One of my favorite teaching tales comes from the world of Oriental Medicine and culture. It reads as such:
There was a person who followed Confucius, one who was a Buddhist and a Taoist who sat on a bench. A government official stood next to them. The Confucius follower began to stand up. As he did so, the official placed his hand on the Confucius follower’s shoulder and had him return to his seat. Those who follow Confucius believe in authority and thus was bound to follow the government official.
Next the Buddhist began to stand up and as before, the official placed his hand on his shoulder and guided him back to his seat. The Buddhist, a believer in non-conflict, acquiesced and returned to this seat.
The Taoist began to stand up and per usual, the government official placed his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to guide her back to her seat. She brushed the official’s hand away, and grabbed the shoulders of the Confucius follower and the Buddhist, pulling them both up. Taoism is about following one’s own path, regardless.
In many ways, I see nutrition and Natural Medicine in the same fashion as the Taoist. I often hear people taking XYZ supplement because their friends do or they read something favorable, or avoiding ABC because their doctor (who is not trained in this area of medicine) told them not to.
Truth be told, the greatest health care is self care; that is, when the individual is informed as much as possible, takes responsibility for his/her health and is in the ideal position to make the most effective decision for their body. They may not know how to perform the surgery but know when it is needed. And when it can be avoided. They know that for example, trace minerals are a much needed substance and greatly lacking in the diet and thus, should be supplemented correctly. What is correctly? Taken at night on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.
If they do not know, they are aware of this as well and can set aside pride and ego and seek sources they know can be trusted. And like the Taoist above, they do their best to bring others up to their level of knowledge.
At the end of the day, you and only you are responsible for your health. Begin the education process now. You are worth it.
Gold was the most revered substance in Taoism. Treat your body like the gold that it is!