Have you followed the wellness industry lately? The New York Times recently published a lengthy feature on Gwyneth Paltrow and her wellness company Goop. In it, the author describes a number of the “therapies” she learned about in the course of interviewing Paltrow and writing the article.
These ranged from more conventional wellness tips (healthy eating, cleanses, meditation) to far more radical ideas (bee-sting therapy, psychic vampire repellent, and jade eggs for vaginal therapies). It’s a fascinating (and somewhat disturbing) article. You can read it here.
Paltrow is by no means the only wellness guru out there promoting what she calls “radical wellness.” There are many – with many products and treatments to purchase if you are willing to give them a try. And despite the lack of scientific evidence that these treatments work (one woman recently died from bee-sting therapy) and the resounding criticism of many alternative treatments from the medical community, alternative wellness is flourishing.
Why is that? I can see three reasons:
- Social media makes it easier than ever for wellness “ideas” to go viral;
- Many people are suffering from a mental or physical condition that conventional therapies haven’t cured – and are desperate for answers; and
- The placebo effect results in many claims that a treatment “works” – and those good news stories are fed into the social media cycle.
Of course, some therapies may in fact work – but how can you tell truth from fiction? While there are hundreds of scientific studies that prove the health benefits of things like exercise, healthy eating and meditation, alternative therapies typically have only anecdotal evidence to back them up.
All to say, before you wade into a swarm of bees, get the facts first. This U.S. website lists five reliable online medical resources (such as the Mayo Clinic) that you can trust for information.
Thanks for reading!
I don’t know about you, but on those rare occasions when I sleep in on a weekend morning, I often feel guilty about missing a good part of the day rather than happy and relaxed knowing that I got some extra sleep.
Why is that? While some of it is the legitimate realization that I might have missed a part of the morning that I enjoy (leisurely breakfast, reading or watching the news, catching up on sports highlights), the other part is (I think) that part of society that encourages us to push and drive ourselves to constantly succeed.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mother or father at home looking after kids, or an entrepreneur launching a new business, there’s always an Instagram or blog post that takes “being your best” to a new level. We glorify overachievement and consciously (or subconsciously) vilify sleep as weak and time-wasting.
We need to stop doing that. Research has shown just how significantly “under-sleep” negatively impacts our body and our performance. This article refers to under-sleep as “the new sugar”, and a health time bomb. You can read more about the impact here.
There’s even specific advice out there to deal with those guilty feelings of sleeping in on a Saturday morning. The company behind the meditation app “Headspace” has some great advice on how to shift your thinking about extra sleep from negative to positive:
And finally, there’s that other guilty pleasure that so many try to hide: napping. Other than taking too long a nap and feeling groggy, there really are no negatives to this activity, just a long list of positives. And if you want to learn how some famous men and women (such as Churchill, Da Vinci, Thatcher and Clinton) used napping to their advantage, this list of 15 top nappers will get you thinking.
Thank you for reading!