Today my business has taken a different direction. I have had two weeks full of meetings and decisions to make and this morning I thought that it was time for take-off. Originally I was asked by a gym to hold a weight loss group alone, but wanting to challenge myself I decided to take onboard another person. Yesterday our course structure was set, and I was just about to email the members an invite and make the poster layout when I received an email. After a quick phone call I was told that by the other person that she had decided to back out, mainly due to our disagreement on natural medicine and supplements (me against, the other person for) and I was accused for being “too clinical”. I thanked for the meetings and said good bye, not really feeling a need to defend myself. I thought I was fine about it, but have realized that I am very annoyed, and this is why:
When I was studying natural medicine in Australia, I was just like that. We, me and all the other students (and teachers) at the school talked about dietitians like they were the most awful people in the world (next to doctors). We even had books with chapters like:” murderous doctors” and was told on daily basis that dietitians didn’t care about the “whole person” or the “body balance”. The word “clinical” was used a lot, and was used as a swear word. Clinical meant as done in a cool, emotionless fashion. We felt really smart when we could raise ourselves above all other medical practices and feeling confident that we cared more and knew more. I was eating so much supplements that my body was falling apart, but I was to blind to see the connection and spent hundreds if not more on homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal remedies. It wasn’t until I started noticing the gaps in the ‘information’ that we received that I woke up from the haze. I suddenly realized that the teachers couldn’t explain why things were a certain way, nor could they explain where they found their ‘evidence’. They were so busy accusing other professions for being a certain way, that they never even considered taking a look at themselves. Where the hell do you get your information from? Chance is, it comes from magazines and studies sponsored by a supplement manufacturer. Have you ever even met a dietitian? Do you know how we work? We work with people that are ill, some only mildly and some close to death. We work one on one with patients, and often also work in teams to give the patient a holistic treatment. We work in private practices or at hospitals, and even in care facilities. We question everything we hear and read, knowing that many patients do not. It is our responsibility to make sure that the advice we give is not harmful in any way.
I fail to see how we are emotion-less robots, that do not ‘see’ the whole person. I think the main difference is that when a patient needs advice beyond nutrition we work together with a person that specializes in that field. We know where our boundaries go, and I would recommend people to be highly skeptical of people that claim to know all and cure all. Nutrition cannot cure everything, and supplements never will. Chance is that you will need a doctor, a dentist, a dietitian, a pharmacist and more as they each specialize to give you the optimal treatment. Somebody that claims to know everything will probably know very little about a lot of things, and that can be harmful and probably isn’t worth the money. Convincing people that herbal remedies, supplements and diets are the solution brings in billions of dollars every year to the producers and sellers. Not to mention all the private colleges that can ‘educate you’ on how to use them. Splendid idea, don’t you think?