The Great Delusion of Wellness: How Allegedly Healthy Practices Ruin Us

We are heavily and constantly bombarded with ads of supplements, natural this and natural that, all things detox, and the like. The lucrative industry of wellness is burgeoning, as more people are converting to charcoal snack lovers and supplement takers. What is promoted as the holy grail of health is actually pure chicanery – for all the claims and catchy titles.

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A long time ago, the very term of wellness had a meaning different from the one it has today. It used to denote activities which could benefit your mind and body and implied doing simple things like forest bathing or enjoying a session of massage. By no means was it a substitute for medicine – something which it has transmogrified into.

Nowadays, wellness invariably involves spiritual practices, drinking herbal potions, fighting toxins, and doing all sorts of magic things which bring the industry players so much money, and you so little help. Apart from the placebo effect, you get a bunch of shiny bottles with sophisticated instructions and promises to change your life, free you from your bloating and other health problems, and so on. Who cares there promises are empty – the money is spent, and the illusion of doing something beneficial to health is achieved.

Message #1. Wellness is not the same as medicine. No homeopathy, esoteric rituals, bathing in milk or cleansing your colon with coffee can help you treat your diseases. However alluring all the wellness merchandise may seem to be, they are of no use at best, with some of them, like coffee enema, being extremely dangerous.

Image Credit: gettyimages.co.uk / Peter Macdiarmid

Message #2. There are no toxins are they are defined by those who claim that drinking their product for a week or even years will rid you of all the harmful substances that are lurking in your blood, hiding in your tissues, and, what is emphasized most, occupying your colon. Toxins are substances produced by some plants or animals. The term can also mean particles that get into the air, water and soil and pollute it as a result of human activities. The body does not store toxins – it has the liver, the immune system, the skin and other organs and systems to deal with everything that could potentially harm it – it simply does not need any other means of detoxification.

Message #3. Such perverted wellness is dangerous. And it is so due to many reasons.

  • Those who stick to alternative medicine, of which the wellness industry is the citadel, are reported to have a greater risk of death, as they refuse to use conventional therapies and prefer things like herbal teas, etc., so when the disease has already progressed, there is not much medicine can do, as time was spent on homeopathy.
  • Even if you do not believe all the spiels used to sell you another magic product, there are people who do, and oftentimes they oppose to the methods used and measures taken by medicine. For instance, they can demonize vaccines, refuse to be vaccinated and thus contribute to the spread of diseases which would otherwise be more difficult to contract.
  • Many of the supplements advertised in every nook and cornet of the Internet (and not only the Internet) are not just useless – they can be detrimental to health. Multivitamins, vitamin C and calcium supplements have recently turned out to be of no use, and the only pills of the kind that are worth taking are vitamin D in the elderly and folic acid in pregnant and pregnant-to-be women–at least as the scientific evidence we have now suggests. Some supplements are even dangerous, like vitamin E, for instance, which can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Message #4. The so-called spiritual aspect of wellness as it is understood today is also something to avoid. A blend of esoteric teachings and pagan rites, which most of such practices actually are, are what can be utterly misleading. Energies, pseudoscientific theories about water memory, and nonsensical rites (homeopaths and similar peddlers of alternative medicine often use absurd techniques to prepare their potions, like stirring water clockwise 74 times – and if you do it for the 75th time, it won’t work) use both medical and religious terms thus discrediting both.

Slaying the dragon of wellness industry is not something which can be done overnight. The wish to find a magic pill that would solve all problems at the drop of a hat is ingrained in our mind, and there is a great difference between faith, which can work wonders, and buying magic kits which are allegedly capable of curing virtually everything. The former is driven by Love, the latter is driven by greed. It’s up to you to decide which side to take.

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