Working in a health food store, and generally being an undercover dirty hippie, I’ve made a lot of friends who believed in Naturopathy. For a while I toed the party line, juicing vegetables to detox the heavy metals out of my system and eschewing standard medicine in favor of remedies more in harmony with… whatever it was that needed harmonizing. Then I got a raging case of Strep throat and fever-dreamed about a hyena at the foot of my bed, protecting me from evil spirits that were darting around my room. I haven’t quite gotten over my fixation on hyenas or my distrust of alternative hoodoo medicine. Fuck you, Horehound.
The last time I went to a party and heard some hippie tell me she didn’t need believe in traditional medicine because “the placebo affect is real, man,” I swear to god, I thought I’d die. I know that the placebo effect is real, but are you ok with buying salt water and just chancing it? Sure, traditional medicine in this country has a long way to go as far as consumer safety goes, but most standard remedies don’t have lead in them. What kind of school do you have to go to just prescribe placebos, because I want to go. Hopefully I just never run into somebody with an actual illness, because then I’d feel really bad and I don’t think alternative therapists qualify for malpractice coverage.
That said, I can’t entirely disregard the good aspects of alternative medicine, and maintaining a person’s overall well being. After all, I worked at the health food store for a little under a year, and grew almost an inch in an adult growth spurt. I have my last .75″ thanks to all those juices and supplements, I am pretty sure. Also, I feel people underestimate the parallels between traditional medicine and nontraditional, the comparisons that come to my mind relate to homeopathy, but I’m sure there are others.
Consider vaccinations– the same thing that causes the disease also intercepts the disease. The same goes for allergy shots and radiation therapy for cancer. A little bit of radiation in the right spot will kill the cancer and let the body recover. Too much will cause cancer. As Paracelsus noted, it is only dose that makes a thing not a poison. Sort of like alcohol. A small amount causes an effect called Hormesis, producing a positive effect though alcohol is still a poison.
For reals, click the links. Sometimes I put jokes in them… I think they are funny.