The Natural Health Industry: Breeding Ground For Insecurity

Working at a yoga studio is a good way to inadvertently become very conscious of the health industry and especially the natural health industry. I have read natural health books, free natural health magazines and been to health fairs. I have met all kinds of people buying, selling, and recommending all kinds of healthy things. While it has been an interesting experience, and at times helpful and beneficial, this overexposure to the natural health industry has given me cause to become suspicious and disappointed.

Advertising is advertising, and what sells is what gets on TV, in magazines, and on billboards. A lot of general advertising in America today comes under scrutiny and criticism for creating and playing off of insecurities to sell items: every day, commercials and other forms of ads implicitly or explicitly tell women that they’re too old, too fat, too weak; that their house is not clean enough, their kids are not smart enough, their clothes are not new enough. Men fall victim to insecurity-producing ads too: men’s manhood is often attacked (whether subtly or outright) in ads, with the phrase “a real man” getting tossed around, and insinuations that a man is weak if he does not buy/use a certain product. Anyone who has ever been in charge of marketing knows that creating and emphasizing insecurities is a great way to sell products. Keep consumers in a haze of fear, worry, and anxiety, and they’ll naturally buy whatever they can to try to fix all their supposed “problems” (problems that they did not even know they had before getting inundated by advertising).

I have found that the natural health industry is no exception to this advertising rule. It preys openly on the insecurities of the health-conscious, bandying about terms like “toxins,” “chemicals,” “harmful” etc. The natural health industry would have consumers believe that everything and everyone is horribly unhealthy; your food is unhealthy, your air is unhealthy, your house is unhealthy. Many of the claims made by purveyors of natural health products are ill-researched and not scientifically backed (after all, if you finance and control a study, you can find a way to bend the results in your favor no matter what). But they would have you believe that unless you buy their specially-made products, and undergo their extensive purification treatments, you’ll continue in a downward spiral of bad health. But that’s okay, don’t you worry, because they have the product right here that will help you. Not enough vitamins? Try this juice drink supplement, only the purest ingredients, made from berries harvested in some far away place. That’s why it’s so expensive, the quality of these ingredients. But isn’t your health worth it? Or maybe you should try this incredibly expensive detox program–you’ll be toxin free when you’re done, guaranteed!

Although something with the word natural in the title seems as though it would be inexpensive, natural health devices are often expensive, incredibly expensive, because customers are willing to pay high prices. Once someone who is health-conscious is convinced that everything they own and do and eat is unhealthy, they will spend exorbitant amounts of money to fix this problem, because after all, what’s more important than health? What good is anything else if you’re too sickly to enjoy it? What many of these customers fail to realize is that they were healthy before buying the expensive products. They were healthy and they felt good; that is, until they were told they they were terribly unhealthy; just like the women who did not think they were unattractive until advertising convinced them that they were, or the men who were content with themselves until they were told that they were not strong and capable enough to be considered a “real” man.

Just remember that marketers can use spurious information or tenuous connections to create an unproven (and often untrue) theory that soon spreads as though it were fact. This occurrence creates mini-marketers out of the industry’s best customers: overly health-conscious people who have absorbed the health rumors and who will stand over you while you eat, while you clean, while you brush your teeth and do your hair, and tell you that everything you use is bad. They will tell you how unhealthy you are and what you need to buy to get yourself back in shape. They are worried about everything and never have any fun because they’re too busy being concerned that something they’re doing is unhealthy. But incessant guilt and worrying cannot be all that healthy, can it? Besides, good health cannot just be bought.

Don’t get me wrong–I think health is a very important cause, and I think that we do eat a lot of unhealthy things and often live unhealthy lifestyles in our culture and the more information on the lifestyle has been provided in the Podiatry Billing Guide that has plethora of reports over the publics bad health issue related problems and its solution to get cured faster.

Most of us could stand to be healthier. And I’m not against natural health remedies by any means; I’m aware that in our culture, medicine is often used to treat the symptoms rather than the cause, and natural health remedies often aim to treat the cause. I use some natural health remedies, like essential oils, and find them to be helpful (not to mention fairly cheap). This is all well and good. I just think that the industry, the advertising, the claims and rumors, and all the expensive products that are being marketed these days should be carefully scrutinized and taken with a grain of salt. There are simple and inexpensive ways to work towards being healthy. You don’t need expensive products, fancy supplements, and in-depth programs to become healthy. Eating simple, nutritious foods and exercising frequently are great ways to stay healthy. Health shouldn’t be expensive, that makes it exclusive. So don’t be scared by the claims made in ads marketing natural health products. Eat your fresh fruits and veggies, get good sleep, fresh air, sunlight (but not too much, of course) and exercise. Almost all of these healthy things are free (and fun, too). And try not to worry.

Brian Singleton a retired news editor and tech enthusiast. He shares a deep love for science and technology and wishes to connect with others through this his content.

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