Thursday, November 8, 2018

#2099: Meghan Pearson

Meghan Pearson is a reiki practitioner and wellness blogger who primarily writes about vegan food. Though perhaps not a big name on the quack scene, Pearson does have a bit of a profile, insofar as her rants have been published by the Huffington Post. An example is her post titled “My Love Affair With Naturopathy”, the occasion being her visit to a naturopath (Toronto-based and therefore not separate-entry-qualified Erin Wiley). 

That article is pretty much as bad as you’d expect. Apparently, Pearson has a number of health problems (it’s a bit interesting how people promoting wellness and natural health very often do) and an attraction to all things “natural”, which to Pearson seems to mean that naturopathy can help her when conventional medicine does not. So according to Pearson, “Western” medicine never goes to the source and its recommendations are driven by big money, as opposed to the recommendations from altmed practitioners who sell untested supplements and treatment regimes unfettered by the dictatorial constraints of reality and evidence.

Well, so Pearson, given her “nutritional background and knowledge [she has no relevant education, of course], and my keen interest in Eastern medicinal techniques [i.e. orientalism]”, sought out naturopath Erin Wiley and was apparently mightily impressed when Wiley hooked her up to electrodes and “measured” a bunch of things in her body – the instruments both said “ping” and produced some sciency-looking charts – and promptly decided that Pearson suffered from, of course, “a condition called ‘adrenal fatigue,” a favorite fake diagnosis among quacks everywhere. Pearson, of course, who wouldn’t be able to distinguish a real medical condition from a dolphin chakra if her life depended on it, happily accepted it all and bought in. Those darned science-based people with their integrity and evidence-based diagnoses would never have come up with anything like this.

Diagnosis: Yep, it’s a paean to letting oneself be fooled. I suppose, in a sense, it is a bit mean to call out the victim – and make no mistake: Pearson is a victim here – but she wrote up a glowing review (and not marked as an ad) for Huffington Post, and we have some sort of duty to remind people not to trust the advice of people like Meghan Pearson. (Besides, it's not like she's completely innocent herself, being a reiki practitioner and very much willing to share nonsense about nutrition.) 

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