and if possible, administered by a robot from the future.”

    Awesome idea, it makes me smile to think of a robot doctor:) and it some cases medicine being new is exactly what we do need. In life threatening situations, life saving antibiotics, life saving cortisone steroids, and epinephrine shots can be extremely valuable. But for the most part technology and health do not go hand in hand. Talking about the most technological advanced society (U.S.A.), we may be able to get a man on the moon and build skyscrapers but we cannot stop from 750,000 people dying from cancer this year and 400,000 people dying from heart disease. Not to even mention the countless number of diseases/conditions existant in the U.S. and non existant in indigenous populi like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism and many, many more.

    “.the human body is really good at succumbing to pathogens and injury, and the “natural” world is really good at killing us.”

    The human body is only really good at succumbing to pathogens when it is unhealthy. There is no reason for a human to ever get a disease even in extreme old age. I have taken care of my body since i was 16 and I haven’t even caught the common cold in 5 years.

    You have the assumption that the body cannot heal itself. But you must think in terms of evolution, we were evolved and made stronger by surviving, our bodies are the ultimate survivors. They just don’t sit idly by as our bodies catch a cold or die. Why do you think we have white blood cells and the like. So if our body can heal a cut, bruise or bacterial infection on its own then why can it not heal chronic conditions on its own? If you give your body something to work with then you are making your body stronger. People look at it as the “apple” is doing the healing… no of course not and i think this is what stems a lot of the skeptics. An apple isn’t doing the healing, the apple is enabling your body to heal itself.

    I am absolutely 100% sure that nutrition goes hand in hand with healing. I believe cancer along with all chronic autoimmune diseases and cognitive function related illnesses are all 100% curable. It is a shame that people would rather trust an institution that prides itself in using artificial foreign chemicals to try and outsmart mother nature and treat symptoms rather than working with mother nature to feed the body micro nutrients which has sustained our genome for hundreds of thousands of years.

    The good news is we have a general public that is finally catching on to the power of food. While medical doctors continue to find the perfect deadly cocktail, the average joe is doing a simple google search and finding a body of knowledge that will prove life saving for him and his family. Ahh i love the power of internet :)

    A lil ways down the road, much to your dislike, nutrition will be given the fair nod. The medical community along with Big Pharma will be exposed and it will all crumble.

  80. The naturalistic fallacy is a pathway to many stupidities that some consider to be unnatural.

  81. Hey Tanner, it’s so cool you have it all figured out! I’m with you! All these crazy treatments like pain killers and antibiotics and especially vaccines, which we know cause autism, tooth decay, gum disease, hang nails, school shootings, cats, bad hair cuts, erectile dysfunction, AIDS, string cheese and so on! Ban vaccines man! Ban them!

    Almost everything you had to say is bullshit. Before modern medicine people lived a pretty long time. Even in medieval times people commonly lived into their late 50′s and even many people into their 60′s and a few into their 70′s. What fucks it all up is the fact that infant mortality rates were astronomical that obviously drags down average lifespan.

    They had access to all the same natural bullshit and yet it didn’t help a whole lot. Do you have a specific group of indigenous people in mind? Because in most places infant mortality is still very high among the natives. As are deaths from hunting accidents, disease and warring.

    I’m just saying. Now if you will excuse me I am going to go take some delicious, “big pharma”, pain killers so I’ll be able to make it through the day.

  82. Nate, honestly after reading your post i was curious if another tanner had posted before me. You brought up completely different points that i never even touched. Your assumptive nature is argumentative, unwarranted, and provides little to the discussion so for the sake of science leave your short comings outside of the conversation.

    I never mentioned pain killers, antibiotics, nor vaccines but you made the assumption that i was against them. In reality I am a proponent of Vaccines and believe those who don’t vaccinate their kids in today’s world is acting irresponsibly. Having said that I do believe vaccines could be made much safer. I support vaccines in the society today because the human genome on our modern society is weakened and we need these vaccines to defend our bodies against illnesses.

    “Almost everything you had to say is bullshit. Before modern medicine people lived a pretty long time. Even in medieval times people commonly lived into their late 50′s and even many people into their 60′s and a few into their 70′s. What fucks it all up is the fact that infant mortality rates were astronomical that obviously drags down average lifespan.”

