You know what word I hate? Wellness. I'm sick as a dog right now. I just want to hack up a lung and get it over with if that's going to make me feel better.
Wellness has been haunting me lately. It's everywhere! Once it's in the forefront of your mind, you can't get away from it. You'll see what I mean in the next week or so. And I'll apologize in advance.
This term has become a substitute for the word health, but with a pretentious "holistic" twist. It's thrown about liberally when discussing such crankery as holistic medicine, chiropractic care, and other pseudosciences. Other favorite words of holistic practitioners include energy, chakra, toxins, cleansing, balance, healing, vibrations, purification and all-natural. Typically, we're tantalized with the promise of ancient healing secrets that the Chinese have known about for centuries and laugh and laugh because stupid Western scientists can't figure them out.
There are two types of people who offer these kinds of services: 1.) people who honestly think what they are doing is working as a "complimentary medicine" to actual medical care, and 2.) con artists who take advantage of naive and desperate people who want a cure for the incurable. Take a look at these two, for example: Alex and Rebecca Rogan. After you've stopped laughing at their ridiculous "Endless Love, Endless Lives" potrait and tagline, take a look at their "qualifications" to help you be a healthier, happier spiritual being—certified hypnotherapist, past life therapist, chakra balancing, crystal healing, biofeedback specialist, craniosacral therapist, transpersonal hypnotherapist, clinical herbologist, "Angel healer practicioner," soul-mind therapy, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Oh, and they're also certified California real estate agents! Alex and Becca do it all!
How the fuck do you become certified in past life therapy? Or any of this stuff?
Instructor: OK, Alex, now that you've finished all your bookwork, it's time for hands-on training. Tell me about my past lives.
Alex: Hmmm (thinks). You were a slave to Julias Cesar, a nameless beggar in Bangladesh and Adolf Hitler.
Instructor: Terrible job! No certification!
Alex: You were a soldier during the Roman empire, a wealthy plantation owner and Winston Churchill.
Instructor: Congratulations! You are a certified past-life therapist!
You'll also notice at the bottom of their page is the disclaimer: "Wellness Therapies does not replace orthodox medicine rather integrate and enhance. It is also illness prevention therapy. We do not diagnosis nor prescribe drugs." Wow, from all their certifications and shit I figured they'd be able to reanimate the dead. So does that mean that all these "certifications" are fake?? In that case, I want to make up my own certifications. Can I be a Licensed Rockologist Or a Certified Free Trip to Rome-ist? Hey, I could be both! Dame Dr. RockitQueen, LR, CFTR, Esq.
Just to give you more of an idea of what kind of other bullshit is out there, I've compiled the following list of some of the stupidest "treatments", "therapies" and "healing" methods I've run across. While the methods I've listed here are all essentially harmless (if you don't count the harm it does to your bank account), I'd like to note that there are many more, some of which are very harmful and even deadly. I highly recommend the Quackwatch family of websites to learn more. Don't be a victim of wellness! We're all a bunch of diseased freaks and we need to learn to live with that.
Reiki is the practice of channeling energy from the universe to make someone, or yourself, feel awesome. All you have to do is put your hands on or anywhere near your victim and look appropriately spiritual. Reiki is also known as "theraputic touch" or "jacking off." If you learn anything about reiki, just know that the key is in the happy ending.
12. Emotional Freedom Technique
Feeling down? Depressed? Full of anxiety? Afraid of heights? Addicted to love? Got post-traumatic stress? Any kind of stress? Then place your fingers just beneath your eyes and tap. Then tap your eyebrows and then your temples. Just tap-tap-tap in the exact sequence your EFT therapist tells you. Then roll your eyes, hum a few bars, think happy thoughts, and...viola! You have "tapped" into wellness! Yaaayyyyy!
11. Craniosacral therapy
You know how when some dudes decide to shave their heads, they don't take into account how lumpy their noggins might be and are suprised to discover that their new hairless pate looks like the surface of Mars? What they also don't know is that those lumps and bumps on their heads are evidence of emotional or physical trauma that is impeding their aching bodies from healing themselves. The solution is to have a therapist rub your head twice a week until the stressful twist your body has gotten itself in can straighten out. For $150 a session.
10. Konoki foot pads
You've probably seen these ads on TV, which feature someone sticking what looks like a regular gauze bandage to the bottom of their feet and then, after a time lapse, ripping them off to reveal disgusting black shit that has allegedly been sucked out of their body. From what I've heard, the foot pads work even better if you've been walking around barefoot, preferably outdoors and in a muddy environment. The claim is that "distilled bamboo vinegar" draws grody toxins out of your body when you wear the foot pads overnight. But since the skin is not permeable, I'm guessing it's something else. Satan maybe? Yes, that's what it is. The dirtier your pads are, the more you've been sinnin'.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then surely they are also the window to all your emotional baggage, ingrown toenails and tummyaches. Proponents of this "therapy" claim that you can tell what's physically and emotionally wrong with you based on the colors and patterns in your eyeballs. So if you have a brown spot in one of your irises, that means you have gastrointestial problems or something. What isn't explained is what happens if the patient is blind. Or if they're just nearsighted...will that show up in the eye patterns, too? And do they have to do that puff test to find out? God, I hate that fucking puff test.
