1) --- Most of what is taught in naturopathic schools is based on naturopathic philosophy. The courses include unproven treatments like herbalism, hydrotherapy, craniosacral therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, cupping, aromatherapy, detox diets, homeopathy, colon cleanses, hypnosis, bioenergetics, magnetic healing, therapeutic touch and copper therapy bracelets. Vaccines are discouraged, in spite of the evidence of their benefits and serious health risks when vaccination is neglected.
2) --- Unorthodox and bizarre treatments are taught as medically sound. Britt M. Hermes, a former naturopath educated at one of their colleges, writes: “We learned to put sliced onions over a child’s ear for an infection and other folk remedies, like wearing wet socks at night to ‘boost the immune system.’ …. Instructors would commonly discuss a patient’s ‘vital force’ as if this could magically be detected. Frequently, patients presenting with nonspecific symptoms were diagnosed with dubious food allergies, chronic Lyme disease, adrenal fatigue, or yeast overgrowth. Patients would be prescribed an assortment of herbs and supplements, conveniently sold at the clinic’s dispensary, and handed a superbill for insurance reimbursement.”
3) --- Some naturopathic doctors illegally import and administer cancer drugs to their patients. These unproven drugs are not approved by the FDA. When a complaint is made by a patient or an ethical naturopath to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the Association backs the unethical naturopath every time. (See kevinmd.com in the Sources below)
4) --- The scarce amount of research that naturopaths do is never accepted in reputable biomedical journals. No naturopathic organization is affiliated with academic groups like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Learned Societies of Canada, or the British Royal Society. To appear legitimate, naturopaths accredit their own programs. They hold no government medical accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education does accredit the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, but this is strictly administrative, and nothing to do with medicine. Not only does the general public falsely assume this is an endorsement by a government medical association, but some naturopaths make the same mistake as well.
5) --- Naturopathic colleges teach courses that appear medically sound and similar to those taught in conventional medical schools. Britt M. Hermes writes: “Some classes are taught with the same titles as courses in medical programs, but the content is indeed inferior. Naturopathic doctors take gross anatomy, histology, pharmacology, and other basics, but they are not all taught by faculty members with academic expertise.”
Dr. Kimball Chase Atwood IV is an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, as well as an anesthesiologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. He is also the associate editor of the journal Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. He writes, in the journal Medscape General Medicine:
“Naturopathic physicians now claim to be primary care physicians proficient in the practice of both ‘conventional’ and ‘natural’ medicine. Their training, however, amounts to a small fraction of that of medical doctors who practice primary care. An examination of their literature, moreover, reveals that it is replete with pseudoscientific, ineffective, unethical, and potentially dangerous practices.”
6) ---- Naturopaths use terms like "balance," "vitality" and "harmony with the body” when treating patients and making claims. The concepts are impossible to test scientifically and prove for effectiveness. To heal their patients, naturopaths therefore depend on the placebo effect or the fact that some conditions clear up on their own over time:
“The power of the mind – the power of the placebo – is beyond dispute. One clinical trial after another continues to add to the overwhelming evidence of the intricate mind-body connection. Honestly believing a pill or treatment will work, in many cases, is all that is needed for it to actually work. Homeopaths and many other alternative medicine practitioners rely entirely on this placebo effect. Also, an intimate, non-hurried, personal setting with a comforting, listening ear will often get results. The pill or treatment is bogus, but an encouraging, reassuring, and soothing friend will make the patient feel better.”
7) --- Naturopaths deceive the public when they claim there is solid scientific evidence and research for their treatments. Dr. Kimball Chase Atwood IV recently exposed their claims:
“I am still awaiting the studies and systematic reviews that purportedly support naturopathic methods. The Textbook of Natural Medicine claims that its assertions are supported by ‘10,000 citations to peer-reviewed literature providing standards of practice for natural medicine. Based on a solid combination of theory and clinical studies [etc.]’ I have examined many of these citations and found that, overwhelmingly, they are either irrelevant to the claims made, are preliminary and inconclusive, are based only on animal or in vitro studies, or are mere restatements of similar opinions.”
8) --- The American Cancer Society has issued several cautions and instructions to patients wishing to use naturopathy and other alternative treatments to cure their cancer:
“People with cancer who choose alternative medicine instead of mainstream cancer treatments may be putting themselves at serious risk. They are giving up the only proven methods of treating their disease. Delays or interruptions in standard treatment can give the cancer more time to grow. Even early stage cancers can become impossible to treat successfully if effective treatment is delayed long enough. And even when cancer reaches a stage where cure is not possible, it’s important to remember that mainstream care can still offer a lot in the way of cancer control and comfort.”
9) --- From the American Cancer Society - Questions to ask about alternative and complementary therapies (including not-so-subtle insinuations):
1) What claims are made about the treatment? That it can relieve symptoms or side effects? That it can improve health? Be very suspicious of any treatment that says it can cure cancer. Claims that a treatment can cure all cancers or that it can cure cancer and other difficult-to-treat diseases (including chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, etc.) are sure to be false.
2) What are the qualifications of those supporting the treatment? Are they medical doctors? Are they recognized experts in cancer care? In complementary medicines? If you’re seeing a complementary or alternative practitioner, find out about their training and education.
3) Have scientific studies or clinical trials (in humans) been done to find out whether this treatment works? What side effects have been reported?
4) Have the findings been published in trustworthy journals after being reviewed by other scientists who are experts in the same field?
5) How is information about the method given? Is it promoted only in the mass media, such as books, magazines, the Internet, TV, infomercials, and radio talk shows rather than in scientific or medical journals?
6) Is the method widely available for use within the health-care community? Once a treatment is found safe and useful, it’s usually widely adopted by other professionals. Beware of treatments you can only get in one clinic, especially if that clinic is in a country with more lax patient protection laws that those in the United States or the European Union.
7) What’s known about the safety of the treatment? Could it be harmful or interact badly with your other medicines or supplements?
The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html
9 Devious Ways Alternative Medicine “Doctors” Deceive Their Patients http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2015/01/9-reasons-why-some-alternative-medicine.html
Naturopathy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NaturopathyDr. Kimball Chase Atwood IV)
Naturopathy: A Critical Analysis http://www.naturowatch.org/general/beyerstein.html
A Close Look at Naturopathy http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Naturopathy/naturopathy.html
Kimball Chase Atwood IV, MD: “Naturopathy, Pseudoscience, and Medicine: Myths and Fallacies vs Truth” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1140750/
Complimentary and Alternative Methods and Cancer (American Cancer Society) http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/acspc-041660-pdf.pdf
Britt Marie Hermes’ web site: http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/
Photo http://www.emfscience.com/does-magnetic-therapy-work/ CC