Alberta gives naturopaths full status as medical professionals

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Snuckles
Alberta gives naturopaths full status as medical professionals

Quote:
Alberta has beefed up the powers of its naturopathic doctors, giving them full status as medical professionals but stopping short of funding treatment.

The move – chiefly, the creation of a College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta – allows the profession to self-regulate and weed out those who don’t meet certain standards.

Read it [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-gives-naturopaths-f....

6079_Smith_W

I'm not sure what is wrong with the province agreeing to a set or professional standards and proscriptions.

I don't agree with all practices that fall under naturopathy, but I recognize that accredited doctors of Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and other alterhative systems are in fact doctors, and have on occasion treated illnesses more effectively, less-invasively, and less arrogantly than western medical professionals.

Do you have a problem with the terms of this agreement, or the fact that naturopaths are allowed to practice at all?

 

 

eastnoireast

I'm not sure what is wrong with the province agreeing to a set or professional standards and proscriptions.

that's a lot more measured a response than i was inclined to give to this cheap shot thread title.

i use a naturopath as my primary care provider, and have just watched a close family member get fumbled and, well, killed, by a conventional medical system with big fancy machines, mostly inept doctors, zero sense of the importance of "food as medicine", and not much common sense. (but god love all the nurses, and the really exemplary surgeon who appeared on the scene too late).

so, snuckles, i'd really appreciate it if you didn't just toss of a provocative thread title and a link to an article, without bothering to even attempt to articulate a personal considered opinion on the subject.  because otherwise, you're just acting like a troll.

Sineed

Naturopathy 101:

Quote:

Three years ago, Dr. Kimball Atwood wrote an excellent series of SBM posts on naturopathy, including efforts to license naturopaths in several states (In four parts: 1234)[2] Since then, naturopathy has fairly regularly appeared on SBM, its pseudoscientific practices and threats to public health offering plenty of grist (gluten-free or not) for the scientific mill in posts by Drs. Gorski (also this one), Lipson, and Kroll.

All posts are highly recommended, but if you’re pressed for time, here’s Dr. Gorski’s description of naturopathy:

…a hodge-podge of mostly unscientific treatment modalities based on vitalism and other prescientific notions of disease. As a result, typical naturopaths are more than happy in essence to ‘pick one from column A and one from column B’ when it comes to pseudoscience, mixing and matching treatments including traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbalism, 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.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/legislative-alchemy-i-natu...

The difficulty with legislative bodies regulating CAM is it legitimizes pseudosciences, giving them an aura of respectability. 

A couple of years ago, intrepid moderator Rebecca West pointed out that homeopathy does no harm. A fair comment, since homeopathy does nothing at all, aside from the placebo effect, so what's wrong with folks using it if they want to? And some of my colleagues have argued that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) provides remedies for the "worried well," folks who don't have anything seriously wrong with them who might derive some placebo effect from using unvalidated treatments for self-limiting illnesses like colds or mild seasonable allergies.

Reasonable arguments from reasonable people. Trouble is, if governments provide legitimacy to naturopathy, homeopathy, etc, and then say there's a cholera outbreak in Haiti, and a group wants to take over a boatload of homeopathic remedies? And there's corrupt government officials in some countries, such as S. Africa's former health minister, who promote "traditional" remedies over "western medicine" because they don't want to pay for expensive AIDS drugs that actually work.

 

kropotkin1951

I have some faith in some of the things that the author above lumps into one category. I have a hard time equating traditional Chinese medicine with homeopathy but if you have a cold it doesn't matter what you take it is pretty much going to run its course.  I think sugar pills do less harm than the over the counter remedies that are advertised as modern scientific cures.  As well there are health benefits from various types of massage including reflexology and there is no doubt that some but not all herbal medicines can have a positive effect on overall health. 

Mind you fresh food and clean water provide more health benefits than any of the above and will also do more to end disease on this planet faster than all the pharmaceuticals combined. Those two factors have I believe been proven to be the biggest factors in countries where the average age of citizens rises substantially.

Quote:

As a result, typical naturopaths are more than happy in essence to ‘pick one from column A and one from column B’ when it comes to pseudoscience, mixing and matching treatments including traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbalism, 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.

6079_Smith_W

I don't know, Sineed.

If more MDs looked to the source of disease rather than the symptoms, and if supporters of that system were less arrogant about it being the only way, I don't think there would be such a conflict. 

I scratched my cornea a few weeks ago. Guess where I went to check out that I hadn't done any serious damage? 

On the other hand members of my family have gone to naturopathic doctors who have discovered sensitivities to gluten, sugar and other stressors, with positive results. I have a friend whose chronic bowel infection was only relieved after treatment by a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, after many failed attempts with antibiotics.

Or maybe it just went away by itself.

Members of my family DO use homeopatic remedies for a few things. Yes, I am familiar with the Benveniste experiments, and I have seen the funny overdose videos. I have no idea what the process is, but I do know that when I give the remedy to the child who otherwise doesn't respond to anything because she is in a dream state, she stops freaking out and settles down - consistently.

So call me a fool, but in that case, I keep using the remedy.

I also know that the most tested and proven remedy there is is only as good as the person prescribing it. Case in point - the doctor who didn't bother to tell my dad that the glyburide he was taking would build up in his system and drive him to the edge of a coma.

So yes, I know there are people who fall for pseudomedicine, but I also don't believe the story that the line between quackery and healing is marked by whether one has a western medical degree or not, and I have dealt with enough real naturopaths and traditional doctors to know that not everything they do is nonsense. And I also think the medical establishment bears a bit of responsibility for people some people turning to other systems in frustration. For that reason, I go into my MD's office with the same degree of caution, and check and double check my options before taking her advice.

And I also don't believe that taking the steps to recognize and regulate an alternative system is going to open up the floodgates. After all, there already is an open market to some degree. And when it comes to regulating and licensing, the way the Canadian government and provinces do it is not the only way, even among developed nations.

 

 

Sineed

6079_Smith wrote:
I also know that the most tested and proven remedy there is is only as good as the person prescribing it. Case in point - the doctor who didn't bother to tell my dad that the glyburide he was taking would build up in his system and drive him to the edge of a coma.

