Naturopathic medicine is cow pie

Naturopathic medicine is cowpie

Naturopathy is an ideology. It is not a distinct form of primary care medicine. In fact, it is not any kind of medicine. It is pseudoscience.

Naturopathy does not convey the same credibility or deserve the same respect as medicine. But, in an effort to generate credibility, proponents of naturopathic “medicine” love to claim that the profession offers something special. The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges describes a “naturopathic physician” as follows:

Today’s naturopathic physicians artfully blend modern, cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with ancient and traditional methods. These physicians are succeeding in their goal to present the world with a healing paradigm founded on a rational balance of tradition, science and respect for nature. Because naturopathic physicians believe in understanding patients from the cellular level up, they actively pursue the latest biochemical findings relating to the workings of the body and the dynamics of botanical medicines, nutrition, homeopathy and other natural therapies. Their diagnoses and therapeutics are increasingly supported by scientific evidence.

Politically, this is a strong lobbying point because the presentation resembles a compromise between two seemingly valid philosophies: medicine and ancient wisdom. In reality, however, this reasoning is pretty much a word salad heavily relying on false equivalency. Dr. Mark Crislip has a great phrase to describe this sort of problem, “If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse.” Mixing naturopathy into medicine makes real medicine less effective. The mixing needs to stop.

When I practiced, I thought of myself as an evidence-based naturopath because I would look things up on UpToDate.com and PubMed. I now know that I did not know how much I did not know about evidence, science, or real medicine. Perhaps this Dunning-Kruger effect is perpetuated by the fact that naturopaths isolate themselves from the scientific community from day one of their programs. Much of what is taught in naturopathic school is based on folklore and tradition, while scientific topics are merely taught by other naturopaths. Further in their careers, naturopaths very rarely publish in the high-impact, peer-reviewed journals that chronicle medical research, rather they stick to their own naturopathic journals to report the latest “findings” and “discoveries” concerning a plethora of questionable treatments. This insular existence effectively means that no one really knows what naturopaths are actually all about. They claim to “harness the healing power of nature” to “solve the great primary care crisis.” Again, naturopathic organizations are just tossing a word salad.

I think it is a good idea to discuss why many of these purported traits of the profession are not unique to naturopathy but are actually ploys to capitalize on misguided consumer preferences.

Spending time with patients

A common complaint I hear regarding medical care is the microscopic time that doctors spend with patients. Naturopaths directly exploit this patient dissatisfaction by advertising that they spend a tremendous amount of time exploring quirky medical histories and essentially just hearing out a patient.

In my former practice an hour of my time, regardless of medical complexity, would cost about $150-$200. A 10 to 15 minute appointment cost $50. This is significantly more expensive than the typical amount of a co-pay to see a real primary care doctor. I knew this, and therefore needed to make sure that patients were satisfied in order to secure return business. Often times, naturopathic clinics sell packages of appointments for a reduced fee compared to paying for each appointment individually. (Chiropractors are notorious for this sales ploy.)

Spending more time with a patient is not naturopathic; it is a business model. Since most naturopaths cannot take insurance, or choose not to contract with insurance companies (due to low reimbursement rates), naturopaths tend to schedule fewer but longer appointments. Patients are often paying for naturopathic expenses out-of-pocket, so naturopaths need to ensure patients feel like they are getting their money’s worth. In fact, at Bastyr, and, I presume, at other accredited colleges, students are taught this business model in a required course called Practice Management.

Spending more time with patients allows a naturopath to explain, in detail, complex, and often fake, medical diagnoses. A common fake disease that requires time to explain, for example, is adrenal fatigue, for which a naturopath can outline the necessity for several supplements or other naturopathic treatments, such as homeopathy.

Yes, naturopaths love to spend time with their patients. But don’t be fooled. Time equals money. Trust me, the value is low.

Holistic care

Treating the “whole person” with a counseling approach focused on nutrition and lifestyle is not uniquely naturopathic. It is just medicine. Unfortunately, naturopaths have done a pretty good job marketing themselves as holistic gurus by convincing the public that medical doctors know nothing about anything that is not a drug or a surgical technique.

Despite what naturopaths say, naturopathic nutritional advice can be quite dangerous. Naturopaths attending accredited naturopathic schools do spend a great deal of time taking courses in nutrition, but much of what is taught is pseudoscience. For example, I was taught in one nutrition course that oral vitamin K drops are a reasonable replacement for a vitamin K shot in newborns to prevent hemorrhagic disease. I was also taught how to “eat right for my blood type“, how to eat paleo, and that gluten can cause a huge array of symptoms associated with a dizzyingly long list of diseases, even in the absence of Celiac disease or gluten-intolerance. Naturopathic nutritional counseling is best characterized as a Hodge-podge of fad diets, disproven theories, and food-related ideologies based on nonsense, à la the Food Babe.

Clinically, naturopaths often make diet recommendations based off of blood food allergy tests, called IgG Food Intolerance tests. When I was in practice, I frequently used US BioTek IgG Food Allergy panels. I would recommend a patient eliminate all of the foods that returned positive results for 2 to 4 weeks and then reintroduce these foods sequentially as a “food challenge.” This plan required an appointment for the test, another appointment for the results, a third appointment for a mid-food-elimination check-in, and another one to two additional appointments during the re-introduction phase. That’s a lot of money and very hard work for the patient.

Naturopaths are taught this follow-up trick in school, and it is often reiterated during time spent shadowing naturopaths in practice before graduation. Providing such a hands-on form of nutritional and lifestyle counseling is not naturopathic. It is a money-making scheme.

Recommending dietary supplements

A medical recommendation to take a supplement, such as calcium, vitamin D, or folic acid, is not naturopathic. Contrary to popular belief, medical doctors know the necessary information regarding dietary supplementation and will make appropriate recommendations to patients. Chances are, your doctor also knows quite a bit about fish oil for cardiovascular disease, ginkgo biloba for memory loss, taking antioxidants while undergoing chemotherapy, or even using Feverfew for migraine prophylaxis. They probably will be more honest about the severe lack of evidence to support the use of many supplements.

Naturopaths sell in-office supplements they are familiar with and that are sold to them by supplement company sales representatives. We depend on the supplement company’s reputation for quality and testing, and often times the experiences of other naturopaths when choosing supplement products. Frequently, naturopaths ask each other in social media chat rooms for product recommendations. At my first practice, I helped choose new supplements to be sold in the “natural” dispensary. While a few other factors did come into play, our choices were predominantly shaped by the price of the supplement. Price deals were struck with a supplement company’s representative over numerous free lunches and mini-social gatherings.

The supplement that naturopaths sells in his/her office is not guaranteed to be safe or effective. I do guarantee, however, that the supplement is marked up by 100%, and the naturopath selling the product makes a nice cut of the sale. I took home 20% of all of my supplement sales. If you have questions regarding supplements, you are better off seeking the advice of a medical professional who is not earning money off supplements.

Personalized care is not naturopathic

A good doctor takes personal, social, and family history into account when treating any patient. This practice is not naturopathic. It is good medicine. The bottom line is that “what naturopaths do that is good is not different from what medical doctors do, and what they do that is different is not good.” One important caveat: naturopaths tend to do more harm than good.

Naturopathic medicine is not medicine

Naturopathy and medicine do not exist on the same playing field. They are not even comparable in a way that suggests they might be equal. One is real, validated, and continuously revised by science. The other is more of a religion that is informed by anecdotes and folklore. We should not be looking for a middle ground between scientifically validated medicine and utter nonsense that terribly wants to be accepted.

When we yield to naturopathic rhetoric, and concede that yes, naturopaths talk about diet and exercise, and yes, naturopaths spend time with patients, we provide the illusion naturopathy has value. This is the process that naturopathic organizations have come to depend upon to increase naturopathic licensure and expand legal scopes of practice. Quite seriously, if we give an inch, the NDs will take a mile. It is important to employ skepticism and counter naturopathy based on the facts of its practice, rather than the truthiness of its extraordinary claims.

To the naturopathic patient, your next appointment might be to go over your three-month IV-therapy chelation plan and detox diet. Cancel it. It’s far healthier to put that money towards a relaxing vacation eating lots of fruit and vegetables than to spend it needlessly pumping vitamins directly into your veins. Why not have a delicious apple pie?

Image credit: Photo by Steven Zolneczko. Some rights reserved.

705 Replies to “Naturopathic medicine is cow pie

  1. Quote: “These physicians are succeeding in their goal to present the world with a
    healing paradigm founded on a rational balance of tradition, science
    and respect for nature” This is complete bullshit. Medicine is defined by treatments that work and not by a rational balance. The problem ist thet naturopaths employ treatments that are fraught with cross reactivity and dilutions. A prime example is Aspirin. Why employ an extract of willow bark if salicylic acid is far more effective ?

  2. Chances are, your doctor also knows quite a bit about fish oil for
    cardiovascular disease, ginkgo biloba for memory loss, taking
    antioxidants while undergoing chemotherapy, or even using Feverfew for
    migraine prophylaxis.

    Are you saying doctors know of these as effective or ineffective? I thought ginko biloba got shot down not too long ago, but am not aware of the others. I ask because my wife is prone to migraines.

    1. I am saying that doctors are aware of these fad supplement trends are usually up to date regarding the evidence, AND/OR, doctors are much more qualified to survey the evidence to make an appropriate medical recommendation regarding the use of these supplements. Yes, ginkgo was shot down. Fish oil benefits seem to have been oversold based on current evidence. And feverfew for migraine prophylaxis is still understudied (only 10 clinical trial results in pubmed) and usually tested as a part of a supplement “cocktail” along with magnesium, willow’s bark, ginger, and/or butterbur. But if you were to audit the information being taught in a botanical medicine class, I bet students are just memorizing herbs to be used for specific conditions: feverfew for headaches, fish oil for high cholesterol, ginkgo for memory loss, etc without any real sense of what the evidence states about the efficacy or safety of such supplements.

  3. “I took home 20% of all my supplement sales”

    This is an appalling conflict of interest. Unfortunately, the conflict of interest faced by doctors who profit off the treatments they recommend is also present for MD/DOs in a number of specialties, particularly the surgical specialties. This profit motive, no doubt, leads to an over utilization of a wide variety of interventions, ranging from allergy shots to knee replacements to chiropractic “wellness” visits. (http://www.thejoint.com/plans-pricing).

    Consider the case of this cardiologist:
    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-11-10/health/bs-md-mclean-sentenced-20111108_1_unnecessary-coronary-stents-midei-stent-patients

    The fee for service model is a perverse incentive system for health care providers. Sadly, Obamacare does not appear to address this flawed system, and I fear that spiraling health care costs will continue to plague the US health care system as a result.

    Thank you Ms. Hermes for your bravery and honesty in exposing the quackery within Naturopathy.

        1. Homeopathy is incredibly effective medicine, and if you do some actual research into the research on it, you will discover that.

          1. Australian Health Authorities did a very indepth research and found hpomeopathy did NOT work. In fact the first double blinded placebo controlled study already demonstrated that as early as the early 19th century. Not even the experiment homeopathy is based on has ever been replcated (the famous chinin experiment by Hahnemann).

            1. It is common for various scientific bodies to try and subject Homeopathy to the same sort of research as regular dilution drugs using the drug-for-disease model and then proclaim that it doesn’t work. And, typically they make these proclamations without even a thorough review of research available from around the world. I understand that Homeopathy “fails” when subjected to certain research models that don’t support it. And I understand that not all Homeopathic research has been conclusive – one way or the other. However, I have no idea why you claim lack of replication since there is plenty of that out there. But, why argue with me? Clearly you don’t want to keep an open mind on Homeopathy. So, don’t! Me and other practitioners and individuals who have found it highly effective will keep using it, however, because it has demonstrated its effectiveness to us repeatedly.

            2. It is common for various scientific bodies to try and subject Homeopathy to the same sort of research as regular dilution drugs using the drug-for-disease model and then proclaim that it doesn’t work. And, typically they make these proclamations without even a thorough review of research available from around the world. I understand that Homeopathy “fails” when subjected to certain research models that don’t support it. And I understand that not all Homeopathic research has been conclusive – one way or the other. However, I have no idea why you claim lack of replication since there is plenty of that out there. But, why argue with me? Clearly you don’t want to keep an open mind on Homeopathy. So, don’t! Me and other practitioners and individuals who have found it highly effective will keep using it, however, because it has demonstrated its effectiveness to us repeatedly.

              1. Tevna, once again. The superior treatment model works as follows:
                Treatment 1 -> patients get better in 15 days | live longer by 1 year | have a quality of life of 50 or whatever readout you chose

                Treatment 2 -> patient get better 5 days | live longer by 3 years | have a quality of life of 100 or whatever readout you chose

                The nature of the treatment is COMPLETELY irrelevant. This can be rain dances, church prayers, throwing fish onto their face or stuffing fret’s ears into their nose after painting them blue or feeding the patients with personalized homeopatic drugs. Treatment 2 is better. Homeopathy fails this test consecutively.

                THe strongest argument against your excuse is simply that such trial designs also work in psychiatry and psychotherapy which always had VERY personalized treatments.

                1. It doesn’t fail. I don’t know why you keep saying that. There is plenty of evidence to support it, some of which I sent you with just a few minutes digging. Look up Dana Ullman’s site, he keeps track of the research in some depth – at least the English speaking things, I don’t know if he tracks it in other languages, as well.

                  1. Tevna apparently you have not understood the implications of your own citation, therefore I will put it into simple words. Dirty studies included -> some significance, dirty studies excluded -> no significance. With a treatment that works this should look like this: dirty studies included -> some significance, dirty studies excluded -> high significance. Got it ? Aside this, the Australian Metaanalysis includes these studies and more and reaches an even more damming conclusion.

                  2. I have already answered this question. The people who did the meta-analysis don’t even understand Homeopathy. So, their ability to even determine which studies might be valid models for Homeopathic research is therefore not even assured. The conclusion that they came to is already understood and accepted in Homeopathy. Their entire premise was absurd.

                  3. OK, the next thing you do not understand in science. Metaanalysis is about assessing the methodology and solidness of the design and the statistical approach. The underlying treatments are largely irrelevant. You can rest assured, the Australians understood very well how clinical trials are evaluated and the result is damning for homeopathy.

                  4. My point was that they do not understand Homeopathy. Just the fact that they were assessing its relationship to specific illnesses is proof of that.

                  5. Tevna, once again. The nature of the treatment is irrelevant in superiority trials. Is that really so difficult to comprehend ?

                  6. Pardon me ? When we pointed out to you that homeopathy consistently fails in superiority trials you claim that homeopathy can not be tested that way. If the treatment is irrelevant in superiority trials homeopathy can be tested that way and has failed. So what is it ?

                  7. Once again, if you are testing to see if Homeopathy treats a specific illness, you are missing the point and testing it wrong. However, in spite of testing it wrong, Homeopathy still succeeds in many trials because the patients are similar enough in their illness expression that it will be effective. And, in spite of testing it wrong, not all meta-analyses have come to the conclusion that Homeopathy is only as effective as placebo. You are simply ignoring the ones that disagree with you.

                  8. OK, the next thing you do not understand in science. Metaanalysis is about assessing the methodology and solidness of the design and the statistical approach. The underlying treatments are largely irrelevant. You can rest assured, the Australians understood very well how clinical trials are evaluated and the result is damning for homeopathy.

                  9. I have already answered this question. The people who did the meta-analysis don’t even understand Homeopathy. So, their ability to even determine which studies might be valid models for Homeopathic research is therefore not even assured. The conclusion that they came to is already understood and accepted in Homeopathy. Their entire premise was absurd.

              2. Well, everything possible should be done for you and people like you to stop deceiving patients that by giving them homeopathy you are giving them a product with any therapeutic effect. They are not able to make informed choices when they are deceived by either incompetent or lying pseudo-doctors.
                There is actual harm happening because of delayed treatments, waste of healthcare resources and such.
                I personally think that medical and scientific community is not doing enough to oppose this kind of deception (activists at places like SBM being an exception).

                1. You should go spend some time working in a busy Homeopathic clinic in India and witness the cures yourself, first-hand. Beyond that, no licensed naturopathic doctor suggests that patients delay life-saving treatments in urgent situations. We have a great respect for the usefulness of modern emergency medicine and surgery and certainly go out of our way to protect patients and get them any emergent care needed. I also don’t think that people are as stupid as you seem to think that they are. People know when they are healing and when they are not. And, neither naturopathic doctors or their patients stick with treatment methods that are clearly not working for the patient, the same as any other type of doctor strives to do.

                  1. “And, neither naturopathic doctors or their patients stick with treatment
                    methods that are clearly not working for the patient, the same as any
                    other type of doctor strives to do.” This is absolute bullshit.

                  2. Ok, well maybe in your experience doctors and patients keep going with natural treatment methods that don’t work but I have never seen that happening. Apparently you know a lot more stupid people? 🙂

                  3. Ok, well maybe in your experience doctors and patients keep going with natural treatment methods that don’t work but I have never seen that happening. Apparently you know a lot more stupid people? 🙂

                  4. I happen to have to deal with a naturopath trained in the US who tells cancer patients that vitamin C will cure their cancer so please don’t tell me about this “no naturopathic doctor” mantra. You guys follow 18th century vitalism in 21st century and are completely out of touch with reality.
                    As to recovery do you even know what ‘natural course of disease’ and ‘self-limiting’ is? Yes some people get better. Some of them could get better much faster and with less discomfort if they got an actual treatment. Some of them wouldn’t because there is no effective treatment, but then they or whoever pays wouldn’t have wasted their money.
                    You do realise there are homeopaths in Africa offering treatment for Ebola?

                  5. Yes, I agree with you, there are some questionable doctors of all types, naturopathic ones included. There are some Vitamin C therapies for some cancers but I have not researched details on them because I don’t specialize in oncology. I recall from one of my courses that there is a “danger” dosing range (maybe between 10-20 g IV) that will actually stimulate cancer cell growth and so it is necessary to use more than that, or less, but that is as much as I know about it and I don’t plan to be using it. And, I also agree with you that sometimes the “regular” treatment is faster and more comfortable. For example, when my neighbor’s young child came home very sick, I examined her, explained the likelihood of it being strep throat and suggested that she go to pediatric urgent care for a shot of penicillin, which she did, and the doctor there agreed with me and did exactly that. At the same time, I saw my own delirious child’s fever suddenly drop from 104 to 99 on giving her the correct Homeopathic remedy (after trying a different one and failing and preparing to take her to the ER because it looked like meningitis). And, I wanted to give a patient a strong antibiotic and topical antifungal when confronted with his horrific lower extremity infection but he refused and insisted on Homeopathy. I treated it with Homeopathy and it cleared, which surprised even me, and I had warned him that if any symptoms got any worse then I would discharge him if he didn’t take an antibiotic. But, no antibiotic was ever needed and he continued to improve in overall health, and continues to even now, 5 years later. So, I hold out faith that even Ebola will respond to Homeopathy in some patients.

                  6. Yes, I agree with you, there are some questionable doctors of all types, naturopathic ones included. There are some Vitamin C therapies for some cancers but I have not researched details on them because I don’t specialize in oncology. I recall from one of my courses that there is a “danger” dosing range (maybe between 10-20 g IV) that will actually stimulate cancer cell growth and so it is necessary to use more than that, or less, but that is as much as I know about it and I don’t plan to be using it. And, I also agree with you that sometimes the “regular” treatment is faster and more comfortable. For example, when my neighbor’s young child came home very sick, I examined her, explained the likelihood of it being strep throat and suggested that she go to pediatric urgent care for a shot of penicillin, which she did, and the doctor there agreed with me and did exactly that. At the same time, I saw my own delirious child’s fever suddenly drop from 104 to 99 on giving her the correct Homeopathic remedy (after trying a different one and failing and preparing to take her to the ER because it looked like meningitis). And, I wanted to give a patient a strong antibiotic and topical antifungal when confronted with his horrific lower extremity infection but he refused and insisted on Homeopathy. I treated it with Homeopathy and it cleared, which surprised even me, and I had warned him that if any symptoms got any worse then I would discharge him if he didn’t take an antibiotic. But, no antibiotic was ever needed and he continued to improve in overall health, and continues to even now, 5 years later. So, I hold out faith that even Ebola will respond to Homeopathy in some patients.

          2. The study is available here: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/cam02a_information_paper.pdf. The sheer size of this metaanalysis is unparalleled and it is statistically very powerful.

            To sum it up: Quote: “Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.”.

            I severely doubt you can trump that.

            1. They are correct, there are no “health conditions” for which Homeopathy is effective. And, the statement itself proves their ignorance of Homeopathy. Homeopathy treats “people” (and animals, and plants, and cells, and micro-organisms…), not “health conditions”. The entity treated with Homeopathy then resolves its own health conditions. I don’t know why they wasted so much time and money trying to prove something that we all already know and clearly didn’t even both to understand what they were researching to begin with!

            2. They are correct, there are no “health conditions” for which Homeopathy is effective. And, the statement itself proves their ignorance of Homeopathy. Homeopathy treats “people” (and animals, and plants, and cells, and micro-organisms…), not “health conditions”. The entity treated with Homeopathy then resolves its own health conditions. I don’t know why they wasted so much time and money trying to prove something that we all already know and clearly didn’t even both to understand what they were researching to begin with!

          3. I did my research on that, I reviewed primary and secondary scientific literature for my paper on ethics of homeopathy and it’s a long debunked theory from 200 years ago fit for history books nothing else. If you want to claim otherwise you need to pull out some really strong research which you don’t have.

            1. I don’t know how the “ethics” of Homeopathy compares to researching the actual clinical evidence. But there is plenty. In any case, I did not start a discussion here to defend Homeopathy. It does not need my defense. It works, period.

              1. Actually no amount of handwaving and wishful thinking will change the fact that clinical evidence from both Australian and UK studies which take tons of clinical studies from around the world into account shows it doesn’t work. Also all our basic physics and chemistry would need to be wrong for it to work. So either you reject science wholesale or you’re contradicting yourself to event write here using the Internet.
                In any case anyone who doesn’t get basic high school physics and biology has no business healing people.

                1. Are you implying that our science has reached the limits of its understanding, that there is nothing else to learn, and no additional paradigms to explore that we have not stumbled across yet?

                  1. Avogadro’s Number should have convinced you of homeopathy being BS… If that doesn’t, you cannot be helped.

                  2. Check into nano-pharmacology, where they are just “recently” discovering that substances to change to the opposite effect when you dilute them enough.

                  3. Not at all. I imply that you are living in old vitalistic paradigm that has been abandoned by science long ago. We may yet learn completely unforeseen treatment methods, have new insights into methodology (actually there is quite a lot of development there in last couple of years), but this won’t change the fact that homeopathy is an old falsified theory that is a part of history of science not science. Same as phlogiston, flat earth and, yes, humoral theory of health. Your clinging to falsified theory is exactly the same as someone holding to phlebotomy “because he has seen it work”. No bleeding people doesn’t cure anything and it didn’t for hundred’s of years, but people thought it did, because confirmation bias, overinvestment, magical thinking, argument from authority and many other reasons. You are just the same as people who used to bleed people long after the theory behind it has been falsified.

                  4. This won’t be a useful discussion until you go work in a Homeopathy clinic and observe the results for yourself.

                  5. This was never a useful discussion. Its only usefulness is potential benefit for an uninformed bystander who might read it and see for himself what kind of misguided thinking you represent. Unfortunately with hard enough case of Dunning-Kruger effect there is no way to discuss anything meaningfully with such a person.

                  6. Homeopathy does not work. It never works.

                    I am a Naturopath btw (regretfully). But much like the author of this site, I am disgusted by the profession. I have had numerous experiences in a clinical setting dealing with homeopathy. It NEVER works.

                    In order to be a homeopath you need two things.
                    You need to have absolutely no understanding of post-hoc fallacies.
                    And you need a positive selection bias. That’s it. Those are the homeopathy prerequisites. You can give any homeopathic.
                    Try this at home kids! Give your patients completely random, or even “contraindicated” remedies (as if there are any other types) and watch as they get worse, get better, have “aggravations” or any other COMPLETELY EXPECTED placebo outcomes at the same rate as before.

                    To say homeopathy is useless is to say that the sky is blue. Unfortunately it is more than just useless, it’s also harmful.

                  7. It is too bad that you have had such poor experiences with Homeopathy. It can work so wonderfully and quickly that it is terrible not to be able to use it as a tool 🙁 However, it is true that learning to prescribe it well is not a simple process and just not the best choice for some practitioners anyway. But, have you ever worked at a busy Homeopathy clinic, or only had minimal exposure to it?

                  8. It is too bad that you have had such poor experiences with Homeopathy. It can work so wonderfully and quickly that it is terrible not to be able to use it as a tool 🙁 However, it is true that learning to prescribe it well is not a simple process and just not the best choice for some practitioners anyway. But, have you ever worked at a busy Homeopathy clinic, or only had minimal exposure to it?

