HEALTH
Inspiration from Meghan

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Hocus Pocus Natural Health Care-A-Magocus

 

There are very few governing boards in the natural health industry. Anyone can call themselves a natural health practitioner, wellness consultant, nutrition coach and the list goes on. I suppose this is what lead two of my clients’ physicians to refer to holistic nutrition as ‘Hocus Pocus’ and “A load of huey”. I have been thinking about this a lot of late as a colleague of mine recently discovered a practitioner with all sorts of initials after her name that she had no training to support. That is illegal and bad for the reputation of my profession.

Nutrition information abounds, as do the multi-level marketing schemes aimed at selling supplements, super foods, protein powders, neutraceuticals, weight loss and detox programs. Though not all, a lot of what is in on the market is a load of huey. People selling these products often receive their nutritional training from the parent companies producing these products. That is the equivalent of the pharma industry doing their own testing on their own experimental drugs. Individuals go to these conferences, take weekend workshops, get all rah rah rah about the products and leave with a sell sell sell mentality. After all, if they sell enough, they can join weekend golf getaways and Caribbean cruises.

They are working on building their wealth at a direct cost to the health of the people who buy from them. It is one thing to profit off the sales of knives, cookware or cosmetics when it comes to multi-level, but to profit directly off people’s health challenges or goals without the health care education to explain the claims they are reiterating is irresponsible and immoral.

I am not saying the products being sold in multi-level schemes are all bad. Some of them are fantastic. I don’t, however, believe that anyone should be taking health advice or supplement recommendations from people who are not professionally trained or certified to be giving it.

Anyone selling supplements should be able to explain specifically why those products are best for you. This is basic biochemistry. Ten different people, all with the same primary complaint, will each have their own unique needs and unique contributing factors and therefore require a unique diet, supplemental and lifestyle program.

Natural health care is unbelievably powerful, when used properly and respectfully. The state of our health plays a vital role in every thing we do. I thereforecannot stress enough the importance of seeking out the best to help you take care of your health.

When selecting a practitioner, I recommend you consider the following:

  • Find out what their formal training is, what certifications, registrations and/or qualifications they have to be practicing the health care they are practicing. You have an absolute right to know this.
  • You should expect a free initial consultation, whether in person or by phone. You have to ensure their philosophies align with yours and that you are the right fit for each other. Good health care depends on a mutual relationship of trust, support and honesty. Ideally, this is a lasting relationship.
  • Find out what their treatment plans usually are: how often a follow-up is expected, average costs above the consultation time, other supportive services available etc. You must have confidence they will support you as you go through the program, and not just until the sale is made on the products.
  • Get testimonials, and I don’t mean the ones posted on websites. Ask for a couple of clients/patients that you could contact. Also find out what kind of program or advice they were given. No two people should have identical supplements in their cupboards.

Spend the time up front in doing the research and this will save you time and a lot of money in the long run. I will leave you with this final thought on the matter: No pill, detox kit, or supplement regime will ever replace the value of eating good food, thinking happy thoughts, and moving your body about once in a while. That advice is free of charge and delivered with a big smile.

Thoughts? Comments? Encouragement? Hate mail?

I am aware that what I have shared will likely anger many people. I am okay with that as I feel this is extremely important information to share and of course, am open to all comments.

