Hi Everyone. Happy Naturopathic medicine Week to everyone! Just as I did last year I have decided to summarize the research I have posted over this year.
To begin with, let us examine this article. It is a general introduction to Naturopathic medicine summarizing the general trends of the profession. I often find that that article pairs well with the video below in explaining who we are and why Naturopathic Doctors exist.
Now in terms of research, we can look at a number of trials of the medicine in general. Examining the research on each individual intervention in general would be beyond the scope of this blog post. I would refer my readers to my page on Homeopathy and other blog posts here, here and here for information on the specific modality of Homeopathy.
One trial of whole Naturopathic medicine for lower back pain, found here, found significantly lower back pain, spinal flexion, BMI, quality of life and increased weight loss for patients receiving Naturopathic care when compared to the normal standard of care for lower back pain. Furthermore, an economic analysis, shown here, found that Naturopathic intervention in the above trial resulted in savings of $1212 to society and 1096 per individual.
A second Trial, shown here, shows Naturopathic medical treatment resulting in changes in blood chemistry that equate to a 3.07% reduced 10 year risk of a severe cardiovascular event and a 16.9% reduced frequency of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore an economic analysis, shown here, of the above trial showed a reduction of $1138 in costs to employers and $1187 to society. The results were so strong that the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association published an editorial that endorsed the idea of delegation of some aspects of cardiovascular care to Naturopathic Doctors. You can find this editorial here.
Turning to anxiety, a clinical trial was also conducted showing a decrease of 56.5% in Beck Anxiety Inventory scores in Naturopathic patients compared to a reduction of 30.5% in patient who received Psychotherapy in patients with anxiety over twelve weeks. A second trial, found here, examined the real world improvement of anxiety in a Naturopathic clinic. That trial found a decrease of 58.6% for those with a score greater than 10 on the Patient Health Questionaire Depression screen and 50% for patients who score above 10 in The Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 item scale.
Diabetes has also been examined in this way. In one trial, shown here, showed 65% of patients achieving a favorable outcome with 19% being able to stop antidiabetic medications completely. Furthermore, this trial clearly linked this to the Naturopathic intervention, with a 0.4% reduction in HA1C shown with with poor compliance to the interventions, 1.1% with moderate compliance and 1.7% with excellent compliance. For those who do not know, HA1c is a measure of glycated hemoglobin, a long term measure of blood sugar levels. Higher levels indicated higher chronic blood sugar. A second trial, shown here, in which not only did patient compliance and self care improve significantly, but HA1c also decrease relative to conventional care only at 6 and 12 months, although non-significantly.
The issue of Cost is a vast issue in Healthcare today, with both Canadian and American Healthcare systems struggling over an ever increasing cost driven mainly by aging and an accompanying burden of chronic disease. Naturopathic care trials are increasing tackling this issue, showing as we have seen the cost effectiveness of our interventions. More work must and will be done in this area, but this trend in research is summarized below in a video by Michelle Simon.
Secondly, one brand of criticism for our profession is in the deficiency of our education.Naturopathic Medical education is regulated strictly by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). Standards are maintained to a high degree, and only nine programs are either accredited or candidates. Usually we are compared very unfavorably with allopathic medical educations. However the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges created this webpage, in which the curricula are compared. Right we can see a graph comparing the relative hours within the education of each profession. The BCNA also composed a more detailed analysis of the relative hours within each curriculum, which can be found here. In terms of a personal experiences, that of one person who went to both Allopathic and Naturopathic Medical school. She found, in this article, the curricula compared well with one another. The one difference one can legitimately criticize is the institution of the allopathic residency. Indeed Naturopathic medical education lacks many residencies. However considering the extreme cost of such residencies, which are subsidized by the government to the approximate amount of $112 642 USD per resident, according to the following article. Naturopathic Doctors would indeed enjoy access to residencies, but unfortunately, without equal access to government funding and subsidies, this looks to be difficult due to cost.
