“Leeches and herb” (Naturopathy)


I get frequent headaches, which Excedrin takes care of, but I wouldn’t mind zapping them for good. Doing so would make my life less annoying and save me some money. So I headed to my neighborhood naturopath to see what he could tell me, again planning to get as much as I could without paying.

I strolled to the receptionist’s desk and asked the bespectacled woman with sandy-colored hair how it works.

“We would start with a urine and saliva sample and then the doctor would analyze it and design a program for you.”

“Oh, he’s a doctor?”

“He’s a doctor of chiropractic and a doctor of naturopathy.” Translation: No.

“What is the program?”

“It’s working with vitamins, herbs, and minerals for overall health, and using supplements to balance the body and make your body feel good. We would start with a bio-synchronization assessment, and after the samples come back, we would determine what is causing the imbalance. You would start a herb and vitamin regimen, as well as avoid every activity, situation, or substance that interferes with total wellbeing. We would also work to remove any interference that may have already accumulated.”

That ramble lasted long enough that by the time she was done, the naturopath had shown up. Now we’re getting somewhere. Where that might be, I have no idea.

We exchanged greetings and I asked him if he could explain how his field worked.

“We’ve had all these tools in the past,” he said. Might as well get the appeal to antiquity out of the way early.

“We’ve only had medicine as we know it for the last 150 or 200 years.” Which coincides with a tripling of the average life span in developed countries.

“God has always provide food, rest, water, and cognition, but we must use them according to the original intent of the creator.” If you’re going to appeal to antiquity, you may as well go all the way.

We were briefly interrupted by an agitated preschooler who couldn’t get a door open. Must not have taken his vitamins that morning. With this obstacle overcome, it was back to my consultation.

“I get headaches all the time. Excedrin takes care of it, but I’d like something more permanent.”

“Our strategy is to get rid of interference. Interference can be anything that would keep you from expressing wellness. It could be a pollutant, it could be negative emotions, it could come from electronic signals, it could come from eating the wrong food.”

Or disease could come from pathogens, and illnesses from viruses, bacteria, and parasites. But if I had wanted the Scientific Method and medicine, I wouldn’t be talking with a man who praises the era of leeches and trepanation.

“You’re having frequent headaches. If there’s a physical symptom that won’t go away, I usually find that people in these situations haven’t experienced a deep passion or excitement about life for a while. Persistent illnesses usually have an emotional undercurrent.”

So Parkinson’s isn’t caused by the central nervous system deteriorating, it’s from not being enthused about Bingo Night. And if I can get excited enough about knowing what causes my headaches, they will go away.

“Everything has an analog. Air’s is enthusiasm, water’s is serenity, food’s is peace. Er, I mean food’s is joy, and rest’s is peace.” Oh, almost mixed his element-emotion connections there. Must be having memory trouble, which I deduce stems from a lack of companionship.

I’m getting the gist of this. When we get sick, it’s because our serenity, peace, and joy is jolted, so we need to pop vitamins and ingest herbs. This was seeming so easy, but then the naturopath cautioned there would be preliminary steps to my noggin-fixin’.

“The healing is always present within the individual, awaiting only the removal of interference. To get there, we must assess, strategize, and employ the proper tools. Then nature takes over.” He’s misunderstanding what nature is if he thinks it requires strategizing and tool employment.

To kick start this repair, he stresses the importance of “air, water, food, rest, movement, and cognition.” This is the most I’ve ever agreed with an alternative medicine practitioner. He highlights oxygen, food, water, and sleep, the four items we would die without. Then he throws in exercise and increased mental agility, both beneficial.

But then he added, “These are the only tools one needs as long as they are employed according to the original and primary intent of the creator.” Never fear, these primary intents are sold here. He also suggested monthly cleanses and their accompanying monthly naturopathy bills.

He then returns for a brief visit to Scientifically Literate Land, noting the filtering abilities of the intestines, liver, spleen, and kidneys. “These filters have a natural ability and tendency to self-clean and maintain themselves.” Precisely, which means there is no reason for these organs and the person who houses them to be at a naturopath.

He quickly transitions from the scientific to the pseudoscientific: “Nutrient-poor foods, synthetic additives, GMOs, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and pollution overwork our filters.”

If your liver and kidneys were being overworked, you’d know it, as would your emergency room physician. With regard to his specific claims: If unhealthy foods introduce a toxin to the body, the body will eject it, as he had correctly noted 15 seconds prior; Nothing is inherently dangerous about synthetic chemicals. It depends on which ones and in what amount; GMOs are positive, as the reason they are modified is to transfer benefits that do not occur naturally; Pesticides in the right dosage are likewise beneficial, protecting the crop. Pollution is unfortunate, but smog is not screwing with your kidneys’ ability to function.

The naturopath recommends using herbs and vitamins to cleanse the bowels, liver, spleen, and kidneys. “These are not flushes,” he said, which is good. There is a reason the guck is in there and it will be leaving the body soon enough. An attempted cleansing through vitamins and herbs will be neither good nor bad, nor will it do any cleansing. The body will clean itself and it neither needs help with this, nor will it accept it.

Besides, why not just take a multi-vitamin each day and achieve optimum health that way?

“Everyone is different,” he replied. “The key is finding a system for the individual to consciously participate in.” I’m unsure how one would unconsciously participate in this. Maybe by having organic, gluten-free, soy cranberry juice slipped into their Cap’n Crunch.

Next, the naturopath again recommends water, sleep, exercise, a balanced diet, and limited use of sugars and alcohol, all of which will leave you feeling peachy without his wonder vitamin regimen.

Still, he assures me, “These cleanses are part of the strategy of bio-synchronization assessment. It is the long-term benefit of cleansing conducted quarterly for years that pays health benefits for life.” And which keep the naturopath being paid for the same duration.

He stressed the need for an experienced teacher, which would be best complemented by a patient who is unaware of the Scientific Method, double blind studies, and anatomy.

Working as a team, the practitioner and patient can meet their goal, but both must be committed. “Each system can be only as strong as its best teachers and most dedicated students. Intelligence, attitude, and action determine results.” But a person reluctantly dragged into hernia surgery will have the condition fixed if the doctors are component and the body cooperates. A surly attitude won’t be deleterious to the surgery, nor will a cheery one help it.

I’ve seen much worse pretend doctors. He stressed that he was not in competition with mainstream medicine, and he’s pushing herbs and vitamins that might have tiny value and probably cause no harm if taken in the right dose. But it is a mistaken idea that Vitamin K will fix a backache, which is the result of a clogged spleen, which is the consequence of picnicking on a genetically-modified papaya near a polluted river.

He closed by telling me, “Using the lab analysis and bio-synchronization assessment, you will be able to determine your starting point for the avoidance, reduction, and removal of unwanted conditions.”

I didn’t need a lab analysis or bio-synchronization assessment to manage the avoidance, reduction, and removal of unwanted conditions. I did all that by not going back.

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