The Goop LabWikipedia open wikipedia design.
|The Goop Lab|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Boardwalk Pictures|
|Original release||January 24, 2020|
|This article is part of a series on|
|Alternative and pseudo‑medicine|
The Goop Lab (also known as The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow) is an American documentary series about the lifestyle and wellness company Goop, founded by American actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The series premiered on January 24, 2020 on Netflix.
The partnership with Netflix led to criticism of the streaming company for giving Gwyneth Paltrow a platform to promote her company, which has been criticized for making unsubstantiated health claims. Multiple critics said this was a "win for pseudoscience". Upon release of the first trailer, and again after the full 6-episode series was available for review, the series received significant criticism concerning the medical and scientific misinformation it presented.
The Goop Lab promotes Gwyneth Paltrow's wellness and lifestyle business, Goop. Episodes cover pseudoscientific topics in energy healing, the use of psychedelic drugs, cold therapy, anti-aging, mediumship, and female sexuality. Prior to each episode, a disclaimer is presented declaring "The following series is designed to entertain and inform – not provide medical advice".
|No.||Title||Original air date |
|1||"The Healing Trip"||January 24, 2020|
|The goop team flies to Jamaica to experience magic mushrooms firsthand, with hopes of both piercing the veil and working through childhood trauma. Back at goop HQ, Gwyneth and Elise sit down with two leaders in the field—Will Siu, MD, and professor Mark Hayden, the executive director of MAPS Canada—to discuss what’s known about the psychedelic mechanism of healing.|
|2||"Cold Comfort"||January 24, 2020|
|How much control do we actually have over our immune system and reactions to stress? Eight-time world-record holder Wim Hof believes that we are far more powerful than we know—and that the key to unlocking our power lies in the cold and our breath. To try it, the goop team flies to snowy Lake Tahoe to go through a Wim Hof intensive, and they’re put to the test. Back at goop HQ, Gwyneth, Elise, and Kate sit down with Hof to learn how he found his unexpected source of strength, before he shows Gwyneth her own.|
|3||"The Pleasure Is Ours"||January 24, 2020|
|Why are female sexuality and shame so inextricably linked—and why do not enough women feel like they deserve pleasure? For episode three of The goop Lab, we workshopped the idea, processing where we’re personally blocked with famed ninety-year-old sex educator Betty Dodson. At goop HQ, Gwyneth and Elise sit down with Dodson and her business partner, Carlin Ross, to talk about Betty’s radical method for self-love—and they show the viewers…a lot.|
|4||"The Health-Span Plan"||January 24, 2020|
|What’s the one diet to rule them all? Gwyneth, Elise, and Wendy try three variations to see who can shave the most years off their biological age—and they do some work on their faces, too. Next, the trio meet with Valter Longo, PhD, the head of the Longevity Institute at USC, and Morgan Levine, PhD, to learn about the mechanisms of aging, the impact of fasting on disease, and what we can all do to increase our health span.|
|5||"The Energy Experience"||January 24, 2020|
|The goop team gets on the tables with John Amaral, DC, who can seemingly manipulate energy fields like a puppeteer—with eerie and powerful results. Back at goop HQ, Gwyneth and Elise sit with Amaral and Apostolos Lekkos, DO, to try to understand how energy impacts healing.|
|6||"Are You Intuit?"||January 24, 2020|
|The goop team does a series of intuition-developing workshops with famed medium Laura Lynne Jackson, where they surprise themselves, and each other, with what they’re able to access. Jackson gives two readers one-on-one readings that don’t go exactly as planned. Back at goop HQ, Gwyneth and Elise sit with Jackson and Julie Beischel, PhD, to discuss the work of proving psychic ability and why these intuitive skills are important to develop.|
In February 2019, it was announced that Netflix had accepted a six-part series showcasing Goop. On January 6, 2020, Netflix released the first trailer, and announced that the series would be released on January 24, 2020.
- Gwyneth Paltrow – CEO and founder of Goop. Episodes 1–6.