8. Laser stop smoking
There's a local commercial that airs here in Cowtown promoting this weirdness. It shows the "doctor" sticking a laser pointer into the ear of her victim. I know what you're thinking: how in god's name is this supposed to help someone stop smoking? By targeting "energy points" on your hands, nose, ears and wrists to release endorphins, of course! Duh! Everyone knows that endorphin release is the key to curing a nicotine addiction. The Columbus program boasts a 55% success rate...and with those odds, who wouldn't want to shell out $400 a session?
7. Ayurvedic therapy
This is one of those quack therapies that claims to be "ancient Chinese secret." I've included it on this list because the explainations on how it works are so drawn out and convaluted that you would probably have to achieve total nirvana just to understand. Everything means something and is connected to some god. Oh, also there's some kind of "cleansing ritual" that involves boiling milk and cow's urine twice. If you can read about this and understand it, then more power to you. Frankly, I think the whole thing just talks in circles until you've spent all your money and suddenly realize that you don't get it either.
6. The Chi Machine
This has nothing to do with the Deftones' bass player. It's actually a little vibrator that you stick your feet on that's supposed to help with "lymphatic drainage" and put your chi back in order or some shit. Some makers will try to have you believe that it's a "passive exerciser", like one of those belts that is supposed to shimmy your fat off that Bugs Bunny uses. Here's what the Chi Machine can do for you:
• Temporarily relieve minor muscle aches, pain and tension caused by fatigue or overexertion
• Temporarily increases local blood circulation
• Relaxes muscles locally
• Relieve vertebra joint pressure
• Promotes a sense of well being
You know what else does this? Vikes. And they're FDA approved.
5. Ear candling/ear coning
So you have a little bit of an earache. Maybe it's waxy buildup, maybe it's an inner ear infection...either way, it's annoying and you just want it to go away. What's a person to do? Forget visiting the doc and getting some eardrops or antibiotics. Let's jam a hollow, lit candle in there and let the heat and dripping wax somehow magically pull the "toxins" out of one of the most delicate and easily damaged areas of the body. Allegedly, when you pull the special little ear-toxin collection cone off the bottom of the candle, it's supposed to be filled with wax. Big shockeroo! It's a fucking candle!
4. Q-Ray bracelets
If you pay a visit to the Q-Ray website, you will learn that this product is worn by people with active lifestyles, features an exclusive design and should not be worn by people allergic to metal. What you won't learn is what this magical bracelet is supposed to do for you because the makers of Q-Ray have been gagged from making medical-related claims that are unfounded. Originally, the manufacturers claimed that the bracelet could cure cancer pain, improve athletic ability and make you feel more energetic. However, a lawsuit alleging false advertising mysteriously caused these awesome attributes to disappear. Poor Q-Ray! It's like the Superman of jewelry—no one ever sees it in the same room with the people it's helped...
(See picture above): "The oddball apparatus is called an E meter, and Travolta uses it every day. He and fellow Scientologists Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Kirstie Alley say the lie-detector-like machine measures mental anguish. The faithful claim it's so sensitive, it can pick up the pain a human feels when pricked by a nail. 'You hold two metal rods in your hands, and an experienced teacher can tell from the movements of the needles on the meter where the problem is in your body and soul,' Travolta told the German magazine STERN. 'I use it every day, at home or in the celebrity center in Hollywood. I also take a machine with me with I'm on location. It's a religious device and I enjoy it. I'm always totally refreshed by it. And, luckily, it doesn't have gaydar!'"
2. Leech therapy
So a few weeks ago, I see the following headline: What's Demi Moore's secret to looking so sexy at age 45? Thank god Us Weekly is on the case because I've been wondering that myself for years. Finally, Us reveals Demi's real, all-natural beauty secret: leech therapy! Demi says that all you have to do is put leeches on your body and let them bite you because they detoxify your blood with enzymes in their little mouths. Demi advises putting the leeches into your belly button for best results. I'm going to try it! Demi always looks so great, especially her knees. She has the best fucking knees ever!
1. Urine therapy
Apparently, there's no need to ever have to buy another product, pill or health supplement after all—you've got your very own natural healing remedy available right now! Did you know your pee has all kinds of health benefits? Let it go on your feet when you're in the shower and bye-bye athlete's foot! Pour it on your arms and legs for sunburn relief! Best of all, you can treat everything from a hangover to heart disease to hepititis by drinking it! That's right: you can turn back the clock, cure what ails ya, prevent future breakouts and turn up the kink in your love life by taking a whizz in a cup and gulping it down. Believe me, I wish I was making this up. So the next time you feel the urge to go, don't let that all that healthful liquid go to waste! Piss in a jar and keep it on hand "just in case." You'll be glad you did! And so will all your friends!