SELF- HELPLESS – Rebecca Davis . Non-Fiction


Capetonian Rebecca Davis gives up drinking, and for a year, she explores the highways and byways of the Self-Help route, the Wellness world. Her adventures make for informative and sometimes downright scary reading. She gamely gives a wide variety of teachers and techniques a bash: a sweat lodge, crystal healing, floating in in an isolation tank, visiting a sangoma, to mention only a few.

She ends her book by referring to the wide collection of hippies, charlatans, healers and shamans that she encountered. Did they work? Help her cope with life any better? Most didn’t, but meditation, moderate exercise, silence and solitude did help. Some of the methods e.g. the magic mushrooms and the sweat lodge were downright dangerous to life and health.

She concludes that most Wellness fads are simply money-making enterprises, once you brush off the pixie dust and mystical woo-hoo.

I enjoyed her snarky style and turn of phrase. This was investigative journalism with lady-balls, to repeat one of her more memorable phrases.


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