The “Health Space” Makes my Blood Boil

TL;DR

Behold an opinion based around the asseveration that one “cannot market health” and yet the “Health Space” has become a multi-billion dollar industry hopper in which we tumble around, haplessly grasping at concepts in the hope of winning the better self lottery.

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits.

All’s Well That Ends Well (2.1.145-47)

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It appears to me there is a societal subset that are health conscious, nay health obsessed, nay health fanatical. I have always deemed one “cannot market health” – the same applies to strength training – though that’s another story. My meaning here is that getting strong and being healthy is a simple concept. The problems arise when the modern human animal consciousness is involved. We expect reasons instead of cause, are easily convinced by make believe, and must – absolutely must – at all costs be entertained.

This heady concoction results in our finding simplicity both hard to swallow and impossible to comprehend. Thus rendering us soft, pliable targets. I have often sat and wistfully contemplated the seemingly exponential growth of the health industry. Say ‘health industry’ to yourself. Does that sound right to you? Does it fuck.

Enter The Health Space

The ‘health space’ is a much more appetising rendition of exactly the same concept:

  1. Convince the human it is broken.
  2. Repeatedly emphasise its brokenness.
  3. Await desperate human’s plea for help.
  4. Suggest esoteric solution.
  5. Profit.

Here I would caveat, to rule out obvious discourse on hereditary or otherwise unavoidable disease or dysfunction, but I don’t need to. You’re reading this because (a) you’re not stupid and (b) not stupid people don’t point out gaps in a discussion by creating an alternate discussion that better suits their agenda.

Health Space: A New Frontier

The Health Space was a term I heard being used a few years ago, and it grows like an incurable bum cancer we might get if we eat read meat like the heathens of old did before we became enlightened to the fact that cow farts are destroying our world. I posit the cause, aside from our own credulity, may be our spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about ourselves. This hyper-critical self-obsession goes on as the world itself creeps further towards inevitable heat death, yet here we are wringing our hands as to why we can’t shift stubborn belly fat or those ‘last five pounds’ – something that even countries who openly mock the archaic and embarrassingly backwards use of the imperial system still say. It is that ingrained in the human psyche as A Thing.

Now then. I have both observed and experienced first hand what happens when Occam’s Razor is invoked as a health solution to a human tightly wrapped in its own self-importance:

It can’t be that simple.

Eating plentifully and well, sleeping in consistent patterns, high-frequency friendly social interaction, moving ourselves and heavy objects, adventures into the unknown and creative thinking may be a solution for other people, but not me. Because I am special.

Enter The Health Space

The Health Space is the friendly, progressive, forward-thinking alternative to rationally troubleshooting one’s own circumstances. Instead, we can spend our hard earned wages (from the job we hate – but that’s not the problem) on exogenous ketones (because we don’t have to alter our diet) and sleeping potions (because blackout curtains are a hassle and we need to have our phone in our bedroom) and healthy packaged and processed foods (because we mainline coffee for breakfast, we don’t like to cook and who has time to learn anyway).

For every thinker, coach or practitioner attempting to make a difference, there are ten protocols, products and fantasy solutions being touted by “trusted” sources as our flash on the road to Damascus. Not only are these things exciting, they promise to fulfil our wish to ascend to the Kingdom of Health. Again, we like to believe that miracles can occur, that we are born sick and must be healed – the path to which lies in adherence to the dogma of our chosen idol: CrossFit, Bodybuilding, Keto, LFHC, LCHF, Veg*anism, The Paleo Diet (tee em), whatever. As long as it has a name and we can be identified by others as part of the enlightened congregation of adherents.  The Health Space cares about me.

This is an incendiary haematological decoction for me. I strive to distinguish cause from effect – is our credulity being taken advantage of or are we being made credulous because we’re under the impression we’re special? Whichever, health is an emerging market and more self-obsessed we become, the more money is to be made from the next supplement or hack that will fast track us to Health.

I have a solution for the afflicted. Start simple and give it time. If that doesn’t sound right – guess what. The Health Space will have a better solution.

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