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hippieMD

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Hi this is my first post on SDN so bear with me :)

My intention for coming here is to build a list of medical schools in America or Canada that offer more in terms of holistic, integrative, and functional medicine training. Please contribute with more schools you may know of and your personal experience in one of these programs (and keep any close-minded beliefs with yourself).

What I have found so far includes:
  • University of Arizona- Tucson (GOLD STANDARD)
    • Integrative Medicine Distinction Track
      • Includes grand rounds, 60 hours of interactive online modules, didactic special topics sessions, patient conferences, a one month clinical rotation, and the Healer’s Art program.
    • Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine
      • Includes a secondary residency program, a fellowship, and extensive/diverse training programs

  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
    • NADA acupuncture protocol training
      • Sadly limited to a short course with high demand that focuses on only one acupuncture method, but this may potentially expand in the future.

  • Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NOVA)
    • DO/Graduate Certificate in Functional Nutrition and Herbal Therapy - four classes to complete on top of the DO program
      • NUT 5075 Advanced Practice Principles of Functional Nutrition - Offered fully online
        NUT 5305 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 1: Gastrointestinal Systems
        NUT 5315 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 2: Endocrine, Immune and Nervous Systems
        NUT 5325 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 3: Cardiovascular and Musculoskeletal Systems
      • "The program's innovative courses... highlight: functionality of body systems, etiology of diseases, toxic reactions of herbs, interactions with medications, herbal therapy for special populations, dietary approaches to imbalances in the body, and the roles of health care professionals in educating patients on using herbal supplements safely "

  • UCLA Medical School
    • 7 Week "Selective" Courses for M1 and M2
      • The Healer's Art
      • Integrative East-West Medicine
      • Sugar, Stress, Sex, and Society: The Determinants of Children's Health
    • UCLA Health- Integrative Medicine Center
      • Includes 31 different Integrative Medicine Programs

I know there must be more out there but it has taken considerable time to research just this much, and med schools don't always have the most navigable websites lol.

Other interesting contributions could include knowledge on any programs that allow you to quickly pick up an ND or degree in TCM after already having an MD or DO.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep expanding this list. With more and more research popping up each day validating the various fields of "alternative" medicine, I believe its about time it became a standard topic in all medical curriculum's.

Thanks
- hippieMD
 

Moko

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Hi this is my first post on SDN so bear with me :)

My intention for coming here is to build a list of medical schools in America or Canada that offer more in terms of holistic, integrative, and functional medicine training. Please contribute with more schools you may know of and your personal experience in one of these programs (and keep any close-minded beliefs with yourself).

What I have found so far includes:
  • University of Arizona- Tucson (GOLD STANDARD)
    • Integrative Medicine Distinction Track
      • Includes grand rounds, 60 hours of interactive online modules, didactic special topics sessions, patient conferences, a one month clinical rotation, and the Healer’s Art program.
    • Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine
      • Includes a secondary residency program, a fellowship, and extensive/diverse training programs

  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
    • NADA acupuncture protocol training
      • Sadly limited to a short course with high demand that focuses on only one acupuncture method, but this may potentially expand in the future.

  • Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NOVA)
    • DO/Graduate Certificate in Functional Nutrition and Herbal Therapy - four classes to complete on top of the DO program
      • NUT 5075 Advanced Practice Principles of Functional Nutrition - Offered fully online
        NUT 5305 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 1: Gastrointestinal Systems
        NUT 5315 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 2: Endocrine, Immune and Nervous Systems
        NUT 5325 Clinical Approach to Functional Nutrition 3: Cardiovascular and Musculoskeletal Systems
      • "The program's innovative courses... highlight: functionality of body systems, etiology of diseases, toxic reactions of herbs, interactions with medications, herbal therapy for special populations, dietary approaches to imbalances in the body, and the roles of health care professionals in educating patients on using herbal supplements safely "

  • UCLA Medical School
    • 7 Week "Selective" Courses for M1 and M2
      • The Healer's Art
      • Integrative East-West Medicine
      • Sugar, Stress, Sex, and Society: The Determinants of Children's Health
    • UCLA Health- Integrative Medicine Center
      • Includes 31 different Integrative Medicine Programs

I know there must be more out there but it has taken considerable time to research just this much, and med schools don't always have the most navigable websites lol.