- Elise Loehnen – Chief content officer of Goop. Episodes 1–6.
The Goop Lab was criticized for various reasons. Before the series was released even to reviewers, various media outlets criticized Netflix for producing a series with Goop based on previous criticism of the company.
Many sources described the show as promoting pseudoscience. Mia de Graaf wrote in Business Insider Malaysia that the series "can legitimize unscientific, magical thinking about health, as well as pseudoscientific therapies... [and] further erode the foundations and trust in scientific professions." Jonathan Jarry of McGill's Office for Science and Society wrote "The core problem with the series, in my opinion, is its coronation of personal experience... [Such] anecdotes are dirty data: they are contaminated by a dozen variables..." Ars Technica similarly accused the series of making as if "the subjective experiences of a few select individuals are equivalent to the results of randomized, controlled clinical trials..."
Other critics concluded that science and medicine are not the correct standards by which to judge the Netflix series. The series announced in a disclaimer before each episode that "The following series is designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice." Monica Hesse wrote in the Washington Post: "Maybe you [Gwyneth Paltrow] owe people more than curiosity. Maybe you owe them vigilance. And maybe this is getting too solemn a viewing exercise that was meant to be a lark. 'The Goop Lab' ultimately doesn’t make a serious dent in conventional wisdom. Most of the crazy-sounding claims eventually wind their way toward something reasonable." Jen Chaney wrote in Vulture: "Goop, the website, has been called out before for pushing pseudoscience, and Netflix seems quite aware of that. Every episode is preceded by a disclaimer that says, 'The following series is designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice.' The truth is that none of the episodes seems to be trying to provide medical advice, really. And for the most part, the ideas they explore aren’t super-woo-woo as much as they are a bit experimental. If you’re the kind of person who thinks traditional thinking and standard Western medicine don’t always adequately address every ailment that afflicts humans — and a great many rational individuals feel this way — a lot of what’s in The Goop Lab won’t seem completely out there."
- Psychedelics psychotherapy: "The use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes has increased in recent years, with continuing studies in the US and the UK exploring their short-term and long-term impact on mental health disorders. They have so far been linked to having potentially positive effects related to the treatment of addiction, anxiety related to terminal illness, chronic PTSD, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety... While it found little to no evidence of participants experiencing increased life satisfaction, researchers indicated there were lower levels of stress and depression reported." Regarding microdosing, they reported "The use of such powerful psychedelics outside of a controlled environment and without the proper medical expertise is not recommended by medical professionals."
- Cold exposure therapy: "There is some science behind Mr Hof's claims... However, cold-water swimming can be very dangerous - and there is a significant risk of hypothermia when not done in a controlled setting. There is also a risk from the body's acute cold shock response, which may affect the arm muscles while swimming and can lead to incapacitation and potential drowning within minutes if unsupervised."
- Energy healing: "Currently, there is no scientific evidence proving such energy exists." Regarding John Amaral's statements regarding quantum physics' proving his claims, physics professor Philip Moriarty told BBC News that Amaral's attempts to relate the theory to his practice were "pure and utter nonsense."
Addressing mediums, New Scientist wrote "Paltrow interviews a scientist who says she has carried out rigorous studies that prove mediums are real. But other work has shown that scientists are too easily fooled and that the best people at catching out mediums are professional magicians and illusionists. The researcher rolls out another cliche – 'science is just one way of knowing' – which leaves me sceptical that she is appropriately sceptical."
Addressing the therapeutic usage of psychedelics and women's pleasure, Arielle Pardes wrote in Wired that "the show has its fair share of 'junk science, gibberish, and unproven health claims from snake-oil-salesmen guests,' as some reviews have pointed out. But there are reputable experts who share real science, too. The first episode, about the benefits of psychedelics, features an interview with Mark Haden, the executive director of MAPS Canada. MAPS, or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, works closely with the FDA and promotes academic research and clinical studies around the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Another episode, on female orgasm, features Betty Dodson, the 90-year-old sex educator whose work has been instrumental in understanding pleasure."
