Friday, 10 April 2015


Today I was talking to someone who admitted his step sister is a naturopath. If I look up the definitional of naturopath in wiki, I find nothing unexpected:
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine employing a wide array of "natural" treatments, including homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counselling.
I rather enjoy that the word 'natural' is in quotation marks. It is clear enough to anyone that naturopaths do nothing meaningful. Or do they? While it is obvious homeopathic remedies are, by definition, empty promises, it is not hard to find people with differing opinions. For instance the placebo effect is, in fact, a real thing. Therefore simplest notion, that wellbeing is promoted through believing in alternative medicines is in itself healthy independent of the medicine's effects.

This is what I envy. I envy the simpleness of people who believe such things. Forrest Gump (both the character and the movie) is a sports guru at heart. Keep believing, and don't ask stupid questions (after all, stupid is as stupid does).

Just the other day, I overheard the women in our office discuss expensive vitamin supplements, excited by the prospect of only costing a hundred dollars a month ("cheaper than the other stuff"). I wish I could still be excited by such things. I once consumed Greens+. My coach at McGill, Mr Barrett, sold to us to the idea. Sad, really, to imagine a grown man buying such things. Yet there I was, having bought not one canister, but three. Spirulina: do you have any idea how little it actually costs? Of course you don't. As a sports enthusiast, you block access to such questions. I don't worry about explaining these things anymore. The sugar pills make so many happy, why spoil their fun. I made a bad decision by reading books. Now the dream of superpowers and superfoods is over. Revisiting those days is like re-believing in Santa Claus. It's rather hard, but if you can do it, more power to you.

Health scams are a dime a dozen, but I can't leave out the physical gimmicks from my browsing.  Used to believe certain shoes made me faster. Again, more reading ruined a perfectly good fantasy. I also recommend against any maths, which spoils many a coaching advice. I try to ignore these thoughts as best I can. Hmm, perhaps it was not the easter bunny who laid eggs in my backyard.

What else was believable? I noticed Amy Acuff likes acupuncture. A placebo, yes, yet an entire degree was rewarded for its study. Who am I to judge, when degrees are only worth what you want them to be? And who am I to argue with the results? Imaginary friends that help you to the Olympics: listen carefully. Those sponsored by AltitudeTech products, is it too late to buy into that world?

Poking my muscles with needles is not my bag (though I confess I've tried it once or twice). So much else remains tempting: altitude training, compression socks, ice baths, and other games. To repeat, I really do envy the believers. Knowing that when I dig too far, I'll just keep digging. Better to ignore. At some point you have to stop knowing facts, and start believing in fiction. That's how you get fast, or strong, or good. Maybe even smart. Fantasy novels sell better than sci-fi; we don't like rational thought. Not always the case, but a good bet. You can make hundreds selling the truth, or millions on Lakota supplements.

Unfortunately once you know, unlearning can be hard. These are days I wish to again believe in the marketing machine. It would require a larger budget than presently have. I still remember the businessman who discussed his magnetic bracelet in full earnestness to the physiotherapist beside me. I kept thinking "this man has a job, and money, yet he knows nothing!" I was wrong. To believe Coenzyme-Q10 pills, vitamin C megadoses, or the like is something in itself meaningless, but it represents a pursuit beyond measure.

Is this post satire? I don't know. I honestly do not know. Go ahead and believe. I am not trying to fight that system directly anymore. Now too far down the rabbit hole. As if drilling to the centre of the earth, I have reached zero gravity. The irony is palpable: the placebos are obvious, yet too late to deny their effectiveness.  Can't go forward, can't go back. There is only one certainty here: under no circumstances gluten-free. Taste is too awful and the science too obvious, even for me.

What I propose to is profit. Profit from those who still wish to buy into the dream. Those with money to spare, I will gladly take their cash. I don't yet know how. It will likely be cynical exploitation, as I cannot possibly sell a real deal. How much money is truth actual worth? Such questions didn't stop Vitamin water. Do you think Bikoff cares whether he helped a single human being? Was that was a rhetorical question? Can you tell?


  1. Were you dressed as the mandarin from iron man three speaking into shakey cam when you wrote this?

    1. Perhaps more as he was dressed as in the second half.