An ex-naturopath is a successful naturopath

Edzard Ernst's writings have greatly influenced my coming out of the rabbit hole of naturopathy.

Below is my response, solicited by Edzard Ernst, to naturopaths accusing me of libel, being a pharma shill, and failing at naturopathic medicine. He kindly published it on his blog. (Important note: his books were highly influential on my departure from naturopathy and comprehension of the dark depths of alternative medicine.)


I find it amusing to be accused of being an unsuccessful practitioner of naturopathic medicine. I graduated with high grades from Bastyr University. I landed a highly competitive naturopathic residency. Had I remained in practice, I would currently be eligible to take the naturopathic pediatrics “board-certification” exam offered by the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

I was making decent money at my practices in Seattle and Tucson. By all accounts, I was a successful naturopathic doctor. My bosses at the Tucson clinic had even asked me if I were interested in becoming their business partner!

I walked away from my practice because my boss was committing a federal crime by importing and administering a non-FDA approved medication to his cancer patients. I decided to leave naturopathic medicine for good after a former president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians urged me not to report my boss’s criminal activity to the authorities.

These wounds still hurt. I lost dozens of friends. I lost eight years of my life. I lost my livelihood. The ND degree does not have any value in the academic community. It is a tarnish on my permanent record. It would have been in my financial interest to move to another practice and continue being a “successful” naturopath.

One problem with naturopaths is that they measure success by how much money one collects from patients, yet they fail to understand that naturopathic services are quackery. So by their logic, being a successful naturopath is dependent upon profiting by fooling patients and fooling oneself. If they want to describe me as an unsuccessful naturopath, then “success” has no useful meaning.

I am not employed to write about anything in particular about naturopathic medicine or with any particular tone. I am an independent blogger who wants to share my insights. I created my own opinions on naturopathic medicine by looking at the profession critically. This kind of task is fundamental to the scientific process, which I only learned after leaving naturopathy and engaging with the academic community.

Naturopaths want to be recognized as primary care physicians in the U.S. and Canada. This is a big deal. We all should be skeptical. This profession is claiming to have established a comprehensive education that trains competent medical practitioners, yet they rely upon unproven methods at best and debunked ones at worst.

Essentially, naturopaths want to be allowed to take shortcuts. Instead of attending medical school, naturopaths attend their own, self-accredited programs with low acceptance standards and faculty who are not qualified to teach medicine. Instead of a standardized and peer-reviewed medical licensing exam, naturopaths take their own secretive licensing exam that tests on homeopathy and other dubious treatments. What little medical standards that seem to be tested on the exam have been botched, like the one question in which a child is gasping for air and the correct answer on how to treat is to give a homeopathic remedy.

Naturopaths have called me a liar, but have been unable to identify any specific fabrications. They say I am omitting facts and evidence, but they cannot show what information I allegedly missed. Perhaps for naturopaths the only way to deal with fair honest criticism, is to undermine my integrity.

My blog harbors no hidden agenda. I write to prevent current and prospective naturopathic students from being duped into thinking they are being adequately trained as a primary care physicians. I write to protect patients from the poorly trained practitioners that these programs produce. I write because I have seen both worlds, and the naturopathic one is terrifying.

If you are interested in doing something to combat the legislative efforts of naturopaths to gain medical licenses, please sign and share the petition below:

  • Terrie_S

    I commend you for not only admitting to yourself that you were wrong, but using that experience to teach others.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Naturopaths have called me a liar, but have been unable to identify any specific fabrications. They say I am omitting facts and evidence, but they cannot show what information I allegedly missed. Perhaps for naturopaths the only way to deal with fair honest criticism, is to undermine my integrity.

    Actually, a lot of the response that I’ve seen, at least in the comments, is “Oh, I’m not like that.” It is effectively “Not all naturopaths are quacks.” In the end, it is just an illustration of Bofa’s Law (technically, Bofa’s 1st Law), which says, “If the defense of a group or profession or group consists of ‘Not all of them are bad,’ then that group or profession has a serious problem.”

    Examples: Chiropractors, certified professional midwives, naturopaths, accupuncturists.

    I mean, even lawyers don’t get defended that way. For lawyers, it’s “Sure there are slimeballs, but overall they serve important roles.” But with chiros, it’s “Not all of them are looney back-crackers.” That’s not a good thing.

    That’s what I see in the comments to your posts. “Not all naturopaths are like that. I’m different.”

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLssr7ItuEo Certified Hamster Midwife

      #notallquacks

  • Fred Kourmadas

    Well, there are a lot of similarities between your story and mine. I was a chiropractor for many years. It took me longer to awaken than it did you, though. By about 10 years in, I realized that the majority of services done at chiropractic offices don’t really need to be done. My practice went into the crapper because I could not justify misleading people into unnecessary treatment. It took another 9 years and 3 trips through graduate school to really be able to switch to a stable and legitimate career. So I have been teaching high school and college for the last 13 years, but the previous 23 years of my life wasted in chiropractic. I wish you the best in this endeavor of exposing the truth behind naturopathy.

    • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

      Have you read Chiropractor Abuse: an insider’s lament by Preston Long DC or Spin Doctors: The chiropractic industry under examination? You’d like both – highly recommended. Thanks for reading and your support

      Preston has also written for SBM, you can check him out there as well.

  • Thomas Mohr

    The really interesting thing is that none of the criticized institutions did anything with legal substance regarding your posts. The reason is clear. They would have to prve their point in court. BTW, I hope your friends do well during the Kieler Woche. But if you really want to combine culture, culinary highlights and sailing you need to go to Croatia or Greece 🙂

    • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

      They won the German Champsionship and “tripled” this year. =) But yes, Kieler Woche is really just an excuse for drinking. The real stuff happened way out of town, which is where I preferred to spend my time- not in the drinking tents. Thankfully, it is over tomorrow. I am really looking forward to having quiet little Kiel back! Croatia and Greece are on the bucket list for this summer btw!

      • MI Dawn

        I read your blog, but somehow missed that you were in Kiel! My German sister (an exchange student who lived with us for a year in Michigan) lives there. I hope some day to get over and visit her and her family as my parents have done!

  • NS Alito

    The defense of something is not that there are some good components (e.g., spending time with patients), but that the core is good. So often it’s the case that

    Nothing that is good in X is unique to X, and nothing that is unique to X is good.

