As a result of intense lobbying, naturopaths have become licensed in several American states. Now, naturopathy is bullshit through and through, and being a licensed naturopath doesn’t come with any duties toward truth, efficacy or accountability. That, of course, has never been the point. Naturopaths’ goal of pushing for licensing is rather a matter of protecting their turf from other, competing woo peddlers, those who for instance haven’t attended the same pseudo-educational institutions as themselves.
In Arizona, licensed naturopathic doctors must have a degree from a naturopathic college – which is fancier and costlier than getting your diploma from a link in a spam email but about as deserving of trust when it comes to the safety and efficacy of the advice provided – but that gives them green light to administer intravenous nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and even to prescribe and administer some drugs. Accordingly, people like Carol Spooner, who is a licensed Arizona naturopath, can offer IV “nutrient bags” of vitamins and minerals for flu prevention – and because the nutrients go straight to the bloodstream the benefits are almost immediate, according Spooner. Of course, there are no benefits, but to the inattentive the procedure looks professional and, not the least, comes with the state of Arizona’s sign of approval. According to Spooner, however, “for anybody, regardless of whether they’ve had flu shots or not, these IV nutrients work very well.” The bags will cost you an impressive $100 to $200 apiece and will take up to an hour to administer – Spooner says that one bag carries a healthy person through the flu season while “others may need a few more” (note the escape hatch) – which is a pretty hefty price for something that does nothing at all for you.
Diagnosis: Just one example among many to remind you what kind of practitioners it is that wish to be licensed in all 50 states. It’s truly scary.