MLM – the death knell for natural health?

As is the norm with my words, I do not expect this article to make me any friends. But I do at least hope it will educate a few people. This article is not telling you that you cannot grow a global business if that is your goal. This is not about the argument that in order for one distributor to do well financially and succeed it will take hundreds, if not thousands of hapless minions to do the hard work. This is about health modalities themselves. If you do not know what a modality is, you really are in the wrong line of work – it should be one of the first words you learn as a distributor but the fact it is omitted, rings alarm bells.

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a) Are you a MLM distributor, representative, executive, diamond, or whatever your chosen company decides to label you – of any manner of health or euphemistically named ‘wellness‘ product companies?

b) Are you the customer of a MLM distributor?

If you answered yes to either question, a) do you have qualifications other than human rights, to qualify you to promote or sell that product? If yes, is your field of knowledge actually within the area of everything you are promoting? Have you studied every product in detail, including benefits, possible side effects, contraindications and whether it could pose dangers in regards to allergies or compatibility with other medications? If not, why not?

And b) do you take your distributor’s word as professional? Have you asked them if they have qualifications in what they are flogging you? If not, why not?

Do you now that if/when it goes awry (and it does very, very often) not only will you not get your money back (despite claims to the contrary) but you will not have a legal leg to stand on? There are no guarantees. The company will not want to know you.

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I can already hear the responses

‘We do not diagnose or prescribe.’

‘We do not make health claims.’

‘Our products are professionally made in the best laboratories in the world. We are industry leaders that other companies follow. Our research shows…’

Save it. I have heard it all

The truth is, people at the top are paid to come up with words (ie spindoctors) that you will learn in ‘training’ to ensure you know the fancy footwork to evade vital and important questions. I know of people who have become deathly ill from a ‘wellness’ product that almost claimed their life. When they complained, the company would not return the money. They refused to take responsibility and blamed the individual – saying they were self abusive and unhealthy to begin with, even though this person lived a very healthy life – and had not become unwell until they suffered a reaction to the product. Sadly working in my own field, I have witnessed such a story too many times.

The long and short of this is if you are not qualified in a modality, you have no right to spruik it. Take essential oils – to become an aromatherapist (originally part of a larger qualification – an elective which could take 6 months on top of all of your other studies including botanical pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, and massage at the very least) it takes dedicated study and an understanding of health that would allow you to understand a little more than, ‘this oil is magic for stress…’

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What about the increasing number of dietary and nutrition MLM companies? It’s a daily brain-scream for me to read on social media and in advertising pages that someone is proudly a local representative of such-and-such weightloss program. To say that clinically, 100% of patients visiting me for weightloss had been through it all, and often become seriously unwell as a result, would be an understatement.  The claims are alarming. If I dare to so much as say something valid such as, “Does this diet take overall health into account?” watch the knives come out (pun NOT intended).

And then we get to the supplements. I have personally been present at ‘product training’ where I would sit through 2 hours of absolute drivel – appalling claims and stories that made my hair stand on end. All the oohs and aahs about making a zillion dollars. Or heart warming stories of rags to riches. Yet as a guest I would get up to at least try and educate them on safety, ingredients and quality control. Forget it. At one memorable event, even though I had the microphone, I was drowned out with moans and comments like, “Do we really have to hear this? We did not come for this.” No, you came for the rah-rah, “here’s your goody bag, give me your prospects and I will ensure they sign up so you will make more money.”

About now, you are wondering why I am so angry at the whole MLM notion. Don’t worry, chances are I have been part of your particular company in some way – as a writer, researcher, customer or even a distributor at some time. Beginning before I was qualified in any form of health care – and eventually to prove the efficacy or value of the product in comparison to what else is out there. Yes, many natural health professionals do get into MLM products but that is as much because of the unhealthy system forcing them to make money from a sideline as it is about any perceivable product quality.

In short, MLM companies cut out the middle man

You are told that shops are the middle man. That is just not true. The middle man in this area is the natural health professional. Imagine signing to a MLM company that sold pharmaceutical products only. The middle man would be the doctor, no? In the time that MLM have made their hostile takeover, pharmacy chains have not only taken over in stocking natural products – without qualification – but have access to products that not even qualified natural health professionals do.

In that same time, doctors have been invited to take part in weekend warrior workshops which affords them the title of holistic or alternative doctor. Rather than, as a number of my peers have done, walk away from the medical industry which has failed so many, they continue to fence sit – but benefit from both sides. As one pharmacy chain head said to me, ‘This is where the money is.” They are also privy to more health fund support and even medicare benefits for their services while the real professionals are not. Cha-ching.

Are you complicit in destroying the very industry you now promote?

You would not know about the other side of this coin – the negative effects. Because it is covered up. Some of you do it to earn a living. Others do it to increase their revenue. I have had executives of certain companies threaten me professionally. I still have copies of letters written to me – one actually telling me I know nothing and need to mature in order to understand things.  One company which shall remain nameless, sent a distributor to threaten me with court action because I dared to answer her honestly when she asked if I would like to take part in her next presentation. I advised her that the products were tested on animals and not of particularly high quality. She refused to hear that just because her company didn’t test at their facility, did not mean the products were not tested elsewhere – and the company paid for it. Or that the products contained toxic ingredients on top of their supposed organic, healthy ones. I simply provided her with paperwork proving my claims and was left alone. At any given time, CEOs and leaders of these companies are in court or jail. This is kept from you. This is just one aspect of MLM marketing. People fall in love with the theory – hang everything else.