    Where X can be naturopathy, chiropractic, or *cough* a particular religion where the primary tenet is that people are born blamed for things that other people did.

  • Archie

    Thanks for your post and your honesty. As someone who wants to take control of their own health and remain healthy I was/am being drawn down the Naturopathy road. After reading your post I’m now as skeptical of this system as I am of the conventional healthcare system. I eat right (mainly plants, limited meat, no sugar, wheat etc..), exercise regularly, don’t smoke, limit alcohol but I’d like to consult with someone who manages my health, not my sickness’. There has to be a way. I viewed Naturopathy as that missing link. Now, I’m not so sure.
    You’ve been in that system and viewed it critically. Kudos to you. In your opinion, is there a system out there designed to keep us well?

    • Thomas Mohr

      Archie, you eat a healthy diet, do not smoke and don’t drink too much alcohol and you exercise regularly. This *is* already managing your health. Just not too much bad stress, a checkup every 6 to 12 months or so and that’s it. Most things that are sold as preventing disease, especially in cancer field (which you probably fear most) are – lets call it euphemistically experimental.

      • Archie

        Thanks for the reply Thomas. I came to the conclusion, recently, the best way to beat the healthcare system is to stay out of it. Take control and responsibility for yourself. I hear you on reducing stress and appreciate your advice. Thank you.

        • Xerxes Croes

          Good luck if a bunch of cells don’t apoptose and start growing uncontrollably; good luck if you are so unlucky to catch meningococcal disease or need emergency care due to accident or idiopathic cause of disease. I wonder how you will take responsibility and control then… You present the healthcare system as something that one has to evade… Why? If you are sick you will need Medicine not some self-delusional idea of inner-strength, faith or contrarian nonsense.

          • Archie

            “You present the healthcare system as something that one has to evade…Why?”

            Because calling it “Healthcare” is disingenuous. It’s sick care and that’s pretty much it. Your doctor’s office is nothing more than a pill distribution center. If you’re on a checkup and you’re showing signs that your lifestyle is making you sick, – i.e. raised cholesterol, raised sugar, increased weight – do you get constructive advice about changing your lifestyle or a prescription for drugs allowing you to continue that lifestyle that’s making you sick?

            Remember Xerxes, USA healthcare is for profit and, as I HOPE you’re aware, there’s no money in healthy people.

            By the way, the first couple of lines of your post actually proves my point – so thanks.

            So – that’s why.

            • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

              Don’t despair Archie. The system may be for profit, but the healthcare providers are usually genuinely caring people who go into medicine to help people, not to get rich. When you need a doctor, I do not doubt you will be able to find a medical physician who will help you for the sake of helping you, not for making money off of you.

              • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

                One more quick thing: Ironically, naturopaths make money off of healthy all the damn time. Why do you think the “detox” was invented? Or the idea that we need mega-doses of vitamins in the absence of nutritional deficiencies?

              • Archie

                You’re right Britt. I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush. I’ve yet to find a doctor who’ll spend more than a rushed 15 minutes with me and offer me solid lifestyle advice and not drugs.

                I agree that initial motivation to take the Hippocratic oath was honorable as I’m sure a lot of folks became cops to change the world. But, again, in a for-profit system you have to toe-the-line and produce. Shorter visits, prescribe more tests, pills etc. I’m sure the doctors are as frustrated as some of the patients.

            • Thomas Mohr

              Archie, first, the remedies for many out of normal range values are actually pretty obvious. If your liver enzymes are elevated, don’t drink anymore. If your cholesterol is elevated, reduce meat. If you have a moderately elevated heart rate and/or blood pressure (as in pre-hypertension) – do cardioexercises. It is that simple. As for the health care system being for profit, apparently you do not understand how an insurance works. The best client is somebody who does not need a payment by an insurance. So if a health insurance encourages their clients to lead a healthy lifestyle you kill two birds with one stone: You are able to increase your profits and/or better your coverage while being able to lower your rates, thus being more competitive.

              • Archie

                I appreciate you pointing out the obvious Thomas. I’m fully aware of how insurance works and you’ll notice my initial gripe was with healthcare not insurance. Obviously insurance would prefer to collect rather than pay and, to that end, they do seem to be encouraging preventative but it’s a slow process.

            • PrimaryCareDoc

              Well, I practice medicine in the USA, and I always give advice about changing lifestyle. Always.

              • jon robertson

                Me too. Too often, though I am confronted with patients who want a magic pill to cure them of whatever real or imaginary thing is wrong with them.

              • jon robertson

                Me too. Too often, though I am confronted with patients who want a magic pill to cure them of whatever real or imaginary thing is wrong with them.

              • Archie

                Finally!! Where do you practice? he he
                Is there a database of similar minded GP’s like yourself somewhere?

                I have a question. During your academic training to become an M.D. was there any specific nutrition education?

                • Petticoat Philosopher

                  I don’t know if you realize it, but you’re repeating a lot of common naturopathic talking points–the idea that MDs learn nothing about nutrition is a major one. Of course MDs learn nutrition science but the kind of individualized, personalized nutrition advice and diet-planning that I think you’re talking about–the kind that would be comparable to what naturopaths offer, except based on real science instead of fake science–is what a dietitian does, not what an MD does. MDs can give very general advice and offer referrals to dietitians.

                  Dietitians serve a different purpose in healthcare and go through a different kind of training than MDs. It’s a different job. One thing that gets me about naturopaths is that they seem to try to be everything–primary care physician, dietitian, psychiatrist, psychologist/therapist etc. I guess they call this “holistic” or “treating the whole person.” I call it “Trying to do a whole bunch of different jobs, all of which require very different kinds of advanced training at once, except without getting any of the advanced training required for any of them.”

                  And, yes, even if an MD refers to a dietitian, they might also prescribe the pills because they know that patient compliance with recommendations is far from guaranteed and they’re interested in making sure you don’t die or become seriously ill, not in making sure you follow Best Practices or else. I’m a broken record on this issue but doctors cannot make anyone do anything and they have to deal with all the people who are unwilling or unable to follow recommendations. Naturopaths see people who, by and large, are looking to overhaul their lifestyle and pretty much just want someone to tell them how to do it. That means these are people who have already decided to make the commitment to doing it and also have the resources to do it.