Addressing the therapeutic usage of psychedelics in Wired UK, Victoria Turk was positive about the focus on the possible therapeutic applications of these drugs: "in the past two decades, research studies and clinical trials have been conducted that involve LSD, psilocybin and other substances that we usually think of in a recreational context, often with the aim of exploring treatments for mental health disorders such as depression, addiction and PTSD," but bored by the lack of rigorous scientific discussion: "This is where the episode really starts getting boring. ... [T]he exploration of the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics becomes so vague that we don’t really learn anything at all. It’s not that there’s much wrong exactly; it’s more that there’s very little substance to begin with. The Goop members laugh, cry and cry some more. There’s lots of talking about feelings that’s all a bit too much for my British sensibility, and some very awkward-to-watch hugging." 
Addressing the episode on women's sexual pleasure, in another Wired UK review, Sophie Charara wrote that "Despite its star’s shaky grip on anatomy, this episode manages to cover some of the most damaging sexual myths and taboos that still persist today." Similarly, writing for ABC, Olivia Willis said that since "Goop's record on women's health is not strong... You can imagine my surprise (and utter delight) to find 35 minutes of vulva anatomy, body positivity and frank discussions about women's sexual health and autonomy. The success of this episode is, in large part, thanks to Betty Dodson, a 90-year-old feminist sex educator and her colleague, Carlin Ross, who run workshops that aim to empower women with knowledge about their bodies. Dodson notes that many women feel shame or embarrassment when it comes to sex, and most of the episode is spent trying to counter this."
Critics were also divided on the series' entertainment value. Ars Technica, a Condé Nast publication, concluded that "the show is just, well, boring." Writing in Vox under the headline "Netflix’s The Goop Lab pushes flimsy wellness trends. But it’s strong on vulvas," Julia Belluz who had previously published a reaction to the series trailer said that "When we watched the actual show, we found it was generally less edgy than the trailer suggested — some episodes were downright boring (like the 'health-span plan' about dieting for longevity), while others contained useful health messages (such as caring for and loving your body)"
Others rated the series' entertainment value more highly. Reviewing the series in Vulture, Jen Chaney wrote that "I was fully prepared to hate The Goop Lab... I regret to inform everyone on the internet, where it’s become a competitive sport to vocally loathe Paltrow and her website that sells vagina-scented candles for $75, that The Goop Lab isn’t particularly hateable. Some of the episodes are even helpful... the half-hour installments, which each focus on a specific wellness topic and recruit Goop employees to try out various treatments and therapies, are actually interesting and informative. My chief complaint about The Goop Lab, believe it or not, is that its episodes need to be a little longer. I just wrote that sentence and meant it. I know: It’s unbelievable to me, too!"
A few reviews claimed the show was entertaining and criticized it for being so. Variety wrote that "Paltrow is a compelling host — not giving too much of herself away, ever stopping short of pure endorsement of any topic even as she gives it air — on what is a carefully structured, elegantly built, compulsively watchable show about, mainly, complete nonsense." Entertainment Weekly said the series was "either unexpectedly moving or morally disgusting." By contrast, reviewing the show for the Washington Post, Monica Hesse was generally critical of Goop but begrudgingly praised Paltrow: "Maybe one day I’ll understand how I can actually love Gwyneth Paltrow, and yet find that, when I open my mouth, only snark comes out. Is it that I find her earnestness both poignant and poisonous? Do I fear my own inner truth? I’d wager that anyone making time for “The Goop Lab” is coming to it from a similar place: A love-hate desire to know what she's actually like when she doles out the advice that usually appears, disembodied, on her website. And the answer is: Thoughtful. Open. Searching. Curiosity is hard to fake, and Gwyneth has it, whether she's asking a doctor to explain his psychedelic research or querying one of her assistants/guinea pigs about the effects of an experiment." Daley Quinn similarly appraised Paltrow: "Despite the fact that many of these episodes made me thoroughly uncomfortable, I couldn't help but become absolutely entranced by Paltrow, with her orphic aqua eyes, pastel outfits and aggressively California-cool-girl vibe. As I binged my way though the episodes, I found her to be unfailingly funny and entertaining, and I came to understand why so many flock to her site daily in the hopes of Goop-ifying their lives."