Other interesting contributions could include knowledge on any programs that allow you to quickly pick up an ND or degree in TCM after already having an MD or DO.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep expanding this list. With more and more research popping up each day validating the various fields of "alternative" medicine, I believe its about time it became a standard topic in all medical curriculum's.

Thanks
- hippieMD
I've got nothing to add with regards to specific programs, but naturopathic "medicine" is simply not compatible with allopathic/osteopathic medicine. I would be caught dead before having the letters ND behind my name, even if it was given freely without needing any additional work on my part.

With regards to learning about naturopathic medicine (what it is and the evidence or lack thereof behind many of its practices), I suspect that most--if not all--schools will have something in its curriculum to address this. If not, you can always choose to pursue an away elective during the summer between M1-M2, the clinical years, residency, and/or beyond as part of CME. I will also mention that medical schools also practice holistic medicine, though one can argue that the current model doesn't focus enough on prevention and is too symptom-driven. Just my thoughts.
 
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hippieMD

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There's actually a very successful father-son primary care practice in my area where the father is an ND/MD and the son is DO.

I like the idea of being able to give my patient their insulin, but at the same time, the herbs and vitamins to strengthen their immune system, and acupuncture for their migraines.

If you develop a strong understanding of both systems of medicine I believe they can be intelligently combined so the patient has to use less pharmaceuticals, has to get less operations, and can actually heal from their predicaments.
  • Yet I would agree, naturopathy does have its faults. Homeopathy and some of its other key therapies are as outrageous as senior patients simultaneously being on sleeping, anxiety, pain, blood pressure, and antidepressant pills. Nevertheless, I wouldn't put either system beneath me.
But can you elaborate on this, "I will also mention that medical schools also practice holistic medicine, though one can argue that the current model doesn't focus enough on prevention and is too symptom-driven. Just my thoughts"
 
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Moko

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There's actually a very successful father-son primary care practice in my area where the father is an ND/MD and the son is DO.

I like the idea of being able to give my patient their insulin, but at the same time, the herbs and vitamins to strengthen their immune system, and acupuncture for their migraines.

If you develop a strong understanding of both systems of medicine I believe they can be intelligently combined so the patient has to use less pharmaceuticals, has to get less operations, and can actually heal from their predicaments.
  • Yet I would agree, naturopathy does have its faults. Homeopathy and some of its other key therapies are as outrageous as senior patients simultaneously being on sleeping, anxiety, pain, blood pressure, and antidepressant pills. Nevertheless, I wouldn't put either system beneath me.
But can you elaborate on this, "I will also mention that medical schools also practice holistic medicine, though one can argue that the current model doesn't focus enough on prevention and is too symptom-driven. Just my thoughts"
A couple points:
- I would not use financial success and/or patient satisfaction as a measurement of whether good medicine is being practiced (though certainly having a good rapport with patients is part of practicing good medicine). Many people peddle in sham therapies and are quite financially successful in that endeavor. There are many doctors in the community who are loved by their patients but practice very questionable medicine (long-term benzo monotherapy for anxiety without trialing SSRIs, escalating doses of opioids for chronic pain without trialing or concomitantly using multimodal pharmacologic and non pharmacologic interventions, etc.
- Advising others to make dietary changes to improve one's nutrition is appropriate and not unique to any particular modality. For example, from a prevention standpoint, many of the herbs and spices recommended in ayurvedic medicine is likely beneficial or at least nonharmful in moderation for the human body. Ditto for meditation (for anxiety) and other modalities such as Chinese herbal medicine, where many components of the latter are essentially a medley of plants and animals.
- As practitioners of Western medicine, we also advise patients to make common sense dietary changes, eg eating more fiber to help prevent constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and colon cancer; eating less salt, saturated fats, and artificial sugars to help combat hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, etc. Good medicine encompasses both prescription of medications (when appropriate) in addition to these non-pharmaceutical interventions. Unfortunately, many allopathic/osteopathic doctors do not emphasize the latter multimodal approach sufficiently as often times it's easier and less time consuming to simply throw a pill at the problem.
- We constantly evaluate other modalities to see what's effective and can be integrated into our model of medicine. As an example, many palliative care consultants have recommended the use of ginger to help with nausea (as an adjunct to the usual pharmacologic agents) in patients we were comanaging. There is some low quality evidence for the use of acupuncture, though its benefit is not consistent in the literature, hence the ongoing research on this topic. We critically evaluate our interventions prior to recommending them in the guidelines/mainstream medicine, and this is one important difference between MD/DOs and NDs. We also constantly reevaluate current practices to ensure, as best as we can, that they remain safe and efficacious.
- While I agree that polypharmacy is a very real problem in our elderly population (an example of shoddy medicine), to equate the use of antihypertensives, antidepressants, etc when clinically appropriate, as being "as outrageous" as homeopathy is a false equivalence. There is actually evidence for the use of the former.
- Unfortunately in this day and age, all it takes is one quackjob MD/DO/MBBS to appear on TV to give credibility to these non-proven and possibly dangerous modalities. Think Wakefield, pseudoexperts/TV personalities, and their persistent effect on the current 'antivax' movement, despite Wakefield's research having been widely discredited and there having been countless publications since then consistently showing the efficacy and safety of vaccines. The antivax movement is still not going away. Part of our job in admissions is to select for people who we believe can positively impact society. Because of this, I personally would not hesitate to recommend rejection for any applicant who wanted to promote or equate non-proven naturopathic modalities with our current model of medicine. Wanting to perform rigorous evidence-based research on naturopathic modalities is fine though. Just my thoughts.
 
