12. Okay, This One Is Kind Of Interesting: Massaging Your Own Face Until You Fall Asleep
According to WebMD, the site everybody uses to self-diagnose life-threatening diseases, there is ample evidence to suggest that massage therapy is an adequate treatment for stress relief. Massage can also be beneficial for anxiety, headaches, circulation issues, and sports-related injuries. But for insomnia? If you’ve ever had a massage, you know how easy it is to accidentally fall asleep. The issue is that once the massage is over, you have to wake up and leave. In a piece for Elle, writer Julie Schott tried a massage service that sends a massage therapist to your home who leaves once you’re asleep. The verdict? It was an amazing experience. But what about the rest of us who can’t afford a personal massage therapist every evening before bed? Gwyneth Paltrow favors a self-face massage method that involves an elaborate nighttime ritual to induce relaxation. By combining meditation, aromatherapy, and massage to the pressure points of the face and scalp, you can whisk yourself away from the world of the living to a full eight hours of sleep. Essential oils, dim lights, and tisane help create a relaxing mood. Gwyneth’s routine, developed by Heidi Fredrick and Rachel Lang for Goop, is a very easy DIY method that makes the benefits of massage accessible, without relying on pseudoscience, confirmation bias, or the need to spend heaps of money. Give it a try!
11. Let’s Check The Facts First: Does Everyone Really Have A Parasite Infection? Is Goat Milk A Secret Cure-All?
Can a diet of goat milk and fresh herbs cleanse the body of parasitic infection? In this Goop interview with Dr. Linda Lancaster, GP credits parasites with having “health depleting consequences” and estimates that up to 60 million Americans deal with parasite infections. Dr. Lancaster explains that most people who have parasites don’t even know they have them, but also offers a very broad definition of what could be considered a parasite. She says, “when you have a kid that’s grinding their teeth at night, picking their nose, […] I can tell you before the screening that they have a parasite.” Other symptoms of having parasites? Fatigue, exhaustion, and gas. Dr. Lancaster recommends a cleanse in which patients drink nothing but goat milk with herbs for 8 days straight, which draws the parasites out and kills them. Although Gwyneth told Shape.com that her experience with this cleanse left her feeling energized, she ignited many detractors. Organic Authority, an online organic food publication that was skeptical of the claims made by Dr. Lancaster and Gwyneth, reached out to Dr. Svetlana Kogan, who said, “there are no large randomized studies of goat milk anti-parasitic effect—only anecdotal observations.”
Like many of the claims supported by Goop, the evidence is simply insufficient.
A week-long diet of nothing but goat milk might actually leave you nutrient deficient, she goes on to say. It’s safe to say that if you have any of the symptoms of a parasitic infection – be it tiredness, gas, or nose-picking – you should probably consult a regular doctor before trying anything funny with goat milk.
10. Hold Up: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Favourite Psychic Doctor
Gwyneth Paltrow is no stranger to controversial doctors. In an article for Goop, she teams up with holistic doctor and friend Alejandro Junger to promote the book Medical Medium by Anthony Williams. Paltrow is quoted on Anthony Williams’ website testimonial section lauding Williams, saying that while the work he does is important, “what’s better is that the protocols he recommends are natural, accessible, and easy to do.” Williams’ psychic gift, he explains to Goop, began when he was a child and began to hear the voice of a presence called Spirit whisper in his ear. Spirit let him diagnose medical mysteries in the people around him, much to his family’s amazement. Currently, Williams is a proponent of the idea that the Epstein-Barr virus is the cause behind a number of mystery illnesses and offers a series of detoxing cleanses and vitamin regimens to combat them. One can see a pattern emerge between proponents of expensive cleanses, where a self-titled expert offers a catch-all solution to a myriad of problems before selling a cleanse – this is the case of Dr. Linda Lancaster and her parasite-curing goat milk, and goes even further back to the likes of Oprah’s Dr. Oz. Williams is no strange bedfellow to controversy himself. An investigation by Inverse, drawing on a number of his material published with Goop, is critical of his naming of the Epstein-Barr Virus as the source of diseases like cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome. Williams – who is not actually a doctor – also asserts that genetics do not play a role in illnesses like cancer. What Williams can offer is a $500 thirty minute phone call in which he psychically diagnoses patients with EBV. Inverse quotes Dr. Jennifer Gunter, who is often critical of Goop’s associates, saying that “there is great potential for harm with many of the therapies that are recommended and delays in diagnosis… This just makes doctors’ jobs harder.”