Skip to content

Alternative Healthcare. Part 1

by Daniel on January 20th, 2012

In Mystical Diets: Paranormal, Spiritual, and Occult Nutrition Practices (1993), I introduced the term “paranormal nutrition” (the book’s working title) to categorize the nutritional precepts of systems with implicit or overt supernatural premises, for example: anthroposophy, Ayurveda, Gerson therapy, macrobiotics, Natural Hygiene, Nutripathy, and nutritional herbology. Alternative healthcare is profuse with paranormal nutrition. It behooves us to examine this milieu, a phantasmagoria of systems and methods whose only common theme is distrust of science. To ignore the theoretical underpinnings of alternative medicine is to misunderstand the dynamics of popular nutrition.

A front-page headline in the June 13, 1994, issue of The New York Times read: “As Life’s Questions Get Harder, Magic Casts a Wider Spell.” The crux of the article is that “illusion and delusion in art and commerce are wrapped around daily life like an impossibly knotted necklace.” Television and cinema abound with affirmative talk of supernatural “entities” (e.g., angels), “places” (e.g., heaven), and miracles. Magic–any art that purports to sway or predict courses of events supernaturally–comes in countless forms. Many are socially acceptable. Indeed, in most American circles, at least a veneer of marginal deference for the “white magic” of major religions is de rigueur. The April 4, 1994, issue of U.S. News & World Report presented the findings of a recent poll on religious beliefs.

According to the article, aptly titled “Spiritual America,” about 95 percent of Americans affirm belief in God or a “universal spirit” and only 9 percent deny having a religious affiliation. Do religious beliefs predispose believers to supernaturalistic health methods?

Ancient Wisdom?
During prime time on July 5, 1994, NBC broadcast “Cured! Secrets of Alternative Healing,” a misbegotten special for which I had been interviewed on camera in September 1993. This was a tedious collection of mini-docudramas tending to canonize vitalistic “medicine.” The “skits” included “Samuel Hahnemann” (founder of homeopathy), “Witchcraft” (“the cult of the wise woman”), “Franz Mezmer [sic]” (propounder of animal magnetism), and “Ancient Acupuncture.” Moderator Kenneth Harvey described herbal medicine, homeopathy, and hypnosis as “modern techniques based upon ancient wisdom.” He stated: “A lot of things we do to make ourselves feel better is based on natural healing wisdom going back centuries.” Host Olympia Dukakis concluded: ‘Tonight we have seen how five ordinary people reached back into the past to discover healing wisdom that eased their modem afflictions… All of these alternative treatments, founded upon timeless wisdom, are available right now in virtually every community in America… In the twenty-first century, the new medicine will combine all known healing techniques: conventional medicine, alternative medicine, and ancient wisdom.”

Thank to wide range of safe rx drugs, you are likely to find right what you’re searching in health products.

Comments are closed.