Naturopathy – What To Make Of It?

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A health and wellness blog like this couldn’t possibly take sides, could it? Well, the truth is that we try to look at things from different angles and perspectives before critically analysing everything and then coming up with our opinion.

Today’s topic is naturopathy, which is the art and pseudo-science of natural medicine. Let’s first take a look at the principles of homeopathy, according to expert Dr John Christopher. Homeopathic logic goes something like this:

  • All disease can be cured.
  • Humans are a composite of spirit, mind and body.
  • Spirit is senior to mind and body, and has the ability to heal it.
  • All diseases are stoppages that is brought about by stress.
  • Some people, known as “positive”, wish to survive.
  • Others, known as “negative”, wish to give up and die.
  • Stress is created by the actions of connection to “negatives”.
  • “Positives” should either bring “negatives” to their side, or cut off ties with them.
  • The person responsible for any disease is him/herself.
  • Optimum health is brought about by ethical conduct, education, organic nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise and sufficient rest.

Pretty mystical, isn’t it? Now let’s explore the definition of naturopathy in Wikipedia. Because after all, we know that Wikipedia is always true, right? (*ahem ahem*)

“Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine employing a wide array of “natural” treatments, including homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling. Naturopaths favor a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoid the use of surgery and drugs. Naturopathic philosophy is based on a belief in vitalism and self-healing, and practitioners often prefer methods of treatment that are not compatible with evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic medicine is replete with pseudoscientific, ineffective, unethical, and possibly dangerous practices.”

MihaiParaschiv / Pixabay
MihaiParaschiv / Pixabay

Okay, how does it then integrate in with modern day medicine and science? One columnist states that while medicine today is a collaborative effort, health professionals in the field of medicine and pharmacy all follow a similar academic and logical platform or foundation in certain fields such as biochemistry and physiology. He even uses the term “reality-based healthcare” for this.

While scientists like myself can appreciate the mysticism and fascination behind alternative therapies such as homeopathy and naturopathy, the barrier that prevents us from endorsing it unequivocally is the knowledge of evidence and an understanding of the mechanisms underpinning such treatments.

I’m not saying, for one moment, that it is simply some “baseless, unscientific hippy crap” or anything like that. Some of it might have a scientific basis that simply had not been decrypted yet. I’m just saying that it is better to follow a system where the mechanisms have already been worked out and understood, for the chances of success would be higher, or at least its probability is known.

Unsurprisingly, naturopaths have been claiming that their practices are based on science, and have been lobbying governmental bodies to give them the recognition as being health professionals. Once again, this becomes a very thorny issue to navigate around. Naturopaths often do provide a seemingly logical explanation for their methods, although it might not adhere to our modern-day expectations of scientific rigour.

So even though Granite Fitness seems “on the fence” with this one, we would always advice people to go through the route of modern scientific medicine, especially for life-threatening conditions. However, if you feel that you wish to give natural or alternative medicine a go, you should do it as well, as long as you understand that the uncertainty level is probably higher.

Either way, we wish you the best of health. Ps. Please vaccinate your children.

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