The health zeitgeist is changing rapidly in this country, and many in the mainstream medial community have not noticed.
Health care has become expensive, it is not able to address many of the complaints that patients have, when it can, side effects can be serious. Most importantly, mainstream medicine can't explain why everyone in this country is so sick.
But the wellness movement can.
It has said that we are overfed and undernourished, over medicated and in poor health, and that we are toxic. That we don't need another pharmaceutical to fix the problem, we need to go back to the symbiotic relationship we had with the planet we grew up on, and only introduce hard core chemicals into our bodies when absolutely necessary.
And guess what... people everywhere are finding out that they are right! When they stop eating processed foods and drinking diet soda, when they go organic and non GMO, when they get rid of gluten and artificial sweeteners, and start taking vitamins, they feel better and can often go off pharmaceuticals on which they have been dependent.
And really, this is what Allopathic medicine has been telling us to do for years. To exercise and eat right and take responsibility for our own health.
But now that we are doing it, they are not so happy.
Because many of them don't like the conclusions that we come to when we really and truly take responsibility for our own health.
So unfortunately, instead of being excited that Americans are doing what they have always told us to do, and partnering with them to learn from the masses what the masses are learning and experiencing and thinking and believing and implementing in regards to keeping themselves out of doctors offices, they have chosen to actually mock them.
Oprah, who is the bell weather of what is going on in the mind of the American Housewife as much as she is an influence on said demographic, is being attacked on the cover of Newsweek for allowing guests to present health opinions that are alternative or complementary to allopathic medicine.
They actually entitled the piece, "Crazy Talk: Oprah, Wacky Cures & You."
Have those who have decided to mock not noticed that "wacky cures" are going mainstream? Have they not noticed that the reason that they are going mainstream is because they work, and work quite sensibly? Do they not realize that they are making fun of a good section of their clientele who is now going to the health food store to try to correct problems before going to the Doc?
This fascinating article today out of Baltimore about the voodoo that is going on in hospitals like the shock trauma center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
I have already told you about the Maine CDC autism conference for the states medical professionals introducing them to GI distress, dietary intervention and toxic and vaccine triggers for autism.
Clearly, a growing number in mainstream medicine are willing to go where the evidence is leading them and like their layman counterparts, embrace what is working despite the fact that it goes against their traditional sensibilities.
But too many are just making fun of the entire movement, and trying to prevent the slide away from their practices by body checking Oprah.
Those that choose that course are going to run into a few problems.
First off, Big Beef already went after Oprah, guns blazing, and lost big time. So the woman has already proven that she is up for a fight and won't be bullied into altering her course if she believes it is the right one.
Second, they underestimate Oprah's audience's loyalty to Oprah. They know her and have known her for decades. They have gotten a lot of good things from her, and even those who are not Oprah worshipers, don't think she is a nut. Those who watch her, and who hasn't during some portion of their lives, are not going to be convinced by Newsweek that she is dangerous.
Third, their attack just comes across as elitist. "You are not smart enough to know what is good for you, only we know what is good for you." If that approach worked then "The Doctors" would be trouncing Oprah in the ratings.
Fourth, while they are pushing the treatment of symptoms, Oprah is giving air time to people that are exploring correcting the metabolic problems that caused the symptoms so that they can be prevented and won't come back. THAT should be their job. She is scooping MM because they are so married to their pharmaceuticals.
Lastly, their best arguement is disingenuous and quite obviously so. It is the same one that "THEY" are making to discourage biomedical treatment for kids with autism. It is the arguement that "these interventions have not been adequately tested".
In many cases, if not most, natural remedies have not been tested to the same rigors as some pharmaceuticals. But the reason that this arguement does not resonate with those beginning to implement wellness practices is that doctors making these complaints are not running out and testing vitamin D and Fish Oil. They are not calling for good studies into who is helped by a gluten free diet and why.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, and if Oprah's critics truly cared about the safety and efficacy of these treatments, they would be calling for increasing the budgets for CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) research, and partnering with CAM practitioners to do it. I mean theoretically they would want people to be healthier and medical care to be cheaper, right?
But then again, Big Cinnamon doesn't throw lavish dinners for doctors and the Tumeric industry does not give away diamond earrings. (See how cynical I can get about disingenuous doctors? It is not like I am the only one who was all rah rah mainstream medicine, got royally screwed by them, and then started taking into consideration all that has corrupted it... I might have been the exception five years ago, but I might be becoming the rule.)
The other problem with your "not enough research" arguement, is that some of these "crazy cures" have been used by cultures for thousands of years before anyone put the scientific method down on paper. If they believe that doctors are earnest and want people to get better, then that must have been true before the industrial revolution, and while not as refined as research today, they had to have had some basis for treatments that lasted hundreds and even thousands of years.
Health crazes come and go, but garlic is forever.
So advice to the Oprah haters, consider that she is not the cause of your problems, she is the result. Oprah is listing to American women, you are not.
Mocking your opponent does not add to your credibility or make people trust you. It makes people suspicious that you are out of arguments and have turned to bullying to keep people in your corner.
