Djcnor’s Weblog

Alternative (Complementary) Therapies – A Ponzi scheme?

Posted on: January 8, 2009

Time out from Obama’s choices. I was sitting in my bath this morning and some thoughts that have been hanging out in my head for about a month finally formed themselves into a coherent picture. That picture may be a hallucination or a delusion, but I thought I’d put it on the table, so to speak, and see if anyone else was thinking the s ame thing.

What happened about a month ago to bring this on was that I went to a meeting of women starting their own businesses. There were about 30 women there, and as we went round the room, it seemed to me that more than half were starting businesses doing one type of alternative or complementary therapy or another. There was even a woman who, having decided that the field was over populated already, was starting a business specializing in helping women who were starting such therapy businesses market their services.

Maybe I’m all too sceptical, out of step with the times, or just plain a wet blanket, but it seems to me that in hard times, folks are more unlikely than they would be otherwise to pay for alternative therapies. I’m not saying they don’t have any positive effects. They’ve been used so long in the places they originated that I’m sure they do. I’m saying that the skills seem to be so easy to acquire, even so popular to acquire, that I expect that this is a case similar to a gold rush.

I suspect that the main people making money from these alternative and complementary therapies are the people selling classes in these therapies to other folks who hope to make a living doing them, folks renting practice rooms to those who hope to make a living doing the therapies, people providing marketing materials and “well-being fairs” (at a price, of course) to those hoping to make a living doing the therapies, and so on and so on. In other word, the people making money are those selling to the “goldminers”, not the “goldminers” themselves. 

What do you think? Have you had a contrary experience? Don’t tell me whether the therapies helped you. I’m sure they did. Tell me if you know anyone actually supporting themselves by just doing the therapies.


2 Responses to "Alternative (Complementary) Therapies – A Ponzi scheme?"

You made me laugh, and you make a lot of sense. It’s sort of like how I don’t know anyone who has actually gotten a job through their connections on LinkedIn. Yet, still, I joined…

Ah ha! LinkedIn too? Wonder how many examples there are. I remember how folks made fun of Barbara Erenreich’s latest(?) book about trying to join corporate America as a woman over 50. She set out to write a book about life in the lower levels of a corporation, trying to go undercover by getting an ordinary job. Of course she’d hidden her world famous writer fame, but she hadn’t hidden her college degree and had cover experience. She encountered lots and lots of people making money out of selling different kinds of “services” to job seekers, none of which actually seemed to work for anyone in the groups of job-seekers she joined.

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Djcnor’s Weblog

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