Alarm bells were ringing in my head all weekend.
I signed up for Paul Chek’s holistic lifestyle-coaching course under the impression that this would be helpful to my clients. The recommendations made over the weekend were astoundingly false. The most disturbing part of this weekend was within this group of 30 “students” we are all encouraged to practice and share “knowledge” after this one weekend course. We are licensed CHEK coaches in 3 days.
There’s a saying in science to describe the liberties pseudosciences take that goes something like this…
Ducks quack: fact
A duck is a bird: fact
All ducks are birds: fact
If all ducks are birds then all birds quack: extension
This course was quacking loudly all weekend.
The first quack came when our instructor, Emma Lane, a naturopath from England told us that she managed to cure a man who was wheelchair ridden simply by having his mercury tooth fillings removed. The class oooowwwed and awwwed like she was a god.
She had them hooked.
Next she confidently stated that since she’s a trained practitioner Lane regularly prescribes super doses of vitamin D. The FDA sets the upper tolerable intake level at 4,000 IU per day. Lane prescribes up to 50,000 IU to her patients. 12x the tolerable limit – YIKES. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which makes it extremely toxic because, unlike water-soluble vitamins your body can’t excrete excess easily.
We were next given the CHEK Metabolic Typing diet, or sorry not a diet a ‘lifestyle’ with restricted food items done on an 8-12 week schedule. Based on a 10-item metabolic typing questionnaire we were grouped into protein, mixed or carbohydrate groups. If you happen to fall in the protein type category, as I did, we were told that healthy breakfasts could consist of 6-8 chicken thighs fried in ½ pound of butter. Yum. Oh and it all better be certified organic.
Metabolic typing is not a new concept. A dentist invented it in the 1970s. This dentist had cancer and was apparently able to cure his cancer by following a high protein diet. Although he was cured his wife soon became very sick. From this tiny sample group the dentist came to the conclusion that everyone needs to eat slightly differently. What they neglected to mention in class was this dentist was arrested, multiple times sued for malpractice and stripped of his practicing rights. And 30 years later his science was “awakened” by Chek.
Over the last few years I’ve observed that one common way the naturopathic world endeavors to establish credibility is to regularly take digs at the allopathic, or traditional medical world. This weekend multiple digs were made toward western medicine. The most consistent dig was the fact that MDs regularly prescribe meds and that’s all they want to do. In my personal experience that couldn’t be further from the truth. My MD has always made sure antibiotics are the last course of action. MDs do not make money off their prescriptions arguably, they lose money. It is in a medical doctor’s best interest to keep their patients healthy, they are paid more by OHIP to do so.
Conversely, naturopaths and holistic practitioners make huge margins off drops and vitamins. If you’ve ever been to one you’ll likely walk out with a cocktail of your “essentials”: a 20-pill morning mix. This weekend our instructor regularly referenced her websites where she sells products she’s endorsed. We were also sold these “technology canceling” necklaces conveniently available at the front of the room for $95 a piece. Bottom line here is natural practitioners are not without alternative agendas, as they would often have you believe.
My final comment from this weekend is Chek’s zone exercises for working “in” energy. We are encouraged to tell our clients who come to see us who are overweight what they really need is to build up their chi for 6-8 weeks before they start to workout. We were taught simple movements from breathing in to bending over. My comment as a trainer is good luck with that chi, come see me when you’re done.
Overall my consistent emotion throughout this weekend was disappointment and fear for the future of health care. I was genuinely excited to take part in this “advanced exercise education” course.
To anyone thinking about seeking out a CHEK practitioner I caution you to be very wary. After completing the certification, I wouldn’t go near a CHEK practitioner for all the organic tea in China.