Here is a so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) that might be new to you – it certainly was to me: etiopathy. Founded in 1963 by the French Christian Trédaniel, etiopathy is a method of reasoning to determine the causes of a health problem and remove them acting on them. Etiopathy seems particularly popular in France, but is now slowly making inroads also elsewhere.
What is it?
This article explains it quite well:
Etiopathy is an alternative medicine which aims to treat everyday ailments without medication, using only manual techniques. Although it has been around for many years, the discipline is only just beginning to find its feet. It is a recognised health profession in several European countries, although there are not many practitioners.
The word etiopathy comes from the Greek word “aïtia”, which means “cause” and “pathos”, which means “suffering”. In short, etiopathy prioritises trying to find the cause for a pathology rather than getting rid of its symptoms.
The ethos of etiopathy is that the only way to prevent a problem from recurring is to treat it at the cause. According to this approach, if we don’t go back to the true source of the problem, patients run the risk of relapse.
The emphasis on diagnosis in etiopathy allows practitioners to treat the majority of common pathologies, thanks to an exclusively manual treatment approach, involving massage of particular points and thus avoiding medication and side effects. Obviously, an etiopath will immediately refer the patient on if they feel that the support of another health professional is required.
Etiopathy can be used to complement classic medical treatment, to help treat fairly benign problems such as:
- joint problems (sprains, strains, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, etc.)
- respiratory or ENT problems (asthma, colds, coughs, sinusitis, rhinitis, rhinopharyngitis, etc.)
- vertebral problems (neuralgia, torticollis, lumbago, chronic lower back pain, etc.)
- problems during pregnancy (nausea, vomiting, sciatica) and preparation for giving birth
- digestive problems (bloating, aerophagia, gastro-oesophageal reflux, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
- urinary problems (cystitis, prostate problems, incontinence, etc.)
- gynaecological problems (painful periods, infertility, menopause, organ prolapse, etc.)
- circulation problems (palpitations, tightness in the chest, heavy legs, Raynaud’s syndrome, etc.)
- general health problems (migraines, insomnia, anxiety, shingles, etc.)
The goal of etiopathy is to reduce the risk of developing chronic problems or to find a natural solution to avoid surgical intervention.
Big claims indeed!
But what about plausibility?
What about the evidence?
Conclusion: etiopathy is a SCAM like many others – plenty of hot air, fantasy and hype combined with an absence of science, evidence and data.