A Tale of Two Patients

“Most people are skeptical about the wrong things and gullible about the wrong things.” ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

People can take two approaches to health, but only one will make them healthier. Just recently I had classic examples of both.

The Practical Person

The first patient I’ll call “Sally.” She came in feeling pretty well. At 53, she had noticed some specific ways her body wasn’t working as well as it used to. She had been to another alternative doctor and seen improvements, but felt she had reached a plateau. There were still some nagging symptoms that hadn’t changed.

After our first consultation, I recommended she do Metabolic Typing®. It is a way to assess which foods are medicine and which foods are damaging for an individual. She agreed and started the process.

As she applied the new information, she started to see improvement. In fact, she was surprised at the many small changes that happened almost immediately. She started to become excited about the possibility of returning to better health.

Understand that she had started out thinking that she already was doing everything right. But she was willing to explore additional possibilities if they might help. And she was willing to suspend what she already knew if it might mean she could find a more effective approach.

I encouraged her to pay less attention to what she heard or read and more attention to what feedback her body gave her. Within two months, half a dozen of her former symptoms were either gone or dramatically reduced. She was surprised and happy.

The Intelligent Idiot

The second patient, who I’ll call “George” was a mess. He wasn’t yet 30 years old, but had many symptoms that interfered with his quality of life. Like Sally, he was very smart. But there was a difference.

George thought he already knew everything about his situation. He had done hundreds of hours of research on the internet. He had been to multiple doctors. But still his symptoms persisted. That’s why he came to see me.

After talking at our first meeting, we came up with a plan to do a number of tests, starting with Metabolic Typing®. Because there were so many symptoms, I also recommended a sequence of additional tests if we found them necessary.

When we got the MT results, he came in to start the process. The first thing he said was that he knew everything the report had said and was already doing it all.

I can tell you that it is very unlikely that he was doing any of it based on his symptoms. Even so, I requested that he remain open to revisiting it as we moved forward. Probably I should have fired him as a patient on the spot.

He immediately wanted to do the next test. I went along with him and he took the test kit home.

In the next week or two, he must have spent many hours researching this next test on the internet. As you know, you can find critics of pretty much anything if you web surf enough. The next thing I heard from him was that he had thoroughly researched the testing procedure and that it was invalid.

He also said he was willing to pay me for the first visit, but wanted a refund for everything else. Instead, I refunded him every penny he had paid me. It was worth it to have him out of my practice.

Take Away

There are several points to notice here. First, George had not actually done anything with the information from the first test before deciding he didn’t have to make any changes. Second, he let his intellect talk him out of even taking the second test, meaning that he could never see if it would have helped.

George was a classic case of an intelligent idiot. This is a person who gets attached to an idea and ignores experience. There are many intellectuals who fall into this category.

Tellingly for George, his long-time symptoms continued unchanged in spite of what he claimed to already know. And he was unwilling to learn anything else if it didn’t match his preconceptions. He would rather be “right” than healthy.

Sally, on the other hand, started seeing improvements right away. She was willing to pay attention to the results of the changes she made rather than cling to some idea of what she should be doing.

Which person do you think will have a better quality of life?

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce

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