Sunday, December 8, 2013

Too much nonsense in the world of natural health

This post is something of a rant - grammar may not be perfect. 

There is too much nonsense going on in the world of natural health. There is said it. You go online and in countless website and chat rooms people are talking about natural treatments for anything and everything. Some of this information is good. Some of it is not. Mostly it is a total mess.

Lets go over some problems

1 - Everyone is an expert. All it takes is a website for someone to become an expert. I've gotten such feedback myself, some person thousands of miles away sees my website and decides that I am somehow the expert on a given topic. Why? Because they like my website.

While I am a naturopathic doctor, and hope I have some degree of competency in what I do, I still acknowledge the fact that having a nice webpage on something doesn't make anyone "the expert."

I'm a naturopathic doctor, with additional training in areas such as homotoxicology, some applied kineseology, neuro-emotional technique. I hate sales games and sales tactics. So I try to make my website more about giving information rather than using psychological games to bring people in.

There is nothing on my website that is original and comes from me. I learned it all in naturopathic school, from colleagues, from seminars, from books. From actually being in the field as a student and practitioner for 9 years now.

So I hope I have some expertise and it means a lot to me when that allows me to help people. But I'm not "THE EXPERT."

But all over the Internet or self proclaimed "experts" with some special knowledge.

To be honest, many people in my field find "experts" such as Dr. Weil, or Dr. Oz annoying. While we certainly do recognize that they do help the field of natural health by bringing people into it, they also present a lot of very simple, watered down information. People in natural health can be saying something for decades, if not centuries, but suddenly it becomes valid because Dr. Oz says so.

One problem with such experts for the masses is, they dumb things down so far health philosophy gets thrown out the window. The art of treating the patient is replaced by some cure for a condition. There are too many supplements sold as amazing cure all products. I think this undermines what can truly be done in holistic medicine by throwing out the art and philosophy and replacing it with fad products.

Or we'll see something like GAPS - Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Someone discovered that there is relationship between digestive system health and mental symptoms, gave it a brand and is now an expert. I have nothing against this if it helps people, except for one problem - something was just branded as if it was a personal discovery, when it's been known in various healing traditions for thousands of years.

But this is just one example of the branding of redundant information in order to create an expert.

Fake experts don't just sell to the lay public. As a naturopathic doctor all the time I get sent invitations to seminars, webinars, personal training, to learn form some "expert." Some of whom truly have special information to share, and many don't. Generally speaking, I think the most expert practitioners are the ones working with patients, who learn how to observe, and employ gentle therapies at the individual.

In this field there are many "experts" who try to sell systems to practitioners. Instead of the natural health care practitioners being an experts into patient observation and targeted treatment, the practitioners is now an expert in Standard Process supplements, nor Metagenics supplements, or Designs for Health supplements, or [... fill in blank ... ] some other companies supplements. It's not that these are bad companies or have bad products (myself, I've used a lot of Designs for Health), but it's the whole model of selling a system to some practitioners so they can jump right in and treat people as the nutrition expert.

In conventional medicine pharmaceutical companies don't just sell to doctors, they have corrupted the philosophy of how practitioners think. I suspect the same is true in natural health. There is an art to selecting the correct treatment for the person, instead of selling them the kitchen-sink digestive system product.

2 - Cure all products

From 9 years experience in natural health, as far as I can tell, miracle cure all products do not exist. Everyone is different.

There is no miracle supplement that will make everyone who uses it loose weight, of be happy, or not be anxious, or given them energy (do I need to get started or miracle cure adrenal products).

3 - Allopathy

Allopathy is the idea that instead of treating the person, you fling all manner of agents  at the symptoms in order to suppress them. It is the philosophy of conventional medicine, but also of our culture. All over the world of natural health you'll see people selling the "holistic" product for various diseases. 

To use one simple example, if someone has a "holistic" treatment for Candida, it's not holistic. It's may be good general health advice (no sugar, no industrial waste garbage that is sold as "milk, etc...), or it may be a even a good supplement, but the moment you treat the disease instead of the person, it's not holistic.

Yes, good information is put out there, but I want attention to be on the individual, not the disease. Many treatments for Candida only go so far, then you either look deeper and work on the real problems, but that is just one example.

I could go on, but I think this rant should be enough for now

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