Fun:Nina The Naturopath
"Well, now I think I know all I need to know. You should take 30C arsenic, goldenseal, three parsley capsules, and an extra 1000mg of vitamin C a day. I have some bottles right here."
"OK, thank you so much! How much will it be?"
"Fifty dollars for the bottles, and a hundred and fifty for my services."
"Ooh, that's a bit expensive. Are all those pills necessary?"
"Yes. It's a holistic prescription; it doesn't work if you don't take all of it."
"Well, all right."
The money exchanged hands.
"Your rash and cold should be better soon. Now, remember, you need at least half an hour of Reiki on your heart."
"I'll remember. Goodbye!"
Nina was a young blonde woman in her 20s. A pair of energy-balancing, black-and-white, Yin Yang crystal earrings dangled from her ears. She had graduated at the top of her class from college, with one year of study, and was now a full-fledged N.D. As a child, she had been quite precocious: She could see the spirits of her house's former inhabitants, and during her sleep sometimes received vivid mental messages describing how its former owner had been abducted by aliens. She could sense disturbances in the house's feng shui; at times, she would start crying for no other reason than that she was in a spot with no energy flowing. Over the years, she taught herself how to read palms, the i Ching, and guess the future.
"Something's wrong," she thought.
Sure enough, Albert, one of her coworkers, burst through the door.
"Nina, we need your help! Someone's in the ER and in serious pain!"
As part of the Holistic Revolution that occurred a few decades earlier, the majority of hospitals became naturopathic. Most electronic devices were forbidden because of the low-frequency radio waves they emitted.
Nina jumped out of her chair and ran to the ER, drawing Reiki symbols in the air and praying to Buddha on the way.
The patient was in a bad condition. His legs had been broken after a high-speed bicycle crash, and the blood was pouring fast.
"Quick, get the chamomile!"
They poured chamomile oil on the wound, being careful not to interfere with the bleeding (because that would disrupt the natural balancing of the humors), and then ten people (Nina included) piled up on the leg to perform energy healing on it.
This was part of the hospital's crack squad of professional energy healers. The squad consisted of people from various traditions of faith healing, including Reiki and therapeutic touch; they usually got on splendidly, but sometimes they would start arguing about which person's system was the best. Squad members were paid not inexpensive salaries to go around the hospital and put their hands (from which emanated radioactive Radiant Energy) on sick patients. Evey once in a while, a healer would get infected by a patient and die, but the risk was worth it, since the patients could never get better if they just stayed away.
"Get 5 ccs of vitamin C and zinc, stat! Don't worry, I can feel your life force; it's feeling good. Give him some 30C belladonna!"
During this time, Nina was busy channeling some much-needed subtle energy to his leg.
Now, they activated the QuantMed treatment processor. It was one of the few electric gadgets allowed in the hospital. When you turned it on, it automatically detected the patient's problem and repaired his immune system using quantum teleportation. The hospital was billed accordingly.
The situation was becoming desperate. They used acupuncture on him. Nina got the needles and swiftly, but carefully, jabbed him dozens of times in exactly the right spots. It couldn't possibly fail. It would balance his qi, what with his meridians being blocked, as well as his humors (wound notwithstanding), thus killing two birds with one stone.
But it was no use. The cyclist was dead.
"No... How could this happen? I knew I should have used cyanide instead of belladonna. How could I have been so stupid?"
"It's not your fault, Nina. These things happen."
"How can you say that? His life was in my hands (literally) and I failed."
"There must have been something wrong with QuantMed. You know, I never trusted that thing. I get headaches and bad vibes from those quantum radio waves."
"No, wait, I know what it was; my clothes' colors aren't aligned with Aquarius. That can ruin your chakras completely."
Nina cried a little, and, since her shift was over, went home.
Nina stepped inside, lighted her Tibetan salt lamp with some holistic matches, poured herself a glass of fresh Tibetan spring water (imported from a Buddhist monastery thousands of miles away), squirted some lemon juice in it to make it more alkaline, and took her daily supplements: a multivitamin, antioxidants, goldenseal, echinacea, and low-dose tobacco (for cold prevention). It was such a nice day outside, she decided to go for a walk. But first, she had to change her clothes. And have her daily one-hour Reiki posture session. During these sessions, Nina would put her hands in various spots on her body, changing the position every few minutes (she knew by intuition exactly when five minutes had passed). At the beginning of the session, she did some eye exercises. For the other fifty-five minutes, she meditated. During this meditation, her brain shut down. Not completely; she was still conscious enough to change the position of her hands exactly every five minutes, but her mind was blank. It was a strange, sort of dream-like state; Nina had trained herself so that her muscle memory and internal clock took care of everything for her. When the session was over, she abruptly opened her eyes and stared at a point on the wall for a few seconds to regain awareness. Nina did some yoga for half an hour, because she could feel her chakras still weren't quite balanced.