                  9. I agree with Roger. I think it can be harmful in certain areas. Any area of discipline that embraces something as ludicrous as homeopathy is something to be skeptical of. The truth when something serious happens, even the believers in CAM will see a science-based doctor. While the history of medicine isn’t perfect, it does evolve with new understanding discoveries. Yes it is true that science-based medicine doesn’t have an answer for everything, but its track record is much better than the alternatives.

                  10. The fact that science has not reached its limits and that there is more to learn doesn’t mean we do not have a sufficient body of evidence or understanding of basic chemical stoichiometry to demonstrate homeopathy is of no utility in treating non-self limiting illnesses or injuries.

                  11. Actually, it does. We see Homeoapthy work but we don’t understand the mechanism because of the current limits of the related science but nano pharmacology is starting to catch up.

                  12. No, Tevna, Nanopharmacology is NOT starting to catch up for Homeopathy: Definition: Nanopharmacology is the use of nanotechnology for discovery of new
                    pharmacological molecular entities; selection of pharmaceuticals for
                    specific individuals to maximize effectiveness and minimize side
                    effects; and delivery of pharmaceuticals to targeted locations or
                    tissues within the body. Nanopharmacology uses small quantities but due to targeted delivery the local concentration lies way above any homeopathic succussion of crunched beetles. And yes, *all* substances have different properties when used in different concentrations. If you drink 6 liters of water water becomes a deadly poison. However, this is still working with measurable concentrations of a substance and is not homeopathy.

              2. Actually no amount of handwaving and wishful thinking will change the fact that clinical evidence from both Australian and UK studies which take tons of clinical studies from around the world into account shows it doesn’t work. Also all our basic physics and chemistry would need to be wrong for it to work. So either you reject science wholesale or you’re contradicting yourself to event write here using the Internet.
                In any case anyone who doesn’t get basic high school physics and biology has no business healing people.

  4. Hucksters of a feather flock together. Naturopathic schools are the leading source of propagandists for dietary supplements. When naturopaths manage to invent a new diagnosis, the industry is only too eager to supply the potions recommended, be they for “yeast syndrome”, “adrenal fatigue”, or any other problem, whether an established disease or one imagined. Like the hypothesis of foods with glycemic index values, their practices are foisted upon the unsuspecting for the sake of experiment and profits without sufficient prior evidence of therapeutic efficacy. Not being legally held to adequately demonstrate efficacy or safety before sales, the supplement industry is guilty of the same practice. A fortune was made from the sale of standardized extracts of Gingko biloba leaf when preliminary clinical studies suggested it would increase memory; a term once emblazoned on bottles and ads in nearly every venue where the products were sold. Since the extract was developed in Germany in 1965, clinical trials have shown that it may have therapeutic value in treating cognitive impairment in patients with dementia, but to establish any benefits for others will require further trials.

  5. Thank you for this!!
    You were very brave to post it for all of us to see and learn from it.
    We have to protect ourselves from “quacks!”
    A very close friend of mine just informed me that he had hired a naturopathic doctor….to the “tune” of $3,000.00 for his services. She has gone on a diet based on her blood type, a Paleo diet, and Gluten free diet. She also buys all prescribed vitamins from him at an additional cost.

    I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was all a waste.

  6. While I have no doubt that ideology is what drives much of this business, I still think this Upton Sinclair quote is relevant: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” –

      1. It is more than a tad ironic that Upton Sinclair was a big advocate for homeopathy and an even bigger advocate for the work of Albert Abrams, MD, and his work in radionics. And by the way, another big advocate of Albert Abrams was Sir James Barr, former President of the British Medical Association!

  7. I also thank you greatly for posting this as one who turned to naturopathic medicine out of desperation and felt like I was ripped off. But what does someone like myself do who also has had very negative experience with doctors who seem to think a pill is the answer to every problem? How do you find that enlightened medical professional who thinks outside the box but who isn’t a quack?

    Thanks!

    1. iphone12, I am a practicing naturopathic doctor and of course I am sorry that you had a bad experience and felt ripped off. Please rest assured that there are many of us with many happy patients who have had a very different experience. We are not all quacks, though obviously there are bad doctors of all sorts.

      1. “I am a Certified ThetaHealing� Practitioner and use this technique, brought to the world in recent times by Vianna Stibal, to connect to the Creator of All That Is to determine the Highest and Best pathway to your Healing.”

        1. Yes, I am also a certified ThetaHealer. That is not part of Naturopathic Medicine, it is a different healing modality.

          1. Where can I find published clinical studies demonstrating that ThetaHealing is both safe and effective as a treatment for any non-self-limiting illness or injury, Tevna?

              1. Tevna,I’m looking for publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Tevna, not personal testimonials or opinion pieces on a website dedicated to commercializing theta healing.

                Surely if credible evidence has been generated thy the research institute they will have submitted it for publication, by searching PubMed for “theta healing” only returns a single abstract (PMID: 26588598) which concluded “The hypothesis that ThetaHealing is associated with an enhanced generation of theta frequencies in the brain could not be confirmed. This finding makes no claim about whether ThetaHealing is beneficial from a clinical perspective.”

                Why do you think that is?

                1. JGC, ThetaHealing is not part of my medical practice and none of my ThetaHealing client have ever asked for scientific studies. I tried ThetaHealing, it worked, so I kept doing it. My clients tried it, it worked, so they kept doing it. If the ThetaHealing institute has not sought publication in journals, or done that sort of research, then their reasons for that, or current status regarding it, is their business, not mine, and you should direct those questions to them. In the meantime, I will keep using it because it works and I don’t need any science beyond my own observation to prove that to me. That would be like asking me about the science behind the baking powder rising my muffins. If it exists, I don’t care because I don’t need it. My muffins rise and that is good enough for me! 🙂

                  1. You also might want to check research databases from Japan – ThetaHealing is very popular there, even within its medical community.

                  2. Tevna, you are familiar with the logical fallacy “argumentum ad populum”? That theta healing is popular does not argue that it is also effective.

                  3. I completely agree with you. And, no one will force you to use it if you do not find it effective for you.

                  4. I completely agree with you. And, no one will force you to use it if you do not find it effective for you.

                  5. How would I go about reliably determining that it was in fact effective for me? It would have to be on some basis other than “I used it, and at some time after I used it my condition had improved”–agreed?

                  6. Yes, of course. Everything is like that. Our entire lives are filled with correlation, to which we often attribute causation, but have no proof.

                  7. Tevna, you are familiar with the logical fallacy “argumentum ad populum”? That theta healing is popular does not argue that it is also effective.

                  8. You also might want to check research databases from Japan – ThetaHealing is very popular there, even within its medical community.

                  9. Tevna, how did you determine ThetaHealing worked–i.e.,that whatever improvements you attributed to ThetaHealing actually were caused by the treatment received?

                    It is, I trust on some basis other than a post ho ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

                  10. I burned my hand while baking cookies – so badly that a blister quickly formed. With ThetaHealing, I completely healed the blister and surrounding skin in a few minutes so it looked like nothing had ever happened. Then, I began to doubt it and wished that I had taken a picture. Then I busted my ankle in a hiking fall – grade 3 sprain – completely healed in 3 days using ThetaHealing – shocked my Chiropractor. Then, a patient came in from a small religious community outside Phoenix, having heard that I was a “faith healer” and requested that I heal his broken and bruised arm. After a few minutes in Theta state, I was shocked to open my eyes and see the arm bruises fading as I watched. His arm was also fine a few minutes later. I can barely believe that myself. I certainly don’t expect you to believe it, as there is no way that I would have if I had not seen it.

                  11. I hope that you put these testimonials on your website so prospective patients can understand the miracles they are paying for. That and holy water and you are unstoppable !!!

                  12. But how did you establish that the speed of healing for the burn and the blister was causally associated with the theta healing you tried? As far as I can see your conclusion is founded in nothing other than a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

                  13. Correct, they could have been entirely coincidental “miracles” unrelated to my ThetaHealing efforts. However, like Pavlov’s dogs, I am inclined to do what I can to replicate, just in case 🙂

                  14. Thank you for explicitly admitting you have no actual evidence theta healing worked for you as you previously claimed.

                  15. You are welcome 🙂 Now, if the rest of the healers of the world would also admit that we get into the habit of assuming that certain things are causing healing when in fact all we are observing is correlation and so we keep doing things that seem to keep working, we might really get somewhere in advancing the cause of healing 🙂

                  16. Tevna, how did you determine ThetaHealing worked–i.e.,that whatever improvements you attributed to ThetaHealing actually were caused by the treatment received?

                    It is, I trust on some basis other than a post ho ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

                2. JGC, ThetaHealing is not part of my medical practice and none of my ThetaHealing client have ever asked for scientific studies. I tried ThetaHealing, it worked, so I kept doing it. My clients tried it, it worked, so they kept doing it. If the ThetaHealing institute has not sought publication in journals, or done that sort of research, then their reasons for that, or current status regarding it, is their business, not mine, and you should direct those questions to them. In the meantime, I will keep using it because it works and I don’t need any science beyond my own observation to prove that to me. That would be like asking me about the science behind the baking powder rising my muffins. If it exists, I don’t care because I don’t need it. My muffins rise and that is good enough for me! 🙂

              2. Tevna,I’m looking for publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Tevna, not personal testimonials or opinion pieces on a website dedicated to commercializing theta healing.

                Surely if credible evidence has been generated thy the research institute they will have submitted it for publication, by searching PubMed for “theta healing” only returns a single abstract (PMID: 26588598) which concluded “The hypothesis that ThetaHealing is associated with an enhanced generation of theta frequencies in the brain could not be confirmed. This finding makes no claim about whether ThetaHealing is beneficial from a clinical perspective.”

                Why do you think that is?

        2. Lovely. You believe that people “choose” their health concerns. So, in other words, you’re just another victim-blaming asshole. BTW- this is directed at Tevna Tayler, Not Taylor Hermes!!

      2. There are many happy customers of pyramid schemes, there are many happy customers of soothsayers and fortune tellers. It doesn’t make those any less a rip-off.
        If you took medical ethics seriously in any way you’d quit pretending to be a doctor.

        By the way – that patient-blaming thing is really horrendous. I wish I understood how you people sleep at night.

        1. I fail to see your logic there. If people are happy with the services from their fortune tellers, then they are happy. So, leave them alone already! Just because you don’t believe in that, or enjoy it, there is no need to attack others who do 🙂 As far as blaming patients, that is also a misunderstanding that you have about how empowerment works. But, that is ok, you don’t need to understand it. However, you don’t need to worry about it since what you call “blame” is actually the first step to enabling and empowering people to find their way back to their own resources to heal. Your attack on my ethics is simply misinformed since you don’t know me and understand little about my profession. But, of course, you are entitled to your opinion!

            1. It would be fine if they were sold after the customer was informed that there is no reason to believe they have any health benefits according to best science we have. Otherwise it’s sales based on deception at best.

                1. This is another discussion. I’d rather avoid it for the sake of simplicity as arguments here are a bit different. I do agree there is a conflict of interest there, and I agree that naturopaths and the like are snake oil peddlers, but we don’t need that to deal with naturopathy itself, especially if they promote homeopathy.

            2. I completely agree with you, David, and make this argument to my colleagues who do sell supplements all the time. I am not convinced that a person can recommend without bias when they are profiting.

          1. Describe the biological underpinnings (cellular mechanisms/pathways, biochemistry involved) of someone suffering from late stage metastatic pancreatic cancer that enables and empowers themselves to find their way back to their own resources to heal?

            1. There are no “biological underpinnings” of finding your way to healing. The biology is the end result – the outward manifestation of the underlying patterns. The answers to that lie more in Psychology realm than Biology.

  8. Just a question. Do naturopath’s routinely perform cancer screening, specifically HPV and Pap testing for cervical cancer?

    1. I did. I assume this is highly variable, based on whether or not the ND is trying to act like a PCP (like I was) or if the ND has some sort of self-defined specialty like cancer or chronic Lyme disease and therefore only do “treatments” for these conditions. (Yes, I know the controversy around whether or not chronic Lyme is a disease. Nevertheless, many NDs diagnose and treat it.)

    2. Yes, many naturopathic doctors practice gynecology, obstetrics, and family practice and do the screening tests.

  9. Medical Cosplay is my umbrella term for most alt med modalities which I feel appropriately captures the fantasy element of what they do, along with the earnestness with which they approach it.
    And most of the Medical Cosplayers I’ve encountered seem to be like you were in that they genuinely believe that they are helping their patients and doing something that doctors can’t or won’t. Sadly, I can’t see any of them joining you outside the cult compound, much less recanting. And it’s not because they’re making money out of it. In most instances, they’re barely getting by.
    Since most of them claim that ‘evidence’ backs their treatments – at least when it suits them to – I find it interesting to ask them (when I’m feeling masochistic) how many treatments/therapies they’ve dropped because new information came to light. Most struggle to come up with something. They usually just keep adding to the grab bag of nonsense and combining old nonsense with new nonsense, not realising perhaps how it looks. I know people who ‘specialise’ in at least six different modalities now which all claim to fix just about everything.

    1. another question is how often they say to patients: ‘No, you’re fine. Just go home and get some rest.’ I’m guessing never, given that their belief system tends to be that every minor ailment is indicative of an ‘imbalance’ which needs X+1 sessions to heal. I don’t doubt that milking patients is part of the alt med curriculum but it also reflects a contradictory approach to health care that holds that the body has everything it needs to heal itself as long as you throw several dozen herbs, high dose vitamins, superfoods and enemas at it.

    2. another question is how often they say to patients: ‘No, you’re fine. Just go home and get some rest.’ I’m guessing never, given that their belief system tends to be that every minor ailment is indicative of an ‘imbalance’ which needs X+1 sessions to heal. I don’t doubt that milking patients is part of the alt med curriculum – it has to be – but it also reflects a contradictory approach to health care that holds that the body has everything it needs to heal itself naturally as long as you embark on a lengthy and convoluted treatment regime which frequently involves: disrupting natural bodily processes.

  10. Just when I was deciding between going to Bastyr for Masters in

    Nutrition / Didactic Program in Dietetics or a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, I come across your blog. This blog was meant for me and I am the utmost grateful for your honesty and bluntness regarding your previous career as an ND. Thank you for your ND Diaries.

    1. SLB, many of us in the world only got well when we finally discovered naturopathic medicine and the alternative therapies that it provides. Britt had a bad experience, and we all have bad experiences with all sorts of doctors, but there are a lot of REALLY glad patients out there that naturopathic doctors exist.

      1. Quackwatch website has a nice list of why therapies that couldn’t possibly work (homeopathy…water has no memory!!!) might get credit by somebody who uses them.

        I am completely shocked that somebody would go to a naturopath as a family practitioner.

        Where is their 3-7 years of PGY residency +/- fellowship training ( three or four years for primary care ) of like 110 hour work weeks?

        Britt’s transcript is on this blog. Medical school (MD/DO) science prerequisite courses include 1 year of college chemistry, 1 year of organic chemistry, 1 semester of biochemistry, 1 year of biology plus they usually want genetics, physiology, microbiology, etc also, 1 year of college physics, etc….the classes, AND their accompanying labs.
        What are classes like organic chemistry 1 doing on an ND transcript for summer semester year 1? I took that freshman year of college (a 5 on the AP chemistry test in high school meant starting college in orgo instead of gen chem). This was 4 years before matriculating at an MD program. What is introduction to physics doing on her transcript for fall semester first-year? That’s another pre-req.
        You don’t take classes like that at medical school. They need to be completed for you to even be considered on your primary (AMCAS) general application. Mine were completed freshman year of college because I went into college with so many credits because of advanced placement, CLEP, placement tests etc but even a person who does not knock out college credits during high school would be done with those classes sophomore year of college.

        Instead of taking college sciences the first year of medical school, we take things like clinical anatomy and cadaver lab, a class about clinical molecular bio + biochem diseases + cell bio + genetic diseases, neuroscience, physiology (which includes immuno and histo), pathology, path lab, intro to clinical medicine, stuff like that.

        Second year is pharm with no woo mixed in like homeopathy, biostats, ethics, medical microbiology and lab, neuro2, and pathophys of organ systems by system as well as nutrition.

        Then the 10 hour USMLE step 1 exam, the first of 3 licensing tests…then you start real clinical rotations.

        This material was very fast paced and there was no time wasted on fiction like hydrotherapy, reiki, vitalism, magic, fad diets, homeopathy, acupuncture or “meridian systems.”

        Comparing what Britt did at Bastyr (her testimony, transcript, etc) to my own med school experience and that of people at different med schools and even PA schools that I tutor, I’m shocked….that “school” was $50,000 a year?!?! So was mine!!!! Except she got totally robbed. I don’t have to deal with the student loans because they were forgiven for disability after a really really bad car accident and my orthopedic surgeon told me there was no way I was going back into the medical field. I feel so bad that she has $250,000 in loans. For learning woo….

        1. Nicole, I have no idea what transcript you are looking at, but obviously it is not from a naturopathic medical school. Perhaps it is from a lay naturopathy program? I don’t know. Naturopathic medical students take their Physics, Chemistry, and Biology pre-requisites during their undergraduate degree programs just like other medical students.They do not take them in medical school. I agree with you that it would be better if we had more residency and internship options. Unfortunately at the moment there are not many open to us, so most new NMDs go to work for more experienced doctors for a while and a few of us go into the residency slots open to us.

          1. And, we don’t “waste time” on alternative medicine classes. We take the same course load that you do in pharmacology, genetics, etc., PLUS the extra courses so we end up with a lot more class hours.

            1. No, Tevna, you do not take the same course load in pharmacology, genetics, etc. The quality of a course depends on the teacher. If you look at the staff at Bastyr University very few have PhDs and most do not even qualify for junior postdoc positions at real universities. It is a HUGE difference if a genetics course is taught by an ND or by a scientist who actually does research in the field. the former case is the one eyed leading the blind.

                1. I just looked. Unless I am missing something it seems that the faculty is 16 people? The 2 md are not academics and were educated at second rate medical schools

                  1. Our entering classes normally only have 60-100 people. I did not say that it would look identical to a regular medical school’s faculty, many of which also came from “second rate” schools.

                  2. Well my medical school had 120 people and we probably had a couple thousand faculty?!? 16 people?!?? What a farce. And you say that it is as intense as medical school. Who teaches you how to examine a heart or do an eye exam. Oh my, it is way worse than I could have ever have imagined.

                  3. I find it hard to believe that you had a faculty of thousands for an entering class of 120… but ok…. anyway, I invite you to attend classes at a naturopathic medical school and find out. Perhaps our classes on listening to hearts and observing retinas are, in fact, inferior. However, I can detect murmurs and observe optic discs with my ophthalmoscope. I’m not a cardiologist or an ophthalmologist, but I can refer as needed, like any family practice doctor, if I am in doubt about what my exams are telling me.

                  4. The point is that if you have never seen these diseases then you have no ability to recognize them. If you look at an optic nerve, do you have the ability to diagnose optic neuritis, glaucoma, ischemic optic neuropathy etc. These patoents may not have complaints and you will be the first contact if you are a primary physician. If you have never seen these conditions in your training, then you will miss them and think the nerve looks normal. This is the danger. You simply do not know what you don’t know. You have basically admitted that you have not been exposed to a myriad of diseases and even basic competencies as a primary Doctor. It is not enough to take blood pressure and hopefully hear a murmur. I am actually even more appalled than I originally was as I thought naturopaths had more exposure.

                  5. I agree, David, that you should not be practicing primary care without enough experience to confidently diagnose these sorts of conditions. I do not practice primary care. Those of us who do generally work in states where we have better insurance coverage and more options for residencies or at least time spent working with more experienced doctors. Plus, those of us planning to go into primary care tend to focus the flexible part of our clinical training into primary care clinics with more volume. But, yes, it would be nice if all of us saw a higher volume of patients with a wider variety of illness. This can’t happen until legislation changes to give us more access to hospital populations in all states.

                  6. As naturopathic doctors, though, we are aware of this and those of us that I know who practice primary care do bother to get additional training in some areas, and refer out a lot when in doubt.

                  7. I find it hard to believe that you had a faculty of thousands for an entering class of 120… but ok…. anyway, I invite you to attend classes at a naturopathic medical school and find out. Perhaps our classes on listening to hearts and observing retinas are, in fact, inferior. However, I can detect murmurs and observe optic discs with my ophthalmoscope. I’m not a cardiologist or an ophthalmologist, but I can refer as needed, like any family practice doctor, if I am in doubt about what my exams are telling me.

                2. Check out pubmed and see their publication list, then take *any* group leader of a real university and check their publication list. Don’t forget to look at the impact factor.

                  1. Yes, Thomas, I am aware of the limitations of PubMed. I borrow the login of one of my UA faculty friends sometimes to get broader access to more journals. Lack of good access to research data is one of my pet peeves about the way that our current journal system is set up. I think that everyone should have access to all the published data from around the world for reasonable fees but the current system is, alas, nowhere close to that.

                  2. Tevna, this is not a problem of pubmed. You can not find something that does not exist.

              1. They have these bs charts to make it look like they are more educated than people who get a medical doctor degree
                http://aanmc.org/schools/comparing_nd_md_curricula/

                Britt who writes this blog has an entire blog post about how doctored these charts are here:
                https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/nd-confession-part-1-clinical-training-inside-and-out/

                And others talk about it here:
                http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/10/10/sht-naturopaths-say-part-2-naturopathic-education-and-science/

                The author of the last one has a very good point when they talk about how medical school is a problem based learning environment now …. case study seminars etc….
                My school was PBL and I think pretty much all of them are now. A problem based learning session during the second year of medical school would be about an hour and a half long, but the time that we spent preparing for that session and studying the material afterward could be like 10 hours.

                These charts are doctored statistics that aren’t taking all sorts of these types of other factors into consideration.

                For example, embryology was combined with anatomy during first half of first year at my medical school but embryology was self-taught. We did not have one single lecture. Not one. What we did have was Dr. Jack Stern’s amazing set of power points with audio embedded in, book, videos etc. We got a CD with the material. Go home…learn it. Bye. That was it. The faculty recommended that we tried to keep up with the embryology as we moved along in anatomy because they would reference the stuff during the dissection lab, bc a lot of anatomy can be explained by how things develop during embryology. But what we had to do was go into the computer lab on campus anytime before like December 9th and sit for the test on the computer. I knew some people that crammed it, others who kept up with it.

                So bastyr can make a chart comparing them to SUNY stonybrook medical school and play off of the fact that we were expected to teach ourselves certain things even if it meant we were up all night long.
                Such a chart comparing my med school to bastyr per their crooked methods of tallying training hours would reflect 0 hours of embryo taught to me. LOL, and they would use that to make it appear in their ridiculous chart that we don’t taught stuff that they do.

                The fact that they have to be so misleading about these types of things is very suspicious….they literally need to lie and doctor charts to make themselves look competitive and competent

                Just because they spend more time in lecture halls means nothing. And bastyr’s charts don’t mention that MD programs use PBL and some classes are self-taught to make space for more patient encounter activities etc.

                So basically ND’s claim to have more hours of science training just because of the way that they have chosen to make that chart. Meanwhile in MD school, we would get a pharmacology lecture that lasted from nine in the morning until 11 in the morning but covered so much material that it required studying on your own for about 10 hours…….

                1. Nicole, the Problem is not only much how many hours one spends in class but also who teaches. Let’s look at the scientific output of Bastyr in 2015: They published 15 papers. For a university this is abysmal. I.o.W. most of the faculty there is way below par compared to a normal medical scool. The same goes for other ND schools. Tevna Tayler who happens to be (or was) Medical Sciences Director of the Western College of Homeopathic Medicine. After just a few hours taking intense fire she was reduced to the (false) position that homeopathy works because she saw it working – despite overwhelming scientific evidence that her position is wrong. During her defense we saw almost every excuse in the book, beginning with the argument that homeopathy can not be tested because it differs from conventional treatments to the fallacy of the argumentum ad populum.

                  Under such auspices education in ND school can not be on par with medical school.

                  1. Oh I completely agree with you about the (lack of) quality of the teachers…. I was only mentioning the education our nonsense because Tevna was talking about how she supposedly receives just as much training as we do and then some in one of her posts above. The quantity of hours of training is obviously reported in such a way to make them look good, and the quality, well, doesn’t exist..

                    15 papers is indeed abysmal!!!! Wow!!!

                    Wait so the ND on here Tevna is in charge of a homeopathy school???!!!!?!?!? Director of medical sciences in homeopathy? Lol homeopathy and science should not be used in the same sentence together. I am still scratching my head and trying to figure out if water remembers molecules, then how come it doesn’t remember all the feces and other things it came into contact with over so many years.

                    I only found out what homeopathy was in the past couple months. I can’t believe it!!! I can go to the local Sprouts store and there is a section of homeopathy. In amazement I looked through it and took a video and sent it to my husband and we got a good laugh. I even saw some dilutions called 200CK….i saw all types of other nonsense including any dilution of arsenic you prefer, same for nux vomica, table salt, even the duck liver oscillo thing was there…..and almost every single one on the shelf was way beyond Avagadro’s limit. I can’t believe people buy this garbage.

