Many have asked, especially lately, what I think about the “Medical Medium”.
For those who might not know about him, I am referring to a man named Anthony William Coviello, who refers to himself as The Medical Medium. A medium is defined as a person who is able to make contact with the “spirit world” in one way or another.
This man has several books and a large and ever-growing following on social media. You may know him as the guy who is always telling people to drink celery juice.
Stay with me here…
What I won’t do:
I am not here to judge him. My goal in posts like this is to help my clients and readers develop discernment when it comes to health issues. I believe it is arrogant to throw people away because we don’t agree with EVERYTHING they say/do or more commonly, because we don’t understand them. I have yet to meet the person that I agree with on absolutely everything. I have also been on the receiving end of that…having had certain medical staff tell my clients things like, “There’s no research to support the benefits of taking supplements”. Just because they don’t know about it…doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist (There’s TONS of research about the benefits of various supplements).
But wait, this guy claims to get his health advise/teachings from “spirit”? Do I sign off on that?
Personally, I am a Christian. In perhaps a different sense, I too follow the voice of God through various means. In that way, even though I don’t believe the same way, some would call me a medium. I’ve been called worse.
I do think there’s some value in having formal education when it comes to nutritional science and things of that nature. But in fairness, there are other ways to heal. There’s faith healing, like we can read about in the Bible, there’s spontaneous healings, there’s healing that occurs as a result of changing one’s lifestyle and so much more. Also, I believe it all comes from God…the herbs, the education, the wisdom, etc…as my late mentor, Dr. Bob Marshall used to say, I am just the tour guide. God is the Great Physician.
I am a child of God and a scientist…yes, you can be both. In both my formal education as well as over a decade of clinical experience, I have learned a lot and been blessed to help a lot of people. But also, it has all made me humble in the sense that, there’s SO much more to learn and there’s a lot of things not only that I don’t know but that the science community hasn’t even scratched the surface of knowing.
What I like about The Medical Medium:
First, you can’t argue the fact that he is helping people. It’s common for people to throw stones because he’s not a doctor or a clinical nutritionist. Neither is your mom (probably) but she still told you to eat your veggies! She was right and didn’t require a degree to know that.
Another great thing is that most of what he teaches people to do is rooted in natural, healthy lifestyle changes. There’s room for anyone who is seeking to help people improve their health in sustainable ways by recommending things like eating more whole fresh fruits and vegetables. People like him have continued to raise awareness about eating whole plants and things of that nature.
Where I disagree with the Medical Medium:
If your recommendations are valid but not necessarily formulated because of a formal education, in most cases that’s fine as far as I’m concerned. Regardless of if you’re telling people to eat more produce because of a clinical research trial that you read or because God told you to, the result is the same…so who I am to judge.
However, where this can go a bit wrong is when you promote certain foods (or supplements for that matter), in his case, celery juice, like snake oil that will fix everything. It can be misleading. For example, if a person has an omega 9 deficiency (very common), they can drink celery juice all day long, it’s NOT going to fix that.
As is always the case, we get the best, safest, most efficient, and effective results when we figure out the actual root of the health problem.
That said, although there are certain principles that apply to nearly everyone (drink water, eat vegetables, etc.), there is a place for specific testing through things like QRA (Quantum Reflex Anaylisis), micronutrient testing, nutrigenomic testing, etc. I don’t believe in one size fits all when it comes to health care.
The better question we should be asking:
The more important question has to do with research and education and its significance (or lack thereof), in the nutrition and holistic health field. How does research and education impact who we are willing to learn from or be mentored by?
Do you really need letters after your name and clinical research backing to help people improve their health? Many, or perhaps even most cultures, currently or traditionally have looked to specific people in their communities who were considered “healers”. They may not be medical doctors or clinical nutritionists, but they helped sick people, get better. They got results. They weren’t worried about what the latest study said about their methods. Did your grandma ever tell you to use castor oil for anything? I know some of you will understand that reference.
On the other hand, for both legal and professional reasons, there is a place for formal education and being aware of what various studies are confirming as “fact”. You probably wouldn’t want to get your foot operated on by someone who had just done a bunch of “self-study” but never had to meet any actual performance standards or undergo some sort of evaluation by teachers with expertise. But also, we all know someone with lots of degrees who isn’t good at what they do. There’s a balance of wisdom and discernment here that needs to be exercised when it comes to who you want to work with and allow onto your health care team to help you (and your family) with health challenges.
What about “research”? Is it a trusted final-say or a corrupt way to manipulate?
Well-designed studies from investigators who don’t have conflicts of interest and do science with integrity, are of great value. However, by that description, many studies do not qualify. It is easy to manipulate findings or cover them altogether. Unfortunately, this happens WAY more than you think. In fairness, we all do this to some degree…we all have areas where we subconsciously put on blinders to the valid arguments of the “other side” of our views…its common with diet, politics, money, relationship views, etc. You must have an extreme level of awareness and humility to be conscious of your own bias in one direction or another and purposely remain open to the facts, even if they don’t support what you previously thought was true.
As a health professional, when you look at research, you must be able to understand what it’s really saying and translate that into usable data. You have to understand how the experiment was conducted and who sponsored it. It’s not uncommon to find studies that have titles such as (for example only): “Just found that candy isn’t linked to obesity”…only to find that it was funded by Nestle (the chocolate candy company). Nestle has grants ranging from $20,000 to $300,000 per year for research, much of which is health/nutrition related. Do you think they will fund studies that show the dangers of sugar? Not likely. The American Dairy Council funds a lot of research on the benefits of dairy. I could go on and on with these examples. You get the idea.
Another potential issue when it comes to research is the fact that funding is a huge hurdle to climb when you want to work on a specific topic. As you can likely imagine, there is a great deal more funding for new pharmaceuticals and medical treatments as compared to something like herbs or celery juice. That doesn’t mean that the latter isn’t good or doesn’t work. It might just mean that the studies haven’t been done due to financial priorities.
So where do I stand on all this?
Somewhere in the middle…I value good research, but I also value my own decade plus of clinical experience (as well as that of many of my mentors and friends who are in the field). If I know something will help a client and am certain there is no danger in it, I am not going to wait around for the research to validate what I already know before I make the recommendation and help the client.
When it comes to the Medical Medium, I am not going to condemn him for recommending that people use fresh fruits and vegetables to help heal their various health challenges. This doesn’t mean that I agree with everything he does and teaches…but in the scheme of corrupt “health care officials”, he should be at the bottom of the list (next to me and those like me).
Part of the Hippocratic oath is, “First, do no harm.” This is one thing I love about using “food as medicine”…you can help without hurting in most cases.
Finally, I do think it’s important to have a true understanding of how the body works and what nutrients fuel it. This normally comes through formal education. However, I also think it’s important to use practical and common sense to get back to nature and restore your health to it’s intended status…OFF THE CHARTS!
There’s always hope! If you need help, don’t hesitate to call the clinic! 269-204-6525
Peace, Love and Greens (not judgement, hate and fake food);)
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.
Extremely well-thought out and well-written. Thank you for sharing, very helpful and shows your high level of discernment.