Naturopathic medicine has experienced in the last few decades a great deal of improvement in terms of our acceptance by governments and other medical professions. One article, posted here, predicts the idea of integration between conventional and Naturopathic medicine as one of the trends in the future. The popular term for this is integrative medicine, and indeed Allopathic physicians have themselves began adopting some Naturopathic practices and modalities, a phenomenon in which Naturopathic Doctors have played a leading role (see this article).
Now, I am glad to see Naturopathic modalities gain wider traction. However I do hope that this diffusion of our philosophies is accompanied by greater scope of Practice for Naturopathic Doctors and with greater access to research funding and the instruments of public health policy. My vision of Naturopathic medicine is like that which occurs in India. The Indian medical system does not discriminate between professions as North American systems do. All Professions, such as Naturopathic Medicine, Allopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Sidda, Unani and Yoga are regulated, have Doctoral level training and possess institutions, Hospitals and in patient facilities where they treat patients, and refer when needed. A ministry of these Medical systems, called the Ministry of Ayush, exists and is currently undertaking an amazing program of research and improvement of all medical systems in the country. The following video explores the hospitals of Naturopathic medicine in India, the results they get, and some of the amazing projects undertaken there. It is my goal to see such institutions in all cities across North America.
Happy Naturopathic Medicine week to everyone. Take care of yourselves.
Image Credit. AANMC. https://aanmc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Contact-hours.png
So as some of you have read, one woman in California recently died during a Naturopathic treatment. This individual was receiving an Intravenous infusion of Curcumin, and from the apparent data, appears to have been anaphylactic in Nature.
Dr. Paul Anderson, a Seattle Naturopathic Doctor with great expertise in Intravenous therapeutics, has written a short paper on this topic, shown below:
Anaphylactic reactions are those which occur when the body is exposed to an allergen and creates a life threatening state of immune activation, frequently resulting in death. It is treated by injection of Epinephrine and Diphenhydramine (benadryl). Even with such treatment, anaphylaxis can still be fatal.
As shown in Dr Paul Anderson’s posting, reactions to IV curcumin (and Naturopathic injection therapies in general) are exceedingly rare. He personally has administered approximately 10 000 doses without any severe adverse reactions. These formulations are sterile, manufactured according to FDA approved procedures, manufactured from FDA cleared product and completely legal for injections. The reaction was not related to the toxicity or dose of the IV preparation in question.
This death will be investigated by the regulatory authorities for Naturopathic Doctors in California. If the Naturopathic Doctor in question is at fault, discipline will be administered, and policies may be changed. However, this unfortunate tragedy must be put into perspective. As shown in this paper, Anaphylactic reactions in medical care are quite common. For instance the rate of anyaphylaxis to penicillin ranges from 0.7-10%, 0.22-1% for radiocontrast media.
More specifically, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine examined anaphylaxis as a cause of death based on mortality data ( in the United States). From 1999-2010 they identified 2458 deaths. Of these 1446 were due to medication (58.8%), nearly half of these being due to antibiotics alone.
The blowing out of proportion of this single death as a rallying cry for the legal and cultural persecution of Naturopathic Doctors, especially in light of the far far higher numbers of anaphylactic reactions and other adverse outcomes from allopathic care is a glaring example of the Fake News narrative surrounding Naturopathic medicine that I described in a previous blog post.
The most glaring example of this Fake News Narrative is found in the recent Forbes article on the subject. The author brazenly misstates facts on the case ( for instance, IV tumeric does not actually exist), fails to cite relevant published literature supporting the use of IV curcumin (not IV tumeric) and IV Ozone, cites several cases of disciplinary measures against Naturopathic and Integrative Doctors while ignoring the literally tens of thousands of deaths associated with allopathic care, and uses inflammatory and misleading language to paint a picture that is quite far from reality.
In short, this death is a tragedy that is being exploited by the same ideological groups that have constructed a Fake News Narrative against Naturopathic medicine to further their ideological goals. For people who accuse (falsely) Naturopathic Doctors of exploiting the suffering of sick people and selling false hope by curing conditions that conventional care is usually helpless against, this is a particularly hypocritical action.