                    I kept looking around and I found the bottle of stuff that James Randi took on a video. The “hylands forte” sleeping “medicine” with the warning to call poison control!!! Call poison control if you digest a sugar pill?

                2. I do understand that, as I encountered lots of complexity when I set out to compare before I ever chose to go to NMD school. And, I prepared my own charts, not using any from any NMD school, and I am not sure that I have ever seen those, even actually, hmmmm… But, realistically, a lot of our courses also require massive study time. My brother is an MD (plastic surgeon) who when to U Penn, and I have other friends who went to other medical programs and the truth is that me and my classmates spent more time in class as well as out of class studying and we did that all summer every summer, as well. I’m not saying that makes our education superior. But it was far from a walk in the park. It makes sense that some elements of most MD or DO programs may be superior to some elements of most NMD programs. But, based on working at a regular internal medicine practice with an MD and a DO for a few years after I graduated, our educations and understandings of things were not vastly different. They had more experience than me, but my ability to assess patients and diagnose and prescribe was good enough that they left me alone at the office to see 20-30 patients a day when they were out of town and I only had to call them occasionally for something that felt unsure about how to manage.

            2. In essence, you read in books what doctors in a real medical school see and manage. in medical school, one may have an hour lecture on cardiac valvular disease. Immediately after this lecture the cardiologist will take a group of students to the ward to see patients with aortic/mitral valve stenosis/regurg or endocarditis etc. The students will listen to the hearts, look at ECG/ U/S / angios. They would then have the option to go watch or even assist on a valve surgery with a cardiac surgeon. This is a typical day in second year medical school. By third year medicine, one is helping take care and manage these patients.
              Meanwhile, Tevna is sitting in class and being taught by another naturopath who probably has never seen a patient with endocarditis or other valve disease about these diseases. Do you comprehend the difference in training. It is astronomical!! you are simply delusional.

              1. Yes, I already told you that I agree with you about that. Naturopathic doctors are not surgeons and we don’t have hospital privileges. We will not be doing surgery or working in hospitals – those are not our treatment methods. We do have cardiac patients, but in the same situation that we will see them in practice – in clinic, not in the hospital. We also work in clinic with real patients who have a variety of conditions for the last 2 years of medical school most of the time and for a little of the time in the first two years. Have you ever visited one of the naturopathic medical schools and training clinics?

                1. 99 percent of the medical students are not doing cardiac surgery either. The point is that you actually see all these disease and learn to diagnose and management then and not just read about them in a book. You simply don’t know what you don’t know. If you are the primary doc you must be missing so much

                  1. We do have clinics with real patients with real diseases. Granted, we don’t have the same resources that regular medical schools do, but we do what we can with what we can access.

                2. 99 percent of the medical students are not doing cardiac surgery either. The point is that you actually see all these disease and learn to diagnose and management then and not just read about them in a book. You simply don’t know what you don’t know. If you are the primary doc you must be missing so much

              2. Yes, I already told you that I agree with you about that. Naturopathic doctors are not surgeons and we don’t have hospital privileges. We will not be doing surgery or working in hospitals – those are not our treatment methods. We do have cardiac patients, but in the same situation that we will see them in practice – in clinic, not in the hospital. We also work in clinic with real patients who have a variety of conditions for the last 2 years of medical school most of the time and for a little of the time in the first two years. Have you ever visited one of the naturopathic medical schools and training clinics?

              1. Yes, we don’t, same as you, as I said, we often use them to help us study when we are preparing to take our clinical board exams.

              2. Yes, we don’t, same as you, as I said, we often use them to help us study when we are preparing to take our clinical board exams.

            1. Well, that explains a lot then… she claims to be a former naturopathic doctor, but if she was taking her basic sciences during her graduate education then she was not in naturopathic medical school….

              1. If naturopaths took the same basic sciences in ND that we MD students take (and the same degree of difficulty), they should have no problem answering any of the step 1 and step 2 USMLE questions on the internet that the test maker has online. Better yet they should go sit for the real step 1, step 2 CS and CK and then we can see if they can break a 150.

                1. Actually, a lot of us do use those to study for our own board exams. Many of us were originally planning to go to regular medical school and so are very familiar. Some had already taken the MCAT with high scores before deciding not to go that route. Some of us have advanced degrees in medical sciences. Some of are even MDs and DOs who came back to become NMDs.

                  1. Fascinating….what percentage of people who score high on the MCAT and gain admission to an MD school switch to naturopathy? And what percentage actually just go ahead and go to medical school? Are we talking about a needle in a haystack?

                    And what percentage of students that complete medical school go to enroll in a naturopathic medical school? With hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, off to bastyr for another $250k debt? A career practicing as a naturopathic physician is going to provide the financial means for a person to not only pay off the loans that they incurred for their bachelors training and their MD medical degree but also for the training that they go to get at bastyr or whatever other school? With compounded continuously interest?

                    I had another year of MD left and was $273,954 in the hole in federal loans and $50 grand in private loans. The former have been discharged for TPD by the U.S. Dept of education and the private ones are waiting for the doctor to fill out the massive amount of paperwork.

                    So I was basically going to have graduated with $400,000 in loans and that is pretty much standard. It is certainly not unheard of. And I went out-of-state to Florida State University for undergrad but that is still cheaper than private school tuition. For med school, I was accepted to multiple MD programs in my home state New York and decided on stony brook. People who go to private medical schools pay more than I was paying … $50,000 a year for tuition plus cost of living.

                    So who in their right mind finishes an MD medical degree and takes that like half a million dollar negative net worth over to bastyr & takes out another quarter mil in debt for an ND? In your post you make it sound like “some of us” this and “some of us” that when in reality probably only one person in the entire country does what you are talking about every year.

                    Everybody in my graduating class just about went into the medical field. About 150 in my class roughly…
                    A couple people repeated classes or had to retake boards or repeated an entire year. But they finished. I know of one person who dropped out at the very end of fourth year shortly before graduation and now is a waiter at Cheesecake Factory (?!?), one person who got kicked out for professionalism 3rd year after a bunch of things happened and I think the straw that broke the camels back was when he got a drinking and driving charge on the med school campus, and one of my former roommates left her anesthesiology residency after a couple years and opened up some type of a beautician boutique in the New York City area… And I never finished either. I’m on Social Security disability now so now I tutor people who are physician assistant students and stuff along those lines In my free time. I had a horrible MVA & hemorrhagic stroke but I’m very blessed to be in the shape I’m in and I had an amazing ortho surgeon.
                    I don’t know any that became ND’s. I can go on my Facebook right now and check in with my old classmates and they are all finishing residency and starting fellowships.

                  2. Simple, Tevna lies! Making up stories of people with high MCATs choosing ND over MD or DO, or doctors becoming NDs makes her believe somehow she is on par with real physicians. Cognitive Dissonance is a bitch, it will make one lie and create false realities so one can dive deeper in Dunning-Kruger Lake.

        2. Geez, you had a bad MVA before you even finished school? Ugh! I have about $467,000 in student loan debt, about half of it federal and half private. When I went to NMD school, though, I had savings and investments from my successful technical communications business and so I expected it to be a semi-retirement profession in which I would come up with a better business model for natural medicine. After I finally stumbled into it and got well, I realized that it could help a lot more people if someone could figure out how to make it more cost effective and generally available. At the moment, I think that training regular MDs and DOs in it would probably be the most expedient, but of course that is a huge curve of hostility to overcome. However, functional medicine and integrative medicine programs (which are sort of “NMD light” are making some inroads, so that is good). But anyway, I then graduated in 2008, followed a few months later by the housing market and stock market crashes, where all my investments were. I lost several houses and all of my savings and ended up in bankruptcy at the same time that I agreed to move to Tucson for child custody agreement reasons, only to discover that the economy is awful here and the UA Integrative Medicine group is not very friendly to NMDs. If I had known that was going to happen, I likely would have gone to regular MD or DO school just because of the financials. But, water under the bridge…. Anyway, when regular doctors come to retrain as NMDs, of course they don’t have to re-take all the basic medical and clinical sciences, so they just get admitted into 3rd year and start doing clinical rotations and making up their alternative medicine classes. When I was in school, there were 68 people in my class, and 2 were chiropractors and one was an MD. Two had PhDs in medical sciences and several had Master’s degrees in them. Our Psychiatry professor was an MD/NMD who had trained to be an NMD after getting frustrated by the limitations of her toolbox as an MD and the hostility towards her attempts to research the relationship between some B vitamin pathway genetic polymorphisms and schizophrenia. Ten of my classmates that I can remember had already taken the MCAT and a few had actually started into regular MD school before deciding to switch.

      2. Quackwatch website has a nice list of why therapies that couldn’t possibly work (homeopathy…water has no memory!!!) might get credit by somebody who uses them.

        I am completely shocked that somebody would go to a naturopath as a family practitioner.

        Where is their 3-7 years of PGY residency +/- fellowship training ( three or four years for primary care ) of like 110 hour work weeks?

        Britt’s transcript is on this blog. Medical school (MD/DO) science prerequisite courses include 1 year of college chemistry, 1 year of organic chemistry, 1 semester of biochemistry, 1 year of biology plus they usually want genetics, physiology, microbiology, etc also, 1 year of college physics, etc….the classes, AND their accompanying labs.
        What are classes like organic chemistry 1 doing on an ND transcript for summer semester year 1? I took that freshman year of college (a 5 on the AP chemistry test in high school meant starting college in orgo instead of gen chem). This was 4 years before matriculating at an MD program. What is introduction to physics doing on her transcript for fall semester first-year? That’s another pre-req.
        You don’t take classes like that at medical school. They need to be completed for you to even be considered on your primary (AMCAS) general application. Mine were completed freshman year of college because I went into college with so many credits because of advanced placement, CLEP, placement tests etc but even a person who does not knock out college credits during high school would be done with those classes sophomore year of college.

        Instead of taking college sciences the first year of medical school, we take things like clinical anatomy and cadaver lab, a class about clinical molecular bio + biochem diseases + cell bio + genetic diseases, neuroscience, physiology (which includes immuno and histo), pathology, path lab, intro to clinical medicine, stuff like that.

        Second year is pharm with no woo mixed in like homeopathy, biostats, ethics, medical microbiology and lab, neuro2, and pathophys of organ systems by system as well as nutrition.

        Then the 10 hour USMLE step 1 exam, the first of 3 licensing tests…then you start real clinical rotations.

        This material was very fast paced and there was no time wasted on fiction like hydrotherapy, reiki, vitalism, magic, fad diets, homeopathy, acupuncture or “meridian systems.”

        Comparing what Britt did at Bastyr (her testimony, transcript, etc) to my own med school experience and that of people at different med schools and even PA schools that I tutor, I’m shocked….that “school” was $50,000 a year?!?! So was mine!!!! Except she got totally robbed. I don’t have to deal with the student loans because they were forgiven for disability after a really really bad car accident and my orthopedic surgeon told me there was no way I was going back into the medical field. I feel so bad that she has $250,000 in loans. For learning woo….

    2. Amen SLB don’t do it!!! Go to med school instead, or PA school, or something along those lines that isn’t based on quackery. Back when I was applying to MD programs I didn’t even know ND existed.

    3. Amen SLB don’t do it!!! Go to med school instead, or PA school, or something along those lines that isn’t based on quackery. Back when I was applying to MD programs I didn’t even know ND existed.

  11. Your writing is marvelous for its incisive and telling characterizations of the cognitive dissonance inherent in the naturopathic netherworld. Bravo for the concerted effort you apply in exposing the greedy, fatuous quasi-sociopathy practiced by this blighted cabal.

      1. How exactly have you demonstrated that the naturopathic treatments you provide are helping your happy patients–i.e., that whatever improvement they’re experiencing/reporting is actually a consequence of the treatment they receive?

        1. Exactly! How do we ever demonstrate that in medicine? We make assumptions, but what do we really know conclusively?

            1. Yes, I understand that some people consider the assumptions that they feel are supported by that to be sufficient for their belief 🙂

          1. Tevna is a perfect example of how NDs just keep repeating scientific nonsense until the rational ones are too tired. This is how they have managed to get licensed in the US and Canada.

          2. Tevna is a perfect example of how NDs just keep repeating scientific nonsense until the rational ones are too tired. This is how they have managed to get licensed in the US and Canada.

            1. There is this old saying that a lie repeated repeated enough times becomes truth (one variant is – if three people repeat a lie you can take it for truth).

            1. They are assumptions, based on correlation, and sometimes on extremely small differences from pure placebo. And, again, I ask, in the group who healed from being given medication, how do we know for sure that the same mechanism in operation during the placebo effect wasn’t what also healed those people? What if EVERYONE in the entire study who healed was healed by the mysterious mechanism behind that which we call the placebo effect so that those given medication healed IN SPITE OF the medication and not because of it?

              1. A number of reasons: the fact that prior to approval for clinical trials the FDA/EMEA requires the mechanism of action of the NDE seeking approval be identified, the fact that studies are blinded, the fact that studies are statistically powered to distiguish significant effects from placebo effects, etc.

                “What if EVERYONE in the entire study who healed was healed by the
                mysterious mechanism behind that which we call the placebo effect so
                that those given medication healed IN SPITE OF the medication and not
                because of it?”

                Then no significant difference in outcomes would be observed between the treatment and control arms of the study–i.e., like homeopathy it would perform no better than placebos–demonstrating its lack of efficacy.

                Oh–and the FDA/EMEA would not approve the drug for sale.

                  1. Tevna, are you now arguing that clinical trials may underestimate the efficacy of drugs rather than,as in your previous post, arguing that the greater efficacy attributed to drugs may be instead a result of the same ‘mysterious mechanism behind the placebo effect’?

                  2. I am arguing that no one really understands the healing mechanism of the placebo effect and so we can’t realistically assess the effectiveness of any therapy – “natural” or “otherwise”. Science, as we do it, is far from perfect and far from the gospel, and far from even understanding the real complexities of the human body/mind/spirit complex. The truth that most doctors learn in practice and will tell you is that we really know very little about life and death and sickness and health and we damn sure don’t have much control over them. Patients that we expect to heal easily sometimes don’t and patients that we expect to die sometimes heal easily. At the end of the day, can we really be sure that the body is a “broken machine” that responds in simplistic ways to our attempts to alter its biochemistry? What if ALL medicine is actually “placebo effect” – stimulating that mechanism – in one way or the other, with the actual healing always happening in that realm that we yet know little about?

                  3. Tevna, once again, estimating the size of an effect is almost completely independent from understanding it. Newton did not understand gravity, yet he was able to estimate it’s effect well enough to be able to derive one of the fundamental laws of physics. As several people have now pointed out to you, clinical trials with proper designs work very well with estimating effects.

                  4. I agree with you that we have some clinical trials that are well done and provide some useful data for us to use. I disagree with you that we have to wait for the monolith of science to research and agree on every detail of every useful treatment. We just don’t have that much time.

                  5. “I am arguing that no one really understands the healing
                    mechanism of the placebo effect and so we can’t realistically assess the effectiveness of any therapy – “natural” or “otherwise”.”

                    Placebo’s have no healing effect, tevna: they instead create
                    a false and subjective impression of improvement without affecting the actual biophysiology of the disease (i.e., they’ll make you think you’ve gotten better while your condition remains unchanged).
                    Consider “Active Albuterol or Placebo, Sham Acupuncture, or No Intervention in Asthma”, Weschler et al, NEJM July 14, 2011: 365:119-126, which compared efficacy of albuterol inhalation and two placebo treatments (placebo inhalation and sham acupuncture). Patients reported subjective improvement with albuterol and both placebo treatments compared to the no intervention cohort, but only the albuterol treatment was seen to cause a beneficial change in disease state (determined by objective measurement of maximum Forced Expiration Volume).

                    “What if ALL medicine is actually “placebo effect” – stimulating that mechanism – in one way or the other, with the actual healing always happening in that realm that we yet know little about?”

                    If this were the case then I’d expect placebo treatments to be seen to be exactly as effective as science-based medical
                    interventions in each and every double-blinded clinical trial ever performed. Needless to say, that hasn’t been the case.

                  6. If we actually studied the placebo effect in more detail, then we would learn more. For instance, in the asthma study, they checked the FEV at a certain point in time but did not continue to check and compare at multiple points across that day or several days. Just because the mechanism behind the placebo effect does not make a physiological change in the same time frame does not mean that it never makes the change. My argument is that we simply ignore the “placebo effect” as a sort of nuisance when really we would be better served to understand why patients heal in the absence of our physical interference and learn to stimulate that mechanism more effectively.

                  7. Tevna, you have managed to completely miss the import of this study’s findings. It’s that placebo treatments was not found to cause actual physiologic improvements in the patient’s condition in the same time frame where the patients nonetheless reported they did improve their condition.

                    “why patients heal in the absence of our physical interference”
                    That would be because many diseases are self-limiting.

                  8. Yes, that’s fine, and studies are useful, of course, and we are glad to have them. And, they evolve, and we learn more things, and we learn to design better studies, and so it goes. But, what does “self-limiting” really mean? It means the body healed itself.

                  9. It means that the disease has run it’s predictable and typical course. Now if you had evidence indicating that homeopathy could alter its course–for example, that homeopathic treatments could reduce duration of the disease significantly or ameliorate the symptoms of the disease, you’d have the beginnings of an argument for efficacy. As it stands, however…

                  10. “I am arguing that no one really understands the healing
                    mechanism of the placebo effect and so we can’t realistically assess the effectiveness of any therapy – “natural” or “otherwise”.”

                    Placebo’s have no healing effect, tevna: they instead create
                    a false and subjective impression of improvement without affecting the actual biophysiology of the disease (i.e., they’ll make you think you’ve gotten better while your condition remains unchanged).
                    Consider “Active Albuterol or Placebo, Sham Acupuncture, or No Intervention in Asthma”, Weschler et al, NEJM July 14, 2011: 365:119-126, which compared efficacy of albuterol inhalation and two placebo treatments (placebo inhalation and sham acupuncture). Patients reported subjective improvement with albuterol and both placebo treatments compared to the no intervention cohort, but only the albuterol treatment was seen to cause a beneficial change in disease state (determined by objective measurement of maximum Forced Expiration Volume).

                    “What if ALL medicine is actually “placebo effect” – stimulating that mechanism – in one way or the other, with the actual healing always happening in that realm that we yet know little about?”

                    If this were the case then I’d expect placebo treatments to be seen to be exactly as effective as science-based medical
                    interventions in each and every double-blinded clinical trial ever performed. Needless to say, that hasn’t been the case.

        2. Exactly! How do we ever demonstrate that in medicine? We make assumptions, but what do we really know conclusively?

  12. So is the assertion that MDs are 100% successful and on the up and up? Numerous completely standard medical procedures and drugs are found ineffective every week. Does that render every medical intervention suspect? This blog relies so heavily on ambiguity, obfuscation, strawman, and a litany of other faulty thinking it is no wonder you failed at anything other than muslinging.

      1. Opiate narcotics, disc surgeries, oral estrogens, depression medication prescriptions for patients who actually have thyroid problems, cholesterol medication prescriptions for patients who actually have liver problems, omeprazole and similar to treat heartburn in patients who actually have low stomach acid, and the list goes on….

        1. All of those were shown to be ineffective last week? It seems like you just wrote out a rant in list form of a huge number of treatments and medical interventions.

                1. What point exactly are you trying to make about opiates? This does not in any way suggest that opiates are ineffective.

                  Did you even read it?

                  1. He asked for a list of ineffective drugs and procedures. Opiates are commonly prescribed long-term, with evidence that indicates that they are not particularly useful long term but are very dangerous long-term.

                  2. There is REDUCED efficacy long term to the point that the risks begin to outweigh the benefits. This is not the same as saying that opiates are not effective at all.

                  3. There is REDUCED efficacy long term to the point that the risks begin to outweigh the benefits. This is not the same as saying that opiates are not effective at all.

                  4. He asked for a list of ineffective drugs and procedures. Opiates are commonly prescribed long-term, with evidence that indicates that they are not particularly useful long term but are very dangerous long-term.

            1. If naturopaths are so proud to be naturopaths…then they should not try to blur the lines between them and MDs. When a naturopath says they went to “medical school” and calls themselves a “physician”, it purposely blurs the lines, and confuses patients.

              1. Because, David, there are “lay naturopaths” who did NOT go to medical school and the public needs to be able to tell the difference. A licensed naturopathic physician did go to medical school and can prescribe and practice medicine like any regular family practice physician, just with a larger toolbox. So, there is a blurred line there, in fact, not an artificially blurred one.

                1. You did not go to MEDICAL school at a recognized ACADEMIC university. You went to naturopathic school at a college that is not recognized by academia. You did not see sick people in hospital. There is such a huge difference. Do not even try to pretend they are the same.

                  1. I agree, they are very different. In fact, the difference was my goal when I chose naturopathic medical school over regular medical school. I was very sick early in life, on my way to regular medical school, and regular medicine could not heal me. So, I went in search of alternatives, found healing, and went in that direction instead, since it worked for me. I don’t spend my time attacking regular doctors because what they do works for a lot of people in a lot of situations. However, for people like me, it did not work and naturopathic medicine did. And, so what? Why attack my profession, when it helps so many people? Just because it isn’t medicine as you conceive of medicine, why do you need to attack it?

                  2. we attack it because you and others are profiting off patients with unproven therapies and delaying treatment that is know to work.

                  3. David, there are no doubt unethical doctors of every sort, and of course my profession is not immune to that. In cases where the standard medical treatment is known to work, and known to work best, then we use that.

                  4. Why is naturopath school so expensive when you have 16 faculty Someone is making a crap load of money.

                  5. Regular medical schools get money from the government, private endowments, and pharmaceutical companies. Naturopathic medical schools don’t.

                  6. Why is naturopath school so expensive when you have 16 faculty Someone is making a crap load of money.

                  7. we attack it because you and others are profiting off patients with unproven therapies and delaying treatment that is know to work.

                  8. I’m loath to self advertise but you can read up on the reasons here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26732397 (open access)
                    Short summary of reasons:
                    1. Mockery of INFORMED consent.
                    2. Unnecessary death and suffering.
                    3. Waste of scarce resources.
                    4. Undermining of rational discourse.
                    5. Danger to public health.
                    That’s why obviously unevidenced therapies must not be presented as real medicine.

                  9. Once again, I encourage you to go and work for a while in a busy Homeopathy clinic and see its results for yourself. You don’t have to listen to me or anyone, or wade through research data. We all know that science is inherently flawed anyway, being a human creation. So, just go see it for yourself.

                  10. Posts like this show that you have absolutely no idea about epistemology and why scientific method is superior to any first hand experience of this kind. I may have hundred’s of false beliefs myself I will correct some eventually, I will hold on to other due to cognitive biases and human fallibility, science on the other hand will, eventually, get it right. That is why it got us to the moon, created atomic bombs, eradicated smallpox and why science let this happen:
                    http://news.discovery.com/human/health/youngest-ever-conjoined-twins-separated-in-switzerland-160201.htm
                    Before Francis Bacon and his followers invented modern scientific method we were basically standing in place in natural science since Aristotle, and there is good reason for that. But you won’t understand as there is too much cost for you to get out of your magical world view. In a way I feel for you, but I feel more for all the people who will be harmed because of your bad education.

                  11. We all know the scientific method is also far from perfect and that science is constantly learning new things. If we had to wait for all of science to catch up each time some branch made a quantum leap, we would waste a lot of time. Science is useful and fabulous and I love it. And, in Homeopathy we only know which remedies to choose based on the data collected from provings – scientifically. In other cases, as a healer, I may choose – correctly – to trust my intuition over my research of science because science is not the only way of knowing things.

                  12. You are confusing knowledge with belief. And pseudo-science with science.
                    “Provings” weren’t scientific in 1820’s and even then they couldn’t be replicated. Since then we have learned a lot about methods and they are no less unscientific.
                    You may well have beliefs about certain interventions, but they are not justified beliefs so they are not knowledge in any common sense.
                    Any popular system of medical ethics (principlist, utilitiarian, neo-kantian, religious, whatever) at some point arrives at principle of beneficence and from that to principle of using best possible knowledge. You are failing that by using pseudo science of 1810’s in 2016. It could be excused in 1810’s, it cannot be excused now. Either you are a physician (which I believe you are not) and failing at medical ethics really badly, or your not one and then you are failing in general ethics by pretending to be one. Tertium non datur.

                  13. I consider you the unethical one if you are trying to tear down a useful system of medicine used successfully by millions of people all over the world for hundreds of years and you are not even willing to go observe it working.

                  14. Oh I do and scientific community did it for years too. It’s high time it was gone laid to rest in history of medicine textbooks to torture medical students.

                  15. Yup–thanks to provings we know that homeopathic preparations of the wreck of the ship Helvetia is effective against getting stuck in congested traffic.