Nina's house was a quaint little mansion located in a small town. (Demand for the small number of naturopaths was huge, so Nina had quite a tidy sum tucked away.) Towns had changed dramatically. Petroleum-based fuel had been outlawed, and only ethanol was allowed now. (Food prices skyrocketed for the same reason.) Car exhaust, like incense smoke, was now considered good because it was derived from corn. Streets and sidewalks were designed to reflect the maximum amount of sunlight possible, in order to prevent cancer. Street lamps now used candles, because artificial lights were considered to disrupt your hormones and change your body's natural clock.
While walking along, Nina passed by the local allopathic drug store. Allopaths were a very small minority, despised by the general population. They were irrational people, who, for some reason, did not believe in the healing powers of herbs and chakras. They would go on and on with their conspiracy theories about the way Big Placebo (that was what they called it) was supposedly making billions of dollars by peddling nothing. They would constantly rail about the evils of naturopathy, while taking their allopathic death pills. Nina suppressed the urge to roll her eyes and walked past.
"I sense a disturbance in the Energy Field."
Soon, she started hearing noises. Nina started running at top speed down the crowded sidewalk while dextrously managing not to hit anybody. Thanks to her clairvoyant powers, she could hone in on the source and find out what it was about before she got there.
"Oh, God, this protest is so boring. And all these atheist weirdos! Why couldn't I have gotten normal parents like everyone else?"
"Death to Big Placebo! Death to the capitalists!"
"Did I take my ibuprofen today?"
Oh, it was those allopaths up to their shenanigans again. There was a special Reiki symbol for healing people who were crazy (or just had wrong opinions), so she waved her hands in the air on the way.
The protesters were a group of about fifty people, dressed tackily; most of them had sunscreen on and wore caps to protect them from the sun.
"Down with nature, up with chemistry!" read one sign.
"Plants cause tuberculosis", read another.
Nina thought it her duty to correct these wayward souls, and, as there was no clear leader, talked to the first protester she came across.
"Why are you protesting? What are you trying to do here?"
"We're raising awareness about the crimes committed by the nutraceutical industry. We have proof that plants cause infections!"
"Before the Holistic Revolution, almost nobody died from infections, except for people in herb-friendly countries. Clearly, it was those herbs of theirs that weakened their immune systems and caused them to get malaria and rabies. All plants contain natural toxins and pesticides. If we all just ate pure nutrients, we would be much better off."
"Don't be ridiculous; everyone knows they had weakened immune systems because of environmental pollutants."
"The pollutants were a lie invented by the nutraceutical industry to discredit science."
"But do you have any proof?"
"I just told you, more people died from infections because of herbs. We have statistics."
"Those statistics were fake. Do you know what happened to a friend of mine who distrusted nature and didn't take his supplements? He died at 40."
"A car accident. But if he had taken his supplements, he would have seen the car coming. He had bad eyesight."
"That proves nothing. One of my friends took all his supplements and died from influenza."
"Ah, but did he do yoga?"
"You see? It only works if you follow all the instructions."
"I don't have to take this. You're just being paid by Big Nutra to foist your poisons on us. Down with Big Placebo! Down with corporate greed!"
Nina knew it was useless to argue with these people. She could feel the hatred and ignorance in their hearts. She stealthily tacked on a CrazeeGonetm homeopathic energy patch onto the protester's neck (she always had some patches handy for just such an occasion), and left.
The protester had been waving a picket sign for hours and was feeling quite tired. He sat down, got a dihydrogen monoxide beverage out of his backpack (the drink had some tasty synthesized sucrose crystals) and started thinking about what his next article for syntheticnews.com would be about. When no one was looking, two inconspicuously dressed men knocked him unconscious and dragged him away.
Nina was feeling rather hungry, since she hadn't eaten anything since she came home from work, so she went into the local grocery store to grab a bite to eat. The store smelled strongly of patchouli and had a very earthy color scheme. The walls were brown, and there were Tibetan salt lamps everywhere (the candles were lit, even though there was enough light, in order to release negative ions). Above every cash register and every aisle, there were TV screens hanging from the ceiling (LCDs were uncommon, but they existed). These TVs had ads for foods and supplements sold by various companies. Some ads displayed Fred Hyneman, touting the benefits of his latest breakthrough in herbal medicine. Others showed Elijah Perca describing the preventative benefits of his special brand of garlic. Their faces were on all their products. Hyneman and Perca were the CEOs of the largest agriculture companies in the world: Hyneman Nutraceuticals Inc., and Perca Vitalight Co. These two companies accounted for over $2 trillion of the world's food/supplement market.
