What I’m about to write is, as you’ll hear me say throughout, not a reflection of the medical or nutritional community as a whole. I am aware that there are doctors and practitioners out there who are progressive and who are continually researching and refining their approach to wellness. To those people I say thank you, please encourage your peers to take equal pains to make sure they are abreast of health information.
I’ll also point out that, to a large extent, I appreciate science. You’ll often see me cite scientific research in my work, however I believe there are inherent limitations to what we deem science, and that this field can’t be relied upon as a bona fide answer to our world’s problems. After all, look where it’s gotten us in the western world in terms of health, we are some of the sickest humans who have ever walked the earth, microscopes and all.
You see we suffer from something I like to call White Coat Syndrome.
Definition: White Coat Syndrome; holding steadfast belief in the advice and or positions of those who don white coats and hold letters before and/or after their name, regardless of logic or natural instinct in contradiction with such positions or advice.
You might see symptoms of White Coat Syndrome in various forms.
“Well, my doctor said…”
“But I saw on the news, a scientist said…”
“My lecturer said…”
“He’s a registered dietician – I think he’d know…”
These can all be forms of WCS. Through the effects of WCS we’re all expecting quick fixes now, too. We have an underlying metabolic imbalance that may manifest itself as back pain, do we correct the underlying imbalance? Of course not. Here’s a drug to take away the pain.
We bombard the system with toxins (knowingly and unknowingly) and 10 years later the ugly head of motor neurone disease pops up. Do we take away the toxins? Do we try and prevent? No. We throw ice buckets over our heads and give money to pharmaceutical companies to come up with another symptom removalist.
You see, though, I would understand our faith in the establishment if we had a history, a record of positive results, that showed the establishment achieving more good than bad for our world. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such thing! Now, all credit where due, emergency medicine is a fantastic achievement and invaluable in the modern world, prosthesis, pain management, all great – but in terms of chronic disease, is there any track record of efficacy that the government can show us?
Of course we have the pro-vaccine specialists like Jimmy Kimmel telling us the establishments done wonderful things in eradicating certain illnesses, but even this is a questionable claim when you look at historical evidence (this is a whole article in itself which I’ll probably avoid writing).
So when we take out that, what have we to look at in terms of success stories of the establishment preventing or treating illness? Almost nothing. But we do have a lot of failures though. Remember lobotomies? Shoving an ice pick down someone’s eye to cure their mental ailments, and by cure I mean induce brain damage so that the person can no longer talk or function.
Arsenic and mercury as medications?
And what about the largely unreported and devastating Puerperal fever (child bed fever)? A death caused by the ravages of bacteria from arrogant doctors delivering babies with bloodied, dirty hands who refused to wash them because, insulted, they insisted it was ‘nonsense’.
For nearly 200 years mothers suffered incredibly high mortality rates due to the arrogance of members of the medical community who took over from midwives. How come we don’t hear about this? It’s not mentioned in medical school, that doctors could have prevented millions of lives lost just by overcoming their stubbornness? Even at this time we had doctors who stood up and said the blood and grime had something to do with it, even when certain hospitals dropped the mortality rate from 32 percent to zero after using a chlorine solution to wash the hands of those delivering babies, the majority still refused to catch on for a further 60 years!!!
And dare I say it, these are the statistics that ‘modern medicine’ have turned around with their ‘science’, they say.
Let’s move on to cancer.
We all know that 120 years ago cancer rates were much lower 100 years ago (okay, let’s allow for diagnosis issues but it’s still a stark difference). In 2012 the Australian government predicted that 1 in 2 will get it if we live to be 80, and by 2020 everyone will have the big C. Have we made any headway with cancer? Are we really winning the war? The trillions of dollars we throw at pharmaceutical companies dressed up as charities has left us with a 100% cancer incidence by 2020. Now, I hope I’m not sounding irrational when I say that what we are doing is not working.
But do we still trust this establishment?
Indeed! Why they’re trying their best young boy you really don’t know what you’re talking about.