                  16. Homeopathic “provings” are hokus pokus at best. Re Intuition. Humans are extremely bad at risk assessment. If you trust your intuition instead of solid scientific data you will make a lot of mistakes.

                  17. I think that a lot of people – including a lot of good doctors of all types – would disagree with you that “solid scientific data” is superior to human intuition in all cases. The “solid scientific data” to which you refer is not THE ALMIGHTY TRUTH. It is simply the best of what we can rationally conclude so far, based on studies designed around our current understanding of a useful scientific method, as flawed humans, and it is subject to constant change and correction. What “solid scientific data” claims is true one decade is often revised in the next decade, as more information become available. In the meantime, people continue to use their intuition every day to make decisions that work out great – including doctors.

                  18. All doctors I know base their treatment decisions on things they have learned and not on intuition. Once the have to use intuition the case gets really complicated.

                  19. Also there is large difference between expert clinical judgement of an experienced clinician and some pseudo-healer’s “intuition”. There are areas where treatment choice is not obvious and it’s huge topic in philosophy of EBM how to translate trials into unusual cases, but it’s not a choice between magic wand and medicine. It’s a informed choice based on results of trials, knowledge of physiology and typical courses of interventions and diseases and only then one can talk of a judgment call. Real doctors don’t make up things as they go like Tevna here.

                  20. All doctors I know base their treatment decisions on things they have learned and not on intuition. Once the have to use intuition the case gets really complicated.

                  21. Homeopathic “provings” are hokus pokus at best. Re Intuition. Humans are extremely bad at risk assessment. If you trust your intuition instead of solid scientific data you will make a lot of mistakes.

                  22. Posts like this show that you have absolutely no idea about epistemology and why scientific method is superior to any first hand experience of this kind. I may have hundred’s of false beliefs myself I will correct some eventually, I will hold on to other due to cognitive biases and human fallibility, science on the other hand will, eventually, get it right. That is why it got us to the moon, created atomic bombs, eradicated smallpox and why science let this happen:
                    http://news.discovery.com/human/health/youngest-ever-conjoined-twins-separated-in-switzerland-160201.htm
                    Before Francis Bacon and his followers invented modern scientific method we were basically standing in place in natural science since Aristotle, and there is good reason for that. But you won’t understand as there is too much cost for you to get out of your magical world view. In a way I feel for you, but I feel more for all the people who will be harmed because of your bad education.

                  23. Tevna, essentially you are dismissing a less biased scientific method (porper analysis of properly designed studies) for a way more biased method (personal observation).

                  24. Thomas, physicians of all sorts have to do that all the time. We make educated guesses about what to offer patients based on what research data is available combined with clinical observation and experience.

                  25. Tevna, I deal with physicians every day since I work at a cancer research institute. I know how they decide and it is mostly not your way. The ranking is research data trumps experience. You do that the other way round based on a belief system. Do you know how the core belief of homeopaths – like cures like – came into being ? Hahnemann took chinona and experienced a fever. At that time chinona was known to counteract fever. From that experiment he concluded that the fever caused by chinona counteracts fever. This experiment is fraught with errors, the first and foremost being that chinona does normally not induce fever. Hahnemanns reaction was a hypersensitivity reaction. I.o.W. Homeopathy is based on a terribly flawed experiment. In science there is a saying. Crap in -> crap out and this is exactly what homeopathy is.

                  26. Yes, I am familiar with the “data trumps experience” model and the experiences of cancer patients with their treatments as I see several of them every week. I’m glad that is working well for you. It certainly doesn’t work well for all oncologists since not all of them choose conventional treatment when they are personally diagnosed with cancer. But, we are all free to choose what works for us, thank goodness.

                  27. Tevna, essentially you are dismissing a less biased scientific method (porper analysis of properly designed studies) for a way more biased method (personal observation).

                  28. I agree, they are very different. In fact, the difference was my goal when I chose naturopathic medical school over regular medical school. I was very sick early in life, on my way to regular medical school, and regular medicine could not heal me. So, I went in search of alternatives, found healing, and went in that direction instead, since it worked for me. I don’t spend my time attacking regular doctors because what they do works for a lot of people in a lot of situations. However, for people like me, it did not work and naturopathic medicine did. And, so what? Why attack my profession, when it helps so many people? Just because it isn’t medicine as you conceive of medicine, why do you need to attack it?

                  1. Sure. We all only know what our own experience is in our own profession. You won’t really know the physical exam skills of naturopathic doctors until you work with some, for instance.

            1. The fact that you believe in theta treatment or whatever that is… Demonstrates that you have an inability to critically appraise research. Therefore it is hard to listen to your claims
              And by the way you went to naturopathy school, not medical school. Medical school is taught in universities such as Harvard and Yale. Naturopathy is not taught in any university

          1. Those are just some examples. It doesn’t take long to find research literature evidence related to each issue that I mentioned. In practice, of course, it becomes obvious to naturopathic doctors quickly how it easy it is to get most patients off their prescribed medications and back to good health because they were misdiagnosed or treated with drugs for a condition that is simple to fix without them.

            1. Actually Tevna Tayler, if you take patients off of psych meds too quickly, that can result in very dangerous withdrawal symptoms. And sorry, adding supplements to an already very sensitive nervous system is not good medical practice.

              1. iphone12, I completely agree with you!!!!! I see at least 10 patients a week who claim that their doctor prescribed a benzo PRN and never warned them about the danger of seizures if they take it regularly and then stop suddenly. I caution ALL patients on any psych med to NEVER stop it suddenly, and I help many wean off them – VERY slowly. I also agree that supplements should be used judiciously, and particularly when dealing with already-disrupted neurotransmitter situations and in sensitive systems of all sorts.

            2. Actually Tevna Tayler, if you take patients off of psych meds too quickly, that can result in very dangerous withdrawal symptoms. And sorry, adding supplements to an already very sensitive nervous system is not good medical practice.

          2. Those are just some examples. It doesn’t take long to find research literature evidence related to each issue that I mentioned. In practice, of course, it becomes obvious to naturopathic doctors quickly how it easy it is to get most patients off their prescribed medications and back to good health because they were misdiagnosed or treated with drugs for a condition that is simple to fix without them.

        2. Tevna, you realize that you underline our point ? These treatments are scientifically scrutinized and will be phased out based on these results. NO Treatment in Naturopathy (except homeopathy) has ever been tested this way and homeopathy will NOT be phased out despite massive evidence against it.

            1. Whether antidepressants are now scrutinized or not is not within my line of argumentation. My line of argumentation is that a key concept of medicine is trying to base treatments on evidence.

            2. Whether antidepressants are now scrutinized or not is not within my line of argumentation. My line of argumentation is that a key concept of medicine is trying to base treatments on evidence.

          1. Thomas, that isn’t true. Not all standard medical treatments are scientifically scrutinized well – or at all – and certainly many of them remain in use well past the point at which sufficient evidence has collected to render them questionable, and even harmful. In addition, MOST of the treatments used by licensed naturopathic physicians have been scientifically scrutinized, and we also abandon or modify methods found later to be in need of change. And if you really believe that there is no evidence for the efficacy of Homeopathy, then you either are not looking hard enough or you don’t understand it. Homeopathy can’t be tested the same way that other types of drugs can be because it is specific to a person, not a disease. If you spend some time working in a busy Homeopathy clinic somewhere in the world for a few weeks, I promise that you will see sufficient evidence of its effectiveness to understand why it persists in spite of people’s attempts to discredit it because it doesn’t fit a standard drug-for-disease model.

            1. Tevna, first, you are correct that it takes time to phase out medical treatments that have been found to be ineffective. However, the critical point is that they are subject to scientific review. Second, my field of expertise is computational biology in cancer research with a very strong emphasis on statistical data analysis and I have seen every trick in the book regarding that. A meta analysis utilizing 1800 papers coming to the conclusion that homeopathy does not work is a VERY powerful study and an extremely strong indication that homeopathy does not work.

              Second: Quote: “Homeopathy can’t be tested the same way that other types of drugs can be because it is specific to a person, not a disease.” The standard excuse #1. It is wrong. The model behind testing any treatment is that the patient gets faster healthy again or lives longer or has a higher quality of living when compared to treatment with a gold standard or placebo. This is called a superior treatment model and it applicable to *any* treatment, be it personalized or general, a drug, a rain-dance or sugar pills with memory.

              Third: Quote: “And if you really believe that there is no evidence for the efficacy of
              Homeopathy, then you either are not looking hard enough or you don’t
              understand it.” The standard excuse #2 and the next wrong one. If you dig deep you will get some positive studies *in any case*, simply because of a thing called the false discovery rate. In other words, if you have to dig deep, the probability that your positive results are false positives rises dramatically. Additionally you are committing a grave scientific error called cherrypicking. Therefore unbiased metaanalysis is of highest quality in assessing the efficacy of a treatment. For homeopathy the Australians have done this and the verdict is clear. It does not work.

              Fourth, I am convinced that you will find positive results in a homeopathic clinic. The problem is, are those results better than the placebo effect. One of the largest metaanalyses says “NO”. You are correct that some modalities used by Naturopaths have been scientifically investigated and most of them have been found not to work beyond the placebo. Quote: “I promise that you will see sufficient evidence of its effectiveness to understand why it persists in spite of people’s attempts to discredit it” Appealing to antiquity. Another fallacy.

              Finally: Quote:” ….because it doesn’t fit a standard drug-for-disease model.” Apparently you do not understand how modern medicine works. Drugs do not target diseases, they target cellular processes. Dexamethason f.i. shuts down the NFkB pathway thus abroogating potentially damagin effects of inflammation and is therefore used in a broad range of diseases, either as primary drug or to ameliorate side effects of other drugs.

              1. and to add to Thomas fourth point….not only is it a placebo effect..but even more powerful..time!. That is another huge difference I note between CAM practitioners and MD’s. If a viral cold gets better with homeopathy or whatever else, a naturopath claims cure!.

              2. As a statistician, I am sure that you know how “lying with statistics” is done. And, if you have looked – not very deeply – I am sure that have seen the meta-analyses on Homeopathy that came to the opposite conclusion. But, we are scientists, we test things. If you choose not to test Homeopathy, then ok, that is your choice.

                  1. I suppose that depends on your definition of “scientist”. Just because you don’t recognize physicians as scientists does not mean that everyone feels that way.

                  2. I do understand that some physicians with your training do not feel that naturopathic physicians are also physicians.

                  3. chiros and naturopaths just keep chasing MDs. Originally it was Dr Smith, but then you copied. So then more people started switching to physician, but now naturopaths call themselves the same. MDs are going to have to call themselves MD Smith or something else to distinguish themselves from the pseudodoctors and make it clear to patients.

                  4. David, clearly you are hostile towards those in my profession, but why? What is the origin of the hostility? What have we ever done to harm you?

                  5. David, clearly you are hostile towards those in my profession, but why? What is the origin of the hostility? What have we ever done to harm you?

                  6. And as far as copying, Homeopathic and Naturopathic doctors were actually the first sorts of doctors originally licensed in many US states. The “regular physicians” that you refer to as “physicians” nowadays actually copied us.

                  7. Even that is wrong. The first licensing acts where established in 1806, way before any establishment of naturopathic medicine.

                  8. I think that you need to investigate that more deeply. The medicine licensed back then was “4 humors medicine”, and the remedies were herbs. From there, the states went on to license various types of medicine, including Homeopathy and Naturopathy, for the next 100 years or so. Around WW1, the “scientific medicine” community set out to form its own licensing — which is what you think of as “regular doctor” licensing now – and then proceeded to work to systematically destroy all other types of medicine.

                  9. Tevna, I am a European and we have medical licenses with a requirement of a medical university education just as today since at least Gerard Van Swieten wich is 18th century. So MDs copying NDs is bullshit. Re destruction of other medicines, there is only one medicine which is the entirety of treatments that work based on various degrees of evidence.

                  10. I entirely agree with you- what works is what works! And, as far as my Pharmacology and Biochemistry and related classes in medical school, they were taught by PhDs in those fields, and clinical classes also taught by some MDs. I went to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine – you can check out the faculty yourself.

                  11. I entirely agree with you- what works is what works! And, as far as my Pharmacology and Biochemistry and related classes in medical school, they were taught by PhDs in those fields, and clinical classes also taught by some MDs. I went to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine – you can check out the faculty yourself.

                  12. And as far as copying, Homeopathic and Naturopathic doctors were actually the first sorts of doctors originally licensed in many US states. The “regular physicians” that you refer to as “physicians” nowadays actually copied us.

                  13. There is a difference between feeling and being. If you occasionally recommend a herb tea to a friend you can feel as a naturopathic doctor but you are not.

                  14. lol… no, in order to feel like a naturopathic doctor you should subject yourself to 6+ years of grueling medical school education crammed into 4 years, with the goal of helping people heal, and then spend the rest of your life fighting off nonsensical attacks on you, your practice, your patients, and your profession from people who attack without sufficient investigation. In other words, you will feel more like a naturopathic doctor if you play Rugby regularly, probably… 🙂

                  15. See Tevna, as a scientist you subject yourself to 6+ years of studying a real subject plus grueling weeks in the lab plus publication.

                  16. I agree that is of course one definition of the pathway to becoming one sort of scientist, sure.

                  17. See Tevna, as a scientist you subject yourself to 6+ years of studying a real subject plus grueling weeks in the lab plus publication.

                  18. So you are trying to say that you do more than an MD in naturopathic school? So you are delivering babies, putting in chest tubes, running codes, and just over all dealing with people who would not get better without help? This is why I don not like naturopaths. They pretend they have the same training when they have never seen or diagnosed a sick patient.

                  19. So you are trying to say that you do more than an MD in naturopathic school? So you are delivering babies, putting in chest tubes, running codes, and just over all dealing with people who would not get better without help? This is why I don not like naturopaths. They pretend they have the same training when they have never seen or diagnosed a sick patient.

                  20. In naturopathic medical school, yes we deliver babies. We don’t put in chest tubes because we have no hospital privileges and our licensing is restricted to only minor surgery that does not enter body cavities. (For instance, we can remove moles and toenails, and stitch surface wounds.) We work in a variety of clinics with a variety of procedures that fit our licensing. You may be confusing our schools with non-medical naturopathic schools.

                  21. Tevna, things are a bit different. If you take the admission rates to medical school and ND school you will see that it is far more difficult to get into medical school. At ND school you waste 50% of your time learning questionable modalities. You are taught by people who would not be admitted to even a junior postdoc position at a real university. You attend a university that has an abysmal research record. So don’t tell us about grueling education. My best friend is a dermatologist. She spent 6 years in medical school, 3 years as a postdoc and another 3 years in speciality training. I.o.W. she got her right to practice after 12 years training. Not only that, during her PhD and Postdoc training phase she published more than the entire Bastyr University.

                  22. Thomas, I do not seek to discredit the accomplishments of others like so many of you seek to discredit mine. However if regular medicine were working so well, and if science alone as we know it were so great at healing people, then why are so many people seeking alternatives? Why do we have so much medication that doesn’t actually cure anything? Why is our population getting sicker and sicker with more chronic disease?

                  23. And the next logical fallcy, argumentum ad populum. The reason why NDs exist are NOT that your modalities are superior. We have established that with sufficient certainty. It not even that they work b/c most do not. It is indeed that real medicine is far from perfect and sometimes quite drastic for lay people. You offer an easy way out with no side effects,claiming to be “natural” (a hype) and claiming to cure the reason (even if that is incurable but who cares?). It is the same reason why people fall for get rich quick schemes. Human psychology. As for your argumentum ad populum: let me put it bluntly: If women perceived as witches weren’t evil why did people burn them for centuries ? Your argument is similarly absurd.

                  24. Again, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. It is the same one shared by the regular doctors who write in our patient’s charts, after the patient finds a cure in naturopathic medicine world, “patient previously misdiagnosed with …. x….”. It is a very rare regular doctor who calls us and says “hey, how did my patient heal from that ‘incurable’ disease?” What causes them to assume “misdiagnosis” instead of “cure”? It is that mental box of preconception, the one that prevents true science from entering the picture there.

                  25. Again, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. It is the same one shared by the regular doctors who write in our patient’s charts, after the patient finds a cure in naturopathic medicine world, “patient previously misdiagnosed with …. x….”. It is a very rare regular doctor who calls us and says “hey, how did my patient heal from that ‘incurable’ disease?” What causes them to assume “misdiagnosis” instead of “cure”? It is that mental box of preconception, the one that prevents true science from entering the picture there.

                  26. You did not have a grueling medical school education, for the simple fact that you did not go to an MD or DO school.

                  27. In order to make a valid comparison there, you would have to try both. Otherwise, you are just making a biased statement based on untested assumptions.

                  28. My definition of a ‘scientist” would be “someone who employs the scientific method to derive a meaningful understanding of the natural universe and phenomena which occur within it”.
                    if you embrace homeopathy despite the tremendous body of evidence demonstrating it is no more effective than placebo treatments, you fail to make the cut.

                  29. If you reject homeopathy despite the tremendous body of evidence supporting that it is more effective than placebo treatments, then you fail to make the cut. A scientist is above all a skeptic who is chronically open to inquiry and constantly questioning old beliefs in light of new evidence, including evidence regarding the insufficiency of classic scientific method limitations as new knowledge is uncovered.

                  30. Tevna,

                    first there is no tremendous body of evidence supporting homeopathy,

                    second double blinded RCTs are perfectly well suited to test *any* treatment, including homeopathy. You can stomp around like Rumpelstiltskin claiming you are correct, it will not make it correct.

                  31. Thomas, it doesn’t matter if you pull out 10 studies that “disprove” Homeopathy and set them next to 10 that “prove” it. I have seen it work – excellently, and better than most other treatments – and so I will continue to use it. I am a doctor, and I use what works, regardless of what the scientists are doing with their efforts to support or destroy it. And the patients will similarly continue to use what works, because that is what we care about.

                  32. Tevna, standard excuse #5 I have seen it work. Thousands of physicians have defended modalities that do not work exactly this way, viz. bloodletting. The human brain is funny, you know. It keeps the good experiences and discards the bad ones. This is called observational bias. I bet your jaw would drop about the true success rate if one would do a follow up of your patients. Without proper methodology you have no way to differentiate between observational bias, placebo and treatment effect. This statement: “Thomas, it doesn’t matter if you pull out 10 studies that “disprove” Homeopathy and set them next to 10 that “prove” it.” is the reason why you are NOT a scientist and NOT a doctor, despite having an ND behind your name.

                  33. Thomas, you are entitled to your opinion, of course. I have no idea why you see the need to attack me, but it is a free country, so you are free to do so 🙂

                  34. Thomas, you are entitled to your opinion, of course. I have no idea why you see the need to attack me, but it is a free country, so you are free to do so 🙂

                  35. in that case, I wish to inform you I’m responsible for the last Boston red Sox world series win. See, whenever the team is doing badly in a game I turn my lucky baseball cap around backwards, and more often than not they win.
                    I’ve seen it work, and no one is going to tell me turning my hat around doesn’t affect the game’s outcome. No one, I tell you!

                  36. And, as a real scientist, you are quite right to keep your mind open to that possibility because, how do we prove that it is not true?

                  37. To ‘prove’ it, first we’d keep an accurate record of wins/losses versus the orientation of my hat, to rule out confirmation bias (the likelihood to remember positive results but fail to recall negative ones). We’d also want to expand the sample group by enrolling other sports fans to keep a record of their teams’ wins and losses when they engage in whatever their personal good luck rituals might be. And finally we’d conduct statistical analysis to determine if, in the event the Sox etc. actually do more often when I turn my hat around, it occurred with greater frequency than would be expected to result from random chance.

                    (In other words, we’d conduct a trial.)

                  38. Yes, but you would still only get correlation results that way. You could not prove causation.

                  39. We’d certainly wish to identify the mechanism of action–how turning your hat around influenced the outcomes of sporting events–but with sufficient trials employing appropriate controls we would accumulate a large body of evidence supporting, if not proving, a causal association–the body of evidence that’s completely lacking with respect to homeopathy.

                  40. I think that you have already made up your mind about that, an that’s fine. No one is forcing you to use or research Homeopathy. If you ever want to explore it further, it is all out there waiting for you 🙂

                  41. In the absence of new evidence, I see no reason to change my position re: the efficacy of homeopathy. But if new evidence is identified supporting its efficacy I’ll certainly consider it and if necessary revise or abandon the position I hold at present.
                    This is science–one goes where the data leads, whether it’s leads you down a path you’d expect or not.

                  42. I think that you have already made up your mind about that, an that’s fine. No one is forcing you to use or research Homeopathy. If you ever want to explore it further, it is all out there waiting for you 🙂

                  43. And, as a real scientist, you are quite right to keep your mind open to that possibility because, how do we prove that it is not true?

                  44. in that case, I wish to inform you I’m responsible for the last Boston red Sox world series win. See, whenever the team is doing badly in a game I turn my lucky baseball cap around backwards, and more often than not they win.
                    I’ve seen it work, and no one is going to tell me turning my hat around doesn’t affect the game’s outcome. No one, I tell you!

                  45. You most certainly are NOT a doctor; you just cling to a manufactured degree that includes doctor in its name but you know down deep inside that you are not a Doctor in the physician sense of the word.

                    It is very sad…

                  46. Tevna,

                    first there is no tremendous body of evidence supporting homeopathy,

                    second double blinded RCTs are perfectly well suited to test *any* treatment, including homeopathy. You can stomp around like Rumpelstiltskin claiming you are correct, it will not make it correct.

                  47. This is where my hostility lies… there is a tremendous body of evidence supporting the opposite. You are blind and delusional in this regard.

                  48. Paraphrase: I do not need studies, I have seen it work.

                    Let me ask you something: Assume you are in a game show with three doors. Behind one door there is a prize. You chose one door, then the showmaster opens a door where there is no prize. So two closed doors are left. You know have the chance to switch from your original choice to the other door. Does it make sense or not and give a reason for your answer. Lets see where your I have seen it work attitude leads you.

                  49. I don’t understand why that is a question…. if there are 2 doors and a prize behind one of them, what difference does it make which one you choose? Are you checking to make sure that I understand basic statistical significance or do I miss your point?

                  50. I asked this question to demonstrate the difference between a gut feeling (“I have seen it work”) and proper analysis. Your gut feeling is the chances of winning are 50:50. Careful analysis shows they are in fact 2:3 in favour of switching. I.a.W. in order to maximize the chance of winning you have to switch.

                  51. That doesn’t make any sense to me, Thomas. There are two doors, one with a prize behind it. Without more information, the odds of it being behind either door are the same. Just because you started with 3 doors does not change the odds. That would be like saying that your chances of flipping your third coin and getting heads instead of tails is greater because you got tails on your first toss. It doesn’t matter how many coins you tossed previously or how many doors you opened previously and what result you got. When you are left with the final coin, there is still a 50-50 chance that you will get heads or tails. If you have two coins to choose from, it doesn’t matter which coin you choose or if you switch your choice at the end. There is still a 50-50 chance regardless.

                  52. “That doesn’t make any sense to me, Thomas.” Nevertheless it has been experimentally confirmed and even pidgeons get it. The solution is simple: The probability of you selectng the door with the prize is 1/3. That means that the probability that the prize is behind one of the other doors is 2/3. Now the showmaster opens the door without prize. That means that the probability of the prize being in that door is zero which in turn means that the probability of the prize being behind the door you have not chosen is 2/3. For a more indepth explanation see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem. I hope you understand the implications of this game for your approach to medicine.

                  53. Ah… … the host actually knows where the prize is… which relates to the choice of which door to choose…

                  54. Exactly. Let me quote myself:: “You chose one door, then the showmaster opens a door where there is no prize.” The 1/3 vs 2/3 probability is so counterintuitive that nobel prize winners needed experimental confirmation before they believed it. The implication for your approach with regards to medicine is that scientific data based on proper analysis trumps your “I have seen it”. I.o.W. the large Australian Metastudy trumps your I have seen it work by lengths.

                  55. I don’t know why you keep beating the drum of that one meta-analysis. But, that’s fine. Thomas, the truth is that you have already decided that Homeopathy doesn’t work and you have no interest in studying it. And, that’s fine. You don’t have to use it and you don’t have to study it. But, you also don’t have to harass people who do want to use and study it. That is just a waste of your time and I’m not sure why you bother.

                  56. You really do not know why I bother ? I will tell you. I work as a computational biologist among other things in cancer research. With regard to cancer, some of the mistakes of you and your colleagues (one of your most outraging statements was the one that for homeopathy many diseases are the same and accurate diagnosis is not necessary) end up on my desk. As data from dead patients that died unecessarily because some ND thought some harmless symptoms can be treated using a non working modality – until fate spoke the dreadful words – TOO LATE.