                  But doctors see everybody. They see Grandpa who will let you take his bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning when you pry it from his cold dead fingers. They see the poor, single mom who works multiple jobs to make ends meet and doesn’t have time or money for healthy food and cooking, let alone for joining a gym. They see the overworked, underpaid young professional who’s trying to pay off student loans, doesn’t have the option of quitting to find a less grueling job and just can’t make healthy living a priority right now. Lifestyle changes might be best for these people but doctors can’t make these changes happen for them. Isn’t it better for them to get pills than to get sick? Or dead?

                • MI Dawn

                  Where are you? I can recommend several doctors in New Jersey and Virginia who encourage lifestyle over medications.

                • The Bofa on the Sofa

                  My doctor always talks about eating right and exercise.

                  You don’t need a “nutritionist” to know that you should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, minimize meat and carbs and sugars, fish is good, and everything in moderation.

                  That’s good nutrition. You don’t need to get fancier unless there is a specific issue you are trying to address. And in that case, go to a dietitian. And, in the US at least, avoid anyone who calls themselves a “nutritionist”

                  It’s not complicated.

            • MI Dawn

              Strange. Every doctor I’ve been to has lectured and encouraged lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress reduction) for quite some time before giving medications. And I usually have been given the lowest possible dose to treat the problem. Yes, I do take medications because the other options didn’t succeed. But I’m still hoping – and my doctor is hoping – that we can continue weaning me off my medications as we have already successfully gotten me off several.

              • Ashley Dali

                MI Dawn, that’s great that your doctor is interested in weaning you off medications. Every conventional doctor I have encountered here has wanted me, and my family to stay on certain medications. Continue taking them to treat the symptoms instead of trying to get to the root causes and actually cure the disease (eg. diabetes, hypertension, uterine fibroids, irregular menstrual cycles, etc.). Of course, keeping us on more and more medications is good for their business, but not for our overall health. My family and I have actually gradually weaned ourselves off certain medications with the help of naturopathic and nutritional resources.

                • Petticoat Philosopher

                  How exactly do you think keeping you on medications is good for doctors’ business?

                  Also, even assuming that naturopathic interventions involving things like “nutritional resources” are effective for the conditions you mentioned, what do you propose ought to be done for patients who do not have access to these resources due to financial, time, or other kinds of constraints? Or patients who, for example, just can’t stick to the “right” diet. Should they just go unmedicated?

                • Petticoat Philosopher

                  How exactly do you think keeping you on medications is good for doctors’ business?

                  Also, even assuming that naturopathic interventions involving things like “nutritional resources” are effective for the conditions you mentioned, what do you propose ought to be done for patients who do not have access to these resources due to financial, time, or other kinds of constraints? Or patients who, for example, just can’t stick to the “right” diet. Should they just go unmedicated?

            • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

              Archie–as a fellow patient I’m with you on some of this. As a patient with rare disease I can tell you all about the utter living hell that shitty doctors put me through. I’ve had more abuse from MDs than I care to think about and I probably need therapy for it.

              I hang out here a little on Brit’s blog because the consequences (death) of me visiting naturopaths would be far worse than the worst MDs (and I’ve encountered dozens). I’ll get to why that is in a minute…

              As a rare disease patient I know all about what assholes MDs can be–the accusations of faking, the scoffing, the shaming. It got to the point that I would not visit a doctor without my husband present as a witness in order to tamper down the bad behavior and attitudes many many doctors would take with me in their offices. I feel very fortunate that I live in a state with medical marijuana so that I could obtain pain relief at a time when no doctor would believe me because I have considered suicide to relieve myself of pain.

              It wasn’t until I found myself inside of a university hospital that the doctors started thinking outside of the box and actually diagnosing and treating what was wrong with me. If you win the lottery of the rare disease now you will forever be under the care of world-class doctors at a top university hospital–as long as you stay alive long enough to survive the ding dongs in private practice to get there.

              If anyone gets to have a legitimate beef with the standard medical system it is the rare disease patient. Mainstream medicine is not set up for us until we are in that rarefied environment of top medical school graduates, university hospitals, and cutting edge medicine.

              One of my conditions, one of the most deadly, a very rare form of adult food allergy that continues to worsen as I get older, anaphylaxis to eggs and yeast, would have never been discovered by a naturopath. Archie, a naturopath simply does not have the education, or a legitimate medically-sound testing regime to discover this. I have seen naturopaths and naturopathic websites telling people they can cure their food allergies–a fiction that would have surely killed me had I decided to walk down that path.

              Archie, even the worst doctor, the doctor who graduated at the bottom of the class who is a complete jerk in the office, has basic training to understand what it means when I pull out my epipens and show them. The best doctors diagnosed me and the worst ones will, at the bare minimum, will follow the protocol established for me by the best. Naturopaths will do none of this. There is no “wellness care” for anaphylaxis. Get your affairs ready, and your funeral plan paid for if you are an allergy patient who expects to find a cure from a naturopath.

              • Archie

                Hi Hempista, thanks for the reply and I wish you the best of luck for your future. Your story is somewhat similar to mine whereby you had to go through a few MD’s to find the one who supplied your needs. I’m very happy for you. Your story has inspired me but also taught me that maybe the younger/fresher the MD the more open minded?
                Again, good luck.

                • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

                  haha, yes this can be true! But, don’t get too bogged down in the age thing. The doctor that got me into Stanford hospital was a world-famous physician known by the entire medical community here, an elderly grumpy guy. lol. And I got referred to him after another doctor in private practice basically broke down and told me that no private practice doctor save for the very best would be able to diagnose and treat me. After dozens of doctors I finally got routed to the famous grumpy grandpa doctor that had the whackiest practice and office I had ever seen in my life. And did I mention how grumpy he is? He’s known for that as much as he is revered for his medical genius. 🙂

    • Terrie_S

      I admit, I’m not quite sure what a doctor could offer you that would be what you seem to want. You descirbe your lifestyle and any doctor is going to say “good, keep doing that.” What more do you want them to do?

      There’s no magical formula that anyone can offer you that will keep you from ever getting sick. NDs might claim to offer it, but it’s an expensive mirage.