I think you've hit upon the crux of the matter. A frequent mistake is conflating the quality of care with the treatment modality. So if you go to a naturopath or a homeopath, these are private sector practitioners that you are paying, so they treat you like a customer, spending lots of time with you, giving you all the space you need to express all your concerns. Contrast this approach with overworked doctors in our underfunded public health care systems, rushing people through so that they can get to everybody in the long queue in their offices.

Whenever I engage in discussions about CAM, its defenders cite the crap care they or a family member received at the hands of the publically-funded healthcare system as proof that science-based medicine doesn't work. One of the reasons I am such a staunch critic of CAM is that it bleeds resources away from our already stretched publically-funded system into unproven or discredited treatment modalities. So homeopaths are nice people but they are complete and utter quacks because homeopathy is a violation of the basic laws of physics. I mean, if substances became more potent with dilution, we would all be poisoned by water every time we took a drink.

Same goes for naturopaths, the magpies of CAM as my previous post described. For instance, diet and exercise are a mainstay of mainstream medicine, but many proponents of naturopathy cite the diet their naturopaths gave them as proof of their legitimacy. You could go to a registered dietitian for this, and also avoid being prescribed useless and expensive "natural" remedies.

The acceptance of unproved/useless treatments is bolstered by the resiliency of the human body, which repairs itself much of the time despite what we do.

And yeah; glyburide is a dangerous drug and shouldn't be prescribed at all. The Canadian Diabetes Association guidelines warns against its use. One of my tasks in the last 6 months has been convincing the doctors in our clinic to stop prescribing it and to switch everybody on it to gliclazide (Diamicron), a drug in the same class, but much safer.

Fidel

Inequality makes Canadians sick 

Child Poverty Canada ranks 13th out of 17 peer countries - Social democracies score highest marks 

Sir Tony Benn wrote:
An educatedhealthy and confident nation is harder to govern. - from Michael Moore's Sicko

It's a no-brainer. It's not even rocket science. It's high time we cleaned some quack politicians from the halls of powerlessness in Ottawa.

6079_Smith_W

Who is complaining about doctors? I have a medical doctor, and I think I have a fairly good grasp on when I should go to her. But while I agree with you that western medicine has some of the hardest science behind it, it and some of its practitioners also have some dangerous flaws and blind spots, as I point out above.

What do you mean about bleeding resources.... you mean people paying their own money rather than going to the publicly funded system? Look, I support the public health system, but I think a person has every right to seek whatever kind of treatment he or she wants. And if that means a midwife, a chiropractor, a denturist  or massage therapist (practices which have also been portayed as snake oil, and in some cases made illegal, that is no one's business so long as they can be demonstrated to be safe.

So naturopathy is nonsense because homeopathy has no scientific foundation? Personally, I question the unnecessary (and let me stress unnecessary) use of antibiotics, the medicalization and drugging of perfectly natural things like adolescent development, and pediatric associations' sweeping condemnation of co-sleeping, among many, many other flaws, but that does not make western medicine as a whole nonsense, and I continue to trust my medical doctor's experience and good faith.

As you say, glyburide is dangerous and potentially deadly, yet it continues to be prescribed. How can you still support western medicine when you make sweeping condemnations of other modalities on less evidence? The notion that medical science is 100% right until something is proven to be wrong strikes me as just a little hard-line.

For that matter, I question the implication that there is such a hard line. Locally, one of the strongest proponents I know of aromatherapy is a registered nurse, who is quite stringent about evidence-based treatment, and quality control. One of our local acupuncturists is also a medical doctor, and I know of a number of doctors who are supportive enough of quackery that they will sign off on medical tests, and discuss contraindications rather than telling their patients to run screaming.

And if all these quackeries can be covered by western systems then why do we still have Dr. Brian Goldman on CBC last week puzzling about how to deal with the epidemic of diabetes in Canada, or cancer, or heart disease and stroke? You know as well as I do what the prime risk factors for all these killers are.

I interviewed a fellow 20 years ago who was told by his doctors he would spend his life in a wheelchair because of arthritis. He had to figure out all by himself the role of food and environment in his condition, and discover mechanical aids to prove their advice wrong.

And the presumed resilience of the human body notwithstanding, I don't think that is any excuse to start setting safe limits for exposure to toxins in cases where we are not in fact sure of the consequences. And if we want to talk about bleeding resources, just because our bodies can take abuse is that any reason to push standards to the point where we know damage is taking place?

So no, I don't buy the line that the best information, and the best approach always falls under western medicine.  Dieticians do not cover all the same areas as doctors - medical, naturopathic or TCM. And for that matter there are a number of modalities where western medicine takes a back seat to alternative therapies. Manual drainage as a treatment for lymphedema is just one example I can think of where our local health regions aren't having their resources bled away, but are in fact seeking out practitioners to do this much-needed work that their system is not equipped to handle, and about which they do not have the best training.

And I should probably fess up that I have a family member who is doing this work, which is part of the reason I see a clear need for it.

 

Sineed

6079_Smith wrote:
So naturopathy is nonsense because homeopathy has no scientific foundation?

Partially, because homeopathy is a mainstay of treatment in naturopathic practice.

The trouble with our healthcare system is partly due to a lack of funding, as I mentioned above. But also it suffers from a paucity of science-based medicine. So people get prescribed glyburide when they should not, or antibiotics for colds. And I recently learned that treating fevers is not evidence-based; that fever creates a hostile environment for infectious agents and is a part of our bodies' natural defense against the development of sepsis.

This thread is an example of what happens when CAM is debated: people bring forth anecdotes of the terrible care they received. This bad care often occurs because physicians were not practicing science-based medicine. The remedy for a lack of adequate science is not even less science:

Quote:
Mr. Caulfield recently published a study probing the practices advocated by naturopathic doctors in B.C. and Alberta.

He found that they, almost without exception, were advising controversial therapies and techniques such as homeopathy, vitamin supplements, colon cleanses, ozone therapy, hair analysis, chelation therapy and herbal remedies that insert lavages into the nasal canal.

“For all of these things, there’s absolutely no good evidence to support them, or there’s a very, very limited effect, just above placebo,” he said. “Just because a group of healthcare providers is regulated doesn’t mean the treatments they provide are effective.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/26/alberta-creates-college-to-overs...