                  57. Ok, then you need to get out and visit some naturopathic doctors’ offices, where patients are there due to failed conventional cancer treatments, and horrible lingering side effects from conventional cancer treatments, and barely managing to survive conventional cancer treatments. I agree that some doctors – naturopathic and otherwise – are sometimes missing some important symptoms. However, conventional cancer treatment does a lot of harm, too, at least in the US.

                  58. If conventional cancer treatment was so great and so effective, then people wouldn’t be in the natural doctors’ offices begging for better help, and refusing conventional cancer treatment. You must realize that many patients who go to natural doctors have already decided that they are not interested in conventional cancer treatment, and the statistics often validate their decision. In fact, in the US, we can’t even treat them legally naturally when they have been diagnosed with cancer unless they sign agreements indicating that they have been to an oncologist and voluntarily refused that treatment.

                  59. I asked this question to demonstrate the difference between a gut feeling (“I have seen it work”) and proper analysis. Your gut feeling is the chances of winning are 50:50. Careful analysis shows they are in fact 2:3 in favour of switching. I.a.W. in order to maximize the chance of winning you have to switch.

                  60. I asked you to demonstrate the difference between gut feeling (“I have seen it working”) and proper analysis. In this scenario, switching the doors means a 2 in 3 odds ratio of winning whereas not switching means a 1 in 3 odds ratio to win. That is the difference.

                  61. I don’t understand why that is a question…. if there are 2 doors and a prize behind one of them, what difference does it make which one you choose? Are you checking to make sure that I understand basic statistical significance or do I miss your point?

                  62. And, that is certainly your choice, unless you are a pharmacy or imaging center refusing to fill my order and then you would be breaking the law.

                  63. Tevna, the US and Canada are unique with regard to Naturopaths. In the rest of the world you are prohibited to practice in the medical field. Now take the litmus test. Name one ND teaching at a real medical school. There is none. You are no physician.

                  64. ha ha – the “litmus test” of the “regular” medical world’s rejection of us? But, yes, there are some – check out the NDs teaching at Yale and UA medical schools, for instance. But your clear bias is showing just in that statement. You don’t have an open mind about it. You are not scientific about this subject, since you have already made up your mind. And that’s fine, of course, just not sure why you continue to argue with me about it! 🙂

                  65. Indeed there is one in Yale. Well, in Vienna we have a homeopath teaching also. But that does not change the fact that this is a very isolated story. No ND would be accepted at a university outside the US or Canada. Ask Britt why she is doing a Masters and not a PhD. They likely didn’t recognize the ND.

                    As for science, someone who says I don’t need a study b7c I have seen it work does not have the necessary knowledge to judge wether something is scientific or not. Science is looking BEHIND the scenes.

                  66. I’m not the one who started the argument about whether Homeopathy is “scientific” or not. It is, but really that is beside the point. If something works to heal, then whether or not we understand the science behind it yet is not very important to a practicing clinician using it to heal people.

                  67. I’m not the one who started the argument about whether Homeopathy is “scientific” or not. It is, but really that is beside the point. If something works to heal, then whether or not we understand the science behind it yet is not very important to a practicing clinician using it to heal people.

                  68. Yes, that is why psychopharmaceuticals with unknown mechanisms of action can still be employed in medicine – we are able to establish safety and efficacy by means of clinical investigation, whilst same investigation established that homeopathy is not efficacious for any known condition therefore it is not a part of medicine regardless of existence or not of plausible mechanism of action. There are good arguments why investigating such treatments as homeopathy is unscientific and possibly unethical, but it’s beside the point as they have been investigated already.

                  69. Yes, that is why psychopharmaceuticals with unknown mechanisms of action can still be employed in medicine – we are able to establish safety and efficacy by means of clinical investigation, whilst same investigation established that homeopathy is not efficacious for any known condition therefore it is not a part of medicine regardless of existence or not of plausible mechanism of action. There are good arguments why investigating such treatments as homeopathy is unscientific and possibly unethical, but it’s beside the point as they have been investigated already.

                  70. I am sorry Thomas, there is just not enough solid evidence to support that, from my perspective. I know that from your perspective, the research that supports your position is stronger, but I remain unconvinced.

                  71. Indeed there is one in Yale. Well, in Vienna we have a homeopath teaching also. But that does not change the fact that this is a very isolated story. No ND would be accepted at a university outside the US or Canada. Ask Britt why she is doing a Masters and not a PhD. They likely didn’t recognize the ND.

                    As for science, someone who says I don’t need a study b7c I have seen it work does not have the necessary knowledge to judge wether something is scientific or not. Science is looking BEHIND the scenes.

                  72. Tevna, the US and Canada are unique with regard to Naturopaths. In the rest of the world you are prohibited to practice in the medical field. Now take the litmus test. Name one ND teaching at a real medical school. There is none. You are no physician.

                  73. And, that is certainly your choice, unless you are a pharmacy or imaging center refusing to fill my order and then you would be breaking the law.

                1. Tevna, first I am a computational biologist and not a statistician. A computational biologist combines statistics, bioinformatics and cell as well as molecular biology. I.a.W. I know both sides. Second, you just used standard excuse #3, lying with statistics. You are confusing tables, figures and interpretations – which people name “statistics” – with properly used statistical tests. These tests do not lie, they produce probabilities based on which a conclusion can be drawn. If you have such a meta-analysis, cite it and I will comment on it. However, the Australian Study is very solid and you will have a hard time trumping it.

                  As for you being a scientist, your post on the placebo effect has conclusively demonstrated that you do not understand one of the most basic techniques in research, the controlled double blind study.

                  1. There are many such meta-analyses, easy to find even on brief searching – here is one – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10853874. And, yes, I understand controlled double blind studies and what sort of methods that you can and cannot use them for. I also don’t need a lecture on how drugs work. My statement that they focus on a “disease” and not a “person” was based on their philosophical approach, not their chemical behavior. Obviously, I realize that drugs have a wide variety of specific actions that do not specifically target a disease in the same way that you drop a bomb on town. My point was that the “drug model” of approaching illness is to treat the body like a broken machine that always breaks in the same way in every person and so to seek a substance that will somehow offset the “broken-ness”. Homeopathy does not work within this model. Instead, it stimulates the patient’s own internal healing mechanisms to correct the “broken-ness”, in a way specific to that person and his or her manifestation of disease. And, just like many people exhibiting the same disease process do exhibit the same physical manifestations of it, so can the same Homeopathic remedy often be used in groups of people who are very similar this way with some success.

                  2. OK, I will just quote the last relevant sentence of the abstract: “There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo; however, the strength of this evidence is low because of the low methodological quality of the trials. Studies of high methodological quality were more likely to be negative than the lower quality studies.” And: “However, sensitivity analysis showed that the P value tended towards a non-significant value (P = 0.08) as trials were excluded in a stepwise manner based on their level of quality.”. This means, the higher the quality of the study, the less significance to the point that the p value is >0.05 at the end. With a working drug this is usually the other way round. Aside this, the Australian Study trumps this one with regard to completeness and analysis power. Any other citations ? Maybe Linde or Mathie ?

                    Quote: “And, yes, I understand controlled double blind studies and what sort of methods that you can and cannot use them for.” No, trevna, you do not, viz here:: “So, what if it is true that ALL patients actually heal from the
                    “placebo” mechanism even when being given a treatment? How do we know
                    that the patients who healed when being given treatment healed BECAUSE
                    of the treatment?” and here: “Homeopathy can’t be tested the same way that other types of drugs can be because it is specific to a person, not a disease.”

            2. It is infuriating to hear you say that standard medical treatments have not been scrutinized but naturopathic treatments have? Do you look at research? Do you realize how many more studies are done in what you call standard medical treatments versus naturopathy. Moreover, how many more positive, significant results are seen in standard medical treatments. If you were to look on pubmed, I would guess that naturopathic treatments make up about .0001 percent of the research being done. Moreover, you cannot ignore the well done studies that do not show the results you wish. For example the review of homeopathy by NHMRC.

              1. to put it in perspective for you Tevna….I just did a pubmed search on a single field of research…glaucoma. So that is one disease out of thousands upon which research is performed. It yielded 58000 results. I then searched under homeopathy…your whole field of study..and it yielded only 5235 results.

                1. It is even worse. If you take f.i. Bastyr University, the entire University published 2015 a douzen papers or so in low ranking journals. I, as individual have a longer publication list for 2015 than the entire Bastyr University. We are talking about the leading educational organization of the field.

              2. David, I said that not ALL standard medical treatments are heavily scrutinized or well scrutinized, and not all are removed from common practice when they should be, based on evidence. And, I said that not ALL naturopathic type treatments are lacking scientific scrutiny. You misunderstood my meaning.

            3. “In addition, MOST of the treatments used by licensed naturopathic physicians have been scientifically scrutinized, and we also abandon or modify methods found later to be in need of change.”

              Tevna, the relevant question isn’t if MOST of the treatments offered by naturopaths have been scrutinized, but whether the treatments that are unique to naturopathy (homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki and other energy healing, hydrotherapy, etc.–but not also integral parts of standard of care evidence-based medicine have been scientifically scrutinized and shown to be safe and effective.

              “Homeopathy can’t be tested the same way that other types of drugs can be because it is specific to a person, not a disease.”
              Nonsense: select a cohort of patients with the same disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis). Randomize into two cohorts: one treatment group and one control group without telling them what arm of the study they’re in. Have qualified naturopaths examine them and recommend homeopathic treatments specific to each individual for all patients.

              Then homeopathic remedies are prepared in a blinded manner: someone prepares the recommended remedies for all treatment arm patients in the treatment arm and plain water for all patients in the control arm in the identical containers, whereupon a second person collects all the bottles and dispenses them to all the patients.

              Finally a third person, who also isn’t aware of what arm any patient is in, records outcomes.

              If homeopathy is effective you’ll see better outcomes in the treatment group than the control group despite the necessity to individualize treatment.

              1. I completely agree, though unfortunately most of Homeopathy research is not done this way. Plus, the skill of the Homeopath is a confounding factor so you need larger studies that use several in order to start to get a clear picture.

                1. If the skill of the homeopath is so important all of you homeopathy proponents should be fighting against unregulated sales of hemoepathic products in pharmacies, which you don’t. Even if it doesn’t prove anything it is a strong indicator that you know it’s all bunk deep inside.

                  1. Homeopathy is regulated. However, people use it successfully at home, so we want them to be able to have access to it. Normally, at lower potencies, even wrong use is not going to cause severe side effects so this is generally safe. The higher potencies are actually only available by prescription or through a licensed practitioner and so are more heavily restricted due to higher possibility of unwanted effects.

                  2. True that. But dying from ethanol poisoning is not unwanted effect of 100C potentiation I guess, we know the mechanism of action so it’s hardly homeopathy 😉

                    This thread is something truly special!

                  3. Hyland’s problem was that the product actually contained measurable amounts of supposedly highly diluted belladonna, enough to be toxic in infants.

                  4. Ha! I thought the more dilute the more powerful.
                    but you are using more potent dilutions? And tell me about all these wonderful diseases you have outright cured with homeopathy

                  5. We don’t use Homeopathy to cure diseases. We use Homeopathy to return people to their natural state of health so that their own bodies more effectively cure their own diseases. This is why it is ridiculous to try and research if Homeopathy can be used to treat a disease or condition. It is always individualized to a person in a certain state.

                  6. Ha! I thought the more dilute the more powerful.
                    but you are using more potent dilutions? And tell me about all these wonderful diseases you have outright cured with homeopathy

                  7. Tevna, the regulation of homeopathics differs significantly from other drugs for instance:

                    The FDA makes significant exemptions for homeopathic remedies as compared to other drugs. Here are a few:[59]

                    They are not required to submit new drug applications to the FDA.

                    They are “exempt from good manufacturing practice requirements related to expiration dating”.

                    They are exempt from “finished product testing for identity and strength”.

                    They may “contain much higher amounts” of alcohol than other drugs, which may contain “no more than 10 percent…and…even less for children’s medications”. (Wikipedia).

                    Another exemption is the exemption from proof of action and the regulation by homeopaths themselves, including the designation as prescription only b/c of potential side effects. I.o.W. prescription of homeopathic drugs in the US is a marketing gag.

                    This is unique to the US. Within the rest of the world, prescription only homeopathic drugs do not exist.

                  8. Thomas. I understand in the us that there is some antiquated ruling in the FDA that allows homeopathic and herbal preparations to be sold without proof of effect and safety. Why has Europe followed suit? It seems that all countries seem to let the FDA dictate process and guidelines

                  9. Within the EU the situation is different, as exemplified by Germany. In Germany one has the choice of either registering a drug or have it approved. If you register a homeopathic drug with a higher potency of D4 it is judged by its main components which is water and ethanol which is generally regarded as safe provided you do GMP. I.o.W. the authorities see the “drug” as water-ethanol mixture with harmless trace elements. Dilutions of less than D4 (i.e. D1 … D3) have to be tested for safety. However, only registering a drug does not allow you to make any health related claims.

                    In order to do so you have to get approval and that means an approval process like any other drug including safety, efficacy, etc. Very few homeopathic drugs are approved.

                  10. Within the EU the situation is different, as exemplified by Germany. In Germany one has the choice of either registering a drug or have it approved. If you register a homeopathic drug with a higher potency of D4 it is judged by its main components which is water and ethanol which is generally regarded as safe provided you do GMP. I.o.W. the authorities see the “drug” as water-ethanol mixture with harmless trace elements. Dilutions of less than D4 (i.e. D1 … D3) have to be tested for safety. However, only registering a drug does not allow you to make any health related claims.

                    In order to do so you have to get approval and that means an approval process like any other drug including safety, efficacy, etc. Very few homeopathic drugs are approved.

                  11. Just FYI, Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source of information, and is only correct sometimes…… but anyway, yes, I realize that Homeopathy is managed differently by the FDA and is poorly understood at all levels of government

                  12. So everybody does not understand homeopathy except homeopaths ? You realize that you are beginning to talk like a cultist ?

                  13. Of course not. Obviously some people bother to learn about Homeopathy who do no practice it. Other people do not. So it is.

                  14. You also seem not to be aware about homeopathy and how it was conceived. That was based on a severly flawed experiment as I wrote below. Flawed experiments almost NEVER lead to correct conclusions.

                  15. As you know, many things in medicine, and all science, were originally stumbled into in odd ways. And, as you know, also, research is subject to human error, stupidity, bias, and the entire collection of human flaws of every sort. It is a useful tool, but it is never perfect, in Homeopathy or anywhere else. And, that is ok. We can just do the best that we can do, and help people with the best tools that we can find.

                  16. Name one scientific theory that has come into being because of conclusions drawn from a botched up experiment. And please do not mention penicilin because the Fleming draw the correct conclusions from an accident.

                  17. Name one that hasn’t ! All scientists sometimes botch up experiments and learn a lot from the errors, if they are wise

                  18. Hahnemann has not learned from the fact that chinone does not cause fever in other people. He constructed Homeopathy from it. So, again, name one scientific theory that has been discovered in a way homeopathy was.

                  19. Hahnemann has not learned from the fact that chinone does not cause fever in other people. He constructed Homeopathy from it. So, again, name one scientific theory that has been discovered in a way homeopathy was.

                  20. I appreciate your thirst for inquiry into scientific history, and if I ever have time to start sifting through that looking for comparisons, perhaps I will. For the moment, though, I have no reason to do that!

                  21. I appreciate your thirst for inquiry into scientific history, and if I ever have time to start sifting through that looking for comparisons, perhaps I will. For the moment, though, I have no reason to do that!

                  22. Just FYI, Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source of information, and is only correct sometimes…… but anyway, yes, I realize that Homeopathy is managed differently by the FDA and is poorly understood at all levels of government

                2. Tevna, necessity of skill is the same in surgery and psychotherapy. In both subjects these factors can be corrected for. Aside that, you are aware that you agree to the same study design I am telling you and that debunks homeopathy over and over and over again ? So what is it ? You can’t have both

                  1. I am not sure why you keep making the same argument over and over again. Just like with most things, there is research on Homeopathy all over the place with all sorts of conclusions. I have used it for 20+ years, I have seen it work brilliantly, repeatedly, and I will continue to use it. Why do you care about that? Why do you continue this argument? What is the point?

                  2. The point is that I think it highly unethical to debunk solid scientific studies for bias fraught personal observations and treat patients with treatments known not to work beyond the placebo effect.

                  3. The point is that I think it highly unethical to debunk solid scientific studies for bias fraught personal observations and treat patients with treatments known not to work beyond the placebo effect.

                  4. Me too. What you claim to “know” in this case, based on “science”, however, is based on flawed science and flawed interpretations, and doing the same thing that you accuse me of – cherry-picking particular studies to suit your bias.

                  5. I am not sure why you keep making the same argument over and over again. Just like with most things, there is research on Homeopathy all over the place with all sorts of conclusions. I have used it for 20+ years, I have seen it work brilliantly, repeatedly, and I will continue to use it. Why do you care about that? Why do you continue this argument? What is the point?

                3. Why aren’t homeopathic studies done this way? Because whenever a study is rigorously designed with appropriate blinding and controls homeopathic remedies fail to perform better than placebo treatments.

                  As for the skill of homeopath’s varying, the barrier to doing larger studies using several homeopaths would be what, exactly?

                  1. There are SO many studies…. if you are really interested then there is a LOT for you to analyze

          2. Thomas, that isn’t true. Not all standard medical treatments are scientifically scrutinized well – or at all – and certainly many of them remain in use well past the point at which sufficient evidence has collected to render them questionable, and even harmful. In addition, MOST of the treatments used by licensed naturopathic physicians have been scientifically scrutinized, and we also abandon or modify methods found later to be in need of change. And if you really believe that there is no evidence for the efficacy of Homeopathy, then you either are not looking hard enough or you don’t understand it. Homeopathy can’t be tested the same way that other types of drugs can be because it is specific to a person, not a disease. If you spend some time working in a busy Homeopathy clinic somewhere in the world for a few weeks, I promise that you will see sufficient evidence of its effectiveness to understand why it persists in spite of people’s attempts to discredit it because it doesn’t fit a standard drug-for-disease model.

        3. thyroid problems, low stomach acid, liver problems.
          Are you using standard lab tests to diagnose these issues that would be recognized by other MDs. Or is this the quack lab tests that only you can interpret. Don’t forget adrenal fatigue and systemic candidiasis–I think everyone who sees a naturopath has those diseases as well.

                1. There is also the anti-vaccine lunatic type who see heavy metal poisoning everywhere. Testing hair for heavy metals.

                2. I have to give them credit…they are expanding their scope. It used to be everyone had systemic candidiasis and adrenal fatigue. Then chronic lyme and leaky gut. Now tevna has informed me about subclinical thyroid problems, low stomach acid and liver problems.

                3. I have to give them credit…they are expanding their scope. It used to be everyone had systemic candidiasis and adrenal fatigue. Then chronic lyme and leaky gut. Now tevna has informed me about subclinical thyroid problems, low stomach acid and liver problems.

                  1. They are more inventive than chiropractors, where everything is attributed to spinal alignment/subluxation.

                  2. We have one here that proposed hypnosis for breast enlargement! I have it on video, unfortunately only in Polish. But worst is large-dose vitamin C proposed to early stage cancer patients 🙁

                  3. We have one here that proposed hypnosis for breast enlargement! I have it on video, unfortunately only in Polish. But worst is large-dose vitamin C proposed to early stage cancer patients 🙁

                  4. They are more inventive than chiropractors, where everything is attributed to spinal alignment/subluxation.

          1. Then they are seeing questionable naturopathic doctors. Yes, we use standard lab tests, and some very good tests from high quality labs that you might not consider “standard” but that insurance pays for. However, most NMDs will supplement thyroid with TSH above 2 or 3, for instance, when the patient is symptomatic, with good results, because the “normals” there appear to be wrong, based on clinical experience. And this one simple thing often clears up a lot of symptoms that patients were previously being treated for, like depression and gastroparesis, and skin problems. So, often we use the same tests, but slightly differently. Sometimes we use them identically to how you would.

    1. Brian, MDs are not 100% successful since the only thing in life that is 100% is death.However, quote: “Numerous completely standard medical procedures and drugs are found ineffective every week.” is not true. Some procedures are superseded by others after scientific testing. In Naturopathy modalities are kept out of philosophical reasons *despite* centuries of evidence of ineffeciveness (viz. homeopathy). This is not medicine, this is ideology.

      1. I am surprised that you have believed this myth about Homeopathy. If you look into it, you will discover centuries of evidence of effectiveness.

          1. The short answer is because I experimented with it and have seen it work. And, I am open to using anything that works, especially when it is flexible, comfortable, and non-toxic.

              1. lol… perhaps 🙂 But, I would argue that we all are, it being human nature to perceive things as we expect them to be which, as you know, is always a confounding factor in scientific research. However, I definitely don’t continue to use treatment methods that are not getting results, and I use what methods that I can find that give results safely and comfortably, regardless of whether or not there is “hard science” to support them, though there generally is. My patients’ healing is sufficient “proof” for me of a method’s efficacy. And, as a doctor, I am sure that you realize that in many cases – perhaps actually all – the patient heals when the patient is ready, from a wide variety of treatment options, different for each patient, and not always in keeping with what the textbooks say. We all know that micro-organisms don’t read medical textbooks or pay attention to medical research and neither do all patients in their healing process. And, of course, “science”, even its pure form, is still limited by the preconceptions of the humans engaged in it.

                1. Quote: “My patients’ healing is sufficient “proof” for me of a method’s efficacy.” Probably that is the case for you, but in science based medicine some further conditions have to be fulfilled, namely that the treatment is more effective than the placebo.

                  Quote: “And, as a doctor, I am sure that you realize that in many cases – perhaps actually all – the patient heals when the patient is ready, from a wide variety of treatment options, different for each patient, and not always in keeping with what the textbooks say.” To me that sounds like with treatment it takes 7 days, without a week. Again you do not seem to understand how modern medicine works. An efficient treatment increases the probability that the patient will heal faster, live longer or have a better quality of life compared to treatment with a placebo.

                  1. Yes, the whole placebo reality is interesting, isn’t it? The existence of recognized placebo means that some patients heal anyway, regardless. So, what if it is true that ALL patients actually heal from the “placebo” mechanism even when being given a treatment? How do we know that the patients who healed when being given treatment healed BECAUSE of the treatment? What if it was just correlation and not causation? How do we know that they did not heal from placebo IN SPITE OF the treatment? That is, how do we know that they would not have healed even if not given the treatment? We don’t. And we don’t because medical research makes assumptions based on the bias of the researchers – their blind spots – like all science. And, why aren’t we studying the placebo mechanism in more detail, since it is clearly so effective?

                  2. Because the very way that SCIENCE requires testing, requires PROOF of an effect GREATER THAN that of placebo. How many times must this be explained.

                  3. Yes, I understand this. But do you understand what I am saying? Of the patients who got actual medication, and healed, how many of them actually healed from the mechanism that is behind the placebo effect instead of from the medication?

                  4. Do you know how a statistical test works ? If you have a significance level of 5% as used in clinical studies then this is roughly reflects the maximum percentage of patients who appear to have been healed by the treatment but have been healed by the placebo. In other words 5 in 100. This is the maximum number, the real being much lower. If the significance level is 1% you get at max 1 in 100 with the real number being maybe2 or 3 in 1000.

                  5. Yes, I do know. I spent the requisite amount of time studying p score analysis and standard deviations, etc. However, I do not spend the majority of my time analyzing research. I am a practicing physician. I look into research to see what new things might be useful to patients, I go to conferences and learn about research on various therapies that I might not have heard about previously, and I research drugs before I prescribe them. At the end of the day, I keep using what I see work and stop using what seems to not work.

                  6. Tevna, apparently you do not. a p-value is not a score. BTW if homeopathy would work it would violate the second law of thermodynamics which is one of the most fundamental physical laws.

                  7. Whatever you say, Thomas…. but I would check in with the nano-pharmacology researchers on that….

                    And, correct, I do not remember all the details of all the statistical terms that I once learned. That is not part of my day-to-day existence and doesn’t need to be. I am not a lab researcher. As I have told you, I use what works and abandon what does not. Regardless of how close the “statistical significance” is in a study to being “meaningful”, I accept that humans make errors and sometimes it is worth it to research further when the science is new and we don’t have all the details yet, regardless of whether or not the results are .00001 degree from being “meaningful”….

                  8. Tevna, yeah, I would check out nano-pharmacology. and how it works. Coincidentially this is one of the projects I am involved in. nano-pharmacology works exactly as normal pharmacology with the difference of tailored composition and targeted deliverey. Nano-pharmacology has nothing to do with homeopathy.

                  9. Maybe not the part that you are involved in. But, the research into high-dilutions and their continuing effectiveness, and change in effects as you dilute them is getting closer and closer to helping us understand more about the mechanisms of Homeopathy – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9553836

                  10. OK, tevna, once again. Nano-pharmacology is NOT fooling around with water containing traces of a substance. As for your review: quote: ” Theories by Kuhn and Lakatos indicate that whether UHD effects are
                    proved or not depends on the beliefs and behaviors of scientists in
                    their communities.” This is not Schrödingers cat that works or does not work at the same time.

