What’s the Naturopathic Remedy for a Backbone?

For twenty or so years, I’ve been growing in awareness that if there’s one issue that’s politicized my life more than anything else, it was the implementation of NAFTA. The economic policy shuttered the textile industry in the U.S. South, plunged families like mine into economic uncertainty, and set us on a path of either migrating north and to the cities for work or digging our heels into the small towns we called home and wallowing in despair just in time for the opioid boom.

Over the last year or so, I’ve recognized a familiar twist. The pandemic shutdown of small businesses bankrupted me, killed my last practice, and took about everything I had built up for myself over the course of my adult life so far. The ordinances and mandates were arbitrary, as were the awarding of grants and other financial aid.

Dentists, for instance, could stick their fingers into someone’s actual mouth while their own mouths were mere inches away, yet even offering chair massage (no skin-to-skin contact, with the client facing opposite even a masked therapist) was out of the question.

My own practice, which specifically served chronically ill clients, neither qualified as “essential” nor warranted a bailout of a single cent. A home-based tie-dye shop up the road apparently did though to the tune of a $10,000 taxpayer-funded grant.

The science, which allegedly justified and plainly explained all of this to all but the most partisan of redneck knuckleheads like myself, escaped me. But it seems like to me, it’s probably the same type of science debunked on masking, the lethality of COVID-19, and the safe and effective vaccine. By which I mean that it’s the same type of science debunked around any number of pharmaceuticals slapped with boxed warnings in the last twenty years.

It’s a scam. (Like the Patriot Act) It’s a power grab whose emergency justification will never end. It’s a tightening of the grip global capital holds around our lives. It’s possibly all the most comprehensive and global, totalitarian psy-op in humanity’s history thus far.

A Theory From the Data

I get it though. Science is a process. It’s evolving, not settled. Science means observing, rather constantly, and only cautiously concluding. The problem arises when science is treated as conclusive, when those conclusions are politicized (while other interpretations or data are suppressed), and when policies with the power to wreck people’s lives, kill or maim them are instituted from the other side of a liability shield insulating The Science from all accountability.

“The rise of censorship, the rise of suppression of religious freedoms, of property rights, closing a million businesses without just compensation or due process, the abolition of jury trials, which are guaranteed by the Sixth and Seventh Amendment for any vaccine company that hurts you, all of these– and the rise of a track-and-trace surveillance state, has been troubling to people, both Democrats and Republicans,” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.)

And that’s what really reminds me so much of NAFTA. It’s the lack of accountability. There’s no justice for the way my family’s life was upended in the 1990s, just as there will be no justice for the 24/7/365 fear campaign that led my grandmother to take the jab that murdered her. There’s no revenge. There’s no release for the pent-up anger at circumstance thousands upon thousands of other American families like us were left with while big box stores made out like bandits by outsourcing labor overseas. Sure, we can meme about the Clintons and pray every night for poetic justice not even lost elections offer their victims.

But NAFTA isn’t even about the Clintons (or the Bushs for that matter).

NAFTA, like the pandemic shutdowns, like the year of mandates that’s followed, and like the seemingly now set in stone future of a never-ending series of boosters deciding who can even leave home, are all reminders of the powers that shape our lives, beyond, without, and regardless of our consent. They are reminders of our relative powerlessness over such intimate and necessary parts of our lives like working, living somewhere, acquiring food, and exercising control over our own bodies.

The neoliberal future, the progressivism of machinery and globalized capital, are built enclosed around the obedient peon stripped of his roots, his regionality, his sex, and even his DNA.

If the 2016 US presidential campaign was any indicator, nostalgia for our dignity, our liberty, and our humanity is a cause the ascendant ideologies of this brave new world seek to topple, mock, de-platform, and throw to the wolves. NAFTA’s discontents have been a joke since the 90s, whether it was my childhood accent, or the words I grew up to say.

And the unvaxxed and under-vaxxed can surely anticipate another thirty+ years of being pigeon-holed into whatever ideology the media and its consumers decide to flatten and gaslight our experiences into.

An Immune Response

Sadly, even naturopathic colleges like Bastyr have chosen vaccine mandates over resisting government tyranny. And holistic training bodies like the Upledger Institute and International Alliance of Health Educators have chosen to postpone classes and require masking, even where they are not mandated from outside regulators.

Surely this marks a defeat and twisting of the movements for health freedom and natural health.

Disappearing are the days when natural health practitioners understood the politicized suppression of data, the dangers of pharmaceuticals and government overreach, the interconnectedness of socioeconomic position and chronic health, and the importance of growing a backbone to preserve traditional wisdom, holistic care, and the agency of our families in spite of it all.

In their place is a festering movement to re-make natural health modalities in the image of modern medicine.

Massage therapy as a clinical treatment devoid of anything reminiscent of laying on hands.

…essential oils for the mass market and devoid of concern for planetary impact or safety

…generalized aromatherapy for the disease not the individual

…naturopaths mandating pharmaceutical products

…and everything, from now on, performed meticulously out of fear from behind the terrifying costume of double-masks, face shields, plastic sheets, and QR checkpoints.

The immune response necessitated by this moment is not merely political in resistance to this fascism, but medical, spiritual, and holistic in defense of our humanity.

It is creative where pharmaceutical technocracy is manipulative. It is warming and regional where globalist capitalism is chilling and ubiquitizing. It is careful where modern medicine is harmful. And it is human, embedded in the family, the community, and the ecosystem where the capitalist and the technocrat face the world facelessly from above those they cannibalize.

Which way naturopathic man?

Do we follow the footsteps of the medical and economic powers that be? Or do we dare fruit into something different?

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