Naturopathy

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Naturopathy

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…

Germ theory denialism explained

Here’s some sheer awesomeness in the form of an explanation of germ theory denialism: The only thing I would disagree with is the conclusion at the end that germ theory denialists are not much of a threat. In fact, germ theory denialism, usually softer germ theory denialism, such as the kind that says a healthy…

Note: Parts of this post have appeared elsewhere, but not in this form. If there’s one aspect of so-called “alternative medicine” and “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) is that its practitioners tout as being a huge advantage over what they often refer to sneeringly as “conventional” or “scientific” medicine is that — or so its…

If there’s been a theme running through this blog, it’s been the importance of science and critical thinking. The main focus of this emphasis on skepticism, of course, has been medicine, which makes sense, given that I’m a doctor and a cancer researcher, but I don’t limit myself to just medicine. However, as part of…

Recently, there’s been a movement afoot among purveyors of that special brand of “natural” woo known as naturopathy to convince various legislatures and regulatory bodies that they not only are capable of serving as primary care physicians but that they should be allowed to do so. My first impression was laughter–that is, until I realized…

…is one of my favorite surgeon-bloggers Sid Schwab when he discusses what happens when naturopaths actually subject their “healing art” to scientific examination. In the wake of the rather–shall we say–vigorous discussion that ensued after my post last week about the recently passed law in the State of Minnesota to license and regulate naturopaths, today…

I know I’m a bit late to this game, but those of you who read ERV, Denialism Blog, and Pharyngula didn’t think that their prior mention of this story about how the State of Minnesota is going to allow naturopaths to claim the title of “doctor” would stop me from jumping right in even if…