Writing in the New York Times, Elisa Albert and Jennifer Block gave a feminist critique of the criticism targeting The Goop Lab and Goop: "what underlies all the overwhelming, predictable, repetitive critiques? What exactly is so awful about a bunch of consenting adults seeking self-knowledge, vitality and emotional freedom? ... The tsunami of Goop hatred is best understood within a context that is much older and runs much deeper than Twitter, streaming platforms, consumerism or capitalism. Throughout history, women in particular have been mocked, reviled, and murdered for maintaining knowledge and practices that frightened, confused and confounded 'the authorities.' (Namely the church, and later, medicine.) Criticism of Goop is founded, at least in part, upon deeply ingrained reserves of fear, loathing, and ignorance about things we cannot see, touch, authenticate, prove, own or quantify. It is emblematic of a cultural insistence that we quash intuitive measures and 'other' ways of knowing — the sort handed down via oral tradition, which, for most women throughout history, was the only way of knowing. In other words, it’s classic patriarchal devaluation." 
Surmising the series main theme, message, and commercial appeal of the series, Pardes focused her Wired review on the idea of hope: "What the show does most candidly, though, is shine a light on the desperation people feel when science cannot understand their pain. Throughout the series, we meet a Goop staffer suffering from a panic disorder, another who’s dealing with the trauma of her father’s suicide, and another who has trouble with intimacy since coming out as gay. Between the interviews and the staff stunts, there are various 'case studies,' like a veteran who tried to kill himself multiple times before finding MDMA-assisted therapy. If The Goop Lab is an informercial for the products it sells, it’s also a portrait of the average Goop aficionado. They’ve been failed by everything else; if a $300 crystal can make them feel better, why not try? If anyone stands to gain from The Goop Lab, though, it’s not the viewers, or the staffers who jump at the chance to go on a 'shroom trip. It’s the people whose products and alternative therapies are showcased on screen, each of whom can expect a sizable dose of interest after the exposure from Paltrow’s show. After watching so many of Goop’s staffers open up about their personal challenges and traumas, it’s hard not to root for them to find a little peace. If energy healing does the trick, well, so be it."
- Iannucci, Rebecca (January 6, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Docuseries Gets January Premiere at Netflix". TVLine. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- Arnold, Amanda (January 6, 2020). "Well, This Is Certainly Evocative". The Cut. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
- Keene, Allison (January 6, 2020). "First Trailer for Netflix's The Goop Lab Honestly Asks "How Can We Milk the S*** Out of This?"". Paste. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- Edwards, Kasey (January 27, 2020). "What we haven't learned from Belle Gibson". Brisbane Times. Qld. Australia: Fairfax Network. Archived from the original on January 27, 2020.
- "the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow | Netflix". Netflix. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- "Gwyneth Paltrow-Hosted 'The Goop Lab' Reveals First Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. January 6, 2020. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- Burwick, Kevin (January 6, 2020). "'The Goop Lab' Trailer Brings Gwyneth Paltrow to Netflix This January". tvweb. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Belluz, Julia (January 10, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow is straight-up trolling her critics now". Vox.com. Vox. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Caulfield, Timothy (January 12, 2020). "The goop Lab launches Jan. 24, 2020: it will likely be full of magical thinking and unproven health stories — making it a huge conflict of interest for Gwyneth Paltrow. (Shutterstock) Gwyneth Paltrow's new Goop Lab is an infomercial for her pseudoscience business". theconversation.com. The Conversation. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
But what has been largely overlooked in the initial wave of critiques is the conflict of interest issue. The producers of this show — that is, Gwyneth Paltrow and her company Goop — benefit directly from not only the show being popular but also from the legitimization of pseudoscience. This show is, basically, an infomercial for the Goop brand, which is built around science-free products and ideas.