Mr. Caulfield, a professor in the Faculty of Law and School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, has recently published a book "The Cure for Everything," in which he discusses how people make health care choices:

Quote:
Many scientists believe that if people just knew more about science or understood the facts, they would be more rational about their health decisions. This view, which has been called the deficit model, is faulty. Research has shown that learning about science can have a dramatic impact on a person’s views about health issues – as I optimistically and perhaps naively hope this book will- but that this is not the norm. Supplying individuals with facts rarely alters beliefs. People see, select and interpret information about health (and many other topics) through individual and largely self-constructed lenses of preconceived beliefs, values, and fears.

As a health care professional, I feel the onus is on me to encourage more rational decision-making, not less. So among other things, I engage in discussions like this :)

Fidel wrote:

It's high time we cleaned some quack politicians from the halls of powerlessness in Ottawa.

That's interesting - at a recent skeptics event I attended, the lecturer, a PhD in microbiology, was speaking of how the Harper government muzzles scientists, and how we need more evidence-based politics and politicians.

 

Fidel

Good one, Sineed. Smile

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 

  In the article posted by Sineed, does anyone know what is being refered too when 'vitamin' supplements are put in with controversial or 'quack' therapies?  The article refers to vitamin injections but nothing more.  Just wondering where the line is because mainstream doctors use vitamins in treatment or at least some of the ones I'm familar with do.  I'm prescribed vitamins myself and get injections something that if I don't do my health and wellbeing suffers.   A relative who suffered for close to ten years as was diagnosed with numerous chronic conditions finally saw an eating disorder MD who determined that the root of what ailed her were nutrional deficiencies where a regimin of injections and then daily supplements were tantamount to a miracle cure.  All those supposed chronic conditions disappeared and she's a like a new person. 

 I suppose my question comes from a concern that relegating something like vitamins into the quack list without any real descriptor of what is meant by it is possibly discounting for people an important idea, coming from scientifically based evidence that nutrients (and nutrient deficiencies,  do make a difference to health. 

Sineed

Eliza Q wrote:
 I suppose my question comes from a concern that relegating something like vitamins into the quack list without any real descriptor of what is meant by it is possibly discounting for people an important idea, coming from scientifically based evidence that nutrients (and nutrient deficiencies,  do make a difference to health.

It's a fair question. People do sometimes suffer from nutritional deficiencies, and benefit from vitamin supplementation. A common one is B12 deficiency, which has numerous risk factors (age greater than 50, malapsorption syndromes from inflammatory bowel disease or gastrointestinal surgeries, long-term use of drugs that suppress acid production, adherence to a vegan diet).

But there is no evidence that vitamin supplementation benefits people who don't have vitamin deficiencies and can actually cause harm. When I was in pharmacy school, one of my professors referred to high dose multiple B and C supplementation as "expensive urine," because water soluble vitamins taken in excess of what the body needs are peed out. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body and can cause serious consequences in excess; too much vitamin A can cause birth defects, for instance. And the health claims made by the alt med community regarding vitamins are completely unsubstantiated.

Natural Health News wrote:
From other studies, it is known that deficiencies in all B vitamins, as well as vitamin C and D are common in diabetics. This can cause most of the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, which include: polyneuropathy, nephropathy (kidney damage), retinopathy (eye damage) and eventually heart failure.

Poppycock. The complications of diabetes are a consequence of elevated glucose levels resulting in toxic compounds that damage tissues. Diabetes complications have been proved to be mitigated by maintaining reduced blood glucose levels.

One of the problems is that good science is behind subscriber firewalls, while dangerous misinformation is available for free.

6079_Smith_W

Here's an interesting interactive database on natural remedies. I think I posted it here a few years ago:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/snakeoil-scientific-evidence-...

 

Note that it only covers placebo trials on humans. So even though some of us already know that drinking a cup of strong valerian will knock you on the floor, it is not worth it here.
Also, marijuana - probably one of the best examples of something which is outside of the tunnel-view of the medical establishment - is not there.
Still, interesting, and interactive. And a reminder that when the jury is out, it does not mean that sentence has been passed.

6079_Smith_W

Believe it or not, I engage in these discussions for the same reason, and I also support rational decision-making and best care. And while you are a health care professional, not all people within the medical system feel exactly the same about it as you do, as I pointed out above.

Also, I have said several times in this discussion that the flaws I see in the medical system do not mean that I don't recognize that if. for the most part, has the best evidence, and that when there is a condition I cannot fix myself that is usually where I go first.

If we are to discuss this issue what would you have me do? Base my position on nothing at all?

Believe it or not, supporting fevers (except when they rise too high or too fast) is also a mainstay of naturopathic medicine, and has been for some time. Does that still mean the practice was quackery until it was recognized by the medical establishment?

Lets discount doctors who misdiagnose and misprescribe, deliberately mislead (all things which have happened to me or members of my family) , and the fact that sometimes we learn that practices which are supposed to be safe aren't - like the recent revelations that some cold medications should not be given to young children at all (we use Nin Jiom, which has a safe limit, but that was written on the bottle already), or something I am reminded of when I see someone born a year before I was, when thalidomide was still in use.

The fact remains that very few if any doctors are going to prescribe things like hydrotherapy, recommend foods which can promote healing, or look to things - particularly subtle things - which might be putting stress on the body and causing disease. It's not that those methods don't work, or are in opposition to western medicine (after all, you can get epsom salts, castor oil, witchhazel and wild strawberry in any pharmacy); but they just things which most western doctors just don't seem to have in their toolkit. And while the medical system is more open now, that is only because there have been people willing to question the infallibility of doctors.

I have a friend who took a nursing job down in Texas about a decade ago. Part of her job description - have a cup of coffee waiting when a doctor walked in the room.

If I have pus running out of my ear am I going to get a homeopathic remedy? Of course not. But I mentioned one case in which a remedy seems to work consistently. Am I supposed to sit up for hours being punched and kicked by my semi-conscious daughter on a point of principle (as I have done)? Sorry; I don't care how or even if it works. She gets it; she stops. If I didn't get that result I would not continue.

But if I have a minor infection I'm not going to automatically run for polysporin or get a prescription of oral antibiotics when I know that air, salt water or a poultice will almost always do the trick in a less invasive way.

