September 30, 2007

you're just too good to be true

a comment on this blog by chayil got me thinking about wonder cures. someone told her that a daily dose of horse milk is a sure cure for what ails her. companies don't generally use the phrase "miracle cure" these days, what with it being illegal to make such claims and all; but the message of miraculous health is still being promoted in an enthusiastic and compelling way.

someone recently tried to sell me some himalayan goji juice. i guess goji juice is the new tahitian noni juice. or is it the new mangosteen juice? anyway, earl mindell, the doc behind this juice, claims that it is the "ultimate nutritional discovery," and he hopes to "close down one half of all hospitals because we won't need them anymore!" you might say it's a miracle what people can get away with saying. or at over $50 a bottle, perhaps the real marvel is the good doctor's bank account. but i digress.

obviously, anything that is touted as a cure-all should be looked at with a lot of skepticism. this includes grandiose claims made by pharmaceutical companies, by the way. just because a medication has a din number, a corporation and a slick commercial behind it doesn't mean that claims to its transformative properties should be wholly and uncritically embraced. cymbalta just might not radically change your life and make you as well-adjusted, well-dressed and happy as the folks in the ad on t.v.

one no longer has to look at the back of a comic book or trashy magazine for miracle cures. they are on t.v, the internet, in magazines and in books. the miracle of soy, the miracle magnetic cloth, the master molecules of goji, the perfection of the latest anti-depressant... they are all waiting for you.

i admit, i'm as ready as the next person to "look and feel twenty years younger." i would sign up in a minute if i thought that a treatment or berry or drug would safely rid me of my chronic pain and fatigue. but come on, don't try to suck me in.

[if you'd like to watch a investigative report on himalayan goji jiuce check out cbc's "marketplace"]

September 16, 2007

where's your head at?

everybody knows that you've got to try to have a positive attitude in life -- lemons and lemonade, and all that -- but some people seem to think that our thoughts are much more powerful than they really are. some folks believe that all anybody really needs is an "attitude adjustment," and bliss, greatness, wealth and wellness will follow. they believe that the opposite is also true: our nasty, negative thoughts will lead us to misery, poverty and traumatic injury. the "you create your own reality" mentality seems to be applied with great zeal to physical illness: warts are little volcanoes of anger that we haven't released; alzheimer's disease is caused by a person's desire to forget past traumas; cancer can be cured by visualizing armies of white knights vanquishing black cells and people run red lights and hit us because we draw pain into our lives. me, i like to use my mind to bend spoons.

September 4, 2007

can we get an ''amen''?

when we think of fundamentalists, what usually comes to mind is someone with a religious, political or ideological bent who strictly adheres to a set of rigid ideas or principles. they're often quite keen on trying to convert others to their way of living. and their way of living is the right way, by the way, and don't you forget it. i have encountered many fundamentalists in my day. i am often very surprised by their fervor. for some people, there is but one way to enter the kingdom of wellness; there is only one thing you must do to turn everything around. i ask you, though, how can one get religious about water or meat?