- Gorski, David (January 7, 2020). "the goop lab on Netflix: Selling quackery under the guise of female "empowerment". Respectfulinsolence.com. Respectful Insolence. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Holmes, Lindsay (January 6, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow Brings Bad Health Advice To Netflix With 'The Goop Lab'". huffpost.com. Huffington Post. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Khandake, Tamara (January 15, 2020). Goop Lab and the rise of the wellness industry (podcast). Wait There's More. Global News. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
- Brian, Greg (January 14, 2020). "'The Goop Lab' Isn't The First Time Netflix Has Forced You to Pay for Dangerous Opinions". Cheatsheet.com. Cheatsheet. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
- Wilde, Val (January 20, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow's "The Goop Lab" Is Unscientific Garbage. Then It Gets Worse". Patheos.com. Patheos. Archived from the original on January 20, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
Netflix and Gwyneth Paltrow have entered into an unholy alliance and spawned The Goop Lab, a (purported) health and wellness docu-series set for release on January 24.
- Basu, Tanya (February 5, 2019). "Docs Are Pissed Netflix Is Giving Gwyneth's Goop a Megaphone". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Mahdawi, Arwa (February 8, 2019). "Goop has a Netflix deal – this is a dangerous win for pseudoscience". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Bundel, Ani (February 10, 2019). "Netflix's new partnership with Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop brand is a win for pseudoscience". NBC News. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Mole, Beth (February 5, 2019). "Netflix buys into Goop hooey with deal to make a wellness docuseries". Ars Technica. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Mosendz, Polly (January 17, 2020). "Pseudoscience and Sobbing: The Goop Lab on Netflix, Reviewed". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Franich, Darren; Baldwin, Kristen (January 17, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow's The Goop Lab is either unexpectedly moving or morally disgusting". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
- "NHS chief slams Paltrow's health claims on Netflix". BBC News. January 30, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
- de Graaf, Mia (January 27, 2020). "Psychics are the new therapists, and Gwyneth Paltrow's Netflix show is bringing the $2 billion industry into the mainstream". Businessinsider.my. Business Insider Malaysia. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
There is no shortage of cases of psychics duping clients out of thousands or even millions of dollars – an issue that drove the EU to create strict rules in 2008 telling psychics to advertise their services as entertainment alone, and the creation of a website, BadPsychics.com, to call out dodgy practitioners. However, recent years have seen the rise of psychics in the wellness space. They have relatable profiles on Instagram. Some stream live readings, or post empowering aphorisms, gifs, and memes.
- Jarry, Jonathan (January 24, 2020). "The Goop Lab Experiments With Viewers' Credulity". Office for Science and Society. Archived from the original on January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- Mole, Beth (January 17, 2020). "Goop's Netflix series: It's so much worse than I expected and I can't unsee it". arstechnica.com. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
Vulvas, psychics, and junk science, oh my. I watched so you don't have to.
- Reynolds, Matt (January 24, 2020). "Think Goop is bad? It's only the tip of Netflix's pseudoscience iceberg". Wired.co.uk. Wired UK. Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
In The Goop Lab, Gwyneth Paltrow and her colleagues try out energy healing, psychedelics and cold therapy. But plenty of Netflix's documentaries take an equally dubious approach to science.
- Hesse, Monica. "Help, I keep watching Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop TV show". washingtonpost.com. Washington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- Chaney, Jen. "The Goop Lab Is Less Goop-y Than You Might Think". Vulture.com. Vulture. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
- "What is the science behind The Goop Lab's claims?". BBC News. February 8, 2020. Archived from the original on February 8, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Wilson, Clare (January 17, 2020). "Goop Lab on Netflix shows how easy it is to fall for bad science". Newscientist.com. New Scientist. Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
Still, Goop was valued at a quarter of a billion dollars in 2018, so Paltrow has clearly found an effective business model. She was quoted in The New York Times as saying that controversies just led to more people visiting her website, letting her “monetise those eyeballs”. It’s hard not to suspect that criticism of The Goop Lab won’t bother Paltrow one bit.