Error note: I previously listed IV curcumin as FDA approved. I was unaware of the this specific term being a legal term in the United states for the FDA approving a specific drug for specific indications. Curcumin is manufactured under compound drug procedures approved and enforced by the FDA, but the term “FDA approved” does not apply to it. I apologize for the error. I am indeed not hugely familiar with American terminology on the subject.
Hi Everyone. I do apologize for my neglect of blogging got the last few months. I have been deeply engaged in my writing and editing. For anyone who has engaged in editing, it is a thankless and seemingly neverending process.
But, finally I have something to offer. I have published two portions of my Table of Animals Project. The summary table and the first chapter, the Sponges, have both been published.
The Table of Animals itself is a table which shows the overall course of human development, and where various animal remedy families exist within that course. It includes a 60 page chart summarizing the different themes of the various groups of animals. This work does not contain any materia medica or detailed descriptions of animals as of yet. Those will be published in an ongoing fashion individually as e books and later as paperbacks.
The first volume of that series, The Sponges, is now available. This small volume ( 36 pages) details the themes of the Sponge Phylum, the materia medica of Sponge remedies, and some cases I have collected. It is now only available as an ebook but likely will be combined with the upcoming Cnidarian and Ctenophore chapter in a physical paperback book.
I do anticipate explaining the Table in an upcoming video blog. It hopefully should be ready soon!
The Sarcopterygii have had neither been proven nor triturated. Any member of this group would be a welcome addition to Homeopathy. While Coelacanths are likely to be somewhat difficult to obtain specimens, the lungfish are often interacted with by humans. The Queensland Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) would be an ideal candidate.
Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marbled_lungfish_1.jpg
Since the 1990’s several Chondrichthyes have been proven and triturated, allowing us a reasonable picture of this group. However, several large gaps in out knowledge of the Chondrichtyes still exist.
The greatest gaps in the extant Chondrichthytes is the Holocephali. Currently no members of this family have been either potentised or proven. In the Elasmobranchii, the Squalomorphii, have not been potentised or proven. Of these the dogfish, or Squalidae, would be ideal candidates for proving, due to their close relationship with humans, and the frequent encounter of their egg sacs, called mermaids purses, in tidal ponds.
In terms of fossils, the Eugeneodontiformes, Symorida, Xenacanthiformes and Hybodontiformes are all completely unproven and unpotentised, and would all make excellent candidates for proving.
Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White_shark.jpg
Hi Everyone. Happy New Year! A bit of a heavy article to start us off!
Anyway as many of you all know, in the current media landscape, the idea of “Fake News“. Fake News is a News Story that lacks truth, supporting documentation and is designed to support a particular worldview or agenda, usually shared via social media. It was incredibly successfully deployed in the recent American election, and this brought it to public consciousness for the first time in the English Speaking world, despite it’s long term prominence elsewhere in the world.
Rather than a phenomenon specifically emerging this year however, Fake news has been greatly appreciated as a widespread problem in all areas of Journalism. As this Article suggests that current trends in mainstream journalism, such as opinion based editorial content, slanted reporting, spin, and a lack of funding for long term investigation has degrades journalism to the extent where this kind of Fake News is possible.
If one investigates further, this trend of media manipulation can be seen to extend even beyond the circles of Journalism and the Media. As we can see from this article, media manipulation and group-think has pervaded even academia. Early work showing the health risks of Sugar was suppressed and has only in the present day come to light, the original thinker and researcher having been forgotten.
One area of Fake News however that has not been well investigated is the use of fake news style tactics by the “skeptical” movement. The skeptical movement has utilized tactics of this nature, specific threats against individuals promoting holistic medicine and Homeopathy, trolling, harassment and intimidation. Below I will detail two examples of this phenomenon.
In 2014 the NHMRC released a draft report on the body of research concerning Homeopathy. The report preliminarily found no evidence that Homeopathy can treat any condition. The report also opened itself to feedback and criticism over its methods. The Homeopathic community gave considerable feedback to the NHMRC, but the final report was released almost unaltered. Both releases triggered massive amounts of publicity, with articles such as the following being widely shared on social media, particularly by Skeptical movements.
