THE BLOG

Is Clean Living Medicine?

04/02/2015 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

Earlier this week as I was browsing my latest news updates, I came across a headline that intrigued me enough to click on it. You win, Mashable editors -- your clickbait headline got me again!

Hold on just a darn minute -- she did WHAT?

Of course, I'm primed and ready to learn how this woman has done it so I can get this miracle living practice into the hands of people I know that have been diagnosed with this disgusting disease.

Only, the more I read, the more horrified I was.

To make an exceedingly long story short, Gibson, an Australian "healthy living guru," allegedly built a nearly ironclad fortress of lies claiming to have beaten blood, spleen, brain, uterus and liver cancers by rejecting traditional medical treatment and, instead, turning to detoxes, whole food eating and oxygen therapies. What's more, she developed a tribe of followers through a published book and smartphone app, vowing a portion of the proceeds would go to a charity.

Except those donations apparently never came, and Gibson's empire began to crumble.

She is not the first to claim curing of ailments with more natural approaches, which is why it's not completely impossible Gibson's story never came into question prior to now.

Impossible? Maybe not. Irresponsible for not a single person to fact check? Yes, absolutely.

Gibson's claim aside, is clean living really medicine?

I have personally witnessed the positive power of food as wellness contributor. A friend of mine works daily to combat her Type 1 diabetes by eating a strict grain-free and refined sugar-free diet; however, she lives knowing that what she eats is not curing her disease, rather maintaining better overall health and nourishing her body to prevent further deterioration from diabetes.

While I have absolutely no doubt diet can positively impact many diseases, I really struggle with the claim that food and cleaner living can completely cure diseases such as cancer.

Recently, "Wellness Warrior" Jess Ainscough declined traditional cancer treatments in favor of natural and alternative treatments and passed away after battling for seven years. Her mother, Sharyn Ainscough, met the same fate after choosing her daughter's path of wellness over modern medicine for breast cancer.

While Jess and Sharyn Ainscough are not comparable to what we know so far of Belle Gibson (diagnosed cancer vs. unconfirmed cancer), the bottom line remains the same for all three -- forgoing known cancer treatments for natural, non-synthetic and all-around unproven remedies.

As I delve further into this topic and research other stories and more information, I would love to hear your thoughts! Have you forgone professional medical advice to seek a more natural cure? Do you think clean living is medicine? Join the discussion in the comments below or with me on Twitter.