      • Archie

        I guess what it is Terrie, up to the point I am at now, my lifestyle, mainly my diet was pretty much killing me. My cholesterol was steadily climbing as was my blood sugar. Along with one or two other symptoms. During physicals over a number of years as these numbers were moving into the red was I given constructive advice by any one of at least four GP’s. I was always offered drugs and told to eat less, exercise more. That was it. Eating less of what I was eating (Standard American Diet) would do nothing for my health but would serve to make me binge every few days. The eventual path to the road I’m on was arrived it through my own research. I just see this as a gaping hole in an overly costly Healthcare system that would better serve its clients by offering advice, especially dietary, that could make people well as opposed to keep them sick.

        • Thomas Mohr

          Archie that the American Standard Diet is not a good one is common knowledge, at least here in Europe. If one wants to change the lifestyle with regard to eating, one contacts a dietician. This is also common knowledge, at least here in Europe. Nutrition is a whole field of science. The only thing a Primary Care MD can and should do is refer you to a specialist. With all respect but this is also a no-brainer.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            It’s true that the kind of knowledge that makes clear that the Standard American Diet is unhealthy isn’t necessarily accessible to all. (Not that European diets are so healthy these days either, honestly. But the greater social equality in many European countries does mean that more people have access to better food. Lack of access is a huge problem in the States.) But that doesn’t change the facts of what you said–it’s a dietitian’s job to work closely with people on nutrition.

          • Archie

            With all due respect Thomas, you’re missing the point. Unless you KNOW your diet is what’s causing the problem then why would you seek out a dietician? 40%+ of Americans are obese, 60%+ are overweight. It’s not due to desire but more ignorance due to a lack of useful information. A lot of Americans will defend their meat, dairy, eggs etc right up to their early demise.
            Your ability to know all through common knowledge is a blessing. America is vastly different to Europe especially in the fields of healthcare. I know this as I’m from England and moved to the USA some 26 years ago. I’ve seen both sides. Here (USA) information is deliberately withheld, buried, or muddied purely to keep money flowing between lobby groups and politicians. I’m making a point that most already know. Healthcare here is for-profit, therefore it follows that access to information that can greatly improve the nation’s health might not be in the best interests of a few multi-billion dollar industries, mainly process foods, meat, dairy and healthcare. Politicians representing states with vested interests in any of those interests gladly will do nothing in terms of improving health as long as the money keeps on flowing in. To coin your phrase, this is a no-brainer.

            • David

              Archie You are falling prey to conspiracy theories. What benefit do you think your primary care physician gets from keeping you sick. When you go to a doctor they do not get paid a penny for prescribing a medication to you–there are no kick backs. Nor does a doctor need the work –they do not need you to come back to make money. Naturopaths want you back as much as possible because they simply do not have a lot of patients.

    • Katatonic

      Doctors who want an ideal medical practice. Caveat: I have no personal experience with them (yet) but they sound like physicians who might be more in line with health-care v sick-care.

      http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/

      • MI Dawn

        I can’t see any of the videos. But I’m willing to bet they are a cash only practice. Because one way to save money is to not have people who do the billing to insurance companies. I know what an office visit pays. And I’m willing to support my MD to get her fair payment. But I’m not paying $100 out of my pocket for a chit chat visit when I only need a prescription refilled.

        Also – a LOT of those practices require you to come in for another visit to get any lab results. They won’t give even normal results over the phone. Sorry – that doesn’t work for me.

        • Katatonic

          I don’t have info on how these practices are set up but I’m pretty sure you’re correct about the cash only. It looks like at least one of the doctors on the locator list runs a practice without support staff; when I visited her site, it said she books her own appointments & handles the finances. Which really WOULD give a doctor complete control over their practice. There was also info about refills, etc, that indicates a visit is not required for routine refills (for that doctor’s practice).
          Medicine in the US is a mess. Doctor burn-out is a problem. Having to keep staff solely to fight insurance companies is f*cking ridiculous. I don’t know what the solution is but I hope to see a single-payer system soon (medicare for everyone).

  • Thomas Mohr

    Britt, another thing re Ukrain. As you know I know the “inventor” personally. I also know the whole story behind that drug. The problem here was not that the drug was not FDA approved. Under certain circumstances experimental treatments can and should be done, but there are severe restriction. First, there have to be atleast toxicological data of the planned drug, second there is no other treatment available and third, the patients disease has to be “severe” enough to warrant experiments. Cancer patients with incurable tumors are candidates for such therapies. However, in many cases these therapies have to be approved by an ethics committee and are limited to very specific cases.

    The case with Ukrain is somewhat different. The inventor sold it as novel drug (a combination of thiotepa and chelidonine), however mass spectrometry analysis showed that it is a mixture of plant alkaloids of considerable toxicity. There are considerable side effects ranging from fever to hepatitis. This is all published. Additionally, the costs are considerable with approx. €3000.– per week. Finally the production was in a backyard laboratory with no trace of GMP conformity. There are no analysis certificates, no content of acting drug, nothing. I.o.W. your boss injected a substance into patients he knew nothing about. These injections likely interfered with state of the art treatment if not prevented it. This is the problem. From what I have seen in internet pages of NDs (partly highest ranking) he is not alone with this.

    This proves beyond any doubt that naturopaths, despite their claims that they love science and cutting edge technologies a lot do not understand science and do not do proper research. In this very blog we had a discussion with a director of medical sciences of a naturopathic college. It was a disaster. The reason is clear. How should an ND learn all the science stuff if the universities are an academic disaster as well ?

    • https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com Britt Hermes

      Yes. Thanks. I hear ya. The problem for me initially was the non-FDA point, as there was no ethics board approval and truthfully, I was scared we had harmed a patient (one opt who died had labs showing hepatitis). This experience opened up Pandora’s box for me. Now, the problem for me is all of what you described above, and less so the details about FDA-approval. As you said, as I learned more and more, it became startling obvious NDs have absolutely no clue how to assess the science behind a treatment, especially those that might be categorized as cutting edge.

  • David Grant

    I agree with Britt with her opposition to recognizing naturopaths as primary care specialists. The tragic case of Ezekiel Stephen, which has been discussed at length on this blog, is one that should make any person think twice about granting this kind of recognition. I am glad that there is another ex-naturopath out there to help in this struggle.