ADDENDUIM: Heard from a doc tonight who took exception with my post, a doctor whom I consider one of the ones who IS listening and not one who is stuck in rusty paradigms. I wrote this post quickly and wanted to go back and make sure I was clear on exactly to whom my criticisms are directed.
They are directed to those in mainstream medicine who OPENLY MOCK complementary and alternative medicine.
I do not include in this doctors who are listening and open and respectfully disagree with one CAM treatment or another. On the contrary, they are an important part of the fruitful debate from which good treatment emerges. I don't think physicians in that position need to make fun of others because if they have thoughtfully considered and rejected any given approach, then they have a cogent arguement to make and there is no need to belittle others.
I sense that he also may have been concerned that I may have been promoting Suzanne Summers treatments in some way. Frankly, I don't know a single thing about what she is practicing, and didn't know that she had anything to do with health and wellness until the Newsweek article came out. In my ignorance I will leave others to debate the merits and pitfalls of whatever it is she is espousing.
UPDATE: Jake Crosby takes the failing Newsweek Magazine to task.
UPDATE: Newsweek fails. Sold for one dollar.
I love how I can always come to your blog and get pi**ed off and, at the same time, leave feeling much more informed. Thank you, Ginger, for continuing to find information I probably would not have come across otherwise! Clap! Clap! Clap!!!!
Years ago when Suzanne Summers said she was going to skip traditional treatments for her cancer, I thought she wont last long. But she is still here and I am now doing all the holistic things she was promoting. She definitely got the last laugh on me. And I am recovering from the life threatening reaction I had to the flu shot.
I think that many people, especially women, have respect for Oprah is because she shows her weaknesses and her struggles. Oprah has never claimed to know it all and she has a real sense of curiosity, hunger for knowledge.
But the number one reason she is trusted is because she will publicly admit when she has been duped or has made a mistake
Hi Ginger. First, I really enjoyed your post and completely agree with it.
Please, please don't apologize for any part of your post. There's absolutely no reason to clarify it just cause some "doctor" doesn't like it. This guy/gal doesn't sound so open-minded after all. There was absolutely nothing to take exception to in what you wrote, except your message. Sounds like he just didn't like what you were saying and got his knickers in a tangle.
No wonder so many hit pieces are appearing that belittle Oprah and anyone not parroting the AMA/pharma line... Sommers is questioning another golden idol of so-called evidence based medicine, HRT.
Here's what Ralph Moss, pH.D (for the expert lovers who believe folks with letters after their name are only qualified to talk about medicine/human body/whatever), has to say on it:
Personally, I've seen what an on-going comedy of errors western medicine is with a type 1 diabetic mom (egotistical doctors and several new drugs have nearly killed her), who also had cancer, as well as having my own in depth experience growing up w/ severe food allergies, asthma, extreme social/behavior problems. Anyone who blindly trusts these guys is either new to it all, or they're wearing blinders as blinding as Luke Skywalker's blast helmet.
Hear. Hear. I really am learning alot from your blog.
Bravo, great comments tha are accurate and wonderfully articulated. New things go through 3 phases, ridicule and then criticism and then they become self evident. Oprah has definitely identified a social movement that will sweep our western world and it is overdue. Unfortunately ignorance of truth can have damaging and sometimes fatal consequences. Anyone who is trusting the goverment especially the FDA to protect them will have a short life full of illness and huge medical expenses that we are all paying for.
Great commentary! I am slavic and we ate garlic on/with everything so I completely resonate with your comment "Health crazes come and go, but garlic is forever."
Needed a good laugh this morning!
Keep the blog going!
Great blog! We just post a small piece on the film "The Changing Face Of Autism." and the response has been great. Keep spreading the word! You have a strong story!
Thanks for the props guys.
And Josh... hear you on your cynicism with docs. I spend a good deal of time there (probably too much).
But the doc in question is one that is listening. He first contacted me a year ago and opened with something to the effect of 'I don't agree with anything on your blog and I think you are destructive', but he asked a question and stuck around for the answer. Which lead to more questions and more answers and open dialogue. I sent him Evidence of Harm and Changing the Course of Autism and he read them and the depth of questions and comments he made were those of someone taking serious inventory of what he was taught and being guided to do.
His last email to me included the phrase, "First let me just say that you have opened up my mind to new possibilities in the past year and I genuinely respect what you have to say."
Point being that there are many docs out there that are redeemable. Most think the GFCF diet is nutty because they have not been told exactly why it works or seen children whom it works for.
So I am constantly reminding myself to become overwhelmed by my cynicism, because there are many more docs like my new friend now a days.
We need to distinguish them from those who have dug their heels in and have to make fun of people because they don't have any good arguments any more.
Great blog post. I'd just like to suggest a bit more proofreading, cause you had a lot small errors...
For example, it is bellwether, not bell weather. The bellwether was a female sheep who wore a bell and tended to walk slightly ahead of the rest of the flock. Not that it changes the meaning!
Anyway, thanks for a good read.
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