We have doctors roaming the corridors of our greatest clinics who know as little about nutrition as a grade 7. I can say this with confidence because I’ve had doctors tell family members they don’t even need to drink water anymore. Never mind the menu of illnesses afflicting you nope just get some fluids in, pepsi max, tea, coffee and ginger beer will do. Yes, I’m being serious. Oh and by the way don’t take supplements, god forbid you support your body with nutrition because it’ll interfere with the drugs I’m giving you.
The very idea that general members of the public know more about nutrition and health than their doctors is preposterous to some, but when we realise that the majority of medical school is spent dealing with the pharmaceutical approach to sickness (not wellness) then its to be expected. We have industry funding education so of course there’ll be a bias. Of course, there are many doctors out there now who are reeducating themselves and achieving marvellous feats. I also had a doctor tell a patient to start juicing vegetables to help her get through chemotherapy – so its not all bad.
And it’s the same across most fields. We have the dieticians (I know, there are some good ones) being trained in institutions funded by big food companies! And it’s not that there’s some evil twisted plot here but it makes sense if we look through the eyes of industry then we’ll see things a certain way. These are the same dieticians that tell my clients to get some blue powerade powder to help them train (true story), the same dieticians who maintain that Paleo diets are unsafe, and that eating meat will give you a heart attack, oh but sugar’s okay just in moderation though!!
But we trust these people, don’t we? Even in the alternate route we still look to scientists and experts with letters by the name to tell us what’s right and whats wrong. We wait for science to confirm that what tribes have been doing thousands of years to cultivate health and longevity is indeed a legitimate health intervention. Whatever happened to trusting ourselves? Whatever happened to looking at the results someone is getting before we ask them for advice?
Heck if I wanted to find out how to live to 120 and stay active and healthy, I’d go hang out with the Hunzas.
If you’re trying to get rich – do you ask the bum on the street how he did it? Or do you go to someone who is rich an ask them?
The same with health, if you want to get healthy, do you speak to an overweight, tired, grumpy person or do you go to someone who is healthy and who gets positive results with people they work with?
It’s a question we don’t ask enough. And its a question lacking in those with White Coat Syndrome.
So what if we moved away from WCS and moved to a results-based approach to health?
What if we said to our doctors, our dieticians, our nutritionists and chiropractors and exercise coaches and wellness coaches, hey I’m not going to pay you any money unless you help me get the result I want with my health. And guess what – I wanna’ be healthy, free of disease and I want to feel a million bucks every day.
Tell me, who would you go to if that was the case?
Would you still amble down to the doctors office and see any old GP for a pill (oversimplified, i know) or would you go and see someone who gets the results and is feeling a million bucks themselves?
How long must we tramp down this road of sickness and ill-health before we overcome our prejudices toward our own instincts and logic, and start taking control of our own lives?
White Coat Syndrome is genetic, i’ve found, but there is a tendency for some (Gen Ys in particular) to overcome the illness and often help others to do so, too. To overcome WCS sufferers often realise that its okay to be in control of your health. It’s okay to say no to the establishment and do it your own way.
Often treatment for WCS involves a significant amount of self-study, sometimes years. It involves letting go of the idea that we have to trust those who have ‘been educated’, I mean hey, look at those who have changed the world and never finished school or university?
It also involves us having an inherent scepticism about the information we’re given.
But there will always be those who can not overcome WCS. I’ve seen it before, as I’m sure you have. Sometimes people overcome WCS and relapse, too. This is always going to happen, and there’s not much you can do for someone who refuses to overcome WCS.
The answer is not to hate. Not to be frustrated or angry or resentful or spiteful, but to show love. To be kind and respectful because everybody has a right to choose the direction of their health journey. If you want the right to decide whether someone injects your child with a vaccine then you must be happy with allowing others to choose chemotherapy as a cancer treatment. If you want access to supplements, people want access to drugs. That’s just the way it goes, friends.
To make informed decisions, though, we must be informed. So if you know your stuff, if you’ve got some good references, then share your knowledge. Don’t be afraid. People will make the best decision that works for them.
Having officially overcome White Coat Syndrome,
Regular Guy Who Got Healthy and Enjoyed It.