  • Christopher Carden

    I have long since had little or no faith in established medicine and have had a very positive experience of naturopathy. I have heard many more horror stories about the former than about the latter; no man-made system is perfect. Almost twenty years ago I was suddenly almost immobilised by an acute back pain whilst attending a seminar in London. I was immediately recommended to a naturopath who told me that in one emergency session he could only give me temporary relief; fair enough no? He did just that, though I don’t recall how. Several relatively pain-free days later I registered and paid for (I have no recollection of it being very expensive) some six sessions over ten days with a young lady naturopath in the town where I was living. Arriving for the first session, the pain having returned intermittently and less acutely, I settled face up on the treatment board, she placed both hands so that her fingers were touching my spinal column and I immediately felt an intense but not unpleasant heat in my back. This was repeated at each session though in the second session she also did a spell of treatment via my throat for reasons which she explained to me when I asked but details of which I no longer recall. When the day arrived for my last session I felt great: absolutely no pain. Since the session was booked and paid for I went anyway. I made no comment on how I felt to the “doctor”; I just laid down as normal and she placed her hands as normal … but I felt nothing … no heat. Surprised, I commented this to her and her reply was “That’s good. You must be cured”. I replied that I did indeed feel “cured” and that I had only come to my appointment because it was already paid for. And almost 20 years later, using my back as normal the problem remains cured.

    • Thomas Mohr

      Christopher, a painful back is in most cases a self limiting condition.. The resolve can be sped up by using muscle relaxants, antiinflammatory drugs and/or ointments that temporarily increase blood flow. Your ND with the magic fingers probably used campher. A good family doctor would have given you such an ointment and told you the following: Apply that every evening for a week and if it does not get better we will do an MRI to exclude a herniated disc. This is the crucial omission. If you would indeed have had a beginning disc herniation, the delay in proper treatment could have meant the difference between a conservative approach and surgery. Thanks for the really elucidating report on how nauropaths work. BTW, the statement no symptoms – you must be cured demonstrates she does not have a clue what was wrong.

      • Christopher Carden

        Thomas, For the sake of brevity I merely said a pain in my back. In fact it had happened several times very intermittently in the previous decade as if I had “put my back out” but strangely, never had it happened when I was really using my back (I am an outdoors type, forester/farmer constantly lifting etc.) but only when walking gently or sitting. The same on the “fatal” occasion described. Previously the pain disappeared of its own accord after maximum 48 hours. My naturopath did not apply, as far as I am aware, any medication. I did not see her put anything on her hands on any occasion, and, had she used camphor I would certainly have smelled it. For general aches and pains over the years I have used those products Dolorub, Deep Heat etc. and they are very effective in most cases but not for this problem. I have had back X-rays and suffer from slight lumbar curvature and fusion – very common I understand and not surprising for a fairly well abused back like mine! I will be 70 in November and still working daily on my survival farm – not like a 30 year old of course, but at least normally free of aches and pains unlike most of my younger friends. Of course a lot depends on the mind!

        • David

          You are going to make chiropractors jealous of stories of her magical hands.

          • Christopher Carden

            No I don’t think so. As I understand it chiropracters manipulate the bones whereas in the case of the naturopath there was no manipulation, indeed she barely touched me with the tips of her fingers. It was pure energy; where it came from or how she acquired it I know not … but it was something that I could most certainly feel and it worked … longterm, not just a patch.

            • Petticoat Philosopher

              So…what you’re saying is you believe in magic? I guess I actually find that much more palatable than trying to wrap up magical beliefs in scientific-sounding language. Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs, I guess, though I wish other people didn’t charge money for magic.

              • Christopher Carden

                No, not magic. There are many wonderful things that happen in this life that we (the vast majority) cannot explain. A few people, normally far more intelligent than average but sadly often labelled “cranks” (or charlatans etc.) propose an explanation which is promptly dismissed by the more ignorant majority who are incapable of comprehending the theory (I include myself in that “ignorant” majority on most subjects). When I press a light switch and there is light I know that there’s a scientific explanation for the event but it might as well be magic because, frankly, I don’t understand the science. I understand that there is “energy” all around us, many different types, wild and mostly uncontrolled. Physicist friends have often tried to explain it to me but I remain none the wiser. It is involved in some way in all health problems and their cures and some people have the power to harness such power for the benefit of others. Just because you or I don’t/can’t understand it does not make it magic. At the end of the day what matters is the result. And in my experience all around the world I have been both direct and indirect witness to many “miracles” achieved by alternative medicine and that’s why many regular medical practitioners routinely combine alternative techniques in their practice. That there is some abuse and quackery in all fields of endeavour is a reality … that’s life!

                • has

                  “Physicist friends have often tried to explain it to me but I remain none the wiser.”

                  There’s a surprise. However, just because you remain completely ignorant of how the universe works does not mean that everyone else is as ignorant as you. Science does not care what you think, only what you can prove. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.

                  Now, if you don’t want to develop the skills that will enable you to determine the difference then that your choice. But don’t go shilling your personal religion to everyone else just to feed your desperate need to believe, because that is the sort of grotesque evangelical irresponsibility that gets other people crippled and killed.

                  • Christopher Carden

                    I think I have shown that I have the humility to recognise that I lack the intelligence of Einstein.
                    I don’t hide behind some initials.
                    I don’t insult those with whom I disagree.
                    The fact that I have a science degree from a 500 year old university does not mean that I am a know-all.
                    All I recounted was a very positive experience that I had of naturopathy.

                  • has

                    Oh please. It is not the intelligence of Einstein you lack, it is the basic critical thinking skills; the rigorous unflinching intellectual honesty that enables one to say “Am I wrong?”, do the work to obtain the answer to that question, and have the gonads to stand up and admit “Why yes I am”, and use that learning experience to do good.

                    There is no shame in being wrong, only in refusing to accept it. If a nine year-old child can learn these skills, what’s your 70-year-old excuse?!

                  • Christopher Carden

                    The insults and sarcasm continue! Unfortunately there’s no shortage of imbeciles in society that we normal people just have to learn to tolerate. As my mother liked to say “you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear”.

                    I never claimed to be either right or wrong. I merely related a personal, positive experience in support of naturopaths. What counts in all endeavour is the result provided that the cost:benefit ratio is reasonable. In this case the latter too was favourable.

