How Do You Determine That You Trust Someone?

March 26, 2024

When we go to a doctor, especially if he/she is in a large practice, there is a standardized care. This has been determined by two criteria; 1) over time practices that give a reasonable chance of a good result and 2) practices that minimize the chance of a lawsuit if something doesn’t work out to the satisfaction of the client or his heirs. If you decide to try other methods than your doctor recommends or don’t like his advice, you are more or less on your own.

There are an enormous number of alternate practitioners you can choose from and sometimes they are very good. They may have other modes of treatment that have a good track record and data to back them up. But you have to decide by yourself if the advice they give is a path you want to follow.

Then there are uncountable numbers of advice givers on the Internet. Anyone can write a blog or create a YouTube video and claim a particular success in dealing with an illness. Some of them claim they are doctors. Some just state emphatically that what they present works and is true. (And I haven’t even mentioned the hundreds of books published on Amazon about health, sleep, and diet).

How do you decide that what they are pushing is true? Either in the alternative practitioner or a YouTube poster?

Firstly, you should look at their credentials. Are they either a medical practitioner of some kind with a recognized degree i.e. MD, ND, or other credential? Is the credential they have from a reputable institution? Secondly, what is their specialty? Do they have publications about the topic they are recommending (Multiple YouTube posts do not count!)? Is there some way to see what kind of statistics exist for what they are recommending? Are they tied closely to a drug company? This might be hard to find but it isn’t impossible. Thirdly, is there any clinical data that supports their claim? There are a lot of goofy studies that have 10 to 15 people in them or worse studies that ask about people’s habits without controls or verification of what they really do.  Studies by survey are not true science. People lie. So those kinds of studies are suspect. Fourthly, is it a fad or recurring fad. We see these all the time. Recently, we’ve seen the return of the Atkins diet to the keto diet. This diet showed enormous problems in a massive study about 20 years ago. Another very hot topic on YouTube is the intermittent fasting protocol. Our science is now good enough to predict that this fad is not sustainable for a lifetime. The analogic reasoning used for this diet is that our hunter/gatherer ancestors must have eaten that way. Well, the average lifetime of our ancestors of that age was probably around 30 years. Our mortality average now is around 78 years. It is a different calculation needed and analogic reasoning isn’t good enough.

There can be so much hype about a particular methodology that your reason can be blown away. For 30 years the low-fat diet nearly wrecked our national health. High blood pressure is another topic that YouTubers go crazy about. A large number of protocols are recommended here. How good are they? A large study done in Wales (more than 2000 patients and controls) was just reported by the AARP on exercise for lowering blood pressure. The study showed that isometrics exercise was the best thing to do for high blood pressure. The exercise that worked the best was wall sits!

Conclusion. Try to take the emotion and hype out of your analysis of an alternative program or protocol. How much science is in the conclusion that demonstrates that it works. For example, Barry Sears’ work has more than 30 years of science that backs up his recommendations and conclusions. And a lot of those studies come out of Harvard. Don’t pick a program that promises a lot of weight loss. Pick a program that demonstrates your health will be better. This means your life will be better.

Now what about the exercise protocols I teach that promise pain relief? I will talk about that next time.

To a happy, healthy life.

Cliff


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