I'm getting a John... no, wait... a Boris

It would be incredibly unfair of me to describe my Mammy as a somewhat gullible individual who believes everything the Daily Mail says to be true. We are required, after all, to respect our parents even when we disagree with their opinions. Nevertheless, my Mammy has developed some, what I feel is misplaced, faith in the abilities of complementary medicines.

She has recently taken up with reflexology. She thinks it is marvellous.

“The girl was really lovely.” She said after last week’s session. “She said I had some neck problems.”

I enquired as to the nature of the previously unmentioned neck problems.

“Oh, I don’t have any neck problems. I told her I had back problems and she said it was probably related to my neck.” My Mammy gushed. “I feel so energised now and my feet smell lovely.”

Call me a cynic if you like but I personally suspect that the feeling of energy is due more to the hour of enforced meditation to whale music rather than the stroking of the base of my Mammy’s feet in a vaguely mystic manner. I understand the theories involved in this malarkey but to me, it seems about as accurate as divining my personality based on my date of birth.

Mammy had a previous enthusiasm for Reiki. Strider tried to explain it to me along with the reasons why it worked. It didn’t help that after every sentence I intoned “With the power of your mind” in a myffic yet sarcastic manner.

When she had finished I may have spent ten minutes ranting about how it was more a way of people making themselves feel more significant because they have the ability to help people. I advocated that it would be a damn site more useful to spend a little time listening to what people had to say without judgement than waving one’s hands around in motions reminiscent of the Macarena.

Given the choice between healing any diseases I may have with the distilled wisdom of the ancients and medical technology, I know which one I’m going to go for.

If there is something guaranteed to send me off into a gigantic rant it is psychics and more specifically, psychic detectives. I am a fairly liberal person but just thinking about them makes me angry. How dare they give such hope to people so much in pain. Sure, they may not be accepting payment but if it turns out they are right, you can be sure they’ll be accepting payment from the audience of their floorshow.

I’m sure that if you have lost somebody close to you then you can derive some comfort from giving your money to somebody who will tell you how happy they are on the other side. I’m sure there are lots of people who would say “If it helps, where is the harm?” I think it is harmful. I think it is utterly despicable and one of the lowest things one can do.

The Irish are hugely into this type of thing. They have psychic fairs. There is even a shop in Ross that sells Angel Cards and dream catchers and the like. Even at craft fairs you will find Tarot readers. Not the three card one pound parlour game readers, 40 quid half an hour readers. And I can guarantee they will be busy all day long.

Just think about this. How much would you spend on these things which are, to all intents and purposes, a placebo? Now think how much of a difference that money could make to a child in Africa. Can you honestly tell me that you would donate the same amount of money as you would be willing to spend on these things?

Now. Go and tell yourself how great you are. Tell somebody else how great they are. Believe it. Make them believe it about themselves. Repeat as necessary.