We live in an era of icons. At the popular intersection of social media and marketing, the line between truth and advertising is blurrier than ever. Diet fads pass through the slipstream of TV culture, yet how many onlookers make lasting changes to their health and their lifestyle because of daytime talk shows or tabloid articles?
It can be frustrating when we see folks come running based on a ‘celebrity’ opinion. I don’t care how much I trust any one person’s opinion, in this day and age, why wouldn’t all of us be fact-checking and doing our own independent research? Especially regarding things we’re going to be putting in our bodies.
In short, after years of being involved in the business of making people healthier (widely known as the natural products industry) I have learned to truly value third-party information. Not just because in the US the law (i.e. DSHEA) requires it; but because critical thinking does.
Informed consumers must have access to a variety of information, and never exclusively that of manufacturers. When the marketplace is dominated by information that is generated for-profit, the impartiality of potentially good science is overshadowed by an extremely biased natural healthcare market. As John Lennon (and Generation X) once said “Just gimme some truth!”
There are many organizations which serve as objective mediators for various modalities; the Council on Responsible Nutrition with supplements, and the American Herbal Products Association with botanicals, have represented their constituents well in the public forum. Yet there seems to be far less advocacy for natural medicine as a whole; less advocacy for access to various modalities and alternatives for end users.
I myself have come to the conclusion, that while much learning is community-driven, the widest part of the path to sustained good health is personal and individual. Hence the revolution from within; because in seeking good health there is no diet ’revolution’ or one-size-fits all solution, other than that which starts from within each of us.
Sometimes in exploring natural medicine we get hung up on certain traditions. Western herbalists sometime struggle with the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine which are so different in diagnosis and direction than they are used to. Ayurveda deals primarily in body types or doshas which are a foreign concept to others. Every tradition has some kind of natural medicine which finds a way to turn the light energy of plants into the healing energy of food. The underlying principle which every tradition must connect with is the human body’s own intinsic desire to continually seek homeostasis.
Our bodies are natural healers. We must all find balance, by any means necessary. And oh yeah… the revolution still will not be televised.