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Kardio

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@hippieMD There is an expression thrown around here every time the topic of alternative medicine arises: “If it works, it’s just medicine.”
 
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hippieMD

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ND's are frauds. No 2 ways about that.

Yes this is a common circle jerk and I'm sure this whole forum would love to bash naturopaths all day, but this thread is about programs for prospective MD/DOs to learn about natural medicine.

@hippieMD There is an expression thrown around here every time the topic of alternative medicine arises: “If it works, it’s just medicine.”

Kardio I do agree with what you are saying but there are still biases at play when discussing treatments and sometimes viable options are left out or not even considered.

Especially when insurance companies, expensive surgeries, lack of training in holistic treatments, and pharmaceutical companies are all factors that are thrown into the equation.
 

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Yes this is a common circle jerk and I'm sure this whole forum would love to bash naturopaths all day, but this thread is about programs for prospective MD/DOs to learn about natural medicine.

Probably the same youtube channel that has that anti-vaxx info.
 
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Kardio

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Kardio I do agree with what you are saying but there are still biases at play when discussing treatments and sometimes viable options are left out or not even considered.

Especially when insurance companies, expensive surgeries, lack of training in holistic treatments, and pharmaceutical companies are all factors that are thrown into the equation.
I like the idea of being able to give my patient their insulin, but at the same time, the herbs and vitamins to strengthen their immune system, and acupuncture for their migraines.

I do respect what you are saying about viable options left out of the table. However, I think you should consider that there are plenty of dubious characters looking to get rich off of herbs and vitamins.

If you’re really looking to dive deep, look up “IV turmeric.”
 
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TwoHighways

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Oh boy, not again. I’ve already said a mouthful on this subject. Something I think most of us can agree on is that prevention is underemphasized and that good living is often the best medicine of all. The sad part about that last statement is that there are so many misconceptions about what constitutes “good living“.
 
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JanetSnakehole

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Yes this is a common circle jerk and I'm sure this whole forum would love to bash naturopaths all day, but this thread is about programs for prospective MD/DOs to learn about natural medicine.

You join SDN less than 24 hours ago, asking us to give you newcomer leeway in your first post, yet you almost instantly start calling us out for "circle jerking" and "bashing" when we discuss naturopathy? What on earth is that all about?

If you want to be a naturopath, go to ND school. If you want happiness and sunshine about naturopathy, go post on naturopathy forums. But if you want to practice evidence-based medicine and talk about what it takes to get there, post on SDN and then go to medical school. It doesn't seem that hard.
 
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hippieMD

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I do respect what you are saying about viable options left out of the table. However, I think you should consider that there are plenty of dubious characters looking to get rich off of herbs and vitamins.

