Homeopath to cease practicing

By Meg Olson

Annelle Norman will comply with a cease-and-desist order from the state and discontinue her homeopathic practice in Point Roberts, after a state investigation determined she was practicing without a license.

Kitty Slater-Einert with the state department of health’s board of naturopathy stated that the order was issued in March 2016, after a citizen’s complaint triggered an investigation into Norman’s practice of homeopathy.

Homeopathic medicine is the practice of natural medicine. It would appear that in order for Ms. Norman to practice homeopathic medicine in the state of Washington, she would be required to obtain a naturopathic physician’s license.

According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, “a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an medical doctor, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology and counseling.”

Norman holds a bachelor of science degree in Complementary Medicine and Homeopathy from University of Westminster in London.

The legal framework for practicing homeopathy in the United States without a medical license is murky. “There is no diploma or certificate from any school or program recognized as a license to practice homeopathy in the US,” according to the National Center for Homeopathy.

Homeopathic remedies have been recognized by the federal government since 1938, and most can be sold without a prescription. However, only seven states have specifically adopted legislation that allows unlicensed alternative health care practitioners such as homeopaths “… the freedom to practice as long as they give full disclosure of their training and background.” Washington isn’t one of those states.

According to Washington state law, someone is practicing medicine and needs a license if he or she “offers or undertakes to diagnose, cure, advise, or prescribe for any human disease, ailment, injury, infirmity, deformity, pain or other condition, physical or mental, real or imaginary, by any means or instrumentality,” which could presumably include a suggestion from a health food store employee.

However, Slater-Einert said they consider the practice of homeopathy something a naturopathic physician may perform and the cease and desist order was issued because Norman was offering the service without that licensing.

Investigations are generally complaint driven, and outcomes vary. Norman was the subject of a complaint in 2012 and the panel reviewing her case found that the “evidence did not support a violation.” Correspondence with investigators at that time indicated the state was still reviewing how to regulate the practice of homeopathy at that time. Norman believes her specialty has been put under the umbrella of a naturopathic physician’s practice.

In her practice, Norman stated in writing to clients that she was not a physician and was not licensed by the state. “I do not diagnose nor treat medical diseases nor does my advice replace treatment from your physician,” her waiver states. “Homeopathy is a practice whereby the natural healing power of the body is stimulated by extremely dilute non-toxic quantities of substances.”

The practice of homeopathy itself is seen by the National Institutes of Health as a bit dodgy. “There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition,” states the fact sheet for homeopathy on their website. “A number of the key concepts of homeopathy are not consistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.”

Norman said she was following legal advice that challenging department of health decisions rarely has a positive outcome. She will continue to serve clients in Colorado through her website, which Washington state does not regulate.

  1. spero latchis May 28, 2016, 6:19 am

    This is medical fascism in the name of “safety”. Let the woman alone, she is well trained and helping people who want her help. If they really cared about the safety of people, the government would ban the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, steroids and all other pharmaceuticals that are in fact one of the leading causes of death in America. The actual statistic is that correctly prescribed medications are the 4th leading cause of death in the US, Leave the benign homeopaths alone.!

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  2. You wrote: “Homeopathic medicine is the practice of natural medicine.” No, it is not!

    You really need to do a little homework before tackling subject matter that you know nothing about. Naturopathy is the practice of “natural” medicine – or so the “doctors” of natural medicine would have us believe. It’s a broad, unfocused melange of unproved, unprovable pseudoscientific nonsense (with a little bit of good advice thrown in – like don’t smoke, keep your weight down, get some exercise & don’t overdo the alcohol – all of which any science-based medical professional also tells us).

    For an excellent overview of what naturopathy is (or isn’t) see: . The author, Harriet Hall, M.D., has done her homework and understands her topic!

    Homeopathy is a very specific form of quackery, what Stephen Barrett, M.D., president of Quackwatch.com, calls “The Ultimate Fake.” See For a brief explanation of naturopathy see “Unnaturalistic Methods” . “naturopathy (natural healing, natural health, natural medicine, natural therapies, nature cure, naturology, naturopathic healing, naturopathic health care, naturo pathic medicine): Miscellany that encompasses auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture), Ayurveda, bioelectronic diagnosis, biofeedback, balneotherapy (e.g., mud baths), cupping, electroacupuncture, fasting, the Grape Cure (and other mono-diets), hair analysis, herbalism, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, in ternal hydrotherapy (e.g., colonic irrigation), iridology, Jin Shin Do, Jungian psychology, macrobiotics, moxibustion, Oriental medicine, Ortho-Bionomy, orthomolecular psychiatry, thalassotherapy (“therapeutic” use of seawater and sea air), Tuina, and zone therapy. Naturopathy originated in the latter half of the nineteenth century, in Germany. Dr. John H. Scheel, a German-born homeopath, coined the word “naturopathy” in 1895, when he opened the Sanitarium Badekur in New York. Vitalism is fundamental to naturopathy.”

    About 1/3 of naturopathic training consists of homeopathy but, as Dr. Hall tells us about naturopathy in general, “The whole concept is so ill-conceived and poorly defined that it cannot be grasped with a single definition. It is so nebulous that it allows its practitioners to believe and do almost anything…”

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    • I think you must be coming from the Dark Ages – it is the time of the health consumer being intelligent in what they hope to achieve and the modalities they hope to use for their well being that you insult us and Homeopaths without likely trying it as way of balancing yourself and healing yourself – anger and rage against things you are not familiar with is just a waste of your energy. Some skeptics in the UK and here in North America are being paid by pharmaceuticals and state they are scientists (but are mostly not valid and true enquiring scientists), so when I see replies like this I suspect right away there is some ulterior motive underlying what is being presented. Myself, I am a Homeopath in Canada (see further comment to this article) and can only say that I do what I do and see results that benefit people with all kinds of health concerns, including ones that have not responded to what you would consider to be good medicine…Homeopathy, for myself and my family and my clients is good, safe and effective medicine, remedies that are beautiful in the work that they do with human’s and animal’s own inner healing potential.

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  3. Ridiculous. Homeopathy, naturopathy it’s all quackery so who cares?

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  4. Sad day for yet another healer that uses energy medicine (that is quantum physics) in form of Homeopathic remedies that are diluted and potencized by pharmacies that adhere to international standards which are stringent/safe. I practice in Canada in our one province that is regulated by government, but what I find is those that believe and those also that get positive outcomes for their health concerns are really who I work with and although I am licensed it matters most that I can continue in healing those that suffer from diseases mentally, emotionally and physically often due to the angry/fearful mindset of our culture that punishes those that attempt to think outside of the box.

    Reply

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