                  11. Tevna, apparently you do not. a p-value is not a score. BTW if homeopathy would work it would violate the second law of thermodynamics which is one of the most fundamental physical laws.

                  12. There is no mechanism behind the placebo effect. Placebo effect is the name given to the results seen absent any treatment.

                  13. Oh my god! Tevna you just succinctly explained that you do not understand randomized controlled trials. It is actually quite funny your above statements.

                  14. Pheeew….. Where do I begin ?

                    Quote:”So, what if it is true that ALL patients actually heal from the “placebo” mechanism even when being given a treatment?” Then you do not see a difference between placebo and treatment b/c every treatment contains a placebo effect.

                    Quote: ” How do we know that the patients who healed when being given treatment healed BECAUSE of the treatment?” In that case you see that the treatment arm has a superior outcome than the placebo arm.

                    Quote; “What if it was just correlation and not causation?” this is even wrongly worded. It should be coincidence and not correlation. If a patient gets coincidentially better this is a random event which is corrected for by sufficient sample number and proper statistical testing. In fact statistical testing is all about distinguishing between coincidence and correlation. The link between correlation and causation is done by carefully planned in vitro and in vivo experiments.

                    Quote: “That is, how do we know that they would not have healed even if not given the treatment? We don’t.” Oh yes, Tevna, we do b/c in many treatments the mechanisms of action are sufficiently known to allow such a conclusion. Aside that the superior treatment approach deals exactly with that.

                    Quote: “And, why aren’t we studying the placebo mechanism in more detail, since it is clearly so effective?” The placebo mechanism is transitory and at best a support of the treatment.

                    With all respect, but you have no idea how medical research works.

                  15. Yes, I understand completely how medical research works. And, I am suggested that it is currently limited in its approach by scientists who have not yet been able to see and think outside of their current boxes. However, I have hope that this is changing.

                  16. OK, there we have it standard excuse #4 research hindered by scientists not thinking out of the box. Now you are confusing the scientific problem with methods of hypothesis testing. Several people have explained to you how hypothesis testing works. You have two or more conditions, measure an outcome in replicates and apply a proper statistic test to calculate a p-value supporting the null hypothesis, i.e. that both conditions are equal. This is so fundamental that it works with everything one can measure, regardless whether these are medical treatments, the quality of grain, the weight of people or a homeopathic treatment. Several people here have that explained to you.I am sorry to have to tell you this again, your constant confusions are a strong indication that you do not understand how medical research, or any scientific research works.

                  17. Pheeew….. Where do I begin ?

                    Quote:”So, what if it is true that ALL patients actually heal from the “placebo” mechanism even when being given a treatment?” Then you do not see a difference between placebo and treatment b/c every treatment contains a placebo effect.

                    Quote: ” How do we know that the patients who healed when being given treatment healed BECAUSE of the treatment?” In that case you see that the treatment arm has a superior outcome than the placebo arm.

                    Quote; “What if it was just correlation and not causation?” this is even wrongly worded. It should be coincidence and not correlation. If a patient gets coincidentially better this is a random event which is corrected for by sufficient sample number and proper statistical testing. In fact statistical testing is all about distinguishing between coincidence and correlation. The link between correlation and causation is done by carefully planned in vitro and in vivo experiments.

                    Quote: “That is, how do we know that they would not have healed even if not given the treatment? We don’t.” Oh yes, Tevna, we do b/c in many treatments the mechanisms of action are sufficiently known to allow such a conclusion. Aside that the superior treatment approach deals exactly with that.

                    Quote: “And, why aren’t we studying the placebo mechanism in more detail, since it is clearly so effective?” The placebo mechanism is transitory and at best a support of the treatment.

                    With all respect, but you have no idea how medical research works.

                2. “And, as a doctor, I am sure that you realize that in many cases – perhaps actually all – the patient heals when the patient is ready.”

                  So if the patient doesn’t heal, they weren’t ready? My 34 year old patient who died a horrible, painful death from metastatic renal cancer- she just wasn’t “ready” to heal, huh? I wonder what her illness was trying to “teach” her. What lesson was she supposed to glean?

                  FUCK YOU. You and all of your victim-blaming, pseudo-doctor friends.

                  1. I never said that all patients who feel that they are ready to heal will heal. We all know that there is more to it than that, and that the mysteries of life and death are no entirely ours to know or control. My meaning was that patients can certainly do a lot to block their own healing, and I am certain that you know that. Not all patients block their own healing, but some do.

                  2. Nice double down on the victim blaming. I guess you just aren’t ready to engage your brain or your empathy.

                  3. Banrion, it is true that I do not believe that we are helpless victims to random events. I believe that we create what happens to us, though we are often unaware that we are doing that. So, I don’t blame anyone for whatever their current situation is, but I do try to empower them to change it if they don’t like it!

                  4. Then you haven’t dealt with truly sick people. Those of us that are real doctors and have dealt with the critically ill know that shit happens. It happens to the best of us and the worst of us. It just happens.

                    I hate people like you who blame patients for their illnesses. However, I can see how it’s good for your business model. Every time a patient doesn’t get better, you can blame them because they weren’t ready to heal. Or they weren’t creating happiness. Or they weren’t empowered enough.

                  5. I grew up going to hospice with my great grandmother to care for the dying as a volunteer. I spend many years on my path to regular medical school working as a volunteer in Emergency rooms and on surgical floors. I see truly sick people (cancer, COPD, industrial accidents, injured veterans) at least 3 days each week. Yet, I still believe that we create our reality, though often without realizing it. And, I accept that a lot of people believe that shit just happens. And, you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t feel the need to attack you about it. Why do you feel the need to attack me?

                  6. I grew up going to hospice with my great grandmother to care for the dying as a volunteer. I spend many years on my path to regular medical school working as a volunteer in Emergency rooms and on surgical floors. I see truly sick people (cancer, COPD, industrial accidents, injured veterans) at least 3 days each week. Yet, I still believe that we create our reality, though often without realizing it. And, I accept that a lot of people believe that shit just happens. And, you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t feel the need to attack you about it. Why do you feel the need to attack me?

                  7. Belief is not medicine. It’s religion. Stop calling yourself a doctor. Maybe minister is a better title.

                  8. I agree that belief is not medicine. However, all doctors have beliefs that inform the way that we practice. Some doctors do believe in the “helpless victim” model and others do not. Buying into a particular belief about the nature of reality does not define medicine. There are a lot of mysteries here on planet Earth, and in human life, and we don’t understand them all, and I think that doctors, in particular, understand how little we really understand. We don’t really know why things happen. They might be random, and they might not be. No one can prove what is “true” there one way or the other at this point. So, I don’t see the point in attacking people with different beliefs because that is just what they are for all of us at this point – beliefs.

                  9. Belief is not medicine. It’s religion. Stop calling yourself a doctor. Maybe minister is a better title.

                  10. I don’t understand how this Theta Healing is even within your scope of practice in Arizona. How do you chart for a Theta session? Even for your Skype patients, aren’t you technically supposed to perform a physical exam before providing any treatment, even if it is telepathic?

                  11. ThetaHealing is not part of my naturopathic medical practice. I am a licensed naturopathic physician and I am a ThetaHealer – two separate offerings. Some of my patients see me for ThetaHealing, as well, and I chart their medical visits like normal but theirThetaHealing sessions are not charted because they are not medical appointments, similar to if I were a wedding planner and had patients who were also my wedding planning clients.

                3. “I am sure that you realize that in many cases – perhaps actually all – the patient heals when the patient is ready”
                  No, I don’t realize this at all. What evidence suggests this is the case? Consider a bacterial infection: are you arguing that unless the patient is READY to heal oral antibiotics will be completely ineffective?

                  1. Yes, actually I am, though it sounds absurd to you. What happens in those cases is that the antibiotic kills or disables enough of the microbes to “free” the patient from the infection sufficiently to reduce symptoms temporarily. However, if the patient does not actually heal sufficiently that their own body would resist such an infection in the first place, then they will simply get another infection – often relatively quickly – or a more serious manifestation of the primary health imbalance and start a downward spiral into decreased immune function as the antibiotics disrupt the intestinal flora, which is the source of 80% or so of standard immune function components. As this continues, the patient degenerates further into more chronic illness like allergies and autoimmune disease, with the original underlying problem that weakened them to infection in the first place having never been addressed. We have a saying “it is the soil, not the seed” that needs to be addressed for real healing.

                  2. Tevna, neither allergies nor autoimmune diseases are caused be decreased immunological function. They might be triggered by an infection but thats it. What you are telling us here is really way off.

                  3. You are correct, the causation and development is far more complex than that. Once someone can diagram it in better detail, then our treatments will get even more focused. In the meantime, while regular medicine continues to argue that these conditions are incurable, alternative medicine will continue to cure them.

                  4. If alternative medicine can cure conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus erythematosus etc, where are the publications and studies ? Or is that again a “I have seen it” analysis ?

                  5. There are some, and some ongoing, like this one – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01915433. We would all like to see more studies done in many areas but that requires money and not too many people are applying for research grants in these areas or getting them funded. When the NIH director visited the UA medical school a few years ago, I asked her about this and she said that there are plan to correct the deficiency but it it just slow moving. In the meantime, we will keep treating people with treatments that are working and wait for the larger scientific community to catch up.

                  6. Quote: “Outcome measures will be change in quality of life and fatigue,
                    endothelial function and blood biomarkers between enrollment and end of
                    study at 12 weeks.” This is a classic dietary study having nothing to do with alternative medicine with non-curative aim but improvement of QoL and endothelial function..

                  7. There are some, and some ongoing, like this one – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01915433. We would all like to see more studies done in many areas but that requires money and not too many people are applying for research grants in these areas or getting them funded. When the NIH director visited the UA medical school a few years ago, I asked her about this and she said that there are plan to correct the deficiency but it it just slow moving. In the meantime, we will keep treating people with treatments that are working and wait for the larger scientific community to catch up.

                  8. No, Tevna, alternative medicine does not cure. Not even the Boss of the homeopathy department of your own alma mater claims so. Moreover if you look at one of his talks about alternative medicine and autoimmune diseases he uses two thirty year old papers and a couple of case reports to make his point. Pathetic.

                  9. First of all, me and the boss of Homeopathy at my alma mater do not agree about many, many things and I was not impressed with my experiences on his clinical shifts. In fact, the personal feuds between he and I were nearly famous when I was in medical school and people did not want to be on shifts with he and I together because of the tension. My sentiments are shared by some of my colleagues who also believe that some of the Homeopaths in Naturopathic medicine are too much tied to the past and not integrating newer research. Second of all, all physicians, of every sort, are taught that it is wrong to talk about “cure”, ever. I am a maverick that way and my colleagues would likely frown even on my assertion that people really want cures and that cures are possible. Regular medicine has pretty much bullied everyone into submission that way and made it acceptable to just “treat” people, not help them find “cures”. I find that unacceptable and so I buck the system on it since I think that cures are possible and they are my goal.

                  10. See, Tevna, this is exactly what I mean with quality of teaching In a real medical school, if a student feuds with a chair of a department, the student gets eaten for breakfast because of the huge difference in competency. If a student can challenge the competency of a teacher, something is very wrong with the competency of the teacher and in turn with the competency of the student – as it has been demonstrated here by a profound lack of understanding for clinical trials, scientific methods and even resistence against learning.

                  11. Yes, I am well aware of the “we are right and you are wrong at all costs because you are just a student” attitude at medical schools that “eats” students. It also alas exists in naturopathic medical school and my last year was very rocky and I was constantly investigated and tested. However, I passed the investigations and tests because I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I never challenged the teaching doctors in front of patients and I always followed what they told me to do on patients’ behalf even if I disagreed with it. However, this is a lousy model of medicine and produces doctors who are overly afraid of a domineering system such that they sometimes make bad judgment calls because they were too afraid to question their professors in a way that would have led to real learning. If your professor seems wrong to you, and you are not allowed to ask for further clarification from the professor on why they are actually right, then a HUGE area for learning and developing judgment is stunted or non-existent. This is probably the worst tragedy of modern medical training, in fact, in my opinion.

                  12. have you read what I said ? I said that this is because professors are way more competent than students.

                  13. Of course they are, in most situations, most of the time, because of their personal observations and experiences. We all have access to the same research data. But professors have more personal experience to show them what works.

                  14. Wrong. Professors know more because they have learned more and exactly the science you chose to put below your personal observations.

                  15. No, actually professors haven’t always learned more than their students. We might like to believe that, and hope that it is often true, but it is certainly not always true. It depends entirely on the student and the professor to which you are referring

                  16. Well, that might be the case at your university. At any real medical school becoming a professor requires a lot more effort than just graduating with a PhD. However, you are aware that you are underlining my point of inferior education ?

                  17. You are assuming that no students already have PhDs or other situations in which they have studied subjects in depth outside of their current program.

                  18. I am talking of the average student in medschool or in your school, whatever that might have been having no MD or ND. As such you have more or less successfully challenged the dean of homeopathy school and apparently he was unabel to beat you decisively on a professional base. That talks a LOT about him as well as the quality of your knowledge.

                  19. I’m not your average student, and never was 🙂

                    And, the only challenging that I did was to question some of his decisions to choose one remedy over another because I was not clear on his reasoning. He is a more conventionally trained doctor and did not respond well to what he interpreted as my questioning of his judgment. I thought that understanding his judgment better would help me develop better judgment of my own. And so it goes.

                    But, you are going to keep bashing the education of my profession in any case because you have already decided that we are deficient. And, ok, so you are entitled to believe that.

                    But, what is the point of continuing to attack me and my profession? I researched my education and profession before I entered into them 12 years ago. And I spent many years before that preparing for regular medical school and working in hospitals. And, I was very sick for a long time and conventional medicine was unable to help me, which is why I went looking for alternatives and finally found healing and so went in that direction. You are certainly not the first one who is hostile towards naturopathic medicine and you will certainly not be the last. But, do you really expect your views on it to change my mind, when I finally found healing there after 20 years of no success looking to conventional medicine to help me?

                  20. I’m not your average student, and never was 🙂

                    And, the only challenging that I did was to question some of his decisions to choose one remedy over another because I was not clear on his reasoning. He is a more conventionally trained doctor and did not respond well to what he interpreted as my questioning of his judgment. I thought that understanding his judgment better would help me develop better judgment of my own. And so it goes.

                    But, you are going to keep bashing the education of my profession in any case because you have already decided that we are deficient. And, ok, so you are entitled to believe that.

                    But, what is the point of continuing to attack me and my profession? I researched my education and profession before I entered into them 12 years ago. And I spent many years before that preparing for regular medical school and working in hospitals. And, I was very sick for a long time and conventional medicine was unable to help me, which is why I went looking for alternatives and finally found healing and so went in that direction. You are certainly not the first one who is hostile towards naturopathic medicine and you will certainly not be the last. But, do you really expect your views on it to change my mind, when I finally found healing there after 20 years of no success looking to conventional medicine to help me?

                  21. On that “Monty Hall” probability problem, as it is presented on Wikipedia, the logic is flawed. The table presented shows 3 possibilities for the outcome, two of which have the person winning if he or she switches to the other door. The error is that there are actually 4 possibilities for the outcome because if the prize is behind door number 1, then the host might open either door number 2 or door number 3. That means that there are 2 possibilities out of 4 that the person will win the car if they stay with their original choice of door 1. So, it is really true that there is no advantage to switching door choice.

                  22. Ah, right, I see, it shows itself in the card game…. because the 4th probability, like the 1st probability, only happens half as much as the 2nd and 3rd. So, because there is a 2/3 chance that one of the doors you do NOT choose will have the card, then once the host shows you which of those doors it is NOT, you can still take advantage of the fact that there was a greater probability that it was behind one of the other door than behind the one that you already chose.

                  23. Correct. For the implication for your intuition or i have it seen approach vs careful analysis see my earlier comment.

                  24. lol… Thomas, do you seriously believe that I am unfamiliar with the logic-vs.-intuition analysis and debate that the human race has been engaging in for centuries? And, do you seriously believe that your intuition is inferior to your logic under all circumstances?

                  25. No, Tevna, I do believe you are not familiar with how medical science works and given your discussion here we can safely assume that to be established.

                  26. Ok, Thomas, if it makes you feel better to believe that, then happy I could support you in verifying your pre-existing bias 🙂

                  27. I am talking of the average student in medschool or in your school, whatever that might have been having no MD or ND. As such you have more or less successfully challenged the dean of homeopathy school and apparently he was unabel to beat you decisively on a professional base. That talks a LOT about him as well as the quality of your knowledge.

                  28. You are assuming that no students already have PhDs or other situations in which they have studied subjects in depth outside of their current program.

                  29. Some of the molecular and genetics components have been diagrammed better, much better, by years and years of molecular research. Your explanation above shows a total lack of medical and scientific knowledge regarding immunology and molecular pathology.

                  30. Britt, we all know that we only know part of the picture, and that is why the research continues.

                  31. Oh, good. Now we’ve also shown that you don’t understand microbiology or pharmacology. Well done.

                  32. lmao….. right….. ummm…. glad to be of assistance in maintaining your limited viewpoint 🙂

                  33. lmao….. right….. ummm…. glad to be of assistance in maintaining your limited viewpoint 🙂

            1. It’s necessary to point out that blood-letting persisted into the 20th century on the basis of the exact same type of evidence–practitioners who were convinced by personal observation that it was safe and effective–right up until studies by pioneers like Dr. Hugh Bennett and Dr. Pierre Louis comparing outcomes in patients who did or did not undergo bloodletting demonstrated it was killing people.

              1. Yes, and if a lot of my patients were dying soon after treatment, then that sort of research would certainly be in order.

                1. Antibiotics treatment is a reduction of bacterial burden so that the immune system can successfully eliminate the rest and has nothing to do with readyness to heal. You are aware that the antibiotics kills most of the bacteria, thus enabling the immune system to successfully eliminate residuals ? please do tell me that you believe at least that.

                  1. Yes, of course – isn’t that what I said?. Though, in some cases there is lingering bacteria that the immune system cannot successfully eliminate, of course.

                2. If you treated people with life-threatening maladies they would be dying soon after. Luckily alternative “medicine” usually grabs for low hanging fruit of self-limiting diseases and disorders. Or do you also order some sugar water for bacterial pneumonia in an 80 year old if it’s so powerful? (I really really hope not)

                  1. Don’t worry, Jakub, we send emergencies to the ER 🙂 And, in a frail 80 year old with bacterial pneumonia, we would prescribe an antibiotic, or hospital admission, or both.

                  2. Don’t worry, Jakub, we send emergencies to the ER 🙂 And, in a frail 80 year old with bacterial pneumonia, we would prescribe an antibiotic, or hospital admission, or both.

                  3. Well that is good news. But then if you realise there is a point where only real medicine can help, why do you offer magic in cases when you don’t risk liability and attributable causation of causing harm?

                  4. Homeopathy, like other treatment options, is best for some situations and not others. It will work to cure bacterial pneumonia, but only if the patient’s own inner healing resources are strong enough to rally themselves under its influence. Sometimes the patient is past this point and so it is necessary to use external support.

                  5. This is very convenient 🙂 If he would live on his own then he will live with some sugar pills as well.

                  6. lol… .yes, of course, but the reason for the Homeopathy is that it will stimulate his body to heal considerably faster and more thoroughly and strengthen him against future attacks.

                  7. So you admit that patients whom you treat would get better on their own? How convenient. You almost admit to being a fraud and you still fail to see it. This is impressive case of bias.

                  8. This goes back to medical philosophy, in general. In all types of medicine, the patient will very often get better with no treatment at all, and all doctors of all sorts know this. However, treatment can assist the process, speed it, make it more comfortable, more lasting, etc. In some extreme emergency cases, of course, it appears likely that the patient would have died without a respirator, blood transfusion, emergency surgery, etc. But, do we really know that for sure? We don’t really know what controls life or death, or even sickness and health, and every doctor of every sort will tell you that. All doctors do what they can with the tools that they have and hope that the patient responds. But all doctors know that the healing is ultimately out of our hands and we don’t have control over how the patient responds, even to the “perfect” treatment.

                  9. Yes there is only so much medicine can do. On the other hand pseudomedicine can’t do anything and must rely on natural course of disease, which is what you do using sympathetic magic of homeopathy.

                    If we are talking about philosophy of medicine, remind me again why we don’t do blood letting any more?

                  10. But, to the rest of your point, we don’t rely on natural course of disease. The ‘natural’ methods do shorten and lessen the severity of the disease process, and make the patient more comfortable. Even the WHO acknowledges that high dose vitamin A is the best way to shorten measles duration, for instance.

                  11. Yes, good you found the Cohrane review. Did you also see the actual current WHO reccomendation?

                    Also if Cohrane review is valid then what of Cohrane review of homeopathy?

                  12. It is like all scientific research – it is useful to the limits of its flaws. It is a human creation, subject to human bias and error. However, one can always test it and see directly what happens. Or, one can make educated guesses based on multiple research studies and related information. My point was simply that even regular medicine accepts the usefulness of some natural therapies.

                  13. First you have eally no idea what youa re talking about so you make up thingd as you go. And then of course that such “natural therapies” are accepted, medicine that works is medicine, medicine that doesn’t work is a fraud. Homeopthy is a fraud. 🙂 Unfortunately for you and your patients you are unable to see what noise, data, knowledge, and belief are. Have a good life and let’s hope you abandon your practise at some point.

                  14. Thank you for the hostility. I am sure that you are doing your part to make the world a better place, based on what you believe. If working to tear down others doing similar work is your goal, then congratulations and keep up the good work! 🙂

                  15. The medical literature is not like a novel, where you can make up your own interpretations of how the author uses literary devices. You are sounding more like a religious zealot who is constantly moving the goal post in order to secure a place of pseudo logic amidst chapters of confusing and contradictory passages in a holy book. The medical literature is best evaluated using consistent approaches and standards, rather than what you are doing.

                  16. As you must know, medical literature is as flawed as the humans who create it. Sometimes the interpretations are flawed, which is why we do our own analysis.

                  17. “However, one can always test it and see directly what happens.”
                    And every time homeopathy has been tested, using a rigorous protocol and appropriate controls it has failed to demonstrate efficacy.
                    Wonder why that is…

                  18. If you really believe that, then you are simply ignoring all the research that has indicated its efficacy. And there is a lot of that, even in spite of the fact that the research is generally done badly because it is based on the assumption that Homeopathy treats diseases, which it does not.

                  19. No, I’m not ignoring any research, or at lest not knowingly. To the best of my knowledge the existing body of evidence supports only a conclusion that homeopathy is ineffective as a medical intervention.

                    But I am of course willing to entertain the notion that I’m wrong, I suggest we consider the positive evidence you think I’m ignoring together: To that end, please provide a citation to whichever study/trial you personally consider to represent the single most credible and compelling piece of evidence indicating homeopathy is effective as a treatment for a non-self-limiting injury or illness, and we’ll discuss it.

                  20. This debate has happened SO many times, and many educated doctors from around the world have collected a lot of good research data and meta-analyses on Homeopathy, over many weeks, months, and years of work. Start with Dana Ullman, perhaps – https://www.homeopathic.com/index.html. Or go directly to the National Center for Homeopathy (US), or the British Homeopathic Society, etc. But, keep in mind that you are operating from a paradigm to which Homeopathy does not belong. That is, you want a “compelling piece of evidence indicating homeopathy is effective as a treatment for a non-self-limiting injury or illness”. But, Homeopathy does not treat injury or illness. Homeopathy treats people, stimulating their own ability to heal their injury or illness. So, you cannot use a particular Homeopathic remedy for a particular injury or illness and expect that to always work. However, there are some cases, like the bruising and pain of blunt injury, where most of the human race is similar enough in the response to the injury that they will get some pain relief and increased healing speed with a Homeopathically prepared dilution of the Arnica Montana flower. It is in these cases where it is easier to research Homeopathy using conventional medical research methods and you will find more research data.

                  21. Just an hour or so ago you claimed that you never contested that superior trial designs are not applicable to homeopathy now you do exactly that. Look, you can have it only one way. Re Dana Ullmann …. this guy has no idea how to conduct a properly designed metaanalysis. The Australians have. They have done so. Homeopathy does not work.

                  22. That’s fine, Thomas, I completely understand your beliefs. There is no need to keep sharing them 🙂

                  23. THat was not the topic. Once again, do you believe homeopathy can be tested by looking for better curative results or not ?

                  24. THat was not the topic. Once again, do you believe homeopathy can be tested by looking for better curative results or not ?

                  25. Okay–started with Dana Ullman. Pubmed indexes eight articles he’s published, but unfortunately seven of them are in non-standard alternative medical publications. He has one publication in a FASEB, which turns out to be a letter to the journal calling for a serious discussion of nanopharmacology and homeopathy.

