The inner science nerd comes out in me on a fairly regular basis. While I am most at home on our farm, I have said for decades that I could have been a professional full time student (if finances were no object). I think that is one of the things that initially drew me to pharmacy…. there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new at work. It is also one of the things I find so attractive about health and wellness in general. Every pebble you turn over reveals a boulder of information just waiting to be learned and absorbed. If you are a life science junkie (like me), you can lose yourself for hours (if not days) reading studies in Pubmed.gov. Finding this website several years ago was the game changer and light bulb moment for me. It was almost as if I had tumbled down a rabbit hole like Alice, and discovered a whole world that I had vaguely heard about but assumed must be inferior to ‘what I knew‘ from pharmacy school.
Big Pharma subsidizes the education of health professionals in the United States. They take the little fledgling professionals and give them their kool-aid and pat their egos. Well done young Dr/ Pharmacist/ Nurse/ ___________ (fill in the blank). Even today, when I read pharmacy continuing education courses on Natural Medicine, I can barely bear to read them. (Again, subsidized). I can earn 1-2 CE credit hours to learn that alternative medicine really is ‘minimally effective’ at best and/or ‘sham medicine’ at worst. It took me about 15 years post pharmacy school to deprogram my mind and begin thinking for myself. Now, with every new drug or new class of drugs, I listen to what Big Pharma says, and then I dig a little deeper to find the whole truth… not the sugar coated version. Ever wonder why those advertisements speak nice and slowly about the unicorns and puppies the drugs promise, and then speak auctioneer fast (or use 4pt font) to reveal some (but definitely not all) of the possible side effects? Me too.
After I quit drinking the kool-aid (now realizing that said kool-aid is full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye #3), and came to my senses, I simply can’t get enough of what alternative health options has to offer. Yes, there is and always will be a time and a place for modern medicine….. but there is also a time and a place for alternative health options. It behooves us all to be open to both.
If you venture in to Pubmed.gov and begin researching, take note of how many studies revealing the benefits of alternative therapies come from outside the United States. University scholars and scientists from all over the world are digging deeply into holistic care and coming up with astounding truths (with far far far fewer side effects than their pharmaceutical counterparts). The United States is slow on the uptake here. Why? Big Pharma doesn’t benefit from holistic care. Repair and restoration does not always have to come with a pharmaceutical pricetag or health consequence. Frequently, repair and restoration comes in the form of self care and simply understanding how we tick and why we do what we do or our bodies do what they do. Learning how to support our bodies instead of propping them up with pharmaceuticals. It’s a learning curve for sure… and the first step is to look at who is offering up those kool-aid cocktails.
Which brings me back to the original topic of this post. Elizabeth Erickson is a neuroscientist with a focus on applied cognition. Our brains can be our best friend, but they can also be our worst enemy. Tonight (Monday, Oct 30th), Elizabeth will discuss some very basic concepts for you to wrap your mind around. This is a free event, and even if you cannot attend the live class due to a scheduling conflict, I’d encourage you to make some time to watch it in the 24 hours it will be available for viewing. Come with an open mind and be prepared to learn. I will be there too…. learning and gleaning… one of my favorite things to do!