But in an attempt to cut through all of the noise about health, wellness and medicine, I offer two simple guidelines that any person can use to determine who they should be listening to when it comes to health, disease, nutrition, medicine and other similar topics. The first rule is: never believe any organization that gains money or power from the proliferation of chronic disease.
In other words, don't listen to an organization that profits from the proliferation of disease. This would include all pharmaceutical companies, of course, and even national disease organizations such as the American Heart Association, which receives millions of dollars in funding each year from pharmaceutical companies. Why shouldn't you listen to these organizations? Because they have a clear conflict of interest. It is obviously in the interest of pharmaceutical companies to have more customers, and the way they have more customers is to find more and more people with diseases (or to redefine "disease" so that suddenly more people are diagnosed with something). If you get your health information from a company that profits from disease and loses profits when people get healthy, you're very unlikely to hear information from them that's going to make you healthier. It's not a grand conspiracy, it's simply aggressive marketing on the part of the pharmaceutical companies.
So by applying the first rule here, you would avoid getting health information from the vast majority of traditional sources. Most national disease institutions, societies and organizations are biased because they thrive on the proliferation of disease. Even if they don't gain money from disease, they gain power from it. In other words, if we didn't have cancer in this country, how powerful and influential would the American Cancer Society actually be? They would lose their power if people suddenly became healthy and cancer-free. Again, it doesn't mean that these organizations are evil or that the people working there are bad people; they believe they're doing important work, they believe they're searching for a cure. What they don't realize is that the cure for cancer already exists, and it is found in each and every human body. Your body already knows how to cure cancer, and it has done it thousands of times in your lifetime. There's no need to keep searching for new cures, what we need to do is make people aware of the existing cures and prevention strategies available right now. And if that effort were successful, the American Cancer Society would no longer have any real purpose.
Getting your health information from an organization that depends on the existence of disease simply isn't credible. There's a whole lot of quackery going on in the world of conventional medicine, where diseases are routinely invented, hyped and "solved" by prescription drugs that are entirely unnecessary.
Let's move on to the second rule about who you should listen to in terms of health and wellness. This rule says: Don't listen to anyone who isn't themselves demonstrating a high degree of health. It simply doesn't make sense to receive advice about wellness, health and disease prevention from an individual who is diseased, overweight or unhealthy, regardless of what educational background they might have.
I've mentioned this with some frequency on this site, and it's worth repeating. You wouldn't take scuba diving lessons from an instructor who couldn't swim. You wouldn't try to learn the German language from a person who couldn't speak German. So why on earth would you try to learn how to be healthy from a person who isn't healthy? And yet, that's what happens every single day in America -- people go visit their doctors in the hopes that somehow this doctor, who isn't healthy, can teach them how to be healthy. Stupid, huh?
It's a ridiculous idea, because health isn't just an intellectual exercise. Good health is something that a person must experience before they're qualified to understand it or talk about it. Good health is a journey, and if you haven't been on that journey yourself, you don't know what it takes.
When you're looking for advice on health, wellness, nutrition and how to avoid chronic disease, make sure you're getting that information from a person who checks out in terms of his or her own health. There are many MDs who are quite healthy; one of my favorites is Dr. Gary Null, author of dozens of books on health, wellness and natural medicine. I admire Gary Null because he is healthy himself. He obviously lives what he teaches, and that creates credibility. To me, his state of health means far more than any medical degree. A medical degree, after all, only tests certain book knowledge about anatomy, diseases, diagnostics and so on.
(Medical schools will literally award medical degrees to obese, diabetic individuals who smoke cigarettes and eat junk foods! And they're legally allowed to give YOU medical advice while a healthy, unlicensed naturopath gets thrown in jail for advising you to eat healing foods and herbs! That's the state of organized medicine today: the most diseased people are still in charge and are the only ones allowed to practice medicine by law.)
You may also find other traditionally educated doctors who are in a high state of health, and when you do find those doctors, you will discover that they tend to explore way beyond what they've been taught in medical school. They will typically have a much deeper understanding of nutrition and the relationships between foods and health. Those are the doctors you want to seek out in your own quest for health and wellness.
So those are the two rules: 1) be a skeptical consumer and don't trust information from organizations that gain profit or power from the proliferation of disease, and 2) don't trust health information from people who aren't healthy.
Being healthy doesn't have to be all that complicated, after all. By applying these two rules, you can weed out perhaps 90% of all the bad health advice out there (like the absurd Food Guide Pyramid constructed by the USDA in order to sell more agricultural products) and educate yourself with the remaining 10%. In short order, you'll be healthier than 90% of the population -- the same 90% that still listen to the advice of their doctor and believe everything they hear in televised drug ads, by the way.