Bottom line for me is that if I have an acute condition that needs medical attention I'm probably going to go the medical doctor first. But in the case of something chronic, particularly something for which western medicine seems to not work, or to be harmful (and if you want a list, I can offer a few more examples) I have no problem with people looking to other methods, because in many cases these methods are sound.

I'm not trying to discredit western medicine - only the notion that all healing falls under its scope, and that there is no better source of information or treatment. Not that that isn't true in most cases, but I know for a fact that it is not true in ALL cases.

 

 

 

 

Sineed

I recall when you first posted that chart, 6079_Smith; I downloaded it, and still have it on my computer. As I mentioned in that previous thread a couple of years ago, there is no such thing as "alternative" medicine; just medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work. And I reiterate that using the term "Western" medicine is inaccurate. For one, the history of "western" medicine includes advances made by people who were not Western, such as Arab scholars. And also, the vast majority of practitioners of "western" medicine aren't western at all.

What is commonly called "western" medicine is actually the common intellectual property of all humanity. Referring to "western" medicine plays into the hands of alt med practitioners who seek to hide the uselessness of their remedies, moving the goal posts by creating their own personal walled garden of reality. So if I say that homeopathy doesn't work, homeopaths will say that's because I'm using reductive Western techniques in my evaluation.

Here's something I learned in school 25 years ago, give or take:

Quote:
Naturopaths assert that their "natural" methods, when properly used, rarely have adverse effects because they do not interfere with the individual's inherent healing abilities. This claim is nonsense. Any medication (drug or herb) potent enough to produce a therapeutic effect is potent enough to cause adverse effects. Drugs should not be used (and would not merit FDA approval) unless the probable benefit is significantly greater than the probable risk. Moreover, medically used drugs rarely "interfere with the healing processes." The claim that scientific medical care "merely eliminates or suppresses symptoms" is both absurd and pernicious.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Naturopathy/naturopath...

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 

 Thanks Sineed. I have the B12 issue myself which I expect is due to some sort of absorbstion issue.  Wouldn't surprise me if the relative I talked about has similar absorbtion issues as both of our diets don't warrent the numbers we show.  The sad thing though is that for me, my doctors who saw the numbers went for supplements right away. My relative went through close to ten years of doctors looking at her numbers until she finally came across one who thought hers warrented such a treatment. She even had doctors that told her it must be in her head and one doctor that was convinced she was anorexic which is how the eating disorder doctor came into the picture.  She wasn't though eventually relented in order to prove she wasn't.  Thank goodness she did because she more then likely would still be suffering from what essentially is a form of nourished malnourishment.  I can't help but wonder how many other people might be having similar sort of issues that go undiagnosed because it's not a typical go to explanation it seems.  

 

 A comment on the fever thing.  I didn't know that it now something that the medical establishment now is finding warrented. I was brought up that whenever anyone of developed a fever in went the fever reducing medicine regardless of how high it was.  When I took a course in herbal for minor ailments one of the discussions was about fever and what it does.  Basically that contrary to popular belief fever wasn't all bad that it was part of the way a body heals.  It really made perfect sense to me.   Since then (20 years +) when I ever I come down with a fever I've done nothing except keep track of it to make sure it doesn't go too high.  I've found that if I allow a day of 'fever' even though I feel like dirt if it's a higher one during I have my illness either never seems to develop into symptoms that other people get and it duration is less then people around me that are sick.  There's been numerous times that my family comes down with something we've been exposed to a I don't get as sick.  It's proven to be enough anecdotal evidence that my Mom and Dad started doing the same thing with the same results.  The hardest part of it is finding over the counter symptom meds (like decongestants) that don't have fever reducers in the mix.   

I think it's great and interesting that it's now something the mainstream is recognizing.  I feel someone vindicated for my wackiness.  lol 

I do and have for ages thought more along of lines Smith. There are some things that are downright 'quackiness'.  I don't completely dismiss it all though because I've found a good many things that tend to be lumped into the quack package to work and work well, especially for minor ailments and some chronic conditions.   Many of which over the years have found acceptance and usage in mainstream medicine.  The two that come to mind right off are the fever thing of course and things like the neti pot and similar things that do the same thing.   

It's always been a question of sorting it all out. 

Sineed

The fraud that is naturopathy:

KC Atwood, MD wrote:
Virtually every naturopath-patient interaction involves "fraud, deceit or misrepresentation of facts in connection with diagnosis, evaluation or treatment" of that patient. When a naturopath claims that "toxins" or "food allergies" or dietary sugar or "candidiasis" are the underlying causes of ear infections, learning disorders, fatigue, arthritis or numerous other problems, it is a misrepresentation of facts. When a naturopath uses "applied kinesiology" or "iridology" or "electrodiagnosis" or "hair analysis" or "live cell analysis" to make any "diagnosis," it is fraudulent. Whenever a naturopath recommends a "cleansing program" to treat specific problems, it is a misrepresentation of facts. When a naturopath performs "cranial osteopathy," "binasal specific," "colonic irrigation," or "electrical current in the form of positive galvanism, applied transrectally," that constitutes fraud. When a naturopath tells a patient that it's not necessary to treat strep throat with a genuine antibiotic to prevent rheumatic heart disease, it's a dangerous misrepresentation of facts. Each time that a naturopath claims that "natural antibiotics" such as goldenseal or garlic are adequate substitutes for real ones, it is an example of fraud. Almost all examples of naturopaths recommending "natural medicines," which are either known to be ineffective, are unlikely to be effective, or have yet to be studied, are fraudulent. Each time a naturopath sells her own "natural medicines" to a patient by claiming that they are preferable to what can be purchased on the open market, it constitutes deceit. Every instance of a naturopath warning a parent against childhood immunizations is a misrepresentation of facts.

 

6079_Smith_W

Look Sineed, "western" is common short-hand. No, it is no more accurate than "western" nations, but you and I and everyone else talking here understands what it means. It is not by definition a derogatory term because I am saying quite clearly that I recognize it.

Would you prefer that I make a list of all the provincial, state and federal medical governing bodies? Because that patchwork of authority is actually what we are talking about. And you probably know better than I that not all of them agree on best practices. It is not one thing common to all humanity. As I mentioned, compare the use of hydrotherapy as treatment in Europe as opposed to North America.