16 Responses to “Hocus Pocus Natural Health Care-A-Magocus”

  1. Jess George said…
    I'm so glad you've written this article. Over the last year, while considering attending schooling to start a career in holistic nutrition, I've dealt with a lot of people telling me that natural health care is hocus pocus. I know that it is necessary to sift through the fake supplements and practitioners who aren't qualified. It's good to know that even a qualified, intelligent nutrition consultant like you can recognize that there are some traps out there. BUT in saying all that there are some real benefits when you find qualified help. Thanks, Meghan! You rock!
  2. Ricki said…
    Fabulous post, Meghan. I couldn't agree more. And this is a great resource for the nay-sayers.
  3. mariposagirl said…
    no hate mail here! Here here! Well said and a great reminder! Good for you~
  4. Alex said…
    Thank you for talking about this sometimes ugly topic, Meghan. I've often heard from legitimate (aka. trained)alternative health care practitioners that they feel they must work extra hard compared to traditional physicians in order to prove themselves able. I think this is in large part due to the "snake oil salespeople" out there, which give the qualified, hard-working rest of us a dangerous name. I hope people talk about this more so everyone can avoid be scammed!
  5. Christa Jean said…
    Hi Meghan! Thank you so much for writing this post as you and I share similar frustrations. I am an entrepreneur who is very health conscious and have become very passionate about my health the health of others. You are an expert and I am not, although I do work closely with naturopaths, holistic nutritionists, dietitians, and many people in the fitness world, so it's handy to have their numbers on speed dial :) I actually work with a network marketing company called Usana Health Sciences, I first started taking their products from someone who I asked what they were taking because they looked so healthy and then later the business caught my eye. Luckily for me, I did my research and know that I'm with a company that has strong values, great integrity, and in my opinion and the opinion of Nutrisearch's book: The Comparative Guide to Nutritional supplements our product is far superior to the other 1500+ products that we're rated. I share your frustration because many people who work in the industry (network marketing) for fly by night companies, offering a miracle pill or juice and pressuring and misinforming their customers, this gives us a bad name too! I know that it's my responsibility to stay within my range of expertise and with the direction of my coach and mentor she encourages everyone that we work with to say that "we are not experts, please contact your naturopath or doctor for further advice". What I know for sure is by sharing my very positive experience with the company and products that is may benefit many people whether on the health side or the financial side. In my health journey so far this is how I understand how you achieve optimal health: 1. Eating a diet that's rich in whole and fresh foods. Drinking lots of water and herbal tea. 2. Exercising in a way that's in line with your fitness goals and that makes you feel good. 3. Finding a way to supplement that fits in with your lifestyle and philosophies, because the average person is NOT getting everything from food alone (eating how you show us helps a lot though!) Thanks to you Meghan for making our world a little healthier and more fun! Love a great big fan and health enthusiast! ~ Christa
  6. Marissa said…
    While I do agree with you for the most part, I personally do not believe that a degree in nutrition means much at all. From my personal experience with a nutritionist trained in Western medicine (food pyramid and what not), and my extensive research over the past few years into food, nutrition, and also my own 150 lbs loss...I can tell you that I don't necessarily believe nutrition to be a true science. There are SO many different theories, beliefs, ideas, and studies done. Every month there is a new study that supposedly debunks another. We were told not to eat eggs, then the whites are ok but not the yolks, and recnetly I read an article which spoke of the anti-nutrients in the whites and maybe just the yolks would be better. So much for it being a "science" Ayurvedic principles of nutrition are different from Western nutrition, are different from Buddhist...and it goes on and on and on. Doctors tend to know very little about what actually is healthy in terms of food, and yet they have been through medical school. I have been to quite a few doctors and nutritionists who were overweight, and who stuck to "moderation" and the bloody USDA food pyramid rubbish! My Pediatrician told me I needed to watch my weight, and he was probably 300 lbs at the time. He and his wife both had the lap-band (a completely unnecessary procedure in my opinion) and they STILL eat the same trash food they ate before. I much prefer the idea of holistic nutrition, but even in that there is no set standard. Each school of thought is different, and they are still different from the Medical associations. My question I believe, is if you feel there should be credentials, where exactly is one to get them? I don't find most nutritionists to have the right information, mostly because I see what they are telling people to eat. I personally believe that some who don't have any official schooling, but have done their own research have a lot more to offer than those who parrot what was taught them just because they have to to be certified. I am not saying people should believe fad diets, but some common sense and rational thinking goes a looooong way here.
  7. Laurie said…
    You've said it all, I have nothing to add, but I wanted to write something. Thanks for another great article Meghan!
  8. Julia said…
    What a wonderful post! Having had one terrible experience with a naturopath & after emailing w/you I knew what I did & didn't want from a natural practitioner. I'm know seeing someone who teaches eating real food & practices MRT & have been having amazing results! Thank you for this post & all the other wonderful advice you have provided!
  9. Tiffany said…
    Very cool post Meghan, it's obvious everyone agrees! Would love to see a post on what makes a good supplement and what makes a bad supplement - I know I used to go GNC and Noahs and walk out with $100's of dollars worth of stuff that didn't make me feel any different. Thanks again! P.S. We are consuming your carrot-ginger soup like water here! ;)
  10. Jeanne Grunert said…
    Great post! I write about natural health and have received ugly comments from people blasting it as snake out. Reading your post made me more compassionate towards those folks. Given the amount of junk and super-hyped products out there it's no wonder that herbal medicine has taken a bad rap. It's amazing to me, however, that people do not question the over-hyped pharmaceutical nonsense advertised on television and the like promising to do everything from prevent heart attacks and bone loss to making hair grow back.

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