If you’re really looking to dive deep, look up “IV turmeric.”

I have considered it and you will see people like that in every field. Just as there are plenty of dubious characters pushing procedures and pharmaceuticals or dentists ready to drill a perfectly healthy tooth. It still doesn't discredit the treatments that actually work. To name a few you can easily look further into:
  • Healthy sun exposure and serum Vitamin D levels can help prevent influenza and other illnesses
  • A wide diversity of mushrooms strengthen the immune system, sharpen the memory, and have compounds capable of promoting neurogenesis.
  • Neem may be able to lower blood sugar
  • Omega-3's decrease systemic inflammation and improve cognition
While it is possible to get rich promoting a supplement brand, or to be like Alex Jones and claim your iodine is "nascent" so it is better than all the others. Many people see past this and go with what they can wild craft, incorporate into their diet with whole foods, or go with the supplement they can get for the best value.
 

hippieMD

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A couple points:
- I would not use financial success and/or patient satisfaction as a measurement of whether good medicine is being practiced (though certainly having a good rapport with patients is part of practicing good medicine). Many people peddle in sham therapies and are quite financially successful in that endeavor. There are many doctors in the community who are loved by their patients but practice very questionable medicine (long-term benzo monotherapy for anxiety without trialing SSRIs, escalating doses of opioids for chronic pain without trialing or concomitantly using multimodal pharmacologic and non pharmacologic interventions, etc.
- Advising others to make dietary changes to improve one's nutrition is appropriate and not unique to any particular modality. For example, from a prevention standpoint, many of the herbs and spices recommended in ayurvedic medicine is likely beneficial or at least nonharmful in moderation for the human body. Ditto for meditation (for anxiety) and other modalities such as Chinese herbal medicine, where many components of the latter are essentially a medley of plants and animals.
- As practitioners of Western medicine, we also advise patients to make common sense dietary changes, eg eating more fiber to help prevent constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and colon cancer; eating less salt, saturated fats, and artificial sugars to help combat hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, etc. Good medicine encompasses both prescription of medications (when appropriate) in addition to these non-pharmaceutical interventions. Unfortunately, many allopathic/osteopathic doctors do not emphasize the latter multimodal approach sufficiently as often times it's easier and less time consuming to simply throw a pill at the problem.
- We constantly evaluate other modalities to see what's effective and can be integrated into our model of medicine. As an example, many palliative care consultants have recommended the use of ginger to help with nausea (as an adjunct to the usual pharmacologic agents) in patients we were comanaging. There is some low quality evidence for the use of acupuncture, though its benefit is not consistent in the literature, hence the ongoing research on this topic. We critically evaluate our interventions prior to recommending them in the guidelines/mainstream medicine, and this is one important difference between MD/DOs and NDs. We also constantly reevaluate current practices to ensure, as best as we can, that they remain safe and efficacious.
- While I agree that polypharmacy is a very real problem in our elderly population (an example of shoddy medicine), to equate the use of antihypertensives, antidepressants, etc when clinically appropriate, as being "as outrageous" as homeopathy is a false equivalence. There is actually evidence for the use of the former.
- Unfortunately in this day and age, all it takes is one quackjob MD/DO/MBBS to appear on TV to give credibility to these non-proven and possibly dangerous modalities. Think Wakefield, pseudoexperts/TV personalities, and their persistent effect on the current 'antivax' movement, despite Wakefield's research having been widely discredited and there having been countless publications since then consistently showing the efficacy and safety of vaccines. The antivax movement is still not going away. Part of our job in admissions is to select for people who we believe can positively impact society. Because of this, I personally would not hesitate to recommend rejection for any applicant who wanted to promote or equate non-proven naturopathic modalities with our current model of medicine. Wanting to perform rigorous evidence-based research on naturopathic modalities is fine though. Just my thoughts.

I appreciate your balanced response
 
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There's actually a very successful father-son primary care practice in my area where the father is an ND/MD and the son is DO.

I like the idea of being able to give my patient their insulin, but at the same time, the herbs and vitamins to strengthen their immune system, and acupuncture for their migraines.