- Pardes, Arielle (January 24, 2020). "Sure, The Goop Lab Is Absurd—but It Also Offers Hope". Wired.com. Wired (USA). Archived from the original on January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
If anyone stands to gain from The Goop Lab, though, it’s not the viewers, or the staffers who jump at the chance to go on a 'shroom trip. It’s the people whose products and alternative therapies are showcased on screen, each of whom can expect a sizable dose of interest after the exposure from Paltrow’s show.
- Turk, Victoria (January 28, 2020). "Goop on psychedelics isn't bad, it's just boring". Wired.co.uk. Wired (UK). Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
Between the different interviews about different studies involving different drugs and different disorders, everything gets rather muddled up, and the only real takeaway is that there is some evidence psychedelics may have therapeutic benefits to some people in some situations.
- Charara, Sophie (January 25, 2020). "What The Goop Lab gets right (and wrong) about sex". Wired.co.uk. Wired (UK). Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
"I think the claims made by Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop are not evidence-based and potentially damaging to women,” says Cynthia Graham, professor of sexual and reproductive health at the University of Southampton.
- "The Goop Lab exaggerates science and speculates, but shines on women's health". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. January 31, 2020.
- Garber, Megan (January 18, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow's Netflix Show Is Painful to Watch". TheAtlantic.com. The Atlantic. Archived from the original on January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Mosendz, Polly (January 17, 2020). "Pseudoscience and Sobbing: The Goop Lab on Netflix, Reviewed". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Mangan, Lucy (January 24, 2020). "The Goop Lab review – so Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't know what a vagina is". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- Belluz, Julia; Resnick, Brian (January 17, 2020). "Netflix's The Goop Lab pushes flimsy wellness trends. But it's strong on vulvas". Vox.com. Vox. Archived from the original on January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
Watching The Goop Lab helped us understand why Goop survives despite its critics.
- Daniel, d'Addario (January 17, 2020). "Gwyneth Paltrow's 'The Goop Lab': TV Review". variety.com/. Variety. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
- Quinn, Daley (January 17, 2020). "EVERY 'GOOP LAB' EPISODE, RANKED FROM GOOP TO GOOPIEST". Fashionista.com. Fashionista. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
Gwyneth Paltrow's controversial Netflix series is exactly what you'd expect — but, like, 10 times crazier.
- Albert, Elisa; Block, Jennifer (February 3, 2020). "Who's Afraid of Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop?".
Throughout history, women in particular have been mocked, reviled, and murdered for maintaining knowledge and practices that frightened, confused and confounded “the authorities.” (Namely the church, and later, medicine.) Criticism of Goop is founded, at least in part, upon deeply ingrained reserves of fear, loathing, and ignorance about things we cannot see, touch, authenticate, prove, own or quantify. It is emblematic of a cultural insistence that we quash intuitive measures and “other” ways of knowing — the sort handed down via oral tradition, which, for most women throughout history, was the only way of knowing. In other words, it’s classic patriarchal devaluation. When 19th-century medicine men were organizing and legitimizing their brand-new profession, they claimed the mantle of “science” even though there was no such thing as evidence-based medicine at the time. In order to dominate the market, they slandered all other modalities as “quackery,” including midwifery, which we know achieved safer birth outcomes back then, as it still does today. Pejoratives like “woo” or “pseudoscience” are still often applied to anything that falls outside of the mainstream medical establishment. (Think about this the next time you hear something harmless or odd or common-sensical dismissed as an “old wives’ tale.”) Our society likes to conjoin the concepts of science and health, but the two do not always overlap. Peer-reviewed, lab-generated, randomized, controlled, double-blinded evidence will always be the gold standard, but such studies aren’t always fundable, or ethical. We kiss our children’s boo-boos even though there’s no gold standard evidence that it will make them feel better. We just know that it does. Which in turn makes us feel better. That’s “wellness.”