I haven’t been brusque with naturopathy and its practitioners for some time. I feel the balance should be redressed. Therefore, for your reading displeasure, ladies and gentlemen please welcome: Eveningstar Natural Health, an outlet for this particular form of batshit crazy. I’m choosing this one because she annoyed me intensely some time ago on Twitter, insisting that she was a doctor in spite of my pointing out that only the very unusual legislation passed in the state of Oregon, which she infests, permits her to use that title in that state. She seems to think that means she should be referred to as “doctor” throughout the world, from the run-in I had with her last year, but that’s wishful thinking for you. Or rather: for her. Outside of Oregon, that title is usurped and could get her into serious trouble if she tried to use it.
OK, so why should naturopathy – which most people would define as being the use of traditional herbal remedies instead of the drugs that contain the same active ingredient – be batshit crazy, rather than merely a bit hippy-dippy but ultimately harmless?
Well, for a start, it’s yet another form of vitalism: spot the use of the Red Flag word “dis-ease” on this page written by the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association. You’ll also spot menu links to homeopathy, buteyko (a breathing technique supposed to help with asthma and for which there appears to be no good scientific evidence whatsoever), Live Blood Analysis and Iridology. In other words, a wide choice of fuckwittery. There’s also the dumbfuck notion that your body can heal itself of anything, if you follow the correct diet.
Anyway, this is how the quack currently under advisement describes things:
About Naturopathic Medicine
Naturpathic (sic) medicine looks at an individual as a whole person (including physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual aspects) rather than a collection of separate body systems. It seeks to find and treat the cause of disease rather than focusing on the symptoms. It covers a broad range of therapeutic treatments, including nutrition, botanical medicine (herbs), physical medicine (hydrotherapy, manipulations, massage), minor surgery, homeopathy, lifestyle counseling, IV therapy, and pharmaceuticals.
Let’s be having a shufti at the above statement: “individual as a whole person” – that’s par for the course for any quack site, the clear implication being that real medicine doesn’t. Which is bollocks, of course, but they keep spouting it no matter how often it’s debunked. Next up: “spiritual aspects” or, in other words, vitalism. All red flags have now been raised, the WTFometer has hit the danger zone and all exits have been sealed until the menace can be neutralised. Vitalism can best be summarised as “blaming the patient for being ill”.
Fine. Now that we’ve established that this is a form of übercuntery-based quackery, let’s examine the therapies on offer:
This generally means “sells supplements” (checks). Yep, she sells supplements. Not very natural. Not very healthy either, since recent studies tend to suggest taking supplements you don’t need (which is most of the time for most people) can actually increase the chance of developing something serious.
botanical medicine (herbs)
This is yer basic witchcraft, the Mother-Nature-Knows-Best fluffy bollocks that naturopaths are supposed to deal in. Now, while some herbal concoctions maybe useful for treating various conditions, those that are really effective have already been adopted by real medicine. What remains is mostly unproven, ineffective or, in some cases, known to be actively harmful at dosages that have any effect. There’s also a dosage problem with remedies in herbal form. For more on this, I suggest you acquire the excellent Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine (US readers, for the UK version see the astore via the top right link).
physical medicine (hydrotherapy, manipulations, massage)
That’s not physical medicine, those are physical therapies, except of course you’re not qualified to call yourself a physical therapist, are you?
WHAT THE…??? What manner of fuckwittery is this? Ah, I see from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website that this means “removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds”. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust them even to do that. You want a cyst removed? Go see a real surgeon, who is far better qualified to perform an operation which may require general anaesthetic – yeah, this “minor” thing is kinda relative – and, more importantly, should be able to tell you whether or not the thing should be operated on. Got a superficial wound that needs stitching? It can’t be that bloody superficial then, can it? A&E are your man here.
As has been pointed out many times before by many other people, not only is homeopathy complete nonsense, there’s also nothing natural about it.
That’s basically diet and exercise, aka horning in on dieticians’ work without the qualification.
This is rampant, potentially lethal quackery. It’s cocktails of vitamins and/or mineral as treatment for various chronic ailments, plus one or two imaginary ones. It includes the infamous high-dosage vitamin C treatment for cancer. Nasty, expensive, completely fucking useless bollocks. These bastards can call themselves “doctor” and claim to treat patients as their PCP in some states, remember.