And I agree there is only medicine which works, and that which does not. Ginger worked as a nausea remedy long before it became the active ingredient in many over-the counter preparations.

And yes, I know it is not all from Europe - for instance a certain Turkish folk remedy that was brought back to England by Lady Wortley Montagu. 

My point is that not all medicine which works falls under the canopy of what we call "western" medicine.

Ask any midwife.

 

Sineed

What is the harm in "natural" remedies?

http://whatstheharm.net/naturopathy.html

Quote:

Naturopathy is a medical discipline that relies entirely on "natural" remedies. Because many of their methods are not backed by scientific testing, naturopaths often get into trouble.  Read more about naturopathy

Here are 200 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

What follows is a litany of people killed, disfigured or otherwise subjected to fleecing, paying for useless treatments by naturopaths. I forsee "but mainstream medicine kills people too." But mainstream medicine doesn't withhold effective treatments for cancer in favour of "natural" remedies, or inject people with so much vitamin C that their kidneys shut down. I have never dispensed strychnine, or herbal remedies to a baby born with a heart defect, or taken a diabetic's insulin away from them, or dispensed black salve that burns a woman's face off. Naturopaths also counsel people to avoid vaccinations, and to tally the morbidity and mortality from that, we have the Jenny McCarthy Body Count:

http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html

In my experience, the harm done by mainstream medicine, apart from errors, occurs when physicians don't follow evidence-based practice. Since the fields of Complementary and Alternative Medicine involve even less evidence, the potential harm can only be greater.

 

6079_Smith_W

Well what would you call turning normal childhood behaviour into ADHD (not to say that the condition doesn't exist at all) and drugging kids out of their minds? Or indiscriminate prescribing of painkillers, sleep aids and anti-depressants (and the resulting addiction problems). Consider how many car accidents alone have that as a factor.

Same for antibiotics (to the degree that that whole system may ultimately be useless) and countless other drugs. Or look at the rate of induced labour, supine delivery, epidurals and episiotomies - often having nothing to do with stress, but because the birth isn't happening according to schedule.

And then there is prescribing drugs to treat the side effects of other harsh drugs, with inevitable conflicts and further side effects, and effect on quality of life.

Just a benign example: My dad loved bananas, but of course because of his kidneys and their potassium content he couldn't have them. Except that the doctor went and prescribed potassium pills so his levels wouldn't get too low. Does that not seem a little absurd - that because the medical system isn't built to figure out how much potassium is in a banana a person has to forego one of his favourite foods AND take an unnecessary supplement?

Its not that they don't have the means; they just don't think along any lines other than their methods and their drugs.

These things aren't malpractice or mistakes. They are standard, accepted practice, they dwarf the horror stories of quack medicine, and the only reason they aren't more of a scandal is because they are considered as normal as female hysteria used to be, and because many people have a blind trust, or are badgered and intimidated (I know this from personal experience) into accepting them.

Look. I'm not trying to bring you around to my point of view, and I do recognize your experience. But I also think we talking across each others' arguments. I don't oppose western medicine outright. And I do not support practices which seem to not work, or which burn people's faces off.

But I do support the less-invasive approach of many alternative therapies - something which is clearly missing from western medicine. And when it comes to situations in which standard therapies and drugs are not working, or are causing problems, I have no problem with someone trying something else which may work.

If we want to talk about bleeding resources, I have heard a number of news reports (most recently last week) about people running to emergency when they stub a toe. That is another result of people learning to always leap for a medical solution, rather than thinking about what they might be able to do themselves to maintain their health. That is not the same as rejecting the system, or falling for quack remedies.

And I was thinking about the "western" label last night. Medicine may encompass more than Europe and North America, but I think it is still the case (changing, I know) that the only degrees recognized here are Canadian, British, American and South African.

Why would that be? Are people's bodies that much different in Germany, India, or Vietnam?

Michelle

Step right up and get your Homeopathic Insect Repellant!

All you have to do is take one of these inert sugar pills with no active ingredients INTERNALLY, and that will somehow, by magic, convince the mosquitoes not to bite you.

I know, hard to believe, right, that eating a little sugar pill instead of applying something topical will be effective against mosquitoes?  But it must be true, because it's been approved by Health Canada.

But you know what?  I have a cheaper idea.  Instead of wasting 50 cents per pill on these sugar pills, why not just buy a big bag of sugar and eat a half-teaspoonful of it per day to keep the bugs away?  That would cost you mere pennies per month, and be just as effective!  And then you don't have to get ripped off by Big Homeopathic Pharma, either!

onlinediscountanvils

Michelle wrote:

Step right up and get your Homeopathic Insect Repellant!

 

Ha! No thanks! Although, I do think homeopathy is being used as a red herring with regard to the question of whether or not it's a good thing that naturopathic practitioners have some recognized professional standards.

Sineed

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

I do think homeopathy is being used as a red herring with regard to the question of whether or not it's a good thing that naturopathic practitioners have some recognized professional standards.

While it's true that us skeptics do like to bring up homeopathy because it's the most egregiously fallacious and easily discredited of all Complementary and Alternative Medicine fields, it's also true that naturopaths use homeopathy in their practice. And if naturopaths recommend remedies based on premises that violate basic laws of physics, it calls into question their suitability for licensure as acredited practitioners.

At the federal level, the Harper government is muzzling scientists who don't adhere to a conservative agenda. Those of us who work in addiction medicine have been sharply critical of Tony Clement and his non-evidence-based critique of addiction treatment, but the Harpercons have been limited in their ability to do harm (ie, shut down InSite) because the feds don't provide health care. OTOH, if at the provincial level we have governments offering accreditation to assorted purveyors of useless/discredited/unproven medical practices, there is the potential for real harm to the public because it is the provincial government that dictates health care services.

6079_Smith points out correctly that mainstream medicine practitioners frequently don't follow evidence-based practice. All gains made in life expectancy in the past centuries are made on the basis of science based practice, both in public health and in medicine, where people have been able to set aside the superstitions of the past. Science-based practice is the ideal because it is the only area where real gains are made, as it is based not on superstition or culture but on the reality of this physical world in which we all live.