                  • has

                    Ah yes, so telling a superannuated supporter of Harry Potter wish-fulfillment to grow the hell up and behave as an adult is an insult now. I’ve noticed this about AltMed fans: religious special pleading and intellectual cowardice all the way down, topped off with a big fat wallow of arguments by fallacy, fake humility, and self-adulating butthurt. Congratulations, you’re no exception. You must think we’re all extremely stupid not to see straight through you when you’re transparent as glass.

                    Your quasi-religious anecdotes are worth just as much as your character smears: nothing at all. And don’t pretend to wash your hands of all responsibility for your self-serving boosterism of medical fraud: when these things happen, the blood is on your hands too.

                    At least have the gonads to acknowledge your words and actions have consequences. You would still be wrong in stating them, but at least you would warrant a basic respect for owning a spine. But as you are, nothing at all.

                  • Christopher Carden

                    Imbecilic verbiage which neither requires nor will receive any further comment.

                  • has

                    “A++++++ Would flounce again!!!!!!”

                  • Christopher Carden

                    Evidently correct: imbecilic verbiage confirmed.
                    Merriam-Webster definition of flounce for your enlightenment:
                    a : to move with exaggerated jerky or bouncy motions ; also : to move so as to draw attention to oneself b : to go with sudden determination

                  • has

                    Urban Dictionary definition of flounce:

                    When a member of an online community announces they are leaving, usually after a protracted disagreement with other members of the community.

                    “I’m gone. You all enjoy your little discussions.”

                    Curiously enough, this tends to be followed by rapid failure of previous promises not to respond any further. But hey, who doesn’t love a good chew toy? We’re laughing at you, not with you.

                  • Petticoat Philosopher

                    What I’m not understanding is how the experience you related actually is in support of naturopaths. What you described sounds basically like a laying-on-of-hands-type healing experience and, though you state that you do not believe this is magic, you do seem to put it in the category of things that might as well be magic because you can’t explain them. And, look, I get that concept. Electricity seems like magic to me too, and I’m not really beating myself up over it. I’m not a physicist; I know everything I need to know about electricity and there are things I want to know more about more than I want to know more about electricity. But, if I wanted to, I could learn more about how electricity works. As you point out, it’s not unexplainable. There are people who can explain it, it’s just that there aren’t that many of them because it’s an obscure area of knowledge that it takes a great deal of time and hard work to master it, which most people invest elsewhere.

                    Is it your belief that your experience is explainable by naturopaths? That a naturopath could explain the mechanism by which this woman lightly touching your back took away your pain? Do you believe that this is something that anybody who chose to undertake naturopathic training could learn to do and explain? Because a) It seems like if that were the case, we’d heat about it way more. Touching painful areas to take pain away? If that’s something one can learn at naturopathy school, to hell with this MSW I’m getting b) But the whole idea of this being a skill that can be learned and explained with the proper training seems to go against your statement that “some people have the power to harness such power for the benefit of others.” That doesn’t sound like something you get from education, that sounds like something a person would just have–some sort of special supernatural-seeming “gift,” like clairvoyance or something. Physicists are smart and they work long and hard to gain their knowledge but they’re not special people, the’re just smart, hardworking people. It seems like you’re describing somebody that you believe is some how endowed with the ability to heal with her hands, even if the way she does it cannot be understood.

                    So how does this demonstrate that naturopathy works? In order for this to be a plug for naturopathy, all naturopaths would have to be able to perform this feat and do so reliably in a standardized way, while understanding things like limitations, potential dangers etc. Unless you believe this is the case–and maybe you do–the thing that you are saying “works,” is not naturopathy, it’s this particular woman’s magical-seeming hands. And you may say “It’s not actually magic, it just seems like magic because we don’t have the scientific explanation for how it works yet.” But until we actually do have an explanation and evidence, it is just a belief.

                    And again, people are entitled to their beliefs. I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem with people monetizing them. Until this is well-understood and can be reliably performed by any qualified person with the proper training, who understands the potential risks benefits and limitations, isn’t this something that people shouldn’t turn into an industry? If we don’t understand how it works, then we have no way of predicting when it will work, for whom it will work, who can even do it, what conditions might affect the outcome and how etc. And couldn’t that be potentially very risky for someone who, say, eschews a standard, science-based, well-understood treatment for something that, being currently unknowable, is unpredictable as to whether or not it will even work?

                    Even assuming that people with magical-seeming hands that can take pain away exist, how is it ethical to sell magical-seeming hands treatments if we don’t understand them? How do they demonstrate the integrity of naturopathy and not just the apparent existence of people with magical-seeming hands?

                    I feel the same way about faith healing etc. If you want to pray for someone or you want to ask people to pray for you, fine. If you want to charge people to pray for them, I have a problem with that.

                  • Christopher Carden

                    I don’t know if naturopaths can explain what I have reported. I didn’t ask at the time and have not since met a naturopath with whom to discuss it.

          • Christopher Carden

            No I don’t think so. As I understand it chiropracters manipulate the bones whereas in the case of the naturopath there was no manipulation, indeed she barely touched me with the tips of her fingers. It was pure energy; where it came from or how she acquired it I know not … but it was something that I could most certainly feel and it worked … longterm, not just a patch.

    • Terrie_S

      I’ve heard more horror stories about eating at Mcdonald’s than I have about eating out of a trash can. Doesn’t mean the trash can is better, just means more people eat at McDonald’s.

      • Christopher Carden

        I have spent the best part of my life in tropical third world countries and am used to seeing people scavenging the trash cans; I have never shied from eating in the street or market and the only time I had food poisoning was from eating in a restaurant in a city centre. One develops a healthy immune system. Note: This same logic does not apply to travellers, only to residents . The risks of infection are far higher visiting a hospital or doctor’s surgery where the standard of cleanliness is actually much better, but where lurk particularly nasty, disinfectant/antibiotic resistant bugs.

        I would agree that more people eat at McDonald’s worldwide (I am not one, thankfully) than in trash cans but I wouldn’t be surprised if a controlled survey worldwide showed that McDonald’s was the more dangerous option of the two. Food for Thought?

        • http://howdovaccinescauseautism.com/ FSMPastapharian

          Terrie’s point———-
          Your head:…….. O

      • http://howdovaccinescauseautism.com/ FSMPastapharian

        Basic math escapes these people as much as basic science.