    This one i found funny… “almost everything you had to say is bullshit” and then you go on to defend that statement by brining up a point i never brought up, infant mortality. Kudos for trying. Second off… you made my argument for me. Yes people lived a long time before modern medicine because they were closer in nature to their ancestors. As for infant mortality, it is the brightest gem in the medical community in my opinion. Infant survival is nothing short of brilliance in modern societies. But then again i didn’t mention that in my last post and i am talking about true health here not infant mortality… im talking about sustaining optimal health through life.

    “They had access to all the same natural bullshit and yet it didn’t help a whole lot. Do you have a specific group of indigenous people in mind? Because in most places infant mortality is still very high among the natives. As are deaths from hunting accidents, disease and warring.”

    I don’t know how helpful “natural bullshit” would be with infant mortality seeing as infants would die within the first few hours of birth or even sooner. As for the indigenous people yes i do have people in mind, the Vilcabamba people of ecuador, The Tarahumaras of Mexico, and the Hunzas of Northern Pakistan just to name a few and believe me I know many many more. Sure deaths in these communities might be high due to hunting accidents and disputes, but was this thread about safety and security? As for disease these populi actually show some of the lowest numbers of diseases. It’s actually interesting in 1939 Dr. Weston Price published a detailed study in which he traveled around the globe and studied the dental hygiene of the indigenous populi. Now dental hygiene is a key indicator of overall health seeing as it is one of the only ways to get a good look at the digestive tract. Dr. Price noted that the indigenous peoples had substantially more healthy teeth than those living in the modern nations. He took pictures of many of the native peoples and let me tell you these people could be on the crest white commercials today. Their teeth are stunning and many of them didn’t even have methods of brushing their teeth.

    I think a lot of the hatred with naturopathic medicine lies with those who use herbal treatments. I am not a firm believer in these herbal treatments for really one main reason. Even though we may all be humans we have all adapted to life on earth in different ways and from different backgrounds and while one group of people respond well to herbs, that doesn’t mean another group of people will. Take for example Steve Jobs ( R.I.P.) Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004 and immediately tried eastern herbal treatments. He didn’t get worse but unfortunately he didn’t get better. Now these eastern chinese herbal medicines are HIGHLY regarded by the chinese to be extremely useful in healing but i didn’t seem to have the same effect on Mr. Jobs.

    Well of course it’s not going to work. People need to stop thinking that what works for one person will work for everyone. Mr Jobs wasn’t chinese, so his ancestors were not acquainted with those herbal remedies so by introducing a completely new substance, his body didn’t know what to do with it. Chinese herbal treatments work well for Chinese. Native American herbs work well for Native Americans etc. So yes I don’t think that the naturopath doctors who prescribe patients herbs in hopes that they will respond well to it is very responsible nor does it make much sense.

    I believe if you give the body something that it has seen before in it’s thousands of years of evolution, then the body can work to heal itself.

    You seem to not agree that true indigenous people are some of the healthiest people in the world. But in most regards it is an undisputed fact. Many top evolution researchers and anthropologists are in agreement that these indigenous super humans that I named earlier are healthy because they have stayed true to their ancestors’ diets.

    If you need a more modern example look at Japan. They consistently live extremely long and have some of the lowest cancer rates in the world. Yet they smoke more than the United States and are subject to even more environmental chemicals than the average american. They are able to ward off cancer because they have kept their immune systems strong through diet. Their ancestors had developed the diet based on their surroundings and their bodies were able to find strength in their food. Now I promise you as time progresses and systems of agriculture change in japan (as they are now) and they abandon their diets, they will get sick.

    If you respond to this post, for the sake of science, try to stick to what i talked about. Don’t randomly bring up the fracturing of bones and how well versed the medical community is at that.

  83. This is from my experience. I was on anti-depressants, a “modern” medicine and it fucked up my body worse than it was before. I got insomia, anxiety, worsened depression (go figure), and migranes. I figured out by myself that meditation, a good diet and natural remedies did a much better job. I’m considering a career in naturopathic medicine and I find your post rather closed-minded and ignorant. As a matter a fact, now I want to get an education at a medical college THEN at Bastyrs university, just so your argument of me being a “uneducated quack about the human body” would be invalid.