If you develop a strong understanding of both systems of medicine I believe they can be intelligently combined so the patient has to use less pharmaceuticals, has to get less operations, and can actually heal from their predicaments.
  • Yet I would agree, naturopathy does have its faults. Homeopathy and some of its other key therapies are as outrageous as senior patients simultaneously being on sleeping, anxiety, pain, blood pressure, and antidepressant pills. Nevertheless, I wouldn't put either system beneath me.
But can you elaborate on this, "I will also mention that medical schools also practice holistic medicine, though one can argue that the current model doesn't focus enough on prevention and is too symptom-driven. Just my thoughts"
I can't sugar coat this, I suggest that you take some coursework in the scientific method, reason, logic, skepticism and rationality, because holistic medicine does NOT mean "unproven or quack medicine". Medicine either works, or it doesn't. I've sat in enough of my colleagues' immunology and med micro lectures to know that herbs do not boost the immune system.

A quick look at Pubmed for acupuncture for migraines shows very little to make the basis that it's an effective technique.

The failings of modern medicine are not a proof of the efficacy of quack treatments and pseudoscience.

I can see that you have already made up your mind, and it's hard for us to have a reasoned discussion with people who are on a Mission from God.
 
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hippieMD

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You join SDN less than 24 hours ago, asking us to give you newcomer leeway in your first post, yet you almost instantly start calling us out for "circle jerking" and "bashing" when we discuss naturopathy? What on earth is that all about?

If you want to be a naturopath, go to ND school. If you want happiness and sunshine about naturopathy, go post on naturopathy forums. But if you want to practice evidence-based medicine and talk about what it takes to get there, post on SDN and then go to medical school. It doesn't seem that hard.

The purpose of this post is to discuss evidence-based MD/DO programs that teach or offer electives about functional, holistic, and/or integrative medicine. My primary goal is to practice evidence-based medicine. As stated in an earlier comment, I don't consider myself above learning from any field and would gladly take follow up training from a naturopath with an open mind to determine for myself what I would consider viable and scientific to provide for my patients.

If you don't have anything positive, along those lines to contribute then why bother? If you don't believe that anything considered "alternative" is viable then I myself feel bad for you, and believe there are quiet a few researchers you should look into.
  • Helene Langevin
  • Roland Griffiths
  • Matthew Johnson
  • Rhonda Patrick
There's a reason why Harvard, Duke, UCLA, UofA, Mayo Clinic, and other big names are opening up facilities for "alternative" forms of medicine ;)
 

hippieMD

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Looks like Rhonda Patrick got a PhD and now sells protein shakes to gullible people

If you meant publish 12 academic articles, work at St. Judes, the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, offer free/premium genetic reports, and interview renowned scientists then you'd be right.

She does have a free video on making smoothies on YouTube. Maybe I should give it a try ;)

I can't sugar coat this, I suggest that you take some coursework in the scientific method, reason, logic, skepticism and rationality, because holistic medicine does NOT mean "unproven or quack medicine". Medicine either works, or it doesn't. I've sat in enough of my colleagues' immunology and med micro lectures to know that herbs do not boost the immune system.

A quick look at Pubmed for acupuncture for migraines shows very little to make the basis that it's an effective technique.

The failings of modern medicine are not a proof of the efficacy of quack treatments and pseudoscience.

I can see that you have already made up your mind, and it's hard for us to have a reasoned discussion with people who are on a Mission from God.


Several people in my life have gotten immense benefit for their migraines. Currently there is some preliminary research that looks pretty good. Acupuncture also has the benefit of being very low risk. I'd definetly say there is the need for a larger medical study. If I had my degree already I'd love to be the one to make the big link.
 

JanetSnakehole

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If you don't have anything positive, along those lines to contribute then why bother? If you don't believe that anything considered "alternative" is viable then I myself feel bad for you, and believe there are quiet a few researchers you should look into.

Nobody in this forum is here for naturopathic pseudoscience. It's surprising to me that you somehow have different expectations of this community.

Everybody in this forum already knows that "naturopathic approaches" (e.g., diet, exercise, movement, stress-relief) are just common sense/medically justified approaches to patient health and wellness.

And you know what's really funny, the only people in my life that have ever told me they "feel bad for me" when I disagree with them are the people trying to sell me on some scam that I'm not buying. I don't ever get this kind of pushback in any other context. Feels pretty gross and manipulative, tbh.