                    “But, Homeopathy does not treat injury or illness”

                    Which would mean it’s useless as a medical intervention, as
                    they exist for the express purpose of treating injuries and illnesses—agreed?

                    However, there are some cases, like the bruising and pain of blunt injury, where most of the human race is similar enough in the response to the injury that they will get some pain relief and increased healing speed with a Homeopathically prepared dilution of the Arnica Montana flower.”
                    Can you provide a citation to a study showing increased healing speed causally associated with homeopathic arnica?

                  26. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/arnica – see research links at the bottom of the page…

                    But, of course you are not going to find a lot of Homeopathy research in regular medical journals because there has been too much bias against it for too long to allow a lot of research funding. And as far as your question about medical intervention existing for the express purpose of treating illness and injury – I do not agree. That is just one way of medicine. Another way is to treat the patients so that they can heal their own illness and injuries more efficiently.

                  27. Tevna, rather than provide links to lists of articles, please provide a citation to the one article you beleieve makes the strongest case for homeopathy’s efficacy.

                    And rather than ‘bias’ you don’t find a lot of homeopathy articles in medical journals for the same reason you’d don’t find a lot of perpetual motion articles in physics journals, astrology articles in astronomy journals, alchemy articles in chemistry journals.

                  28. And, once upon a time, if there had been “Flat Earth” journals back when our research so far indicated that the Earth was flat, you would not have found many research articles in there about “Spherical Earth” research either 🙂

                  29. At such time as a large body of credible evidence accumulated supporting a spherical earth you would have. That is, after all, exactly what happened in geologic journals when evidence attesting to the true age of the earth and falsifying the historicity of a global catastrophic flood was discovered, or when the germ theory of disease replaced previous models.

                  30. Right, exactly. And, one day I fully expect the germ theory of disease to be replaced by a new model, as well 🙂

                  31. Just that as science continues to push the boundaries of knowledge and we learn more and more, old paradigms will fall by the wayside as the new ones prove more useful. I don’t expect science to ever stop learning and growing and changing our understanding of the world, do you?

                  32. Some old paradigms will fall by the wayside if new evidence requires they be abandoned, but many are so firmly established, the body of evidence which they address so great and varied, that at most we expect they will be continually refined. I’m aware of nothing other than wishful thinking to suggest the germ theory of disease is in danger of falsification.

                  33. Of course, it was simply an example of one that is possible to be changed at some point since we know, for instance, that the strep organisms that we think of as causing strep pharyngitis are found frequently in place even in the absence of illness, as are h. pylori and others. So, there is more to the picture than just the germ, and it is entirely possible that we will eventually discover something that is as much of a paradigm shift away from germ theory as germ theory was from theories that preceded it. Pleo Sanum, in Germany, publishes data on “shape shifting” in micro-organisms themselves that was previously believed impossible. In other words, there is no reason to believe that we have reached the limits of new paradigms.

                  34. First, of course there is more in the picture. It is called immune system.

                    Second, the germ theory is classified as theory because evidence is that massive that it is highly unlikely that it will ever change substantuially. It is the same reason why the theory of relativity is a theory and the theory of gravity is classified as theory

                    Third, the Pleo Sanum data are as much bogus as homeopathy. They apparently do not realize how an immune system works and how bacteria are recognized. In fact they don’t even comprehend how bacteria work or why certain are pathogenic. A typhoid bacteria could take the shape of a Volkswagen car, the body will still recognize it as typhoid bacteria and it will still cause typhoid.

                    Tevna, you are aware that with this post you clearly demonstrate your inability to distinguish between science and scientific nonsense ?

                  35. No, quite the opposite. To me, you seem the one who is so entrenched in science-as-we-know it that you treat it like a religious convert with a mind closed to any further exploration.

                  36. Did you ever ask yourself why you adhere to theories that are very old and have been disproven by science ? Pleo Sanum continues the work on hypotheses of Günther Enderlein (stemming from around the 50ties) which have already been falsified. You claimed to love science – so how does it come that you have such a non-comprehension of science ? To put it bluntly, you are claiming the earth is flat and presenting this as a viable alternative to the round earth theory.

                  37. 1. You and I both know that science is limited, flawed, and as good as the people doing it and the current limits of what we know. It is a useful tool, sure, but not the only useful tool that we have in life.
                    2. You and I also both know that science does not “disprove” things as a normal method of operation. Science tests theories and gathers data to support hypotheses. When the scientist cannot gather sufficient data to support a hypothesis, then he or she will abandon it in favor of other ones for a particular study. This may or may not indicate that a hypothesis that has been currently abandoned in the current study has been “disproved”. It might simply mean that the limits of research design or limits of current research tools prohibit further investigation for now. Or, it may mean that other hypotheses were more likely or more useful and so make more sense to keep for the current study.
                    3. Whether or not some theories have been sufficiently “proven” by sufficient data to satisfy the current standards in scientific research is not the end answer on whether or not the theory is useful, or even “correct” based on our current understanding of the universe. When something clearly works in medicine, and has worked for thousands of years, we already know it works though we might not know why. So, over times, as research progresses, we may develop various theories about why it works and some may be abandoned in favor of others in the process, and some may be re-visited later as we gain more understanding. But, the entire time that science is engaged in this quest for further understanding of why something works, it still works.

                  38. I am speechless. Quote: “You and I also both know that science does not “disprove” things as a normal method of operation.” You are completely wrong. Science works like this: You gather data to support your hypothesis, present them and during the peer review process colleagues try challenge your hypothesis by falsification. This is exactly what happened to homeopathy and your PleoSanum thingie – and you KNOW IT otherwise you would not insist on pathetic excuses.

                  39. lmao…. right, your colleagues’ challenges to your data and hypotheses are sufficient to falsify them.. we both know that the system is more robust than that and that it takes a considerable amount of solid repeatable evidence to prove a hypothesis

                  40. Your problem is that homeopathy does not work (despite your claims fraught with observational bias) and that a comparatively large percentage of traditional knowledge (e.g. in botanical medicine) also does not work.

                  41. Your insistence on concluding that from a very small and questionable body of research is not a problem for anyone but you. It is certainly not a problem for everyone around the world using things successfully while waiting for the science to catch up.

                  42. Your insistence on concluding that from a very small and questionable body of research is not a problem for anyone but you. It is certainly not a problem for everyone around the world using things successfully while waiting for the science to catch up.

                  43. In other words, you are making the assumption that everything that was used – and believed – in the past has been disproven by science and does not work. And, although that is largely true in some cases, it is not true 100% of the time, and there is no reason to abandon good safe therapies that work well just because science has yet to fully understand them.

                  44. Hahnemann was already disproven in 1836, Enderlein was also disproven. Aside that , how much evidence do you need that homeopathy does not work ? 10000 patients more ? Or God himself telling you you are practicing bullshit ?

                  45. I will stop practicing Homeopathy when it stops working, or when people stop asking for it. For instance, a few weeks ago, a patient came into the medical marijuana clinic who had had horrible itching – the sort that you just want to scratch until it bleeds – for several years. She has been to many doctors, and the Mayo clinic, had blood tests, neurological tests, chiropractic adjustments, liver scans, etc., and so far no cause has been found and no drug has been useful to stop the itching. That symptom in Homeopathy is called “voluptuous itching” and it often responds to Homeopathically-prepared Sulphur. So, I suggested she try it. The results were so dramatic that she came into the clinic ecstatic because she had finally had no itching for several days, for the first time in years. She was able to sleep all night for a change, and felt much better. She had tears in her eyes as she thanked me and said that she was telling everyone that she knows, she was so excited. So, yes, that might have been coincidental placebo. Or, it might not. In either case, I would not trade the opportunity to help people like that for all the inconclusive data in the world, especially data where the researchers were trying to test a method using the expectations of a medical model and set of theories to which it does not belong anyway.

                  46. And why do you need anyone to stop practicing Homeopathy? It isn’t hurting you, and in spite of your assertion that people harm themselves by using it instead of “medicine that works”, there is very little evidence that people are choosing Homeopathy instead of a conventional alternative in the majority of cases. Some people do, but most of them end up in our offices only after being frustrated by regular medicine’s inability to help them.

                  47. At such time as a large body of credible evidence accumulated supporting a spherical earth you would have. That is, after all, exactly what happened in geologic journals when evidence attesting to the true age of the earth and falsifying the historicity of a global catastrophic flood was discovered, or when the germ theory of disease replaced previous models.

                  48. And, once upon a time, if there had been “Flat Earth” journals back when our research so far indicated that the Earth was flat, you would not have found many research articles in there about “Spherical Earth” research either 🙂

                  49. Tevna, rather than provide links to lists of articles, please provide a citation to the one article you beleieve makes the strongest case for homeopathy’s efficacy.

                    And rather than ‘bias’ you don’t find a lot of homeopathy articles in medical journals for the same reason you’d don’t find a lot of perpetual motion articles in physics journals, astrology articles in astronomy journals, alchemy articles in chemistry journals.

                  50. Okay–started with Dana Ullman. Pubmed indexes eight articles he’s published, but unfortunately seven of them are in non-standard alternative medical publications. He has one publication in a FASEB, which turns out to be a letter to the journal calling for a serious discussion of nanopharmacology and homeopathy.

                    “But, Homeopathy does not treat injury or illness”

                    Which would mean it’s useless as a medical intervention, as
                    they exist for the express purpose of treating injuries and illnesses—agreed?

                    However, there are some cases, like the bruising and pain of blunt injury, where most of the human race is similar enough in the response to the injury that they will get some pain relief and increased healing speed with a Homeopathically prepared dilution of the Arnica Montana flower.”
                    Can you provide a citation to a study showing increased healing speed causally associated with homeopathic arnica?

                  51. But, to the rest of your point, we don’t rely on natural course of disease. The ‘natural’ methods do shorten and lessen the severity of the disease process, and make the patient more comfortable. Even the WHO acknowledges that high dose vitamin A is the best way to shorten measles duration, for instance.

                  52. Apparently we came up with things that worked better 🙂 Interestingly, the blood letting was the main thing that drove Samuel Hahnemann away from regular medical practice and set him on the path that eventually led to his discovery of Homeopathic medicine.

                  53. So you think that blood letting worked, just less then let’s say antibiotics? LOL

                  54. lol….. well, sure, in the sense that whatever mechanism is making placebo effect work could possibly be provoked in just about any way, if the patient believes it. And sham surgery has a higher rate of placebo than medications, so maybe the more tragic the treatment, the more it provokes “belief cure”? 🙂

                  55. Hahahhahahahahaahha this not only shows that you have no idea what placebo effect is, it also shows how much you believe in your “medicine”. Quite funny if it weren’t tragic.

                  56. LMAO… Jakub, NO person knows what the placebo effect is. We observe it but we do not know the mechanism of its action.

                  57. There is no mechanism of action. What we call “placebo effect” is measurement noise combined with natural variation in course of the disease. If you take hard endpoints like e.g. death there is very little placebo effect, if you take soft endpoints like “feeling of well being” there can be some effect because people think they are better (they might be not, but as we were trying to show you our perception is very fallible).

                    Excellent explanation in very simple terms: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-placebo-effect/

                    You could do a search on very interesting study on altmed in asthma where subjective well being was improved but one of the subjects actually needed urgent hospitalisation due to life threatening course of disease. There is no magical “mind-over-matter” effect you believe in.

                  58. hmmm… “measurement noise combined with natural variation in course of the disease”….. so you believe that people only heal either because you give them the right medication or the disease magically disappears the way that it magically appeared? You really don’t believe that the human body is ever responsible for healing itself? And, yes, I have seen the asthma study, and such simple initial studies are far from being conclusive that there is no “mind over matter” effect. We need a lot more data to get to that point, and that won’t happen until we have a lot more research and have controlled for things that we don’t yet know that we need to control for because we understand so little about the natural healing process at this point.

                  59. You really don’t understand what natural course of a disease means, do you? It means that for a pathological process A, x people will get well eventually, y people will get well more slowly, z people will get worse progressively and so on. Living bodies have many such self repair and correction mechanisms. There is nothing magical about the processes involved, these are just incredibly complex causal systems doing what biological systems do – living.Medical interventions will disrupt some causal chain in the pathological process or introduce additional factors to change the ordinary course of things, but of course they are just a part of this extremely complex system.

                    You people will always demand, more data, more research, more billions wasted into money sinks like NCCIH instead of spending it on actual research to save lives. There is no reasoning with you so it needs to stop. One of my next research projects in part takes into account what medical community should do with quacks. If I can have any impact whatsoever that way I’ll be happy. This is seriously overdue, 21st century and it’s like we argue with round earth denialists in medicine.

                  60. So, if you accept that biological systems heal themselves, some more effectively and speedily than others in the midst of a pathological process, why are you so opposed to studying how to improve this natural process? Why is it worse to figure out how to safely stimulate the body to do its own disrupting of causal chains or introduction of additional factors? Or, for that matter, if you are ok with studying additional factors being introduced from outside the biological system, why are you against those factors being herbs or minerals?

                  61. First, the body has only a limited healing capacity which can not be stimulated to the point to battle f.i. with a massive bacterial infection. Aside that playing around with the immune system can backfire dramatically, viz. cytokine storm during Spanish Influenza 1918 where healthy, immunologically very strong people where disproportionally dying. Treating the immediate cause is much more effective. Second we are not against using herbs or minerals, we are against using substances that contain a lot of unnecessary things and are diluted to the point of nothing. And we are against therapies that are based on an experiment that has been gone very wrong.

                  62. Yes, I agree that there comes a point where the body’s healing capacity can be overwhelmed. In Homeopathy, that is referred to as the “vital force” and the treating Homeopath must determine if the patient has sufficient vital force to stimulate safely or if it is too weak in that case and so Homeopathy is contraindicated, or only to be used in very low potency while other methods are used to strengthen the innate healing capacity. I also agree that playing around with the immune system can backfire, and some vaccine researchers are concerned about that, as well. As far as the substances containing “unnecessary” things, I am not convinced that we have 100% knowledge of human physiology to determine what is useful to the body and what is not. For instance, in naturopathic medicine, we can use Berberine extracted from Goldenseal root along with probiotics to change the intestinal flora and drop the serum glucose to the point where a lot of patients no longer need their metformin. Yet, the Berberine extract won’t work as well as the whole Goldenseal root will as an antimicrobial. And, keep in mind that Homeopathy is not a straight dilution, but is also succussed.

                  63. Yes, I agree that there comes a point where the body’s healing capacity can be overwhelmed. In Homeopathy, that is referred to as the “vital force” and the treating Homeopath must determine if the patient has sufficient vital force to stimulate safely or if it is too weak in that case and so Homeopathy is contraindicated, or only to be used in very low potency while other methods are used to strengthen the innate healing capacity. I also agree that playing around with the immune system can backfire, and some vaccine researchers are concerned about that, as well. As far as the substances containing “unnecessary” things, I am not convinced that we have 100% knowledge of human physiology to determine what is useful to the body and what is not. For instance, in naturopathic medicine, we can use Berberine extracted from Goldenseal root along with probiotics to change the intestinal flora and drop the serum glucose to the point where a lot of patients no longer need their metformin. Yet, the Berberine extract won’t work as well as the whole Goldenseal root will as an antimicrobial. And, keep in mind that Homeopathy is not a straight dilution, but is also succussed.

                  64. 1. Studying how to do this is what medical sciences do. Unfortunately not proponents of alternative pseudo-medicine that reject scence as you have shown me and others time and again here.
                    2. There are no risk free interventions, the only ones without risk are the ones that don’t do anything. But then there are risks related to lack of treatment of course (before you jump out with homeopathy).
                    3. Medicine uses whatever works. It just so happens that those minerals and herbs are more efficacious and safe when delivered in pure form and in pharmaceutical quality not by random processes that regulate their bioavailability in plants and “natural” forms. But you have moved goalpost again. We were talking about homeopathy that has no active component and you suddenly move to herbs.
                    True doctors will and do use herbs and minerals when nothing else is available – e.g. in natural disaster environments. It just so happens that we can produce better quality products through science.

                  65. In most cases herbs contain one or two active substances and a lot of unecessary or even bad byproducts. If one takes the herb, the potency of the active substance greatly reduced by unecessary byproducts viz. chinine vs chinoade, taxol vs. taxus leafs and Aspirin vs. WIllow bark.

                  66. I am a naturopathic doctor, not a Homeopath. I use a wide variety of treatment methods, from pharmaceuticals to hydrotherapy to herbs to diet, etc. And, I agree that there are no interventions without risk. Even Homeopathy has risks and can aggravate a condition so must be prescribed carefully. I also agree that it is essential to take care with the preparations of herbs and testing of bioavailability and for this reason professional naturopathic doctors work with a few companies who specialize in high quality formulations. We don’t recommend that patients buy from random companies. I also agree that medicine uses what works and that we produce better quality products through science. All the formulating companies that we use for our patients’ supplements use what we know from scientific research to maintain their standards. I think that you are confusing me with a lay naturopath or other type of practitioner that does not know the difference in quality of what is available or does not understand how much difference that makes.

                  67. The only risk of homeopathy is delay of treatment until you realize that the vis whatever is not sufficient enough when patients of real doctors are already on the way to improvement. Name *one* incident where homeopaty lead to serious complications. And I am not talking of alcohol intoxication b/c one swallowed too much succussion medium.

                  68. I was trying to get Tevna to tell me how I can get serious side effects from homeopathy but she wasn’t willing to do it apparently. I already posted a video of how overdosing homeopathy looks like and it’s hilarious.

                  69. BTW are you familiar with the Nuremberg salt study ? This was the first known placebo controlled randomized double blind study, carried out 1836 upon the challenge of a homeopath. The homeopath lost.

                  70. I think it was actually 1835, but no matter I am familiar. Statistical observational studies were done as early as 17th century. If Hahnemann was right he had to the tools to show it even then and he failed.

                  71. We have careful training in Homeopathy specifically for that reason – so that practitioners have the discernment to follow their cases closely and get the patients additional assistance, as needed. And, as a naturopathic doctor, I am generally using additional support when I use Homeopathy anyway. And, I don’t even use Homeopathy will all patients. Also, keep in mind that many patients are avoiding regular medical treatment at their own choosing, even in cases where we are urging them to use it. It is not uncommon, for instance, for a patient to refuse to use the antibiotics prescription that I have given them, in spite of my advice that it is the quickest, safest, and most comfortable choice that I know about under the circumstances. They will opt for a non-pharmaceutical route instead, and I am there to help them with that, as well, since it is their body and their choice. And, I am very glad that they are doing that with someone like me to guide them instead of using some internet fad or dangerous treatment option from their neighbor. As far as the danger of Homeopathy, sometimes the treatment aggravates – slightly worsens – the condition temporarily. The aggravation is generally not severe enough to cause harm, and we have dosing strategies to minimize it, but in cases where the patient is very weak and the disease process is severe and well-entrenched, aggravation can be dangerous. So, in locations where Homeopaths are not MDs and have no hospital admitting privileges, they avoid treatment that could provoke this risk.

                  72. I take you for exactly what you are. Misguided person who thinks she has the expertise to treat people when you have shown time and again that you don’t have understanding of basic human biology.
                    I don’t blame you, it’s not your fault. It’s a faulty system that allows people like you to be made to think that you have the relevant skills and education and it’s faulty system that lets schools with such misguided curricula advertise as providing medical education.
                    You are probably a well meaning person but your recent comment about attending to cancer patient is truly horrifying.

                  73. I attend to cancer patients only by reviewing their medications and therapies and verifying that they are eligible to use medical marijuana, which is legal here. I do not otherwise advise them. There are naturopathic oncologists, who are specifically trained for that in post-medical school programs and I am not one of them. If patients want that sort of advice, I refer them to one of those doctors.

                  74. Oh really? Apparently you are entirely unfamiliar with the research from around the world showing the efficacy of cannabis in slowing and stopping the growth of some types of cancer cells and providing more effective palliation for conventional treatment side effects than pharmaceuticals.

                  75. And, they are all under the care of regular doctors who are giving them this “expert pain management” which has horrible side effects and is making them miserable and not even helping much with the pain. A lot of the patients that I have seen who wanted to try medical marijuana over the years have now stopped taking their other pain medications and feel much better overall.

                  76. I am entirely aware of preclinical research that has yet to be translated into clinical studies and prove efficacy and safety. I am also aware of serious problems with such translational studies being undertaken e.g. high trial drop out rates.

                    If you’re not interested in expert review of available evidence in digestible form by dr Gorski I shall refer you to something even simpler.

                    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cells.png

                  77. lol, nice 🙂 However, I have seen it dissolve topical squamous growths myself. So, I look forward to the advancement of the research, but patients don’t have time to wait for that before trying it themselves. I am glad you are actually open minded – a true scientist, engaged in further enquiry. I thought you were just one of those people who bashed it off-hand without even looking into the available data.

                  78. You would need to know something about success rates of translational research and rates of beneficial effect for phase II clinical trials to make a meaningful comment about patients having time to wait or not. The system is no ideal but it is better by miles then your “we make stuff up as we go” methodology. People working in human subjects research ethics actually do a lot of research about those things, but you wouldn’t accept it as it’s too ‘sciency’ apparently.

                    I’m done with this discussion I need to get back to my work and to advise my students on their coursework in the morning. It has been amusing and I am sure it would be interesting case study in ‘psychology of quackery’.

                  79. Of course, thank you again for the hostility, disrespect, and unwarranted closed-minded assumptions. It has been truly educational.

                  80. Tevna, this post highlights the problem with naturopaths. They think b/c cannibinoids have some effect in vitro, they can be poured into patients. Do you know how many drugs showing sufficient in vitro effects to warrant further investigation prove to be useable as therapeutics ? 5 in 100. If I review the tons of tests, modalities etc offered by naturopaths as “state of the art” research when in fact results are preliminary at best I can only say you are NOT carefully eductated as you claim. What really frightens me is that you are responsible for the education of young people.

                  81. Herbs are not drugs. Herbs are natural parts of our food supply that have been used in many systems of medicine with great results for thousands of years. We don’t need to wait for detailed research trials on every single substance in every single herb to use what we already know works from thousands of years of experience and refinement. That is like waiting for research studies to prove that carrots are useful to eat before we continue eating carrots.

                  82. Tevna nice try but this is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad traditionem. There is a 2010 survey of 1000 medically used herbs. Of those156 plants have been clinically tested, only 8 showed considerable pharmaceutic effect, 5 where toxic and/or allergenic. Given the observational bias this is consistent with the fraction of modalities one would discover by chance rather than by systematic research. Heck, don’t you even correctly interpret the publications in your own field ?

                  83. Well, several things are flawed in your reasoning there. For one, you have pointed out yourself that a few research studies are hardly conclusive evidence. Also, it is a sad fact of what limited herbal research that there is that they often use the herbs wrongly – either incorrect preparation or delivery methods, wrong dosing, wrong part of the plant, lack of correct combinations to achieve the effects that they are after, and in some cases looking for effects that don’t make any sense based on the clinical data that we have for that herb. Comparing herbs to drugs, for instance, is the height of stupidity because that is like comparing apples and oranges, yet people continue to do it. It is just a misunderstanding of the plants and how to use them and what can be expected. In time, with more herbally knowledgeable people going into research, this will begin to improve, I am sure.

                  84. In other words, you claim that testing treatment + herbs -> patient improves faster as compared treatment without herbs is stupid ? Do you think this is stupid or not ?

                  85. I said that testing herbs against pharmaceuticals is stupid. Testing herbs against no herbs and looking at time to treatment may or may not be stupid depending on the expected actions of the herbs. For instance, in some cases we don’t expect the herbs to speed healing but we expect them to make the patient more comfortable during the healing process. In other cases, we may even expect the herbs to delay complete healing a bit because they are provoking a deeper and more lasting healing which is a slower process than the quick fix for the temporary exacerbation of a chronic illness. So, it is necessary to know what is actually expected from the herb to know what to test.

                  86. I said that testing herbs against pharmaceuticals is stupid. Testing herbs against no herbs and looking at time to treatment may or may not be stupid depending on the expected actions of the herbs. For instance, in some cases we don’t expect the herbs to speed healing but we expect them to make the patient more comfortable during the healing process. In other cases, we may even expect the herbs to delay complete healing a bit because they are provoking a deeper and more lasting healing which is a slower process than the quick fix for the temporary exacerbation of a chronic illness. So, it is necessary to know what is actually expected from the herb to know what to test.

                  87. In other words, you claim that testing treatment + herbs -> patient improves faster as compared treatment without herbs is stupid ? Do you think this is stupid or not ?

                  88. For instance, looking for “pharmaceutic effect” from an herb is just stupid. Why would anyone waste time and effort on that? If you want a pharmaceutic effect, then use a pharmaceutical. This is just more of the problem of trying to fit round pegs into square holes. Natural medicine does not operate from the same paradigm as pharmaceutical medicine.