Michelle

I don't have a problem with naturopaths doing things like advising people on preventative stuff like diet and nutrients and such.  I actually went to a naturopath a couple of times, can't remember why now, but I think I just thought it would be a good complementary approach to my family doctor's medical care. I didn't continue because my plan only covered up to a certain dollar amount and I couldn't afford to go without my plan paying for it. 

And while she was excellent about spending time to get to know me and how my body in particular has been doing, and she had good ideas for preventative care through food and exercise, she also was into the homeopathic bunk, which I wasn't having any of, because frankly, I couldn't afford to spend my low income on overpriced inert plain old water and sugar pills.  The more I spent on that crap, the less I would have had to spend on nutritious food, which I think is detrimental to the patient in a pretty direct way.  That's one way that homeopathy can be said not to be "harmless".

If you can get past that and make it clear to your naturopath that you aren't interested in the woo woo stuff but that you would like to focus on preventative medicine (which was my line, and which my naturopath was willing to do, in conjunction with my family doctor's regular care), then great.  But I can also understand why others would be scared away from naturopathic care by the woo that too many of them insist on promoting along with the legit stuff.

6079_Smith_W

Michelle wrote:

If you can get past that and make it clear to your naturopath that you aren't interested in the woo woo stuff but that you would like to focus on preventative medicine (which was my line, and which my naturopath was willing to do, in conjunction with my family doctor's regular care), then great.  But I can also understand why others would be scared away from naturopathic care by the woo that too many of them insist on promoting along with the legit stuff.

Interestingly enough, that is exactly the same approach I take with our medical doctor. In fact, I think that due diligence applies to pretty much anything - medical, personal, or political - that people might want to get involved with.

And Sineed, I don't think the difference I am trying to cut through here has anything to do with skepticism. Frankly, I consider myself one; It is good that we are both skeptical, but that is not a valid defense of anyone's position.

And while I agree with the notion that science-based treatment is almost always best, no, I don't agree that ALL the gains in recent centuries have been because of science-based practice. The fact is that many of the significant advances which extended lifespan were discovered through traditional medicine long before science claimed it as its own.

Nobody did medical trials when Native North Americans shared the cure for scurvy. Nobody even understood the actual mechanism until much, much later. They just knew that it worked.

British doctors may have refined the technique of vaccination, but they did not invent it. It was happening by sheer accident in Britain, and was folk medicine in Turkey.

Medicine. Not superstition.

For that matter, sanitation, and clean water (or the use of beer and wine rather than water) have improved and extended life for millennia, long before people understood infection and disease transmission. Clean water and sanitation are STILL more important than any medical  treatment when it comes to dealing with disease. Look at the forgotten, yet very recent history of epidemics in North America.

I don't have a problem with western medicine taking traditional cures, testing them, and incorporating them into their body of knowledge. In fact, I wish they would do more of it. The problem comes when they act like it is exclusively their domain, and start building up walls against treatments which in some cases DO work, or which are left untested or unused because there isn't a buck to be made. Or just left by the way-side, as the British tradition seems to have done with treatments which are actively used by real, not-supertitious medical doctors in Europe and other parts of the world (and in fact, which are actively and effectively used here).

And while there are plenty of examples of modalities shut out by western medicine, the most telling one I can think of is midwifery. Are there still doctors who would prefer to see it banned rather than regulated, now that it has been established that low-risk births are safer at home?

I also have a problem with the notion that one can divorce the science of medicine from its practical application. How can one talk of, on the one hand, being wary of naturopaths  while ignoring the very real excesses (many of which are NOT mistakes) in western medicine? Further, when one talks of quackery, why are we just talking about alternative therapies, while we forget some of the outright medical falsehoods I mentioned above?

Practical medicine is not infallible, and it is all the more dangerous because many of its practitioners think their findings are backed up by an infallible foundation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/opinion/more-treatment-more-mistakes.html

When we compare the power and financial incentive behind drug companies, and medical establishment which have gone to the extent ot presuming to patent parts of nature, how can one compare that to the interests of alternative medicine?

Not that I am saying one should discount results or scientific testing, but the fact is there is an active effort against legitimate testing, and against the application of some therapies which clearly are effective.

Slumberjack

Between big pharma's profit pills and things like the Grotto of Lourdes, there's a niche for just about every persuasion.  It shouldn't surprise us when the fable otherwise known as politics sanctions it all.

Sineed

People turn to CAM because they find mainstream medicine inadequate, either because of substandard care they received, or because they have a condition refractory to current medical knowledge. Makes sense that people would look elsewhere under these circumstances.

But CAM is the wrong place to turn. First of all, if someone has an incurable or difficult to treat condition, CAM is worse because it isn't science-based. Secondly, the shortcomings of mainstream medicine that derive from human failings are going to be more apparent in CAM because there isn't the science to keep people in check. The sins of pharmaceutical companies are legion, from thalidomide to Vioxx, the "me too" drugs, and all the misuse of statistics. But fraud is exposed by science, which is based on reality. If people think that reality is a reductive Western construct, and truth is a matter of perception rather than reality, they are vulnerable to exploitation. And CAM is often a sCAM.

Michelle

Question for Sineed and others who might know:

What do you think of physiotherapy tools such as electrotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound?  I've been having both recently and I'm curious, particularly about the therapeutic ultrasound, about whether they've actually been proven scientifically to be effective.  The electrotherapy feels pretty good at the time it's happening, but the ultrasound doesn't feel like anything at all.

I've googled both, but I'm not finding much about them, although I did find an article about therapeutic ultrasound that is quite sceptical, says it's no better than placebo.

Unionist

Thank you, yet again, for hanging out here, Sineed!

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Michelle wrote:

Question for Sineed and others who might know:

What do you think of physiotherapy tools such as electrotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound?  I've been having both recently and I'm curious, particularly about the therapeutic ultrasound, about whether they've actually been proven scientifically to be effective.  The electrotherapy feels pretty good at the time it's happening, but the ultrasound doesn't feel like anything at all.

I've googled both, but I'm not finding much about them, although I did find an article about therapeutic ultrasound that is quite sceptical, says it's no better than placebo.