Nina went to the snack section to get some granola bars. All the boxes had plain, no-nonsense packaging. They were white, with nothing but a picture of the product and the smiling face of the company's CEO. The Holistic Revolution had ensured holistic companies would never again be subjected to such gross violations of freedom as mandatory ingredient lists or nutrition facts.
Nina made her way to the checkout aisle.
"How are you?" the cashier asked.
"Fine. And you?" replied Nina.
"Oh, just great."
"Had a good day so far?"
"Oh, sure, never been better."
Nina could tell he was stressed.
"That'll be two dollars, please. Thank you."
A quick examination of the cashier's eyes (Nina was a trained iridologist) revealed he obviously had some health problems.
"By the way, you should look into that rash on your back. Use some goldenseal. I'm a naturopath."
"Please come again."
"Boy, am I lucky," he thought.
Because of the lengthy hours-long consultations required due to the holistic nature of naturopathy, waiting lists for healthcare were huge. So huge, you usually got better or died before you could get medical care – unless you had an emergency, in which case you were rushed to the ER. Nina's magnanimous display of kindness did not go unappreciated.
Nina left, while putting her hand on her back to help the cashier with his rash.
After she left, a voice could be heard saying, "Don't listen to her. What you really have is vitamin Z4 deficiency. Trust me, I'm a visual phrenologist..."
Nina walked down to the local smokeshop, Al's Cigars 'n Incense. On entering Al's, you were instantly met by a strong smell of variously-scented burning plant matter, and a hazy fog of gray, herbal air. There were incense burners on each shelves, with incense made of, among other things, green and oolong tea, rooibos, rose hip, belladonna, and — naturally — tobacco. One could feel the beneficial, bioenergetic fumes working their way into every pore, and, indeed, directly into one's soul.
During Reconstruction, the holists were busily rediscovering the lost wisdom of their ancestors — a field of research which had hitherto been suppressed by the allopathic establishment. They scoured old herbals and ethnological studies to find plants which they, unhindered by the repressive laws of times past, could once again restore to their rightful place. Cures galore! How could the allopaths have been so murderously close-minded as to ignore them? Cubeb, birthwort, sassafras, skullcap, germander, henbane, lobelia, betelnuts, belladonna, groundsel, and many more. Al's Cigars 'n Incense had them all. Raw, organic tobacco cigarettes and incense? No problem! It'll balance your humors, and cure your asthma too! Don't want the addictiveness? Then you're in the right place! Al's has nicotine-free cigars. Want some for your kid, but they don't like the taste? Al's got henbane cigars in cherry, orange, and chocolate flavors! Want something more spiritual? Try lobelia, the Indian tobacco! All the benefits of regular tobacco, but without the nicotine! For any ailment you have, Al's got a cure. Got bronchitis? Here, smoke some cubeb! Afraid you might be at risk for asthma? Light some belladonna incense! Got a cold? Here, have some sassafras-echinacea cigarettes. Within minutes, you'll feel good as new! Got toxins? Here, have some premium detox betelnut cigars! There was nothing Al couldn't cure. Not to mention prevent! Incense to prevent flus, baldness, cavities, wind turbine syndrome, psychic power deficiency, crossed-stars syndrome, and astral projection attacks. And all this, helpfully labeled right on the box. A veritable cornucopia of medicines to make sure you never get sick, or, if you do, to relieve any illness you might possibly have! Only a few decades ago, such a place would have been unthinkable.
Nina walked over to one of the aisles. She went between the "arthritis" and "osteoporosis" sections, and took a box of cardioprotective, nicotine-free tobacco-birthwort cigarettes. ("Soothes your throat in no time, and tastes good, too!")
"How's it going, Nina?"
"Oh, same old."
She put the box on the counter.
"5 dollars, please."
Nina pulled out a couple of longevity-promoting, detoxifying mercury-silver coins (one of many new kinds used nowadays) from her purse.
"Here you go."
"Thank you. Have a nice day."
"Thanks Al, you too."
Nina walked away from the counter, contentedly puffing away at her heart-disease-preventing remedy. She overheard the following conversation:
"Oh, mom, why do I have to stay here? It's so boring, and the smoke makes me cough."
"Oh, be quiet. The coughing is good for you, it makes the bad stuff get out of your system. Now, take these cigarettes I just bought you: you don't want to get measles!"
"You smoke your tobacco, young man, or there'll be no seance for you tonight."
"Kids," Nina thought, before walking out the door.