Wellness Trends That Are Very Popular but Completely Unscientific
Everyone wants to feel better and do better. That's why we’re so quick to jump onto wellness trends — but some just aren't worth following. Sometimes, these "great" ideas are absolutely useless or, even worse, harmful.
In the midst of all of the great wellness tips, productivity tricks and life hacks that have sprung up, there are some that stand out for all the wrong reasons. Despite the huge followings these 30 ideas have, there’s absolutely no scientific basis to suggest they work.
Dopamine is tied to pleasure and motivation. Cameron Sepah, a psychiatrist, says that people are getting too much dopamine from constant contact with technology. This leads to technology addiction and a lack of motivation to do other things.
Microdoses of LSD
The business world is full of people whose careers depend on coming up with cutting-edge ideas on a near-constant basis. Some have started taking small doses of LSD in an attempt to become more creative and productive. The people who do it swear by it, but the scientific community doesn’t agree.
Pink Himalayan Salt Lamps
Pink Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage. These lamps supposedly reduce the number of negative ions in the air, but studies on whether these ions are actually bad are largely inconclusive. Proponents of the lamps say they can clean the air and fight depression. Science says the jury is still out.
Silicon Valley CEOs like Jack Dorsey and Phil Libin are taking intermittent fasting to the next level. Rather than eating fewer calories on fasting days, they’re not eating at all for up to eight days. Believers claim these extreme fasts improve focus and that hunger dissipates a few days in.
Healthy Men Taking Estrogen Blockers
There's a relatively new trend of men who don’t have health problems taking estrogen blockers to increase testosterone, supposedly increasing libido, vitality and overall health in the process. For men who don't have enough testosterone, taking estrogen blockers can sometimes be safer than taking testosterone supplements.
Plasma Transfusions From Young People
Blood transfusions are usually reserved for emergencies, but billionaires like Peter Thiel are getting them by choice. They’re being transfused with the plasma of young people, believing it has anti-aging properties. The supposed benefits come from one study, and the FDA says there isn’t enough evidence to prove the efficacy of plasma transfusion from young people.
Cryotherapy treatment centers are popping up all over the country, but the benefits of exposing the body to subzero temperatures haven't been proven. Many professional sports teams are proponents of cryotherapy because it’s said to improve muscle recovery and get rid of soreness.
People are stirring powdered collagen into food and beverages to improve the appearance of their skin and help muscles repair themselves. Some even claim that consuming powdered collagen can cure the pain of arthritis. Some doctors are fans of powdered collagen, but there’s very little evidence for its efficacy.
We've all wanted to nap at work, and now, companies are finally jumping on the bandwagon. Some of the trendiest companies even have rooms or space-agey pods dedicated to taking naps during the day.
NAD+ is a supplement at the intersection of two of Silicon Valley's biggest health desires: people who want to live longer, and people who are interested in intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been found to increase NAD+ levels in the body, which is why some claim it increases longevity.
Coffee enemas are exactly what you think they are. Without getting too explicit, they involve saturating the colon with coffee via the rectal route. These enemas are said to boost energy, get rid of intestinal parasites and toxins and help the immune system.
Colonics take enemas to the next level. More than a dozen gallons of warm water, sometimes containing herbs, are flushed into the colon via the rectum. This practice can only be done in a facility, and many people believe that it detoxifies the body.
B12 Injections for Healthy People
Most people want to avoid shots, but one wellness trend has people getting elective vitamin B12 injections. Vitamin B12 is a natural wonderdrug. It improves mood and memory, helps with blood cell production and makes the bones stronger.
Adrenal fatigue is a very popular concept on wellness blogs. The adrenal glands release cortisol when a person is stressed. Some people believe that the adrenal glands can become overworked from releasing cortisol when a person is stressed for a long time. This causes the glands to stop producing cortisol, and the person becomes fatigued.
Goat Milk Detoxes
Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop brand once endorsed a goat milk detox regimen. If people drank herb-infused raw goat milk for several days, the blog asserted, intestinal parasites would be drawn to the milk and released as waste. Does this actually work?
Millions of people are making the switch to natural deodorants. While they're certainly easier on the skin, there are lots of erroneous ideas floating around the internet about traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. These products often contain heavy metals, and some say toxins become trapped in the lymph nodes when perspiration is stopped.
Modafinil for People Who Don't Have Sleep Disorders
Modafinil is prescribed to people who have narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. In the professional world, non-prescribed black market versions of this drug are being used to make people smarter and able to perform efficiently with very little sleep.
Bulletproof coffee is regular coffee spiked with grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil, and people often drink it in place of breakfast. It can help with ketosis, which is said to cause weight loss, and this strange coffee reportedly also improves mental clarity.
Goat yoga is becoming extremely popular. During goat yoga, a regular yoga class is held, but goats roam freely around the room or field. Undoubtedly, before and after class students pet and cuddle the adorable goats. As cute as this sounds, goat yoga may not be great for the body.
Selena Gomez once mentioned that lying in a "sweat bed" for 45 minutes is part of her fitness regimen. A sweat bed looks like a sleeping bag; you get wrapped up in thick, insulating material, and it makes you sweat a lot.
Weight-loss and Detox Teas
Instagram is rife with beautiful influencers claiming that drinking tea helped them lose weight. The before-and-after pictures that the sellers of these various teas promote can seem pretty convincing, but the medical community is giving all these teas some serious side-eye.
Celery juice is another health trend popularized by bloggers and Instagram stars. Celery is a vegetable, and it’s true that drinking vegetable juice isn’t harmful. Still, there are lots of completely unfounded claims made about celery juice.
The FDA recently forced a few supplement companies to change their bottles because of claims that their vitamins could act as "internal sunscreen." The companies asserted that people who took the pills were safe to forego wearing topical sunscreen.
Crystals have long been part of witchcraft and other New Age pseudoscience; now, people are trying to make the rocks mainstream by claiming they have health benefits. People are adding expensive crystals to all kinds of products with the claim the rocks have healing powers or the ability to regulate a person's energies.
Supplements Through IV
Facilities that deliver vitamins and other supplements intravenously have become quite popular. Many people live extremely fast-paced lives and are looking for an extra boost. Athletes have even faced sanctions because some of these supplements are considered to be performance-enhancing drugs.
CBD oil is a hot-button issue across the country. It’s not marijuana, and it doesn't make a person high. Still, the supplement is heavily associated with a drug that remains illegal in many states. On a drug test, CBD oil can show up the same as illicit marijuana if enough of the psychoactive compound THC is present in the oil.
Cupping involves having vacuum-sealed domes attached to various areas of the skin. This is a method of massage that’s said to speed up muscle recovery processes and reduce inflammation. People also claim that it relieves pain and has detoxifying properties.
Don't Eat the Frog
Mark Twain said, "If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day." In other words, doing the hardest tasks first is said to make the entire day more productive.
Activated charcoal can save the life of someone who ingests poison because it naturally binds to harmful substances. That's why it’s one of the hottest ingredients in everything from toothpaste to face masks. Some people are even eating it, and that's a problem.
Members of the Kardashian clan are a few of the celebrities who have promoted lollipops that are supposed to suppress appetite. One popular ingredient in these lollipops is Satiereal, a saffron plant extract that’s not FDA approved.