COMMENTARY

Naturopathic Medicine Is Indeed Legitimate, Effective, and Wanted

Peter B. Bongiorno, ND, Dipl Ac; Pina LoGiudice, ND, Dipl Ac

Disclosures

March 24, 2004

In response to "Naturopathy: A Critical Appraisal,"[1] it is clear from the numerous cited official supporters of licensed naturopathic medicine (such as the White House Commission, The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, WebMD, the IntelliHealth Harvard Medical School venture, etc.) and by the ongoing passage of legislation for naturopathic physicians, that naturopathic medicine is indeed legitimate, effective, and wanted.

As the author cites a lack of validity for naturopathic medicine, those in the medical community know that scientific literature may be interpreted in many ways to suit one's preconceptions, and that a majority of commonly used allopathic treatments (pharmaceutical and surgical techniques) are also not supported by rigorous long-term study, despite common perception. It is also clear from the history of medicine that many bona fide medical breakthroughs initially came under intense fire (the germ theory, vaccinations, the Helicobacter pylori/ulcer theory, homocysteine as a cardiac marker, osteopathic medicine, chiropractics, etc.), often by those who felt threatened.

It is unfortunate and retrogressive that the author is aligning himself with the parochially minded minority who has yet to realize the benefits of naturopathic medicine. The fact is that naturopathic medicine is here to stay, and along with it is an evolving integrative medicine model that includes the best of allopathic and naturopathic modalities. It is the author's choice to participate in a future that utilizes the best of all medical models for the finest patient care possible, or not.

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