Saturday, December 15, 2007

Naturopathic Practice Changes in WA

Just spent the morning at a continuing education event for naturopaths in WA. Due to changes in our licensing law, naturopaths can now prescribe all legend drugs plus two controlled substances: codeine and testosterone. How do I feel about this change.

First, it's reassuring to have access to the "sledge hammers" if they're needed. Pharmaceutical medications are like sledge hammers: they overwhelmingly create the physical reality in the body that we choose to enforce. It's a good thing to have access to such extreme means when life is in the balance. What has happened, however, is that the sledge hammers are coming down hard on a lot of people, and they're not living to see tomorrow.

While there may be an emergency that requires quick forceful action from a drug -- the majority of health issues are far more chronic and have longer time lines in cases of acute health problems. Why use undue force to slam a body where I want it to go? What if I don't know enough -- which is true of nearly every health concern. Medical knowledge is changing nearly every 4 years. Does anyone really know enough EVER?

Naturopathic Medicine has held the following 6 principles up for over thirty years:
1. Do no harm.
2. Work in cooperation with nature.
3. Find the cause.
4. Heal the whole person with individualized care.
5. Doctor as teacher.
6. Insure prevention of illness is being worked toward.

None of these principles say anything about "throw drugs at all the problems." In fact, "do no harm" could be a challenge to every pharmaceutical company in business.

As I said, I am grateful to have them available in a pinch, but generally speaking, naturopaths do not need them... our principles and our natural cures are incredibly powerful and we would all do well to depend on them a little more.

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