A REBUTTAL TO ALL THOSE WHO THINK WE ARE PSEUDO-PRACTITIONERS
I like reading all about the current the health trends. I love going to seminars, symposia, conferences and lectures and will spend a large majority of my free time learning, absorbing and rehashing all that I learn. This is how I spend a lot of my “free time”.
Well I love to learn, but I also want to make sure that what I tell my patients and my followers read comes from current and not skewed research (aka funded by those with a vested interest - as many “conventional” studies are funded by the pharmaceutical industry). Many naturopaths who are real and genuine do this – I am not alone. We are highly educated by reputable universities and highly motivated to keep on refreshing that knowledge with the newest evidence that scientific has to offer.
But we are getting a little sick and tired of the continued vilification of others out there… only to be gazumped when some “cutting edge” research finally makes it into mainstream (that same knowledge that we naturopaths have been talking about for YEARS….. with no due credit given)
I am also a little fed up with hearing (even from old nursing friends…) “where’s your research?”
Well you know what? There is a plethora of research out there – current, gold standard, double blinded and controlled BUT MANY PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO FIND IT!! That’s the problem – if they were really interested in finding the research, they would look – you only have to go on Google Scholar to find thousands of research papers on a lot of the stuff we advocate within seconds.
I have not said anything publicly before because I felt that it was my ego getting in the way – which it kind of is in a way…. after all, it’s all about everyone getting well. But not at the risk of the very profession who has been the patient’s advocate for years:
I know we are not regulated, and there are many dodgy dealers out there and pretty much anybody can call themselves a natural therapist – but there are many dodgy conventional medicos out there as well – I could tell you some stories, but that is beyond the scope of this blog. But for example, I have patients whose specialists have put young children on triple the adult dose of proton pump inhibitor medications for many months – that very medication that should only ever be used short term (this is quite clear in the drug information handout). I have had others clients on medications prescribed by different specialists (who rarely seem to confer with each other) that have contradictory actions. This is just a couple of the stories I hear every day. I never denigrate the medicos- suggesting that the patient just go back and have a chat with their doctors.
But that doesn’t stop the doctors denigrating me: Here are a few snippets of what I hear about myself on a daily basis (my patients are incredibly loyal and my best advocates!):
· I am a witch doctor and it’s best not to go back there – this was from a doctor to whom I sent the patient in the first place (luckily that patient changed doctors, not naturopaths).
· What do I do? just wave my magic wand (I wish) and burn a few feathers….
· I probably haven’t got any qualifications (???REALLY??)
· When I have sent patients to the GPs for referral, they have screwed my letter of referral and thrown it in the bin in front of the patient claiming that wouldn’t take orders from naturopaths.
· All vitamins are either dangerous or the same (as in you can just buy vitagummies from the supermarket and they will do the same thing as “that naturopath’s expensive ones”..)
· They don’t “believe in” naturopaths… um I am not the tooth fairy.
Now there are a few (not many) doctors in my area who are happy to work with me, please don’t think that this is everyone.
But what’s happening of course – due to the power of the internet - people are starting to demand more answers than pharmaceuticals and conventional medicine has to respond. But what is happening now is that many doctors are taking ownership of something they have denigrated us in the past for:
· Leaky gut is now called “intestinal hyperpermeability” and the microbiome theme is getting grasped with glee and joy – but no reference or acknowledgement to the naturopaths who have been treating it successful for years. Its faecal transplants all the way thank you (there IS an easier option – called nutrition and herbs!).
· I recently heard of a psychiatrist who has become the “pyrrole’s” expert in Brisbane – after seeing one of my patients who finally admitted to them that I had diagnosed them with this condition and they no longer felt the need to see the specialist.
· When I first became a naturopath – one of the specialists who I used to work with told me I would be back working as a nurse again soon because I had chosen a “rubbish” new career with no substantiation”. Imagine my surprise, 10 years on, when a client recently told me that that very same specialist was now prescribing vitamins (unfortunately cheap and nasty ones…)
· Another local specialist refused to give out recently (already reported upon) pathology results because they knew it was going to a “witch doctor”.
· The “friends of science” group are trying to shut down naturopathic studies in universities – wouldn’t you think that they would be encouraging it?
· Even if there is clear evidence that a person with a long term illness is starting to regain their health, the medico is often uninterested claiming it’s probably a coincidence – but keep on doing it anyway as it can’t be hurting you.
All the above is from a profession who is starting to consider the stomach as a residual organ and that taken it out is the best way to combat the current obesity epidemic which is set to cripple ALL public health purses by 2025……REALLY??
I can remember having an argument with an eminent cardiologist in 1982 as a student nurse – he performed many bypass operations and I was silly enough to open my mouth (in the operating theatre) about maybe perhaps diet played a part in heart disease -wasn’t I shot down in flames ( I still can’t believe that I had the courage to ever say anything – but I thought that I was being clever and that he would agree with me) “Don’t be so ridiculous nurse – how can diet have anything to do with what happens to the heart” ( I kid you not).
This same profession that vilifies for not having current research is the same one which:
· Prescribed mercury and bleeding (George Washington died from mercury poisoning prescribed by the most eminent physicians of the time)
· Have overprescribed antibiotics to such an extent that we now have superbugs and other illnesses related to denuded gut flora such as autoimmune diseases, multiple food intolerances and even obesity.
· Told us low fat was the only healthy way to eat – to all our detriment – we now know margarine is toxic (but still sold out there), sugar is poison (but still over-consumed) and that eggs are actually OK to eat every day – in fact they are one of nature’s super foods.
· Filled our teeth when we were young with mercury in amalgams- a known hazardous substance with NO safe level.
· Many pharmaceuticals are highly subsidised by the government (did you know that some new drugs cost thousands of dollars per script but our government pays for them?) Vitamins and herbs on the other hand incur GST.
On another note – nutrients, herbs and other natural agents should be given the respect they deserve as powerful healing agents and if I had my way, would not be accessible unless you had a script from a practitioner who has received extensive education into their prescribing (Not a weekend course)
So, I will leave it at that... One of the things learnt when I was completing my Masters of Health Science, is that you can pretty much prove anything with research and many of the studies which don’t go the way that researchers want it to will just never be published. (The second most valuable thing I learnt was that your house will not fall about your ears if you don’t get to clean it every week!)
So, I just want to commend my dear colleagues, those who dare to continue on despite vilification every way - onward and upward I say!
And let us continue our crusade into wellness for each and every living thing on this planet.
Alexandra ~ naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist~