Back in the days when humans still lived in a pristine relationship with nature, a woman my age wouldn’t have spent more than four decades eating genetically altered food, unknowingly consuming insecticide with her vegetables, and noshing on processed snacks packed with preservatives. She wouldn’t have spent all those years parked on her voluminous rump, getting no physical exercise most of each day.
That’s because in those days, a woman my age would have been dead for twenty years.
Come on, face it: Statistically speaking, modern conveniences have given a lot more than they’ve taken in terms of healthy and longevity. That’s why I’m relaxed about things most Whole Foods customers abhor. I have various friends who are militant about their whole-food, live-food, sanctified-by-the-nutrition-gods food, and while these folks are as healthy as horses, they also tend to be murdered by people they keep criticizing for eating Twinkies.
That said, you all know I’m a big back-to-nature buff. And I’m always looking for ways to make my clients’ lives work better. So I was intrigued when my friend Betsy informed me about one way we’ve strayed from our biological best path. We have abandoned our parasites.
Hookworms and Happiness
There’s surprisingly robust research that suggests we co-evolved with many parasites in a symbiotic way. For example, being infested with hookworms apparently activates a chain reaction that can heal allergies, asthma, and various irritable bowel syndromes. I’m not kidding.
That’s why one guy, whose story appears on several internet sites but whose name is wisely obscured, took his serious allergies and asthma to the African nation of Cameroon, which is apparently the Disneyland of parasites. Then he took off his shoes and tromped around in piles of human feces, an idea he no doubt read in his guidebook, “Fun and Friendly Things To Do In the Third World.”
Use this to cure that:
“I became infested almost immediately,” he writes. “It must have been either the first or second day I spent walking barefoot through the latrines. When one thinks of it this was an enormous piece of luck.”
Okay. One is thinking of it, but one is having a hard time agreeing.
Anyway, this guy says his asthma went away (just as it went away from patients in legitimate studies at places like the University of Nottingham).
Below: test subjects from the University of Nottingham
Pooping for Profits
These days, our hookworm-infested gentleman makes money harvesting the larvae of his new pets, which he gets from his own…well, yes. He sells the larvae to other people who have allergies but lack the wealthy jet-set’s ability to go lollygagging around latrines in Cameroon any time they darn well please.
On a similar note, doctors now use “medical maggots” to clean wounds, and leeches to keep blood from coagulating. One website sells tapeworms to people who want to lose weight: swallow the worm, lose the weight, take a worm-killing pill, bada bing, bada boom, you have thighs like a gazelle. Also anemia, post-traumatic stress, and a story that means no one will ever marry you, but hey! It’s better to look good than to feel good, right?
In light of these findings, I’ve been wondering—any responsible life coach would—if there are other healthy primordial conditions or behaviors we modern humans have abandoned. Could we have evolved to benefit from many parasites that make me want to hurl? Could the tendency to hurl be cured by ticks?
It is possible.
So here’s a list of little-known ancient biological truths (or not) that I think might restore our natural health. There is no evidence whatsoever to support any of them. I just have a feeling.
Martha’s List of Possible Primordial Cures for Whatever Ails You
- Babies should only be cleaned by dogs.
- A mouse in your house means no sties in your eyes.
- Bake with dung, it keeps you young!
- Armpit odor prevents nightmares and sleep crime.
- Fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth virtually disappear if you pound them with a rock.
- A moldy fridge makes a fertile mind.
- Stabbing a yak cures back pain (for you, not for the yak).
- Toe fungus makes you joyful.
- Lice stop you from running mad.
These are just a few bits of ancient wisdom that occurred to me on the fly. If you have any other back-to-nature practices I can incorporate into my life coaching, by all means share them! It’s time to start licking our meat clean and re-connecting with all the disgusting parasites that use humans as hosts. Which reminds me, it’s time for my political pundit shows. I think they make me immune to swine flu.