 

 Hey Michelle,  I had ultrasound done as part of physical therapy on my knees about 15 years ago when I came down with severe tendonits related to a cartilege injury in one knee.  From what I understand about it works is that it 'heats up' the tissues in order to do things like improve circulation and reduce inflamation.  It's the same idea as using a hot pack on an injury or what happens with theraputic massage.  The sound waves can reach much deeper then those can though so it's not something that you can feel.  As far as the science behind it goes I did find a host of science articles on it.   It's been used for years. 

My anecdotal evidence from my own experience is that it worked well.  It was one of the main therapies I got for the tendonitis.  What I found interesting about my case was that when I originally got physio one knee was worse then the other.  The doctor felt that I got the tendonitis from overuse. (I was a snowboard instructor at the time.)  The worse knee cleared up pretty quick. Took about two weeks a the pain was virtually gone.  In the less painful knee the pain lessened but then stopped getting better.  Some more investigation was needed.  It ended up that the tendonitis was a symptom of my body attempting to adjust to a cartilege injury.  I was sent to one of the top sports medicine MDs in the city, a guy that treated a lot of professional atheletes. and ended up getting surgery to clean it up.  He used some ultrasound as part of the prep for the surgery. I remember him saying that he found people who had it had better and easier surgeries and short recovery times.   I don't know of course what science he based that on or whether it was just his experience. Only that it does seemed to be used as a treatment in that realm as well as physiotherepy.

 

On another note and something I find quite interesting is that there is a theory that a cats purr is actually a part of cats mechinism to promote healing in itself through sound waves.    Pretty cool if true.  It's also a great excuse to lay on the couch and cuddle with a purring cat.  "Sorry I can't do anything right now, I'm getting a sound therepy session from Buttons."  lol 

6079_Smith_W

I might see your point U, if I understood what she was hanging out there against. I think I have been pretty clear that I largely agree with her about the importance of paying attention to double blind trials when it comes to healing and prevention.

I guess the technical point I am starting to have a problem with is the word "science" - what it means in this context, and why it is like some Vatican imprimatur that automatically means acceptance or rejection.

We already established that those pure results can be clouded by bad doctoring, bad accepted medical practice, mistakes, and many other things.

Then of course there is the pressure of big business regarding what gets tested, and how it gets tested, and what goes into production, what gets approved by government, what is available, and sent out as samples with complementary golfballs or trips to this or that conference. 

Plus the fact that these results aren't always conclusive. Often (as in the case of that chart I posted) reports are conflicting... for one reason because not all bodies respond in the same way to the same thing. I've read that enough in medical studies - that something works 70% of the time.

Plus the history of the medical extablishment saying that certain practices are dangerous, or don't work - only to be later proven wrong (I mentioned some upthread) afterwhich the formerly useless practice suddenly becomes "science" and the error in judgment and practice is somehow cancelled out retroactively because science doesn't make mistakes.

Plus a whole range of practices and substances which clearly do work, including some which have been scientifically tried and tested, to the degree that you can buy them pharmaceutical grade - but which you will rarely see prescribed because doctors don't think outside of their medical bag.

Plus the fact that medical standards are not one homogenous thing around the whole world. European medical doctors regularly  prescribe some of the things that are being dismissed as quackery in this thread. I don't believe cadaver blood has ever been used for regular transmissions here although it has been standard in some developed countries - like the former Soviet Union.

Even beyond that, I don't have a problem with someone using a questionable therapy if it seems to work where other things do not - and I say that while having the same alarm over things like cancer treatments which are clearly just snake oil.

I visited a friend the other night who got some sort of light therapy device for pains he was having after an accident. He had been prescribed the big drugs, which left him stoned and unable to drive, and which he knew, from talking to someone who had been on them, could leave him addicted. Plus, they did not relieve the pain. When he used this device the pain was relieved, and it was the only thing of numerous things he tried which did so.

Is he falling for quackery? I am sure there are some who think so, and think it is a big deal, and it's probably not the first thing I would try.

But I expect the main thing on his mind is that the pain is gone, and he has no side effects.

 

 

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Plus the history of the medical extablishment saying that certain practices are dangerous, or don't work - only to be later proven wrong (I mentioned some upthread) afterwhich the formerly useless practice suddenly becomes "science" and the error in judgment and practice is somehow cancelled out retroactively because science doesn't make mistakes.

 

It's the medical equivalent of Terra nullius. Sometimes things have to be discovered by the right people.

6079_Smith_W

dp

6079_Smith_W

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Plus the history of the medical extablishment saying that certain practices are dangerous, or don't work - only to be later proven wrong (I mentioned some upthread) afterwhich the formerly useless practice suddenly becomes "science" and the error in judgment and practice is somehow cancelled out retroactively because science doesn't make mistakes.

 

It's the medical equivalent of Terra nullius. Sometimes things have to be discovered by the right people.

Yes.... you must be talking about those European scientists who discovered that Vitamin C prevents scurvy. What a coincidence that cultures with no scientific training whatsoever just happened to be doing the right thing with fresh veggies and raw meat. Good thing scientists figured it out in time otherwise those poor people might have decided to do something else that didn't work.

 

Sineed

*necrobump*

Sineed wrote:

If people think that reality is a reductive Western construct, and truth is a matter of perception rather than reality, they are vulnerable to exploitation. And CAM is often a sCAM.

So I've resurected this thread to ask this: what burden of proof should be applied in order for an alternative treatment to be covered by the provincial health care plans?

If, for instance, naturopaths are licensed, should they be able to bill like drs do?

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

So I've resurected this thread to ask this: what burden of proof should be applied in order for an alternative treatment to be covered by the provincial health care plans?

If, for instance, naturopaths are licensed, should they be able to bill like drs do?

Is anyone asking for that? I don't think so. I should think dentists would probably be a bit ahead in the queue, no?

The practice of Naturopathy has been recognized and regulated by Saskatchewan since 1978. There's no push that I am aware of to be included under the public health system, any more than registered massage therapists, although the latter can be covered by WCB and the provincial car insurer, SGI.

Frankly my first thought is that this is a good idea WRT setting professional standards, not the thin edge of the wedge for some scam. I can sure see how the money angle would provide a nice lightning rod, though.

Also, when thermography was shut down in Manitoba and Newfoundland there was no danger of that happening here, because the practice is included under naturopathic guidelines. So there is some protection to registration as well.