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In the last 10 years, natural health has been watered down as it is integrated into modern medicine – not for any other reason than control. So much knowledge is being lost. Natural health experts do not get financial support and as such, 2/3 no longer even operate – between pharmacies, supermarkets, MLM distributors and doctors, vital knowledge is being stolen and lost. If it continues at this rate, it is estimated that by 2025, natural health will be outlawed – and MLM distributors will not care about the original experts – they will just scream about how unfair it all is. Offficially it is about supposed safety – in truth, it is about money. Natural medicines cannot be patented unless they are diluted with pharmaceuticals. Cha-ching.

But back to the real reason for this article. Every day – every single day – I am contacted by people asking for my help professionally. This has now gone on for over 3 decades. It involves sick people from various MLM companies asking me which of the supplements or oils or products they should take – from their line of course. Their ailments range from basic issues to life threatening. I have seen people end up in ER – even in intensive care – because there was no safety net within the company they dedicated and almost lost their lives to; because aside from the token expert everyone quotes like a bad case of Chinese Whispers, there is no expert advice at close hand, nor is it a prerequisite.

Seriously, it is simple

a) If you want to promote products that is your right but for goodness sake, get educated! In this day of accessibility, there is no excuse for ignorance. Look up ingredients and study them. Or go one better and study the modality – yes, there it is again. Modality means modal quality – and in health, that means the particular field of health care. So herbal medicine, homeopathy, aromatherapy, orthomolecular medicine. All of these will – or should – include learning about health in general and how safe your products are alongside others.

Did you know that many oils are not ingestible?

Did you know that many calming supplements can not be used alongside pharmaceuticals?

Did you know some herbals can aggravate symptoms of chronic illness?

b) If you are going to use or have natural health products recommended, get professional advice. Or become a professional yourself.

© Chrysalis Edenic Health 2017

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Chronic fatigue syndrome – avoiding the scams

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The amount of misinformation out there for invisible illness, namely chronic fatigue, is alarming. 1 in 5 of my patients is affected by CFS/ME, fibromyalgia or lyme. Out of these people, most have been unable to work or even live in the real world for some time – many years even. Most have financial trouble simply because of the long drawn out process of mismanagement.

Many more are now dependent on addictive drugs and in turn, suffering side effects that only add to their troubles. Now that the medical industry (along with the pharma industry) are jumping on board and finally recognising CFS, the mismanagement has increased exponentially. With disastrous results. But these are the lucky ones – many suicide or give up on life because they lose hope.

My practice methods combine many modalities, and I work to find the most effective, affordable health care for my patients.

I began my health care journey in the late 70s as a keen nursing assistant, moving into training and eventually remote area nursing. Intending to move onto medical school, I was constantly frustrated with the establishment, refusing to hear those words “There is nothing we can do.”

There was always something else that could be done and I saw this when my father who had been given a grim prognosis, became once again vitally healthy with the help of his ‘miracle worker’ – a naturopath. She became my mentor for a long time and over the next 10 years I studied every modality I could – herbal medicine, colour therapy, reflexology, organic farming/gardening, homœopathy, acupuncture, natural nutrition, cupping, moxibustion, massage, nutriceuticals – anything I found that could help. But let me say here that I am the world’s greatest skeptic – if you have an argument, I have already had it and found answers.

By proxy I moved into writing and lecturing, sat on a number of boards and was a constant lobbyist for health reform. I then found myself in medical research – while I did not find one single day rewarding or beneficial, I did learn from the dishonesty and what I had long believed – that modern medicine was so far off track it was rarely of good use to anyone.

Around this time my daughter became gravely ill with chronic fatigue syndrome that almost claimed her life many times and I vowed that once I found a cure I would share it – I did and I do. My personal battle with this insidious but mostly dismissed disorder cost my family personally, professionally and financially. We were alienated – the financial cost was immeasurable as we descended into debt, trying every ‘magical’ promise out there. By the time I found answers, I had lost everything but the life of my kids. Since then I have vowed to share these answers – even if most people seem to not want to listen.

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Natural therapies offer hope alongside sound nutritional and lifestyle advice. But not all natural health professionals are conversant or acquainted with the syndrome. I personally spent many years unable to deal with it simply because I did not know enough about it. I was no better than my medical counterparts who blundered along with awful consequences. I even witnessed a surgeon do a radical hysterectomy on a patient who, in his words, wouldn’t stop complaining so ‘this will give her something to really complain about.’

Go back further in medical history, and you will find oophorectomy (ovarian removal even in teens) was commonplace. Shock treatment for ‘hysteria’ which was more the hormonal side of CFS symptoms is well documented. Sadly things haven’t changed much – CFS is still considered a mental health issue – many claim it is a psychosomatic illness and it is treated as such. Too many cases are not treated with anything other than anti-depressants and addictive analgesia.

I have spent decades researching, writing and trialling health care at my own cost. Much of it has been a huge expense with little benefit. I am happy to share this knowledge, after careful and in depth research. But I recommend that rather than hit and miss, ad hoc trials at different ideas, complete my assessment (see link on this blog – here) for comprehensive health assistance, and the CFS questionnaire is included at no extra charge. This will help you pinpoint and identify what is needed in your own case.

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© Veritas Chrysalis Integrated Health

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