  84. Well, I’m glad you at least know enough to differentiate between a medical school and a naturopathic school.

  85. Please tell me you are not a practicing physician. I would hate for you to be my doctor, Micheal!

  86. There absolutely is a difference between a medical school and a naturopathic school. Medical schools teach students that are aspiring to be MDs to thoroughly study the human body and allopathic treatment approaches to diseases/injuries. Then, once they become MDs, and based on their knowledge of the human body and conventional treatment approaches, they determine the proper conventional course of action in caring for people that are ill or injured, such as pharmaceutical drugs and surgical procedures. Naturopathic schools teach students that are aspiring to become NDs to also thoroughly study the human body. However, the difference lies in the treatment approaches. NDs ‘treat’ patients by educating them on how to take control of their own lives and motivating them in doing so. They counsel their patients on making lifestyle changes such as eating more healthfully and being more active. Although MDs also recommend lifestyle changes, they do not emphasize them, whereas NDs do.

  87. A few naturopathic schools teach the ‘art’ of cupping. Please explain how that is useful in caring for anyone.

  88. I never mentioned cupping, and I also don’t know anything about it. The only aspects that I know of in naturopathy are dietary modifications and lifestyle changes.

  89. Cupping is one of the pieces of some naturopathic ‘educations’. Other aspects include homeopathic ‘medicine’ and other pseudoscience.

  90. It’s unfair to categorize all of naturopathy to pseudoscience. In some aspects it is but that doesn’t mean the entire knowledge base is pseudoscience, read my posts above.

  91. haha, “mountebank”…was this blog written in the 16th century? get some modern vocabulary…personally, i recommend the word “shitcunt”

  92. it is clear from the comments that people in support of naturopaths seem like alot more balanced and intelligent beings compared to the negative, ignorant people who put their trust in companies that just want to make money from them. btw there is a cure for cancer, brain tumors and a whole list of terminal illnesses that doesn’t require an appointment, flashy machines, or fancy techniques and mountains of cash: cannabis!! ‘PROVEN’ by ‘SCIENCE’ :P

  93. Citation needed.

  94. I just noticed that Mr. Hawkins said Naturopaths aren’t real doctors here…

    Do they not have to take all the same anatomy and physiology courses a “real” doctor would?…YEP

    Don’t they have to take all the other courses that a regular doctor would…..YEP

    Would they really need the ability to issue scripts….NOPE.

  95. @peace

    Where are you getting your cannabis where it don’t require “mountains of cash”?….lol…

    This is true though, and being researched elsewhere in this world, and was even discovered, then suppressed, in 1976 here in America. But right now, in Spain I believe, there is a study going researching the efficacy of cannabis and it’s active compounds in the treatment and healing of several types of cancer, mainly colon cancer.

  96. Don’t they have to take all the other courses that a regular doctor would…..YEP

    They don’t, actually. Their courses are largely a small selection of basic undergrad work and then a whole host of garbage courses like Cupping and Homeopathy. Most naturopaths would be unable to gain acceptance into a proper medical school.

  97. I don’t know about your state regulations regarding ND certification and licensing, but where I live, all the programs for ND certification are quite extensive, with full residency and all that jazz. We have schools for Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Accupuncture ect. ALL forms of health care here require licensing and strict state certifications. Most of these courses are held at major campuses throughout the state. Even one of these schools to offer up ND course work is a prestigious university. I will omit which state.

    It takes 7 years of schooling to be licensed a ND in my state. 4 years of of this is taught in a medical school so……you may want to research a bit more before you make blanket statements like this.

  98. You’ve confused a quackery quacking naturopathic school for a medical school.

  99. […] Article Infuriates Me http://forthesakeofscience.com/2009/…gerous-quacks/ The ethos of Michael Hawkins, the author of this asinine article, is vituperative in nature. […]

  100. […] This entry was posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2013 by marshall. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-42433355-1', 'mastercleanseone.com'); ga('send', 'pageview'); http://forthesakeofscience.com/2009/…gerous-quacks/ […]

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