Years ago when I was talking to a friend about thyroid issues, and talking to her about researching online she asked me the question, “There is so much information, how do you know what to trust?” The question came as a surprise, but answering it has been valuable.
In life, we establish a grid – and we process all new information, inputs etc. through that grid. The grid is based on our previous experiences, reading, people interactions, etc. Our grid can (and should) evolve over time, but without a grid we would believe everyone and everything or no one and nothing.
Besides months and months of high quality instruction on a very broad array of health subjects, probably the single most important thing that my training with Nutritional Therapy Association has taught me is a new grid – or really, just built on a whole new section to my existing grid. This is the grid of foundations. The understanding that true health has to be built on a high quality, nutrient dense diet, that our digestion has to be working well, that the body needs optimal levels of vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids, that we need to be properly hydrated and have a good handle on blood sugar regulation.
Another part of my personal grid, is that I don’t like fear-mongers. There are some wildly popular bloggers in the natural health web-space that fall into this category. They over sensationalize good information and use a lot of emotion, fear and drama to try to make a point and sell products. It bugs me big time. So while I sometimes read articles by them, I generally read with a strong bias – looking at the facts (and realizing they spin them) and distrusting their conclusions (drawing my own conclusions). I also dislike folks who come across as dogmatic and condescending to opposing opinions. This is one of the reasons I have loved the NTA and it’s instructors. They are passionate about their beliefs but gracious.
I read sites like webmd for the allopathic perspective. I read sites like the NIH for scholarly articles. I read wiki to understand the science of something AND I read blogs and alternative health sites to understand protocols. Sometimes information I learned on webmd or wiki (that I accept to be scientifically valid) will invalidate something I read on a holistic site – but sometimes I will understand the holistic perspective is valid and that the webmd perspective isn’t looking deep enough.
I share all of this to encourage you – you HAVE a grid and you can use it to learn about anything you want to study. Accept Dr. John Doe’s world-leader status about X topic, but take all the data you learn from him and seek to connect it back to your grid. When there is too much of a disconnect, keep looking.