If you know anything about my 5 day experiments, you've probably guessed that I'm pretty into testing new, out-of-the-box ways to improve my emotional and physical health. From practicing 5 days of self-love to strategizing about how to foster creativity, I like to keep an open mind about anything unorthodox — even if it falls outside of conventional wisdom about wellness. So when I decided to spend a week immersed in the world of natural remedies, I was clear before starting that many of these procedures, like acupuncture and essential-oil therapies, are emphatically regarded as pseudo-scientific. But that didn't hedge my curiosity about how they would make me feel. Check out the video below to catch all of my experiments with herbs, Qi, and homemade stress-release playdough. (Spoiler: I even proudly went to the beach with my cupping marks on full display!)
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Before I my began my week researching holistic medicine, I sat down with health and science journalist Sarah Jacoby to get a better sense of what I could realistically expect from these therapies. And even though she felt they were totally safe, she also cautioned me against putting too much stock in their efficacy. "It doesn't sound like anything you're doing is going to hurt you, but I don't want you to expect any kind of miraculous benefit from these things," Jacoby warned.
"There's not a lot of research that proves conclusively that [these natural remedies] are doing that much for you and definitely not proving that they're better than other treatments that we already have." Another important thing to keep in mind was the possibility of a placebo effect, as in — if you think a procedure's going to make you feel good, sometimes that's enough to convince you that it's actually producing real results. All I can say? They sure are fun to watch.