But since you mention it, there has been some movement in that direction when it comes to private insurance plans, set up through the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (which includes naturopaths, acupunturists, and many other modalities). I won't spam you with the links, but the fact is there are insurers - insurers who are actually in the business to make money -  willing to cover those treatments.

 

 

 

jas

Oh yeah. This is a much better thread.

Are you happy now, Catchfire and Rebecca? Is this more in keeping with Babble policy? Is this the kind of content Babble prefers?

Sineed

Glad you like it, Jas. I like to make people happy. That's why I dispense drugs for a living.

Good point about dentists being ahead in the cue, Smith. I knew that some private insurers covered alternative treatments, but my focus here is the publically-funded healthcare system.

How about drug coverage? I recall in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when there was no treatment and people were dying, there was a push for provincial drug formularies to cover vitamins for people with AIDS. (Didn't happen, as I recall, though they did cover more vitamins 25 years ago than they do now.)

The provincial drug formularies pay for meds for people on social assistance/disability, and > 65 years old. How far should they go in covering alternative remedies? The National Health Service in Great Britain pays for homeopathy, for instance.

jas

Speaking of standard of proof, Sineed, I'm still waiting for you to cite even just one of these many studies that you said compared the success rates of alternative therapies to those of western medical approaches. Are you eventually going to practice what you preach? Or no?

It would be much more evidence based than the opinions of, for example, Dr. Steven Novella, professional skeptic, or one of your many colourful anecdotes.

 

*** I would also ask the mods to change the title of this thread to one that's less inflammatory. It looks tacky on the front page of Rabble, and will definitely alienate potential supporters and allies.

6079_Smith_W

Re: the  UK NHS

Yes, hence my lightning rod comment. I think that aspect of it makes it a very different issue over there. Though there must be a lot of Tim Minchin fans over there; according to this page homeopathy is in decline in the UK (0.001 percent of the 2010 prescribing budget). A number of my FB friends over there are regularly on about it.

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

I can tell you it's not the case for alternative therapies in some other European countries.

As for here, I think our provinces are too busy trying to dismantle the system we have.

eastnoireast

*** I would also ask the mods to change the title of this thread to one that's less inflammatory. It looks tacky on the front page of Rabble, and will definitely alienate potential supporters and allies.

i second that.

snuckles has spread his poison with this thread title for way to long.

how about using "Alberta gives naturopathic doctors full status as medical professionals"

a perfect example of rabble's "change the conversation" campaign...

thanks.

Unionist

eastnoireast wrote:

snuckles has spread his poison with this thread title for way to long.

It was less than one molecule's worth of poison, and the damage has been incalculable.

Quote:
how about using "Alberta gives naturopathic doctors full status as medical professionals"

"Naturopathic doctors"? Not bad, very neutral. Maybe "naturopathic authentic healing doctors"?

Or wait, to make it totally inoffensive:

"Western province gives naturoblanks full status as medical professionals"

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unionist wrote:

"Western province gives naturoblanks full status as medical professionals"

 

I like that one.

jas

jas wrote:

Speaking of standard of proof, Sineed, I'm still waiting for you to cite even just one of these many studies that you said compared the success rates of alternative therapies to those of western medical approaches. Are you eventually going to practice what you preach? Or no?

Sineed wrote:
. . .

? ?

This work has been done, right? Isn't that what you said?

6079_Smith_W

I think we already have at least one joke thread open on this:

http://rabble.ca/babble/babble-banter/new-age-terrorists-develop-homeopa...

I think I have also said a few times in some of these threads that I don't agree with every one of their therapies (of course, I also don't agree with the standard medical practice of drugging people until they can't function, get sick, or sometimes die, and diagnosing normal behaviour as disease).

But the fact is there are a number of therapies and ways of approaching disease they use which makes a hell of a lot more sense than what you'd find in a regular clinic, particularly when it comes to things like hydrotherapy (water, plasters, heat and cold), liberal use of antibiotics, diet and chemical sensitivities (as in, if you live in a house full of mold that antihistamine won't solve the problem at all).

I think North America dropped the use of water hydrotherapy altogether about 80 years ago, except as a means of torturing patients in institutions. Not so in Europe, where the first place you get sent for many complaints is a medical spa.

And while no, I don't personally tend toward homeopathy, it has been used in our household, and I know people feel it has done them a lot of good.

So we could talk about this, or just stick to selections from the gag page on the Amazing Randi's website if you wish.

On the other hand, if this is the reasoning we are using, the more you pile it on, the less effect it will have,

 

Unionist

Geez, that's what I get for tring to defend Alberta...

ETA: Ok, ok, this is the best I could do for now. Questions or critical comments are welcome:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/alberta-and-british-columbia/western-province-ju... province jury convicts status-deprived medical professional[/url]

 

jas

eastnoireast wrote:

*** I would also ask the mods to change the title of this thread to one that's less inflammatory. It looks tacky on the front page of Rabble, and will definitely alienate potential supporters and allies.

i second that.

snuckles has spread his poison with this thread title for way to long.

how about using "Alberta gives naturopathic doctors full status as medical professionals"

a perfect example of rabble's "change the conversation" campaign...

thanks.

They're not exactly hurrying to the task, are they?

Does Rabble support bullying and ridicule? I thought that was more for a certain failed clown forum.

Another term that could be used is simply "naturopaths". However, it's true that many naturopaths are also MDs.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thread title changed. Can I ask babblers who discount the validity of alternative medicine to treat their fellow babblers, who are clearly invested in naturopathy et al, and take the subject very personally, to treat the subject with sensitivity and the babblers with respect? Thanks.

eastnoireast

Another term that could be used is simply "naturopaths". However, it's true that many naturopaths are also MDs.


i believe the actual diploma title is "doctor of naturopathy", and in most if not all provinces possession of this diploma is a requirement in order to call oneself a "naturopathic doctor" (ND).


6079_Smith_W

Thanks CF.

I can't say as I take the subject of homeopathy and naturopathy  personally, although I know a few people who have used their services for conditions, including life-threatening ones. So far as my own limited use is concerned, my knowledge of the science has to take a back seat to the fact that the results I wanted came to pass after the therapy was used.

It is no more personal than my opinions when it comes to racism, sexism, or social justice.

If anything is personal, it is the idea that people should be able to choose what they want for their own care.

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