Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Alternative Medicine and Naturopathy

I have always been a fan of alternative and holistic medicine and naturopathy as well as Eastern medicine. I believe that modern Western medicine works fairly well but there is no reason not to look at other established types of medicine. Tell me Chinese people didn't develop their own type of medicine to survive and grow for thousands of years.

I think there are many things that are involved in good health care and an antibiotic isn't going to cure everything. I mean what about drinking hot lemonade with whiskey for a bad cold? Its a dose of vitamin C and the whiskey might help you take a nap. Rest and vitamins will help a lot to cure a cold. Or steaming out congestion with a pan of warm water and a towel instead of taking a decongestant? Or acupuncture for knee pain?

Anyway, I have always thought there was a lot of benefit to these types of medicine. Then I read this article. A former naturopath is taking on her whole field of medicine saying it isn't anything more than witchcraft. I read the article and then read parts of her blog.  I found it fascinating.

The way I read it is she believed in naturopathy and then she studied it in college before beginning practicing. Then she decided that it wasn't helping people.

“I’m trying to contextualize and call out the false and exaggerated claims,” she said. “They want to be able to do everything an MD wants to do — but they also want to practice essentially witchcraft.”

In contrast other naturopaths are lobbying to get their practices more legitimatized. So the question arises, why? As a practitioner, Britt Hermes didn't feel she had the education to help people:

"Hermes has railed against the Bastyr curriculum as wholly inadequate to train practicing clinicians. She says she never learned about the medical standard of care for most illnesses and had minimal experience working directly with ill patients."

So she thought she got enough training but then realized she didn't. She was smart and decided that she needed to do something else. And now she is working to raise awareness that naturopathy isn't going to cure very much. It can help with conventional medicine but isn't going to cure anyone alone.

If you use naturopathy to help you, you might want to go read her blog and the article to get a better sense of the short comings of ignoring hard evidence.

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