Aside from the hand-holding part at the end, I kinda liked this TED talk on how the mind can heal the body.

As she went into a plethora of different examples about how stage 4 cancer and AIDS patients respectively experienced shrunken tumors and became HIV negative, Rankin brought up something I kinda never thought about. The first part’s obvi: We can make our bodies better with our brains. But what I never considered is that there is kinda proof. They even have a name for it in the medical community – the “Placebo Effect”. I never really thought of it that way, because when I think of that term, it conjures up images of people who have fake illnesses. Not poor soccer moms suddenly riddled with cancer bulbs. Or that one dude who suffered the same only to suddenly see them disintegrate after taking a medication still in its testing phases… who then found out the medication was lab-proven to not do much in further studies on it. While the conspiracy-theorist in me’s thinking, “Yeah, right I bet it worked too well and big pharma doesn’t profit off’a health so they squashed it”, I dunno if that’s the case here. I mean, it may be true, but in this case, the meds were irrelevant. ‘cause the patient (Mr. Wright was his name) ended up hearing this, and his cancer came back only after he learned that.

His doc, who legit didn’t think he’d make it this far to start with, sneakily brought him back in like a drug dealer trying to keep a client, all, “Man, I’ve got this industrial grade, diesel strength, PURE strain – not that shit we gave you before. I’mma inject you with it. Hardcore, man.” So, he put some distilled water in the dude. And, boom. Cancer vanished. Again. Unfortunately, the official release came out saying the drug – in all its forms – was shitty and didn’t work. And, maybe a month after reading that, the big C came back full force. And the dude croaked. (Had the doc been smarter, he would’ve preceded that injection with “This is stuff they aren’t publishing about… I’m not even supposed to have it. They’re still studying it. Tell no one…” That way when the release popped up, he could fall back on the whole “yeah, that’s what they tell the public” thing. Maybe homebody would’ve gone on thinking the drug worked and living a long cancer-less life.)

Much like the placebo effect, though, the nocebo effect is equally powerful.

That’s where you subconsciously sicken yourself because of a negative belief you hold.

And this crossed my mind last night as I watched this dietary documentary that really was more fear-porn about the toxins in our foods and how shitty the quality of our produce is. (Because the soil’s crappy, the plants aren’t healthy – then they can’t defend themselves against bugs which means pesticides are needed. Voila. Poison vegan soufflé). After they’d already shoved me on the ground by making me feel despondent enough about my diet when I can’t do anything about it (short of starting my own farm) they finally kicked me in the gut: “And anyone who has a filling in any of their teeth of amalgam, has Mercury slowly leaking into their system for as long as the filling is there.” Fuck, man. I can’t take that out! That’s stuck in there. It’s like I’m under a cemented demonic possession until it’s exorcised via dental drill. And what are my replacement options? Oh, you’re… you’re just not gonna provide any? Yeah, that’s cool.

Automatically, I start thinking back to a year or so ago when I got it, racking the medical end of the net for Mercury poisoning symptoms and then racking my brain to remember if any of those things have happened to me. It’s ridiculous. If I were to keep on this train of thought, within days I’d probably start presenting like a twitchy maniac, complaining that there’s too much air in the room. In a way, this quasi-moment of distress I’ve allowed myself to indulge is an excellent reminder of our mortality. Once we accept that we’re going to die eventually, it makes infusing the time before that happens with a lot more clear and positive thought. Positive thought? A life free of those poison-y symptoms possibly making it unpleasant. That’s when I realized: I do need to get a dental check up anyway. So I can ask when I’m there what alternative options there are to this stuff in my mouth. In the meantime, there’s nothing I can do about any danger I may’ve exposed myself to in the past year. Best I can do is retain health by continuing a diet of what these documentary folk have condemned as nutrient-less food that needs to be supplemented with copious vitamins. They’re probably not wrong, but, shit. Add in a section about organic growers. And while you’re at it – an effing shoe-in for my now suicidal tooth. Can I have an outline of possible options so we can end on a positive note instead of this fccking hopelessness nocebo you’re inducing?

Using 90 minutes to ask everyone about vitamins makes it feel like the OTC version of a prolonged big pharma ad.

So, I’m going to spend about a trillionth of that time typing these solutions:

1. Mercury free alternatives to conventional amalgam are here.

2. Shop organic.

If you get real food that isn’t grown in shit-soil, you won’t have to worry about that domino cascade of un-health that makes you need to take 500 vitamins every day. The plants will have the nutrients already. That said, yeah, I get it’s expensive. So take your vitamins if you can’t eat organic. But, beyond that water-is-wet news, remember that placebo and nocebo effects can be equally crucial in self-healing and self-destruction. Equally crucial – for that latter case – is to recognize when someone’s trying to plant it there straight away. That way, you can piss on it before it grows. And on them, too, if you’re into that sorta thing. If they start WTFing you, just gently inform them science recently found that non-pessimistic golden showers are the cure for being an ignorant asshole.

And you’re just a good Samaritan who noticed you were needed.