  • Ashley Dali

    Hi Britt Marie Hermes and other readers of this site. I stumbled upon this website while researching naturopathy, and I had to leave a comment here (other threads that I wanted to comment on are closed). I am a nursing student who is interested in a more holistic approach to healthcare as opposed to what the healthcare system has become: mostly treating symptoms with more drugs and surgery.

    Britt, I do not understand why you constantly disparage naturopathy when there are many benefits to it. If it is “cow pie” as you claim, why is it used in combination with conventional medicine at top healthcare facilities? No medical system is perfect. There have been wrongful deaths and success stories from both conventional medicine and naturopathy. They both have their benefits and negatives, and I believe they both have their place in improving health.

    I think it is unfortunate that you completely gave up on naturopathy instead of working with naturopaths and healthcare professionals to try to improve the ND profession. I don’t think your change.org petition and this entire website ridiculing naturopathic medicine is helpful to those who use or practice or are interested in naturopathic medicine. Maybe in ND training there should be a greater distinction made between ancient philosophies (Ayurveda, TCM, etc.) and more empirical scientific research. Maybe naturopathy should be viewed as supplementary to conventional medicine, and conventional medicine should be overhauled and restructured to focus on the patient holistically, as well as more emphasis on nutrition and prevention, instead of being controlled by pharmaceutical/medical companies and politics. Dismissing naturopathy altogether and calling for an end to the ND profession is misguided and counterproductive because the current state of our healthcare system demands that a more natural approach is taken to help improve our health.

    • Thomas Mohr

      Ashley, to address a few your points:

      First, naturopathy used at top healthcare facilities. First, it is not widely used at top core healthcare centers and if it is used it is by demand of the patient.

      Second, naturopathy treating the cause of diseases. this is claimed but untrue. In fact, big chunks of naturopathy (homeopathy and TCM e.g.) do not even need a correct diagnosis. Homeopathy is entirely symptom driven and TCM relies on a system that is plainly not existent. Aside that, treating a disease by eliminating the cause of the disease after the fact is like – I ope Britt forgives the strong language – trying to fend of an attack by a sexual predator by psycho-therapeutic means. I guess you will not treat lung cancer by quitting smoking, will you ?

      Third, problems with other branches of naturopathy. Herbal medicine: Naturopaths assume that mother nature made somehow some plants for us humans to be used as therapeutics. Well, mother nature is a bitch. She did not do that. While plants are a very valuable source for drugs, their chemical factories are made for the plant and not for the human. That means that using plants instead of developed drugs has a lot of problems, namely unwanted cross reaction, dosage, efficiency, side effects, etc. A classical example is Aspirin. Willowbark tea has been used against fever and pain for centuries, but was neither very effective not very nice to take. The acetylation of the salicylic acid (the active ingredient in willow bark) made the whole thing far better. Or do you drink willow bark tea instead of taking an aspirin ?

      Naturopaths know all that since decades, yet their philosophy prevents them from accepting all that. They have been astonishingly learning resistant. Add to that an abysmal eductation and you will see that it is sometimes better to push something overboard rather than reforming it.

      • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

        I like willow bark tea and weed for pain. 🙂 😉

      • MI Dawn

        @Thomas: There’s lots of good herbs out there…unfortunately, there are many poisonous ones too. I’m actually much happier taking any medications in regulated doses, than making teas and hoping they will have an adequate treatment dose without being excessive.

        I remember many years ago hearing about comfrey tea. Comfrey is very nice externally for mild skin irritations. Unfortunately, it did not-nice things internally, especially to your liver. But you couldn’t convince those drinking it that it was dangerous “because it was natural”! My retort has become: Yes, so are arsenic and amanita mushrooms, as well as rattlesnakes and black widow spiders. Nature doesn’t care about humans. Nature doesn’t care about anything.

        • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

          Doctors and nurses can help people get a balanced view on this stuff–from what I have seen naturopaths just seem to make it worse. One of the important aspects of that though is not to drive the patients into the arms of naturopaths–don’t be dismissive, or profile patients as drug seekers. The drug war itself is also behind a lot of this but that is another topic.

          The supplement industry has no standards or regulation. There was a great article in the NYT you can google about common herbal supplements being sold in pharmacies of all places and how these contained all sorts of evil crap and none of the herb described on the label. At least the pharma industry labels their shit correctly. Of all of the corruption and BS from the FDA, it’s the best we have in terms of labeling of ingredients.

          I struggle a lot with an orphan disease and a bunch of other immune system dysfunctions. All of the miracle drugs, while working miracles (like humira, for example, which I love and adore) don’t address my chronic pain completely. I’ve been offered the fentanyl patches and all of the opiates–I don’t want to walk down that path.

          Back to the herbs–taking supplements pre-packaged off the shelf is a roulette game. You may get the herb, or you may not. This is why I am always popping up on this blog asking why it is that naturopaths are prescribing from pharmacies or selling expensive unregulated supplement brands instead of laboring over the raw material for their patients.

        • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

          Doctors and nurses can help people get a balanced view on this stuff–from what I have seen naturopaths just seem to make it worse. One of the important aspects of that though is not to drive the patients into the arms of naturopaths–don’t be dismissive, or profile patients as drug seekers. The drug war itself is also behind a lot of this but that is another topic.

          The supplement industry has no standards or regulation. There was a great article in the NYT you can google about common herbal supplements being sold in pharmacies of all places and how these contained all sorts of evil crap and none of the herb described on the label. At least the pharma industry labels their shit correctly. Of all of the corruption and BS from the FDA, it’s the best we have in terms of labeling of ingredients.

          I struggle a lot with an orphan disease and a bunch of other immune system dysfunctions. All of the miracle drugs, while working miracles (like humira, for example, which I love and adore) don’t address my chronic pain completely. I’ve been offered the fentanyl patches and all of the opiates–I don’t want to walk down that path.

          Back to the herbs–taking supplements pre-packaged off the shelf is a roulette game. You may get the herb, or you may not. This is why I am always popping up on this blog asking why it is that naturopaths are prescribing from pharmacies or selling expensive unregulated supplement brands instead of laboring over the raw material for their patients.

    • http://amzn.to/1efUqoc Hempista

      Ashley, I am a patient with anaphylactic food allergies and the fake IgG testing that Naturopaths do poses a health risk to real food allergy patients in so many ways–but one of the most important ways is that it endangers our lives is by creating an army of people who go around with fake food allergies, marginalizing and creating a dismissive and ugly atmosphere when the REAL allergy patients try to get people to understand and believe them.

