Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as "natural", "non-invasive", and as promoting "self-healing". The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and folk medicine, rather than evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic practitioners generally recommend against modern medical practices, including but not limited to medical testing, drugs, vaccinations, and surgery. Instead, naturopathic study and practice rely on unscientific notions, often leading naturopathic doctors to diagnoses and treatments that have no factual merit.
Naturopathic medicine is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and possibly harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to accusations from the medical community, such as the American Cancer Society, naturopaths and naturopathic doctors have repeatedly been accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery. Over the years, many practitioners of naturopathic medicine have been found criminally liable in the courts of law around the world. In some countries it is a criminal offense for naturopaths and naturopathic doctors to label themselves as medical professionals.
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