                  89. Are we on denial trip again ? Let me explain something to you – again. Treatment with herbs -> patient improves faster. Treatment w/o herbs -> patient improves slower. You yourself said that this approach can be used in homeopathy, it can also be used with herbs. In such a scenario roughly 80% of herbs fail to produce results.

                  90. And you have said yourself that it takes a considerable amount of repeatable research to come to any solid conclusions, and we simply don’t have that for much of natural medicine yet. When testing Homeopathy, like testing herbs, it is necessary to understand what you are expecting. Faster healing is not necessarily always the goal. Sometimes deeper healing and more comfortable healing is the goal.

                  91. Whatever endpoint measure you chose, homeopathy has consistently failed, and a lot of herbs fail too. Anyway, any further discussion with you is useless because you demonstrated thoroughly non-understanding of how medical testing works. But Britt should be very thankful for this discussion. Your opinions and statements provide more than enough material to convince lawmakers NOT to broaden licensing for NDs. Thanks.

                  92. I am sad to hear that you count yourself among those who wish to limit people’s treatment options and bully them into having no choice outside of your view of medicine. But, of course, you are entitled to your opinions, and I wish you the best. Thank you for the dialog, which has given me some insight into some of the current issues with research as well as the Monty Hall problem 🙂

                  93. I see patoents all the time that have been damaged by naturopaths. However these patients are surprisingly very protective of their naturpath and never want to sue even when they have been damaged. It would be an interesting study to see why these patoents do not sue when they have been blatantly harmed

                  94. Given that most of the treatment methods that licensed naturopathic doctors use are not capable of causing serious harm, I am surprised to hear this. What sort of damage did these patients have? What treatments caused the damage?

                  95. If what you are describing is true you should be sued for causing irreversible damage. If you are managing a chronic glaucoma patient with marijuana and they present to you with red sore bilateral eyes….that means there pressure would be above 40. A pressure that high even for a day would cause damage, that high for a week would cause severe
                    Damage. You are giving this patient the false impression that marijuana is controlling his pressure—obviously you are not as he is presenting with red eyes. You are a severe danger to the public and have directly damaged this patient. Even worse, with your lack of knowledge you do not even realize it. Ironically, you were giving this as an example of what a good job you are doing. So dangerous….you do not know what you don’t know

                  96. David, as I said, I am not managing that patient. That was the first time that I had ever seen him. I had his records from his previous physicians from several years. He came in for a medical marijuana evaluation appointment to renew his card, which is how it is done in AZ. And, actually he has a regular PCP, he just refuses to go regularly. And, yes, I realize that his presenting symptoms indicated that he was in serious danger, which is why I sent him to the ER, and fortunately he went, although it took some convincing. And, as I said, I also explained to the patient why the marijuana was not sufficient and warned him that he was in danger of going blind – and quickly – and that he needed to stay on the eye drops that he would be prescribed. Did you actually read what I wrote? Where in there did I give you the impression that I was seeing that patient regularly, or that I thought he was safe, or that I told him marijuana was sufficient? I wrote exactly the opposite of that!!!

                  97. I agree! Speaking to tevna has lowered my opinions of naturopaths even further, it that is possible. I am in awe that they have a faculty of 16 without a single specialist teaching them. She has displayed a complet lack of medical knowledge and no understanding of medical research. Some of these conversations should be shown to licensing bodies as evidence.

                  98. Quote: “Some of these conversations should be shown to licensing bodies as evidence.” I have e-mailed Britt to this effect.

                  99. You were surprised tevna when I said my med school had thousands of professors as opposed to yours which was 16. I looked into it further and most medical schools habe between 5000-12000 professors. These are true experts in their fields teaching what they know. Little different than a naturopath trying to teach opththaology or cardiology How can you even pretend that the education is similar?!?!?

                  100. Yes, I realize that regular medical schools are often affiliated with hospitals that have large staffs that are considered part of the medical school faculty even if students rarely see them. And, yes, I realize, as I have said, that we do not get the extensive hospital-based education that you get in medical school and we don’t have access to the same residency options that you have. However, our education is grueling, exhaustive, and sufficient to prepare us for what we do. It is identical to MD and DO education in its basic medical science and conventional medical clinical coursework, and then we take additional coursework that will afford us the more extensive treatment options that we can offer. It is ok that we don’t practice conventional medicine as extensively as you do in our clinical rotations because conventional medicine is only a small part of what we do, and we limit it to what we have been prepared for, in the context of the useful role that it can play as part of what we have to offer patients overall. We don’t practice medicine exactly like you practice it in all respects, and we don’t need to do that. That is what patients have you for 🙂 We don’t do major surgery, invasive procedures, or prescribe cancer pharmaceuticals, for instance. We prescribe very minimally, overall, and we responsibly refer serious conditions to specialists, like any family doctor would. I sent a patient with acute glaucoma to the ER from the medical marijuana clinic the other day, in fact. I was the first doctor that he had seen in a year, and his eyes were red, the headaches were severe, and I told him that he had no time to spare and was fortunate that he was not already blind. I sent him to the local ER that has an on-call ophthalmologist and they got him right in and on drops and when I saw him a few days later, he was much improved. Patients like this do not like regular doctors and stopped visiting them long ago. However, when they show up in our offices looking for natural treatments, including marijuana, our medical training is sufficient for us to protect them from greater harm and get them the care that they need if we are not in a position to provide it. I realize that you consider this deficient and wish to get rid of us. However, I think that we clearly serve a useful role and protect and help a lot of people who would not otherwise get help. When I worked inside of a regular internal medicine office, I was able to use natural treatments to get a lot of patients healthy enough to get off a lot of their drugs, particularly for DM2 and hypertension. This is why that DO hired me to work in his office, as he had a lot of patients interested in that and knew that he did not have the training to accomplish it but that a naturopathic doctor did. You could be doing the same thing in your practice and improving your patients’ health and decreasing their pharmaceutical burden considerably.

                  101. You see, you do not know what you are talking about. This is the danger. You did not send a patoent with bilateral acute glaucoma to the ER. The chances of bilateral acute glaucoma is almost zero. It is almost always a unilateral disease. The treatment for acute glaucoma is laser not drops.
                    Your medical knowledge is horrible. Your education is nowhere near equivalent not enough. You have no ability to recognize or screen for medical disease.

                  102. the patient has chronic glaucoma, bilateral, for which he has been using marijuana to take the pressure down, but clearly he was acutely exacerbating and needed to be under regular medical care, with daily drops. I realize that my knowledge of every condition is not 100%, but my point was that I am trained sufficiently to recognize danger situations and protect the patient, which was your original concern. It was not my goal to give you exact details of a specific medical situation for you to analyze, good grief

                  103. Plus they may have given him laser treatment there, I don’t know, I am not his PCP and did not get those details because he is not under my long-term care. I never said that they did not give him laser. Your bias makes you jump to conclusions that are not warranted

                  104. If you are really that worried about it, go work with some naturopathic doctors sometime and then let me know what you think.

                  105. No you are not! Treating a glaucoma patoent with marijuana is ridiculous and harmful. One of the major risk factors for glaucoma progression is labile pressure Marijuana would transiently drop the pressure for an hour and two and then it will rapidly rise again
                    You do not seem to understand that chronic glaucoma is a relatively silent disease which would very rarely cause red eyes So you completely misdiagnosed again.
                    You are doing harm by making this patoent feel protected with marijuana. he sounds as if he is foresaking traditional treatment for marijuana and this would be causing severe damage
                    So again your lack of knowledge is causing severe damage to this patoent

                  106. I understand this about marijuana, David, (though they can get longer lasting effects with ingesting it in some forms, but it is still not sufficient in most cases), and so I caution patients about this – including this patient – when they are overly hopeful that it is sufficient treatment. The patient was previously diagnosed with glaucoma years ago, long before he met me, and decided to ignore it, for the most part. So I did not diagnose it just from his appearance that day, as I had his previous medical records, and I realize that his red eyes could have been due to many things, though the eye pain probably was not. However, we don’t have total control over patients, as you know, so the best that I can do is give him the information, send him for urgent treatment which he clearly needed, and hope that keeps using the eye drops. I think that I sufficiently scared him about blindness that he will. I hope so. And regardless of whether my 5-minute initial presumptive diagnosis was correct or not because I don’t recall every detail of every possibility about every disease variant every second of the day, what I knew was sufficient to get him the help that he needed and prevent him from using herbal medicine badly and to encourage him to be less frightened of physicians and feel less judged. If you have a problem with that, then ok you have a problem with that. If you think that letting patients like that just go blind is better, then I can’t help you with that.

                  107. Do you realize that glaucoma is generally a painless disease. Do you even know that? Do you even know what glaucoma is? What is your definition of glaucoma. This is so disturbing and is a prime example of how naturopaths do cause damage.

                  108. For heaven’s sake, David, yes, I understand the physiology of glaucoma, the various types, their usual presenting sx, etc., and know how to double check what I think that I know on the NIH site or ClinicalKey, etc., if necessary. My point was that we are trained sufficiently to recognize when a patient may be in danger and how to respond to that, and you don’t have to worry that we are putting patients at risk. NMDs routinely send patients for labs and screening that uncover previously-undiagnosed conditions, and we refer the patients to MDs and DOs when conventional treatment that we can’t provide well is in the patients’ best interests. We are not looking at patients with Addison’s disease, for instance, or kidney failure, and saying “oh, yes, you will be fine with some herbs”. In spite of what you have been led to believe, that is NOT normal in a licensed naturopathic physician’s office. Just because Brit and some others condemn the entire profession because of a few idiots doesn’t make that the whole truth. That was my point.

                  109. If it makes you feel any better, glaucoma is a collection of diseases related to pressure rising within the eye and risking damage to the optic nerve. In open angle glaucoma, the angle at which the eye tissues sit relative to one another still allows fluid to flow more freely than in the closed-angle type, and pressure builds gradually, often without the patient noticing, until they start to lose peripheral vision. In acute closed angle glaucoma, the tissue sits at an angle that closes off the free flow of fluid and pressure can rise rapidly and damage the optic nerve and other tissues rapidly, but closed-angle glaucoma can also be chronic and develop similarly to open-angle glaucoma. There are other types of glaucoma, some that even involve normal eye pressure, and glaucoma can also occur secondary to other conditions. There are many sub-types, with specific causes of blockage in fluid drainage that are unrelated to the angle of the eye tissues in relation to one another.

                  110. You are reinforcing that you are not trained! a patient who is being treated with marijuana for glaucoma without other medications is at much more risk than a patient that presents with bilateral red eyes. Your clinical skills are terrible. I am telling you that you are wrong and dangerous You are so wrong and you do not even know it. That is what is so dangerous. That patient could sue your ass off

                  111. Apparently, you still have not read what I wrote. I don’t treat glaucoma patients with marijuana. Patients choose to treat themselves with marijuana. I warn them that is not sufficient and explain why. Generally, after I explain it to them, they go back on their medication since they do not want to go blind.

                  112. David, the glaucoma story is only the cherry on the cake. In a conversation earlier she presented following theory as interesting new data, namely that bacteria can change their shape and somewhat transform into other, pathogenic bacteria by changing of their morphology and species by outer influence. Like E.coli transforms into Staphs. This theory was proposed by a German Doctor a century ago and is is diametral against all biologic principles we know nevertheless she was neither able to recognize this as outdated or nonsense. I.a.W. tell her a interesting sounding therapy and she might use it in patients who don’t seem to need attention by an MD. Two “healings” she remembers (and probably a douzen not healings she has forgotten about) and we are in the “I saw it” argumentation. THAT is the cake.

                  113. Tevna, I bet it is. For instance: http://yaletownnaturopathic.com/ and this is one of the more prominent members. If you review the pages of your colleagues you will find tons of pages like that containing almost all unproven treatment in the book. And here we are talking about cancer.

                  114. And, maybe if you understand my background better, you will understand why my mind no longer remains in the conventional medicine box. As a teenager, I first planned to become a Nuclear Physicist, and then as I started to get sick, and my grandmother also sickened, I decided to switch and pursue medicine. Over the next several years, she died a horrible, lingering death from pancreatic cancer in spite of all sorts of invasive and unpleasant conventional treatments. In the meantime, I developed severe daily nausea, cystic acne, fibromyalgia, spastic bladder, and cyclic jaundice. I saw many doctors. I had many tests. No one could find anything that would help me. I started looking outside the box and found a book (this was in the 1980s) called “The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine”. In it, I found Ginger root and started taking it and was finally able to get through my days without debilitating nausea and start eating regularly again. I was a National Merit Scholar and started my pre-med science classes in the Honors department at University while working as a teaching assistant in the Physics department. I also started volunteer work in the ER and surgical floors of the local hospital. A few years later, I decided to enlist in the Army to help pay for my college, and discovered that although I had learned to manage my nausea and fibromyalgia and bladder spasms, they flared up badly with military life. The Army sent me through much testing at Walter Reed and, although I continued to have some abnormal blood counts and jaundice off and on, they could not find anything conclusive, diagnosed me with IBS and decided that I needed Trazadone because my nausea was from anxiety. They also thought that might help the spastic bladder. I finished out my 4 years of military service continuing my volunteer work in several hospital ERs, taking a few classes online, and then returned to college. During my last two years of college, I again sought medical treatment and no one could find a cause or a solution for my symptoms. Finally fed up, I went in search of alternatives and found a chiropractor/naturopath who started me on the road to healing, finally. I ended my plans to enter medicine at that point, as I was discouraged that they had so little to offer and that there were so many helpful and safe natural alternatives that they had never offered me even as palliatives while looking further. I went into software development and technical writing, and continued to heal, and eventually decided to return to my original goal of medicine, but as the sort of doctor who had finally helped me, not a conventional one.

                  115. I understand your background perfectly. You had a terrible time with a condition that was difficult to heal b/c it very likely had a very strong psychological component. Eventually you found somebody who could manage this aspect and became a fan of the method. This approach seems to be very prevalent among naturopaths. The problem with these people is that they all (and this includes you) have a tremendous observational bias which almost completely clouds their rational thinking. I am sorry to say that, but you are a prime example. If one puts personal observation above a metastudy examining 1800 papers, this person is either stupid or resistant against learning.

                  116. You are just repeating the same arguments over and over, when we all know the limitations of research to begin with, and we all know when a treatment is not working. If the patient is not getting better, then we don’t keep going either, regardless of whether there is research data that says it should work.

                  117. The only problem with homeopathy is that the data say *conclusively* that it does not work. Once again, homeopathy is flawed from the first experiment onward were Hahnemann mistook the action of chinine on malaria in combination with a hypersensitivity reaction as his reasoning that like cures like, This is exactly what I mean with incredibly entrenched observational bias. Any serious medical doctor would gibe up a treatment immediately when confronted with such facts.

                  118. No serious doctor stops using a treatment when the patient is getting better just because a scientist says that it should not be working.

                  119. We have already had this discussion. I realize that you actually believe that it has been conclusively falsified. And, I think that you realize that not everyone sees the data that way. Can we agree that we disagree and leave it at that?

                  120. Another thing. Conventional medicine has developed by quantum leaps since Hahnemann. Homeopathy, despite revolutionary scientific insights about disease has not. this should be a sure sign that something is severely wrong with this sort of quackery.

                  121. Actually, Homeopathy has also developed quantum leaps since then. You don’t keep up with the developments in Homeopathy, of course, so I realize that you don’t know that.

                  122. Homeopathy is a huge and expansive field. The developments are well beyond a discussion of this nature, and you can find them yourself with research. However, we all know that you are not really interested in Homeopathy and don’t believe in it anyway and so you don’t actually care about the developments and so I’m not going to waste time collecting data on them for you.

                  123. Again we have it, the evasive answer. That means you can not name those quantum leaps. I will tell you why, there are none. Last time I looked at a report about a proofing protocol for a homeopathic medicine the symptom collection did not even include measuring the blood pressure – or any other quantifiable value.

                  124. lmao… again, your bias causes you to make unwarranted assumptions, but I have no control over that, so whatever.

                  125. Well, so what symptoms are recorded during a proper homeopathic proof ? Educate us, but please no evasive answers again.

                  126. I really have zero interest in educating you for free, especially given that you have no serious interest. The education is out there, many Homeopathy programs and books and studies are available to you. You do not need me for that.

                  127. There is no need to educacate me. Here is a very recent protocol about the “development” of a homeopatic remedy

                    http://www.dokterjansen.net/Potentilla_anserina_proving.pdf

                    The “study” having been published here: http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/366042

                    Aside the laughably small number (6 and 4) there was not one single objectively quantifyable symptom recorded.

                    My favourite was when the chatting mother in law was recorded as symptom for vision.

                  128. BTW If I would be asked this question I would say – just to name four of the countless:

                    Anaethesia, Antiseptics, Antibiotics and Personalized Medicine.

                  129. And, interestingly enough, traditional chinese medicine has had all of those things for a thousand years or more, as has herbal medicine from areas outside China

                  130. No, it has not. Tevna, do not lay a smokescreen. Where are the quantum leaps of homeopathy ?

                  131. Ok, so clearly you know nothing about Chinese or other herbal medicine disciplines, either – or next to nothing. If you have a serious interest someday, in something other than harassing a practitioner, the information and education is available to you. I really do wish you the best and trust that you are doing good work in your field that will help many.

                  132. OK, you had your chance, so no quantum leaps for homeopathy you can tell us. Thank you. I did not expect this otherwise.

                  133. I think you know not much about the history of medicine. The significance of anesthetics is to be able to keep a patient unconcious for hours, if necessary days. No herb is capable of doing that. Antiseptics means sterile working technique. Antibiotics have no parallel in the herb world. If you study the death records of Elizabethan England – at a time when herbal medicine was flourishing – a considerable proportion of people died by such trivial things as infected teeth. And personalized medicine means something completely different as you think. It is NOT personalized symptoms as in homeopathy.

                  134. People were dying in England from barbaric practices and horrible living conditions, not in China, and not from good traditional herbal medicine and normal healthy lifestyles. And, if you are unfamiliar with the history of anesthesia before the introduction of modern anesthesia, then that information is also available to you if you look, as is the data on the efficacy of antimicrobial and antiseptic herbs and other solutions, like silver.

                  135. Ok, hic rhodos, hic salta, here is rhodos and now jump. You made the claim, yours is the burden of proof. Citations and data please ? Or is that again a smokescreen like the advances of homeopathy ?

                  136. I’m finished with this discussion for now, Thomas. I appreciate what I have learned, and I wish you the best. Obviously, you are free to attack whatever you want whenever you want, and I am free to spend my time elsewhere, which I shall now do 🙂

                  137. Congrats you made the hattrick. Three smokescreens in a row. Just a final lecture: In science if you claim something you better be prepared to back it up, otherwise your credibility goes through the chimney.

                  138. Are we on denial trip again ? Let me explain something to you – again. Treatment with herbs -> patient improves faster. Treatment w/o herbs -> patient improves slower. You yourself said that this approach can be used in homeopathy, it can also be used with herbs. In such a scenario roughly 80% of herbs fail to produce results.

                  139. BTW, homeopatics are subject to prescription due to the homeopatic substance *only* in the US and nowhere else in the world. In the US they are subject to prescription b/c homeopaths claimed so, i.o.W. this is a marketing gag suggesting importance where there is none.

                  140. In Poland they have or had prescription status, funnily enough at 30C or more I think. Unfortunately homoeopathic lobby sponsored by Boiron is pretty effective here. 🙁 Luckily both medical law and ethics code tell doctors to only use best available medical knowledge so there is a way to punish the predatory ones that do it, but it has been growing problem especially in paediatrics.

                  141. It’s long story, but there is a lot of legal back and forth about this. Medical Board actually got sued for it’s condemnation of homeopathy by consumer ombudsman, also pharmaceutical governing bodies are confused about this. As I wrote there is a lot of very powerful lobbying going on. They even managed to put orthopaedic surgery professor from Lublin on trial for slander.

                  142. What do you expect ? Drugs that have to be prescribed enjoy a way higher status than OTC substances. It’s a merketing gag b/c the market for homeopatic drugs works exactly the same as any other market. However, the EU directives explicitely state that there has to be a simplified registration procedure for homeopathic drugs. Ratio: they don’t harm the patient if they don’t contain substances that are not pharmacologically active.

                  143. As long as their vigorous shaking na striking against leather-bound bible or whatever they use nowadays is diligent enough.
                    I cannot understand how this has been allowed to go on for so many years. At least it seems the British and the Australians are starting to see some sense lately.

                  144. Really? You have checked the formularies and regulations in each country for that? Fabulous! Can I have your notes?

                  145. I am tired for the night, I invite you to research the literature yourself. Or, just go observe in a Homeopathy clinic for a while 🙂

                  146. Tevna, I’ve been employed as a research biologist for more than 30 years,much of which has been spent in drug discovery and providing support for clinical trials. I have done the research myself, which is why I’m aware that the available body of evidence documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature demonstrates conclusively that homeopathy is no more effective than placebos as a treatment for non-self-limiting illnesses and injuries.

                  147. Again, I repeat, Homeopathy does NOT treat illnesses and injuries. It treats people. So, anyone looking to prove or disprove that it treats illnesses or injuries is doing an absurd thing and proving that they don’t understand Homeopathy at all to begin with. However, even making that assumption, there are many different meta-analyses that have been done, in many countries, over many years, and they are not conclusive. You can choose to use some and not others to support your bias, if you want, of course. But, until scientists actually examine Homeopathy research from a place of understanding the basic concepts of Homeopathy, their analysis is meaningless anyway.

                  148. “Again, I repeat, Homeopathy does NOT treat illnesses and injuries.”

                    So only healthy, uninjured people should make use of it? You’re not being clear.

                  149. It treats PEOPLE, not illnesses or injuries. People are individual and even if they have similar enough symptoms such that we can group them into some disease diagnosis, each individual in that group is experiencing and expressing that illness in a unique way. Homeopathy addresses the individual pattern of each person, regardless of what their diagnosis would be from a regular medicine perspective. Homeopathy doesn’t care if a person has Ulcerative Colitis or Pneumonia or Strep Throat or Depression. And, in fact the same remedy might be used to treat 4 different people exhibiting the symptoms of 4 completely different illnesses. To treat a person with Homeopathy, it is not even necessary to know or give them a regular medicine diagnosis, though it can be helpful in some cases because of the way that the provings data was databased for retrieval.

                  150. WHoa. With this statement you have condemned yourself. the correct differential diagnosis is the biggest factor for successful treatment. Often it is a matter of life and death. Quote: ” To treat a person with Homeopathy, it is not even necessary to know or
                    give them a regular medicine diagnosis, though it can be helpful in some
                    cases because of the way that the provings data was databased for
                    retrieval.” This is the proof that homeopathy and people practicing it is dangerous and highly unethical.

                  151. No, this is proof that you don’t understand Homeopathy. Homeopathy DOES NOT TREAT ILLNESS. Homeopathy stimulates the internal healing mechanisms of a person so that they heal their own illness. Therefore, to treat the person with Homeopathy, you need to understand the person, not the illness.

                  152. Tevna, you are confusing the methodology of a treatment with the methodology of assessing a treatment outcome. Every treatment has an endpoint, in the simplest case cured / not cured. In this case, a treatment is superior if the proportion of cured people is higher in the treatment arm compared to a placebo arm. And once again: THE NATURE OF THE TREATMENT IS COMPLETEY AND UTTERLY IRRELEVANT. By these measures homeopathy does NOT work and it does NOT stimulate internal healing mechnisms as has been demosntrated by a metaanalysis covering more than 1800 (!!!!) papers. Frankly, I never saw a person that was more resistant to scientific reasoning then you.

                  153. Tevna, you are confusing the methodology of a treatment with the methodology of assessing a treatment outcome. Every treatment has an endpoint, in the simplest case cured / not cured. In this case, a treatment is superior if the proportion of cured people is higher in the treatment arm compared to a placebo arm. And once again: THE NATURE OF THE TREATMENT IS COMPLETEY AND UTTERLY IRRELEVANT. By these measures homeopathy does NOT work and it does NOT stimulate internal healing mechnisms as has been demosntrated by a metaanalysis covering more than 1800 (!!!!) papers. Frankly, I never saw a person that was more resistant to scientific reasoning then you.

                  154. I.o.W. extracts of crushed beetles, mineral or herbs diluted below the Avogado number stimulate the internal healing power just because Samuel Hahnemann said so – having derived this conclusion from a messed up self experiment ? This is what homeopathy is. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds ?

                  155. Yes, Thomas, I do. Anyone who has personally experienced and observed healing in the alternative realm is very familiar with the disbelief of those who have not, I’m sure. There are many things that I now know are possible that I would never have believed if I had not experienced them myself. So, until you have such experiences, I don’t expect you to know or believe. As a rational person, how could you? I wouldn’t.

                  156. Medicine is not about believing. It is about finding and applying modalities that reliably and reproducibly heighten the probability that patients get cured, get cured faster or have a longer lifetime etc. Your problem is that you utterly lack the basic requirements for a good doctor, namely NOT to believe your own eyes or first sight impressions.