Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hey all. I'm sorry I've been such a bum. Truth be told, I've been exhausted lately, and I don't even know why. It's been all I can do just to get to work, church, and physical therapy lately. I'm running with the theory that it's the changing of the season. Either that, or my rigorous schedule of sitting down all day has finally taken its toll, making me unable to do tasks that involve further sitting down.
Speaking of weak segues, yesterday while being exhausted, I was watching an episode of My Cat from Hell, a show on Animal Planet wherein a gentleman named Jackson Galaxy makes poor choices with regard to his facial hair and fixes crazy cats. Generally by giving cat owners a feather on a string and telling them to take the lids off their cat boxes.
If he looks like a cross between King Tut and
a white supremacist, no one will notice that
his answer to everything is a $2 cat toy.
In one episode, Galaxy meets one cat who can't be cured by a cat toy or by taking the lid off the litter box. This cat's issues went beyond simple behavioral or environmental triggers - he felt the cat was mentally ill and needed to be medicated. Galaxy says hates to give the advice, since he's in favor of holistic health, but in some cases it's needed.
Interesting thing, though, holistic, which apparently comes from South African English, actually doesn't necessarily mean "non-medical," although some wheat-germers (as we'll call them) insist otherwise. Holistic therapy is actually the practice of using multiple approaches to a person's wellness. For instance, if I were to go to a holistic health provider with back pain, that provider might try a combination of physical therapy, chiropractic, meditation, medication, and diet. It doesn't eschew Western medicine, but sees it as only one component of treatment. The holistic philosophy is widely accepted in the medical community in the US, although some of the components, such as homeopathy and acupuncture generally aren't.
And speaking of homeopathy, that's another thing that people often use incorrectly. Lots of people think that homeopathic is another term for alternative therapy, and that stuff like acupuncture,  vitamin therapy, and magnets and crap fall under its umbrella. Totally untrue. The term homeopathic only refers to the totally debunked belief that poison and other random crap, highly diluted, can magically cure diseases. In fact, these substances are often so diluted with plain water that there's maybe a molecule of the snake oil in a bottle of "medicine". But it's cool, because water "has a memory." If you detect a tiny note of contempt here, it's because I'm not a fan of snake oil salesmen actively discouraging seriously sick people from getting actual medical help, while making absurd claims about actual effective treatments. These hucksters are freaking killing people.

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