Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
“Naturopathy” has been around since man’s ancestors crawled out of the sea and ate their first plant..
Humorously, we might say that the ingestion of plants became a science after the first cave woman watched her husband leave the cave dwelling one morning, stop two caves down to flirt with the local cutie, and served him some strange smelling leaves in his lunch salad – giving him the worst case of diarrhea in history – and then told all her girlfriends how to prepare that salad..
But, in reality, it was those societies that through time learned to use natural things in their daily lives that thrived. That same cave woman and her girlfriends mentioned above probably knew what leaves to boil up to take the fever down in their offspring, and could deal with the scrapes and wounds inflicted on male hunting parties.
There is no question that everything “Naturopaths” deal in has been thoroughly field tested, and the results recorded, or passed on, in every civilization, race, culture, subculture, geographic grouping, or whatever, throughout history. “Naturopathy” predates “medicine” by over a million years. It’s here, it’s been here, and it isn’t going anywhere. Thank God for that.
Today, worldwide, I’d guess, there are four major groupings of “Naturopaths” – there are (1) Traditional Naturopaths – those that help others, either professionally, or by education, – usually trained in small, traditional, schools and apprenticeships (2) Naturopathic Physicians – those that employ some naturopathic principles integrated with medicine – usually trained in four-year schools – and required to have licenses to practice because of their dangerous “medical” offerings, (3) Practical Naturopaths – those that learn naturopathy for their own, or their family’s use, and (4) Already licensed health occupations, PhDs, scientists, etc., that take naturopathic training.
The “naturopathic” approach to health care, taken in its whole, I’d say, is far more accepted by the general public than “medicine,” by perhaps 10 to 1 – maybe more. Certainly, there are far more purchases on the “natural” side.
Closely related to “Naturopathy” is “Nutrition.” Think of “nutrition” as proper eating to get what your body needs to operate at peak – and “naturopathy” as the use of natural things, including foods and herbs, to correct a health problem or eliminate the cause of a disease.
Those who deal with “nutrition” in North America are called either “Nutritionists” or “Dieticians.” Sometimes they are called “Certified Nutritionists” or “Registered Dieticians.”
Sound good so far? It should sound good, because our North American educational system, at the Elementary or High School level, where ALL OF US should have been given some of this information, failed us. These groups take up the slack.
But, I’m about to show you the fly in the ointment.
The Best Laid Plans…
So tell me – with such an obvious need for people trained to deal with an un-informed public, how come these groups are fighting amongst themselves? And they are.
In more States, in the US, than I want to count, organizations representing “Registered Dieticians” are trying to get laws passed making it a criminal act for ANYONE, including a parent of a child to recommend to ANYONE, including their own children, what’s good, or not good, for them to eat. A CRIMINAL Act – and this from the group responsible for HOSPITAL FOOD. The “Registered Dieticians” in those States even more, want the “Certified Nutritionists” put into prison – just because they compete with them.
Also, in more States, in the US, than I want to count, organizations representing “Naturopathic Physicians” are trying to get laws passed making it a crime for ANYONE, including those trained years ago in naturopathy from accepted schools of the time to use the name Naturopathic Doctor (ND) unless they went to one of their four-year schools. They want, like the dieticians to the nutritionists, to make the use of the title ND a prison offense unless that person went to one of their schools – even though the title has legally been given as a degree in North America for over a hundred years. Traditional Naturopaths, outnumbering the Naturopathic Physicians (NP), perhaps 60 to 1, object to this attempt, and openly sneer at the NP’s education, stating the obvious – that “naturopathy” and “medicine” are no more similar than apples and oranges. .
Grow up, people…
I have nothing but disgust for those of you who think you need a law to protect your “turf.” If you are not good enough to compete in the health world, successfully, without a law giving you exclusive rights, go get a job at McDonalds. This is America..
More to come…
I’ve been carefully watching a situation in Colorado involving Naturopaths. I know that there are Court documents about to be on the table in this situation – so I’ll soon be writing about this case. What amazes me is that there are so-called “Naturopathic Physicians” that have allied themselves with the “quackbusters” to attack “Traditional Naturopaths.”
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate