Naturopathy

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Naturopathy

There’s a saying in medicine that we frequently hear when a newer, more effective therapy supplants an older therapy or an existing therapy is shown not to be as efficacious as was once thought, and it has to do about how long it takes for the use of that therapy to decline. The saying basically…

As a cancer surgeon specializing in breast cancer, I have a particular contempt for cancer quacks. In particular, that contempt smolders and occasionally bursts in to flames right here on this very blog and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere, when I see instances of such quackery applied to women with breast cancer. They are, after…

If there’s one thing that practitioners of pseudoscientific medicine crave more than anything else, it’s respectability. Believing that science-based medicine is corrupt and that their woo is as good or better, they delude themselves into thinking that they can function as well or better than primary care doctors practice and therefore should be given the…

Well, I’m back. It’s always a bit weird to try to get back into the swing of things after even just a week off and even when during that week I didn’t actually stop blogging but merely slowed down a lot and succeeded (mostly) in restricting what little blogging I did to brief posts. (Yes,…

Let’s travel back in time fifteen years. It’s a time that, for me, at times seems as though it were just yesterday while at other times it seems like truly ancient history. Back then, certainly, I wasn’t the blogging powerhouse that I am today. I didn’t even know what blogging was because it was so…

Medical therapies should be based upon science. That is a recurrent theme, indeed, the major theme, of this blog. Based on that simple thesis, I’ve spent the last decade examining “unconventional” treatments and evaluating the scientific basis (or, much more usually, the lack of a scientific basis) for various treatments. Yes, I’ve looked at other…

About a week and a half ago, I took note of a rather unhinged rant by comedian Rob Schneider about vaccines in which he trotted out an antivaccine movement’s greatest hits compendium of pseudoscience, misinformation, and logical fallacies, all in the service of opposing California Bill AB 2109. Antivaccine activists hate this piece of legislation…

And now for something completely different. Except that it isn’t really. I say that it isn’t really different because, although this post will seem to be about politics, in reality it will be about a common topic on this blog: Anti-science. And where is this anti-science? Sadly, it’s in the platform of a major party…

Naturopathy is at least 99% woo. That has to be said at the outset. Naturopaths might brag about all the science they take in naturopathy school, claiming that it’s as much as MDs take. Even if that were true, the question is not how many hours of basic science naturopaths take, but rather what’s taught…

The health freedom fighters attack

If there’s one thing shared in common among nearly all advocates of pseudoscience, it is the belief that they know The Truth. More importantly, they know The Truth, and The Powers That Be don’t want you to know The Truth and will do almost anything to makes sure that The Truth stays secret. Think about…

I’ve lost track of how many times over the last 7 years I’ve mentioned that naturopathy is not science-based. The evidence is overwhelming. All you have to do is to took at the wide variety of quackery that fits comfortably into naturopathic practice to realize that most of naturopathy is quackery. Traditional Chinese medicine? Check.…

I always thought that the University of Toronto was a great school, but lately I’ve been starting to have my doubts. My doubts began three years ago, when I noticed that Autism One Canada, which is basically the Canadian version of the yearly antivaccine biomedical quackfest held every Memorial Day week in the Chicago area,…

I was disturbed several months ago when I learned that the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, had agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Eight International Society for Integrative Oncology Conference in Cleveland, OH. I say “doubly” disturbed because it disturbed me that Francis Collins would agree to speak at…

Naturopaths vs. “stayin’ alive”

For all the good things about my life there are, there is one bad thing, and that was that I was born so that I reached high school age right at the height of the disco era. At least, that’s the way I viewed it at the time because at the time, like many teenaged…

Despite having found my niche long ago in the medical blogosphere as a skeptic and supporter of science-based medicine, not to mention a scourge of quacks and anti-vaccine activists (no little ego mine!), I rarely, if ever, write about obstetrics. It’s always been one area of medicine that I’ve felt least comfortable with. True, there…

Perhaps the biggest bête noire for me is the infiltration of quackademic medicine into academic medical centers; so whenever I see particularly egregious examples, it gets my fingers twitching over the keyboard, ready to lay down some not-so-Respectful Insolence. So it was last Friday when I happened across an article published nearly two years ago…

I saw this story on Friday and almost couldn’t wait the weekend to blog about it. However, since the conference that was brought to my attention isn’t until November, I ultimately decided that it would keep. At least until now. This story is about Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. Unlike…

It’s been another rather rough week. Grant season is in full swing, and I’m busily writing away. As I get to the end of the week, I wondered: Should I be serious or should I post a bit of fluff? Given the crappy mood I’ve been in on and off (grants added to my usual…

Naturopathy invades the heartland

Many are the times I’ve referred to homeopathy as The One Quackery To Rule Them All. Because homeopathic remedies diluted greater than 12 C (12 serial hundred-fold dilutions) have been diluted more than Avagadro’s number, they are incredibly unlikely to have even a single molecule of starting compound in them. That makes them water. Given…

As many of you probably know, I’m proud to call Dr. Harriet Hall (a.k.a. the SkepDoc) my friend, and, I daresay, so is my wife. We’ve both hung out with her at the last two TAMs, and we’ve hit it off pretty well. I also admire her history of standing up for science, reason, and…

Naturopathy versus science

Naturopathy has been a recurrent topic on this blog. The reasons should be obvious. Although homeopathy is the one woo to rule them all in the U.K. and much of Europe, here in the U.S. homeopathy is not nearly as big a deal. Arguably, some flavor of naturopathy is the second most prevalent “alternative medical…

Sometimes a comment in the comment thread after one of my posts ends up turning into the inspiration for another post. This is especially likely to happen if I respond to that comment and end up writing a comment of myself that seems way too good to waste, forever buried in the comments where, as…

A highly revealing quote from a naturopath

Naturopathy is a strange beast in the “alternative medicine” world. From what I’ve been able to tell, it’s a wastebasket specialty with no overarching philosophical underpinnings, as traditional Chinese medicine underpins acupuncture or sympathetic magic underpins homeopathy. Basically, if it’s woo, naturopaths will use it. Acupuncture, TCM, homeopathy, herbalism, nutritional woo, detox, it doesn’t matter.…

A trifecta of naturopathic woo

Yesterday, I wrote a rather lengthy post about germ theory denialism. As I put it, yes, there really are people who don’t accept the germ theory of disease. As part of my Orac-ian length discussion (well over 4,000 words), I had a bit of fun with a video done by a hapless (is there any…

The longer I’m in this whole skepticism thing, the more I realize that no form of science is immune to woo. For example, even though I lament just how many people do not accept evolution, for example, I can somewhat understand it. Although the basics of the science and evidence supporting the theory of evolution…