      If you sincerely care about the health of sick people, people with deadly food allergies, you’ll stop this nonsense and get on board with Britt. Only a board certified MD in Allergy & Immunology can diagnose and treat authentic IgE mediated food allergy and the type 4 stuff.

    • MI Dawn

      As a RN for over 30 years, it’s much to my shame to see that a nursing student is falling for this. All I can say is, if my daughter gets into nursing school, I’ll make sure she has the tools and skills to recognize useful treatments (massage, diet, exercise, relaxation techniques) from hand-waving nonsense like reiki, therapeutic touch, homeopathy, cranio-sacral therapy and acupuncture.

      Ashley: don’t fall for the “Big Pharma” nonsense. Yes, they do wrong things. But on the whole, their wrong is FAR less than the lies and illegalities done by naturopaths.

      • has

        Indeed. The Big Pharma fallacy is invariably shilled by those with something even more corrupt and harmful/useless to sell you. Anyone who falls for it wants to fall for it, and what does that say about her and her judgement?

        If Big Pharma saves N lives and kills M lives, where N is significantly greater than M, and Big Quacka saves 0 lives and kills >0 – and won’t even tell you what that second number is because they deliberately do not record it – then one of these systems need improvement and one needs taken out to the woodshed and shot. And anyone who can’t tell which one is which has absolutely no business passing herself off as a medical professional.

        The most “holistic” thing that Ms Dali should do for people who are sick and afraid is be there with a smile, a nice cup of tea, and time for a friendly chat. Yes, it is unfortunate that real medicine has become a victim of its own success here, with its services now so heavily in demand it often can’t provide this simplest and most reassuring of treatments simply because everyone is swept off their feet as it is. However, if Ms Dali genuinely wants to improve medical care then I strongly recommend that is where she start, because other human beings deserve far better than to be the personal playthings of recidivist witch doctors whose only talents lie in pleasing lies and callous cashectomies.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Well…nurses don’t actually have time to smile and serve tea to patients. They are medical professionals, not flight attendants or Mad Men-era secretaries. I was 100% on board with your comment until you got to that part…

          • has

            They are indeed medical professionals (my old mum was one, incidentally) not to mention medicine’s own frontline ground troops, and perhaps if there were more of them hired they could indeed devote some of their time to the simple therapies of just being there and giving a damn, and not just distributing pills and changing bedpans between constantly running themselves into the ground.

            Never underestimate the contribution of an honest smile and engaged ear – not in just making the patient feel cared about, but as a key to maintaining the standards and consistency of that care as well. Flushing all that pricely pretentious “integrative” garbage and its dishonest practitioners down the drain and putting that money into good solid ROI nursing salaries would be a good start. A bit more of that in genuine medicine and we’d have a lot less of this “alternative” nonsense going about.

            • Petticoat Philosopher

              Ha, okay, I think I get you now. I have nurses in my family too (and a sister who is in nursing school currently) and I often find that people don’t seem to understand that nurses actually are trained professionals who provide important medical care as opposed to, well, stereotypically feminine, non-specific nurturance and cheerfulness. But you clearly know otherwise. (I wish more people did.)

              And I actually agree that nursing needs way more investment. The nurses I know and that my sister knows often complain that short staffing makes it difficult to actually put much “care” into patient care and that they don’t have enough time to dedicate to important things like patient education. And prioritizing those things absolutely is key to fighting “alternative” opportunists. When proponents of alternative medicine complain that real doctors don’t spend time talking to them about lifestyle stuff, I often respond that this is the kind of thing nurses would love to be doing more–and it’s much more their job–but don’t get to do. Lots of people don’t seem to understand that other medical professionals besides doctors exist and have an important function to serve which should be supported.

    • Katatonic

      The intrusion of alt med into respected institutions of medicine is an embarrassment and shame. The reasons behind it’s being “integrated” is because patients at those hospitals are seeking it anyway and the hospitals are trying to capture both the dollars and the safety aspects; if the patient gets her acupuncture/reiki/whatever along with her chemo at the same place, at least she has proper medical professionals monitoring her condition. It is NOT an endorsement of the efficacy of alt med.

    • has

      A better question would be: If something is useless, what is wrong with throwing it out?

    • Jason K.

      If it is “cow pie” as you claim, why is it used in combination with conventional medicine at top healthcare facilities?

      It’s a scam which sells itself. So long as people are already getting “real” medicine, the thinking goes, what’s the harm with selling them a little bullshit on the side? The rubes practically DEMAND to be sold these impotent nostrums. And are willing to pay out of pocket, no less! The harm, of course, is that people like you grow up not realizing it’s complete bullshit.

      • has

        Odd how, for all the alties’ ranting about all the evil greed and corruption in mainstream medicine, this “integrative” flimflam is one kind of blatant profit-driven scammery that they never seem to see any problem with.

  • Mayra Mercado Anderson

    I am sorry you had to go thru this, glad you did the right thing. There is good and bad in every profession. Take the good leave the bad but thank you for standing up for justice. I am sure many patients are safer because of your complaint and if no has thanked you, I will.

  • neuteredfruit

    But…… You didn’t provide ANY specific examples of said “quackery….”

    I would love to know how food and nutrition as preventative medicine is quackery

    To me, osteopathy is the best preventative medicine and allopathy is the best treatment medicine for more serious problems (meaning I wouldn’t take ibuprofen for a headache before I would drink more water/eat/sleep but if it were a blood clot I would do anything a doctor said)

    • Thomas Mohr

      Enough examples have been cited and provided in the links. It would be interesting to see how you prevent cardiovascular disease by osteopathy.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      I would love to know how food and nutrition as preventative medicine is quackery

      Well, you’ll have to ask someone who actually thinks that. It’s been asserted multiple times throughout this thread that healthy dietary recommendations and counseling are very much a part of mainstream medicine–though that doesn’t mean that they’re anything close to a guarantee of perfect health. People with squeaky-clean lifestyles get sick too.

  • Thomas Mohr

    BTW, re your twitter post re leaky brain syndrome. This is undoubtedly a condition that does exist. Along with the leaky wallet syndrome. It is characterized by people keeping their brain that open that everything falls out. If an ND suffers from it, the leaky wallet syndrome might be a side effect.