So you’ve all seen the interviews and read about Pete Evan’s paleo plate and activated almonds. No doubt you have some very strong opinions about his thoughts on fluoride, bone broth or advocating the dumping of sunscreen, so I’m here to tell you what I think as someone who suffered poor health and was bombarded with everyone’s opinions and well-meaning advice.
By now, you all know, last year I got sick and it was the pits. I even saw some of you in person, and no doubt we discussed it at length since it was the only thing going on in my little world. Some well-meaning friends suggested natural therapies and alternative medicines. The doctors prescribed drugs and more tests, and I can now definitively tell you that both science and alternative therapies are full of shit. Yep, in my own experience, both have their merit and both are full of shit.
First, the medical system: sure, it’s calculated, quantified, measured and for the better part, it works. But what about when it doesn’t? For the greater part of my sickness, my symptoms were blurry, making it hard for the doctors to diagnose me. That, and the system is a pain in the arse. Having to wait for the test results and specialists was actually a part of the problem, and added to my illness. Was this ideal? No fucking way, but it’s a part of the necessary evil. Sometimes, you need to work with the system, instead of railing against it. Sure, I’d love to try medical marijuana and say I was cured overnight, but the likelihood of that is slim to none. The biggest downfall of medicine it also it’s biggest positive. That paradoxical quantitative data, whereby you test and weigh up results against other results and make a measured decision. When the results don’t add up, it can be really frustrating, and I can completely see the lure for alternative therapies. In sheer desperation, googling on the internet for your closest reiki master* can seem like a really good option.
Now that I’ve explained how bad science is, let me tell you how shit natural therapies are. First, there’s the problem with how these ‘natural therapies’ are passed around. From online chat rooms, to wives tales, to your next door neighbor telling you all about the chem trails, the source of alternative medicines is a major problem. What worked for them, will not necessarily work for you. And, by passing down secondary sources, you cannot under-estimate the difficulties associated with getting it wrong. Not to mention the sheer bogus rubbish people try and pass off as real. Or the stories of how they cured their cancer by prayer/eating raw carrots. If it sounds farcical, it probably is. And then there is the marvelous internet. My doctor of all people suggested a few different sites focused on natural remedies for gallbladder issues, and let me tell you how led down the garden path I was. For two weeks, I ate nothing but beetroot, lemon juice, and rice crackers. It did fuck all BTW. Sweet fuck all, because if you have sludge and stones in your gall bladder, a few meals of beetroot isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need more than a natural remedy when there is something quantifiably wrong with you.
What do I advocate? A healthy smattering of both approaches. I’m currently on medication for heartburn, anxiety, and contraception. I’m also taking natural supplements for my heartburn and anxiety, alongside diet and lifestyle changes. There is no one magic bullet or cure which will make you feel better instantly. Although, if you have a shitty gallbladder, then get it removed, you’ll probably feel a darn sight better, even if you have anxiety triggered indigestion. So next time Mr. Paleo Pete recommends his activated almonds to cure anxiety, give it a bash, but don’t be surprised when you’re panicking over how many almonds to activate. Maybe, just maybe, try science AND natural remedies. Where one fails, the other might just cover the gap.
*Some of my good friends are reki masters, and I would never dismiss their ability to work with energies. But please, for the love of the Goddess, don’t let this be your only form of treatment in times of medical need.