This media frenzy however severely misrepresented the state of the research and the state of the NHMRC report. The report, as demonstrated by many researchers, was incredibly flawed. As elaborated by the Homeopathy Research Institute, The report did not distinguish between research methodologies (which is a huge issue in Homeopathy, see my previous blog post on this topic). Furthermore, the report, rather than compiling results and adding the entirety of the data together for analysis, simply subtracted negative studies from the positive, a procedure which is completely unprecedented in the medical literature, not to mention a highly inaccurate approach.
Furthermore, only trials in English were included, trials of less than 150 were dismissed (again without any basis in the medical literature, a cut off of ~35 is more universally accepted) and research not replicated independently was ignored. Furthermore some trials were excluded for no apparent reason, or due to the writers not understanding the, sensible and understandable to Homeopaths, methodologies used.
Even with all of this intellectual dishonesty, the conclusion of the NHMRC report was simply that there was insufficient evidence that Homeopathy can treat any condition. As we have seen above this conclusion, simply showing a lack of data by thier (unjustified) standards, was twisted in a Fake News style by the skeptical movement into evidence that Homeopathy was ineffective, harmful and even irresponsible.
A similar media frenzy followed the publication o the Shang Metanalysis in 2005. As detailed in this website by HRI, The analysis was also extremely sloppy. Shang preformed his analysis on 8 random selection of 21 homeopathic trials, out of 110 selected was used as the besis of this analysis, in defiance of proper procedure. Shang himself concealed which trials he used for his analysis for several months after the Fall release of this study, only releasing his list in December of 2005, after the media storm had occurred. Again, a number of skeptical publications twisted this conclusion and failed to report the serious issues in the analysis.
The latest example of this trend within the field of Homeopathy was the recent news story about Homeopathy labelling in the United States. In the United States, Homeopathy is regulated as a drug under a special set of regulations by the FDA which specifies manufacturing practices, selling, and labeling requirements. The FTC also has authority over the marketing of health claims.
In the course of the year, it had come to the attention of the FTC that some OTC Homeopathic products were making health claims that could not be justified from the scientific literature available. The FTC released a statement clarifying that unjustified health claims were not permitable, and that any unjustified claims must be identified as such. This was spun by the skeptical media as the FTC requiring ALL homeopathic products to carry labels that they have no evidence (when only unjustified health claims are required to be so labelled).Even normally moderate and respectable publications such as Scientific American reported this false line.
The bias shown both in the assumption of a lack of Homeopathic efficacy, and in the enforcement of trade laws was explored by Dana Ullman in the following article.
In these few examples, I have hoped to paint a picture of the kind of intellectual dishonesty that the skeptical movement has engaged in in order to fuel its agenda, which is supremacy of the allopathic medical model and entrenchment of it’s political power. This intellectual dishonesty has fueled a Fake News operation that rivals anything that the current populist movements can have.
If Homeopathy or any other therapy is to be honestly evaluated in an unbiased way, it must be done with all the rigor of the scientific method. Thankfully a few researchers are doing just this, and interestingly enough, they are finding positive and firm clinical evidence that Homeopathy works and has a greater than placebo effect, in high quality methodologically appropriate studies. Below is an example of a presentation by such a researcher.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all my dear patients. I am immensely thankful that you all have entrusted your health to me! I’m not quite a Scrooge, but I share the sentiment of this song in relation to you all!
So, with my very popular blog posts in the Homeopathic Remedies of Now American President Elect Donald Trump and of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I have decided to do one final American political Homeopathic post, on Bernie Sanders, given the rise of his prominence in the Democratic party.
Bernie Sanders is a long term independent Senator and Congressman from Vermont. Though independent, he is extremely close to the Democratic party, though he does diverge from it in a number of ways, being more closely aligned with the new Deal ideals of Franklin Roosevelt, than the more corporate and centrist Clintonism of the 90s and the Obama administration.
