Tag Archives: Naturopathy

Homoeopathy or Naturopathy: A Dialogue…of sorts…

 photo exploding homoeopath_zpsr1es7ux1.jpg

Last photo of an exploding homoeopath

Homoeopathy or Naturopathy: A dialogue…


So should I choose Homoeopathy or Naturopathy? Or are they the same thing?
But it’s all natural right?
But homoeopathy is also natural medicine, isn’t it?
So why are you getting all upset at me in capital letters?

OK, I shouldn’t get upset, and certainly not in capital letters. But it irritates me. I wish Samuel Hahnemann had given this therapeutic a different name, I really do. It’s all very well for people to explain the name, explain how the different bits in Latin add up to “like cures like”. That’s all well and good – but it doesn’t make a darn bit of difference. There are still novels out there describing how the homoeopath tied a string to the main character’s big toe, and diagnosed her allergies…really, I read one last week…

Homoeopathy is based on a revolutionary prescribing principle, known since Hippocrates’ day, harnessed and developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 1800s. Naturopathy is for the most part based on various forms of herbal medicine, nutrition and other health-related therapeutics.

But…but… they’re both natural aren’t they?
Grrr… what part of “revolutionary prescribing principle” don’t you understand…
Well – really – I don’t understand any part of it…what does that even mean?

Sorry, sorry, it’s just that…it’s like this….Do you have a kid with a messy room?
Yes, doesn’t everyone?
And is he capable of keeping it tidy?
Of course he is, he just can’t be bothered…keeps throwing his dirty laundry on the floor…and he thinks I don’t know about those old magazines under…

Yes, well, but you think he’s capable of keeping it tidy?
Yes, he is.
So why do you bring in a cleaner?
The cleaner tidies his room for him.
Imagine you had some way of getting him to clean his own room?
Wow, that would be… (sigh) but it isn’t going to happen…he refuses to do anything…

Well naturopathy is the same as bringing a cleaner in, and homoeopathy is getting him to clean it himself…

Now I really don’t understand… naturopathy is a cleaning service? And homoeopathy is….? He’s never going to clean his room on his own… he’s a lazy…

OK… let’s try again….Homoeopathy is based on “like cures like”…
And what does that even mean? Is it something to do with facebook?
It’s cure by similars…
Is that like witches and black cats? No I remember now, that’s “familiars”…

We use substances that can cause symptoms in healthy people similar to the illness…
Oh, so homoeopathy is vaccinations!!! Now I understand-

There you go, getting angry in capital letters again. I’m just trying to understand. I know homoeopathy is good for you – I took something homoeopathic years ago and it completely cleared up my haemmorhoids..

Sorry about getting so angry… what was it you took?
Oh, it was castor oil, I had to put some on my… you know… later I heard it can actually be used to make…


… explosives…?!?  Hello…?? Still there…??





Naturopaths to receive authority to prescribe more drugs

Naturopaths will soon be able to prescribe a wider range of pharmaceutical drugs.

Beginning in 2015, naturopaths will be free to prescribe drugs within their “scope of practice.” But as the state Office of Professional Regulation is finishing the exact wording of the new rules, the Vermont Medical Society (VMS) has expressed concern that naturopaths don’t have adequate training to prescribe drugs.

Naturopaths will be able to prescribe more prescription drugs starting in 2015. Creative Commons photo by jeffk via flickr

Naturopaths will be able to prescribe more prescription drugs starting in 2015. Creative Commons photo by jeffk via flickr

Dr. Harry Chen, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, disagrees with the society, which represents traditional doctors.

“Naturopaths are health professionals,” Chen said. “They go through at least four years of health training after college, and they have been licensed in Vermont for 15 years. They provide the health care that many Vermonters choose.”

Naturopaths typically rely on traditional medicine and self-healing in conjunction with modern techniques.

Currently naturopaths are limited to prescribing drugs as determined by a formulary compiled in 2009.  With the passing of Act 116 in 2012, all physicians in Vermont were given the right to prescribe drugs within their “scope of practice.”

The current formulary allows naturopathic physicians to prescribe a wide range of drugs, but the new regulation will dramatically increase that authority, said Bernie Noe, a licensed naturopathic physician at Green Mountain Natural Health in Montpelier.

During a hearing before the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules last week, Sen. Diane Snelling, R-Chittenden, asked why naturopaths, who treat patients holistically, need to prescribe medications.

Chen said licensed naturopaths are primary care physicians in Vermont, and they need the tools to provide care for patients.

“I think there won’t be a problem,” he said. “Every prescription a doctor writes gets reviewed by a pharmacist. I’m in support of the regulation and I think they (the Office of Professional Regulation) are carefully considering this to ensure safety.”

The medical society wrote a letter to the Office of Professional Regulation raising questions about the phrase “scope of practice.”

Other health practitioners, such as optometrists and nurses, are already authorized to prescribe drugs within their “scope of practice.” In the letter, the Vermont Medical Society said these professions are more clearly defined and their scope of practice is restricted. Naturopaths treat the entire body and a broad range of diseases, from cancer to diabetes.

“VMS is concerned that under these proposed rules, OPR would have no guidance to rely on other than the naturopath’s own characterization of his or her scope of practice,” VMS said in the letter written by Paul Harrington, executive vice president, and Madeleine Mongan, deputy executive vice president.

The same issue applies to medical specialties, Chen said. Emergency physicians, for example, can prescribe cancer medications even though he or she may have little knowledge of those pharmaceuticals, he said.

Sixteen states in the U.S. have licensed naturopaths and more than half of them have the right to prescribe drugs regulated by a formulary. If the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules passes the new regulations, Vermont will be the first state in the country to give naturopaths the unlimited right to prescribe drugs, according to the VMS.

Noe of Green Mountain Natural Health said the issue has been controversial among naturopaths. Some welcome the change as they say their work as primary care physicians has been handicapped by current regulations.

Noe describes situations in which patients come to him as a primary physician with symptoms that need to be treated with prescription drugs. “If they have asthma, they need an inhaler, or if a patient has an infection, they need antibiotics,” he said.

Currently, naturopaths are authorized to prescribe a limited number of antibiotics, and if patients are resistant to an antibiotic they must be referred to a medical doctor, Noe said.

“It’s a waste of resources,” he said. “Our medicine focuses on treating the whole person, the cause of the disease and not symptoms. So, it’s outside our core practice, but as practicing primary care physicians there are times when we do need to prescribe drugs.“

The new regulations will require naturopathic physicians to pass a pharmacology examination if they wish to prescribe drugs. The first 100 drugs prescribed will also undergo review, according to the Office of Professional Regulations.

LCAR did not reach a decision last week and has given the Office of Professional Regulation until Sept. 19 to meet with the Vermont Medical Society to work out details.