"The regular docs treat the symptoms, whereas the naturopath tries to find the CAUSE."So, they've done it. So-called naturopathic physicians will now be able to do the following:
- prescribe non-controlled medications (eg. they can prescribe Tylenol #3, all antibiotics, all mood altering medications - antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers including lithium, immune suppressants such as prednisone, methotrexate), "after completing a certification training". A list of medications they cannot prescribe is attached at the end of the legislation (seems to be mainly narcotics / sedatives / chemotherapy agents)
- order Xrays / Ultrasounds (but no CTs)
- perform minor surgeries at or below dermis
- perform allergy challenge testing and desensitization
- insert finger/instrument/device into any body cavity, whether natural or artificially-created
Of course, I will not and cannot deny that many treatments in use today derive from natural sources. Digoxin, a very old drug used in heart failure, was isolated from Digitalis purpurea, a poisonous flowering plant also known as foxglove. That doesn't make homeopathy - a practice without any kind of rational pharmacological basis - a valid form of treatment, however, nor does it excuse the sort of rhetoric that seeks to set naturopathy apart from "allopathic" (i.e. mainstream) medicine:
Regarding Vis medicatrix naturae, it's certainly true that the body has an inherent capacity to heal itself, but that "proper therapeutic environment" is absolutely key. For example, penicillin for a pharyngeal infection caused by Strep pyogenes is necessary to prevent secondary glomerulonephritis, the cause of which is related to the body's natural immune response to the bacteria. Untreated strep throat can also lead to rheumatic fever; proper treatment is certainly required. One wonders, then, what naturopaths think is unique about this principle.
- Vis medicatrix naturae: the body has the inherent capacity to heal in the proper therapeutic environment. NDs believe in the recuperative power of the organism, given the correct climate for healing. Determining the correct individualized therapeutic environment is at the core of naturopathic medicine.
- Tollum causum: remove the cause. Instead of treating the symptoms of disease the ND tries to cure the cause of the disease.
- Prima non nocere: do no harm. The ND is trained to use therapies that will not cause adverse side effects or cause secondary problems (i.e., iatrogenic disease) as serious or more serious than the original disease.
The second principle is a frequent canard offered in support of naturopathy; that naturopaths treat the cause of disease rather than the symptoms, something that is supposedly the opposite of an MD's approach. This, of course, is simply non sequitur, which is not to say that purely symptomatic treatment is never warranted. On the other hand, naturopaths have a habit of inventing causes to explain a wide variety of non-specific symptoms:
Of course, Candida is everywhere and on you all the time. Most of the time it does nothing. To see what an actual bought of candidiasis looks like, simply Google "oral thrush". To see whether you might suffer from Candida "overgrowth", watch this video.
As for their last principle, "do no harm", it's nice to know that naturopaths have discovered the Hippocratic Oath. It's unfortunate, however, that they are under the delusion that adverse effects and problems secondary to treatments can be avoided. Since they seem mainly to cater to the worried well, however, most of their "treatments" are comparatively benign (if not entirely ineffective). I hope they behave responsibly enough to avoid going beyond their limited training and so avoid the aforementioned iatrogenic disease.