Senator Sandors ran for the presidential nomination of the democratic party in 2015-6, I believe without a serious expectation of victory. He ran to bring attention to the issues of social justice and economic fairness that he has advocated for for many years. His candidacy caught fire however. His popularity jumped fantastically among young Americans, many of which are in increasingly tenuous or desperate economic circumstances, and among college educated voters, many of whom were weary of Hillary Clinton’s more graduallist approach to government. He narrowly lost the democratic primary to Clinton, and had campaigned on her behalf since that time. Since Clinton’s loss of the Presidential election, Sander’s along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, have taken on an increasingly prominent role in the Democratic party.
Mr Sanders displays in his public speaking a remarkable idealism. Underlying his speeches seems to be a vision, an almost ineffable view of the potential life in the United States could have. It is a place where individuals are cared for and supported by their community, the government plays a fair an equitable role in regulating the public space, and non-majority individuals such as LGBT individuals, Muslims, people of Latin American Ancestry and African Americans have equal opportunity to participate in public life. His campaign Slogan captured this perfectly ” A Future to Believe in”
Bernie campaigned hard on this vision and this platform. The biggest issue however was the factor of external circumstances. It was thought that many Americans would reject his more interventionist platform. Bloomberg threatened to run as a third party candidate if Bernie won the democratic nomination. A hostile relationship developed with the core of the Democratic party, and allegations of bias and favoritism were made.
Bernie’s response to these circumstances were to fight, hard. He continually campaigned, did multiple events, and called out in his speeches. He responded with a fighting spirit, both when he lost the nomination, and when Clinton was defeated. This rolling with the punches, and ability to keep fighting despite overwhelming odds seems to be a core part of his character. Then, the following seemingly synchronous thing happened:
This bird, a sparrow, landed on his platform. The bird was a Sparrow of some sort. It was treated almost as a sign of divine favor by some of Sanders’ supporters. To me this bird seems almost synchronous, as Sander’s basic personality traits and issues are very heavily within the Bird remedies.
Birds, as first explored by Johnathan Shore, Judy Schriebman and Anneke Hogeland, and later by Peter Fraser, Birds have the particular theme of Freedom, seeking an almost ineffable experience of freedom and expansiveness. In contrast to other remedies such as the insects, which seek this freedom but must transform themselves in order to attain it, Birds, while in the world, have as thier truest nature this freedom, without the need to reach for it or achieve it in any way. Freedom is thier nature. It is eternal, yet responsive, almost otherworldly, yet very much present in reality as we see it. I have done a trituration of one bird, Pica hudsonia, that will be published in my upcoming book on animal remedies. While having personally experienced this state during trituration, it remains somewhat difficult to describe.
The main issue in birds is the inability to take this eternal state of freedom and make it physically manifest in the world. Each bird species has its own particular issue which prevents them from doing so. In one remedy in particular, Sparrow, the issue is social opposition, disrespect of them, and the response is an almost pugnacious desire to fight and keep fighting for freedom, and for what one believes will lead to that state.
The state describes Senator Sanders perfectly. As he himself has been an amazing supporter of Naturopathic medicine throughout the years, I hope that one day he may be able to take this remedy.
With only one trituration available, any provings or triturations of Urochordates would be of immense value. Since we have no provings of the Thaliaceae and Larvaceae, they would be a higher priority. A number of species are quite prominent as well, and would make excellent candidates for a proving.
Edible species of Tunicate, such as Halocynthia roretzi, Styela clava, Microcosmus sabatieri, Pyura chilensis, or Pyura praeputialis would make excellent choices for proving.
Several Tunicates have become invasive species over time in a number of geographic areas, such as the Didemnum and Styela genii. Didemnum vexillum has become smothering in the Georges Bank of North America, likely presenting a profound resonance to issues affecting this region.
Given the complete lack of provings of Cephalochordates, and the presence of only one trituration, any provings of Lancelets would be immensely beneficial.
As the one trituration available comes from the Branchiostoma genus, of the Branchiostomidae, members of the genii Epigonichthys or Asymmetron of the Assymetronidae would be the most sensible targets. With two more provings or triturations we could easily cover all extant genii within this subphyla.
As well, triturations and provings of some of the Cephalochordate fossils such as Cathymyrus species might also prove illuminating.