Rising costs in conventional Medicare have caused many sick, sad people to turn to alternative medicine. When I heard this issue was going to contain an entire series of articles devoted to the various kinds of alternative medicines, I decided to one-up my friends and coworkers by summing up all their hard work in one poorly researched article.
Energy healing, as I understand it, subtly manipulates the body's natural energy fields using abundant energy sources such as eels and improperly screwed-in light bulbs. The process of energy healing was discovered by one Lawrence T. Defibrillator, famous for inventing the iPod.
Herbal remedies, quite popular with the young hippy crowd, are a careful blend of nature's own medicines. The idea here is that Mother Nature, who spent millions of years of evolution trying to kill us, has secreted away a store of delicious herbs that can cure everything from excessive body hair to excessive wealth.
Herbal medicine is especially good, because it's essentially the same thing as regular medicine. They take the same plants that eventually become pills, but leave out all the mind-control drugs the average doctor adds.
Stone massage started out as an angry masseuse's failed attempt to kill a client by pelting him to death with large hot rocks. Thinking quickly, the masseuse simply told the patient it was a new treatment and added some charges to the bill. Similarly, body wraps resulted from an attempted mud-drowning incident.
While other therapies only place your physical well-being under someone else's care, hypnotherapy places your entire mind and self under the tender sympathies of a total stranger. No one can be hypnotized against his or her will, but once you are under, there's nothing preventing the therapist from suggesting that you take a second mortgage and leave a little tip.
Reflexology is the study of how feet control the body. I was always taught that the brain controlled the body, but I'm guessing feet are just more accessible. Once the foot has been sufficiently massaged, then a body part corresponding to that part of the foot will, I don't know, fall off.
Medicinal marijuana is controversial because nothing that feels good is ever supposed to be good for you. It upsets the balance of pleasure and shame that ties our society together. The concern is that, once patients realize that getting better doesn't have to hurt, they'll stop paying to be hurt. Go figure.
It should be noted that marijuana also has some potential negative side effects, such as ordering 300 monkeys off the Home Shopping Network. Also maybe brain damage.
Lastly is acupuncture, which is the science of paying people to stab you repeatedly. This is a brilliant practice that synergizes the placebo effect and people with too much money. The needles act as little lightning rods, channeling The Force into waves of healing energy.
Seeing as how lucrative this whole thing is, I'd like to propose my own form of alternative medicine. Tear this article out of the paper and eat it. If you feel better, send me a dollar. If you feel worse, try one of the other articles. They have useful information and are delicious.
Johnathan Kastner is a junior English major. His columns run weekly in the Dish.