So, again, I'm not entirely sure why you're asking questions about non-medicine topics here or what you expect out of this community. If you want to continue this discussion in good faith, please feel free to respond.
 
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Sephirakra

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If you meant publish 12 academic articles, work at St. Judes, the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, offer free/premium genetic reports, and interview renowned scientists then you'd be right.

She does have a free video on making smoothies on YouTube. Maybe I should give it a try ;)




Several people in my life have gotten immense benefit for their migraines. Currently there is some preliminary research that looks pretty good. Acupuncture also has the benefit of being very low risk. I'd definetly say there is the need for a larger medical study. If I had my degree already I'd love to be the one to make the big link.
That second review literally hasn't been completed and has no results.
 
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DocWinter

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Just go to ND school. You already know what you want and what you believe. You’ll put a square peg in round hole for all of med school and residency if you try and force it.

Naturopathic medicine is no different than the meatless burger. Someone will always be there to say it’s better, it’s healthier, it’s just so great! But deep in their heart they want that real steak, yes they do
 
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Ultimax

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I was born and raised in Viet Nam, where oriental herbs and health-boosting recipes are commonly used. However, the country has adopted a much more modern approach to medicine. Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and herbs do work, and they work great for musculoskeletal pain, common cold, and so forth. However, at the end of day, in order for it to relieve pain, I am sure natural herbs must somehow interfere with prostaglandin or pain pathways. I do see many Vietnamese using natural herbs to deal with common cold, upper respiratory infection, musculoskeletal pain, and so forth. For instance, we apply green oil to the back and use ‘coining’ to rub the back to the point of leaving marks on the skin. It can be mistaken as abuse. I do that all the time when I feel under the weather, and I feel great afterward. However, it should be noted that the original indication for doing so is to restore balance and to get rid of the ‘bad wind’ that penetrates your body. The health belief is completely not based on modern evidence, but it works, just need more research to determine its effect on the body.
We use ‘xong hoi’, which is like spa, but we select herbs that have been found to relieve congestion, reduce inflammation, and so forth. You boil the herbs in a large water bucket, then cover yourself and the bucket with a blanket to let the steam hits your face. I am sure that herbs work as similar to medications, it must interfere with biochemical pathways of our body. The problem is nowadays it is coupled with the word ‘ natural’ as a way to promote the sales of the products. The sales companies take advantage of our distrust and hatred of pharmaceutical companies to promote their brands.
Alternative medicine works only in certain cases, but it cannot replace modern medicine based on scientific knowledge. In Viet Nam, when patients with terminal cancer were discharged from home, they had no other choices than to go to alternative medicine as their last resort. Patients still died afterward. Unfortunately, palliative care is still underdeveloped in the country.
There are lack of evidence that natural herbs are superior than placebo. Research in Viet Nam is lacking as well, and there is no treatment protocol at all. Every alternative medicine practitioner has way different approaches to treating common cold. They use different herbs, but they cannot explain the effects of the herbs on the body. Would I feel better eventually without using ‘xong hoi’, a type of treatment that I mentioned above? I bet I will, because my immune system will do that job. But at least ‘xong hoi’ works like spa treatment, it helps me find relief, albeit not for long. I feel the same way when taking Vanacof, but I guess heat therapy associated with ‘xong hoi’ does add the extra benefit.
 
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So I didn't see anything said about "naturopathic" medicine in the original post. But you keep throwing around the term "holistic." That primarily comes from
  1. DO school using an old tactic to make MDs look like pill pushers. And how "DO physicians look at the WHOLE patient." Which is crap
  2. An alternative to modern medicine peddled by privileged people who can afford buying expensive "treatments." It's used to, once again, make western doctors look like they're just pushing pills and churning patients out.
I'm not saying there aren't doctors like that, but the term "holistic" is a loaded term that makes scientifically literate people laugh.

Can you tell me what you specifically mean by the term "holistic"? Medical school, either MD or DO, will teach you about how everything is integrated in the human body in respect to disease. You look at how, for example, T2D affects the kidneys, your extremities, nerves, and so on. A lot of education is about pharmaceuticals, but there are plenty of medical schools that have electives like medical nutrition (my school.)
 
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