Should you go to a Naturopath?

This ended up being shorter than originally envisioned. My answer is: No, unless a specific course of treatment has proven effective for someone whose judgement you really trust, is extremely low cost/risk, and is not replacing more widely accepted treatment.

What is a naturopath?

Broadly, anyone who defines themselves as one. 17 US states also have a licensing system, and there are a handful of schools that are accredited to teach it.

What’s worrisome?

These schools teach some things which I am willing to have an open mind about, like massage therapy and dietary advice, but it also teaches things which are widely discredited like homeopathy. Worse, they are linked to the anti-vaccine movement (more here). The schools and professional bodies have also reportedly behaved in ways that suggest less of a “Let’s rationally investigate and debate these alternative approaches which could have value” and more of a “Let’s squash the non-believers” mentality. I came in willing to give them benefit of the doubt about being honest, if sometimes credulous, truth-seekers. More details here.

One thought on “Should you go to a Naturopath?

  1. Steven Zhang says:

    Hm. not all the time. My ND does not do homeopathy and generally does western medicine + some nutrition.

    Even my acclaimed migraine MD said to me “I love my naturopath”.

    So not so black and white, but maybe in Boston, good NDs don’t exist?

    Checkout integrative medicine for a more “legit” form of ND, especially this person:

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