What I thought about Netflix’s (Un)Well Series – 5 Episodes Reviewed
As soon as I saw the trailer for Netflix’s (Un)Well I was excited. I never thought I’d see the day when I get excited about wellness documentaries, but here it is, I was eager to educate myself.
There is always more room to learn new things and expand your brain… I skimmed through the episode list as the documentary came out on the 12th August, and I wasn’t too sure about some of them I have to be honest!
Some of the aspects I never even heard about, I mean drinking breast milk? For health benefits? I was sceptical, or bee stinging health craze – WHAAAT? It happens.
The main aspect that stood out to me was the fact that through each episode, you get a 360 view and angle on each topic. It’s objective, which means by the end of it, you get to make up your own mind and form your own opinion on the subject.
Let’s dissect each episode then shall we…
**SPOILERSSSSS – IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE DOCUMENTARY SERIES AND ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING IT FIRST, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. Pin or save the blog post and simply come back to it later my loves (: Don’t say I didn’t warn youuuu…**
Ep. 1 – Essential Oils
You will always find me on the “Upvoting” side of the room for essential oils. I love them and truly believe in the health benefits of them. However, watching the first episode I was a little put off.
The talk of some of the marketing tricks, the pyramid schemes and overdosing and negative effects of the oils causing allergic reactions and some health issues was worrying and off-putting. As money-makers prey on their customers and lure them into various schemes just to get rich, it really takes away from the natural health benefits of the oils, and makes them seem less natural and more man-made.
Essential oils can be used for medicine to treat symptoms of for example anxiety, but they don’t have the curing power. You might start to feel better, which is awesome, but it simply treats the symptoms and makes you feel better – according to the programme.
It could also be just a placebo effect – but as we all know, placebo effect also happens with medicine and drugs.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still using essential oils and am very passionate about them. I still believe in their healing properties and in natural medicine, that’s just me. The important lesson here, is that if you use them or thinking about using them, do so sensibly and with moderation.
Ep. 2 – Tantric Sex
Something most of us would have at least heard about, on the news, that a celebrity practices it, that it cures traumas or that it’s great slow sex with an even stronger release. The episode opened my eyes even further to the extent of the word and the many definitions the Western World invented, just to monetise it.
Although it didn’t look or seem natural, I could understand the benefits of release from it and hey, orgasms are healthy so a body orgasm must be even healthier.
It’s not all sex and glory though. There are schemes, retreats and businesses out there, who will lure people in to make money.
What’s more scary, is the fact that although this was originally an ancient and religious technique practiced by various Eastern religions and cultures, it became an alibi, for Yogis/teachers/partitioners etc, to now take advantage of women.
In no way, is that right of course. To borrow ancient practices with respect, is cool. Abusing ancient practices to monetise them? Nah-uh. No thank you.
Some of the retreats, one in particular by Sasha Cobra seemed beneficial, peaceful and completely open and understanding to the whole experience. Tantra is something you can easily read about, just be cautious with the author or the source.
Ep. 3 – Bulking Up with Breast Milk
Without realising that athletes drink breast milk for health benefits, I watched this episode with only the basic knowledge of breast milk being mother’s bodily fluid made specifically for the baby.
It was quite eye-opening, as different aspects of breast milk are presented, such as:
- The fact that breast milk can kill cancer cells – something that should be explored further for sure
- There aren’t that many studies into the subject, there are more studies into erectile dysfunction and coffee, than there is for breast milk
- It has a lot of nutrients to it
- You can get pasteurised breast milk
- We don’t know that much about it
The one thing I wasn’t sure on, were the exact nutrients that were within the milk. As each milk is specifically made by the mother’s body for the newborn, what vitamins, minerals, fats, sugars etc are actually in it? Sure, each one will be different, which means we can’t know for sure what is in each one.
And if we don’t know for sure, should adults be drinking it? I mean for sure, if it’s safe for a baby, it’s safe for adults…
The thought remains…That thought of drinking somebody else’s breast milk, for nutrition and to bulk up in your gym routine, is not something I would be on board with when there are other solutions.
However, that’s not to say there is anything wrong with it, people choose to do what they want and that’s perfectly alright.
In fact, drinking breast milk is more natural (in the concept and theory of it) than drinking cow or any other animal’s milk – if you break it down and think about it. It’s not in our thought process to automatically want to milk a cow when you see one, just like we wouldn’t think about snatching a milk bottle from a newborn for our own nutrition.
Human milk for humans, cow’s milk for cows – but hey, that’s just my logic.
Ep.4 – Fasting
There’s a little introduction to the fact that almost every religion practices fasting, to clear the mind and spirit and to help with thinking more clearly, reflecting and connecting with god(s).
The focus is primarily on fasting as a diet, and how there is more than just one (let’s say ’technique’) of fasting.
It’s used by some as almost a trend, a new diet fad, with many health benefits, cancer-clearing properties and detoxifying/cleansing benefits. As with the other episodes, we find out the extremities of fasting and how dangerous, deadly fasting can be.
With one heartbreaking story of a failed fasting retreat, we learn how these retreats function.
This episode was a bit of a let down for me, as I was looking forward to learning more about fasting in religions. It mainly focuses on dieting, how dangerous it can be, as well as how lack of food can heal the body in a detoxifying way.
To sum up, there is a safe way and a dangerous way to fast, so be careful and do your research (or watch the episode) before you decide to fast!
Ep. 5 – Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is an ancient ceremony/ritual and medicinal drug, used by indigenous shamans. This episode was right up my street and I kept my eyes and ears peeled all the way through as it considers the ancient roots of the ceremony, how it was used centuries ago, and how popular it’s getting now among tourist who are desperate to experience it.
A psychedelic drug, that helps people to deal and sometimes recover from previous traumas and even physical conditions. Similarly to fasting, there are many retreats where you can go and experience the drug that’s said to help with anxiety, depression and past traumas.
It showed people at a retreat who were going through the experience, and everyone’s experience, reaction was slightly different. Most people go through 3 stages, one of them being the Purge – violent vomiting. This is a part of the experience as your body rejects something within you, ready for the cleanse.
As Ayahuasca is getting more popular, more people want to try and abuse the ancient ceremony. Borrowing from our ancestors can be a learning path, their traditions, ways and lifestyle should be respected and treated with kindness, appreciating that we still have such Shamans around to teach us.
Like with anything popular however, people are abusing it and seeing it as another money mine. Production demand soars, while people growing the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (used to make ayahuasca) are getting next to no money from the production.
While the drug can have healing effects, the episode also goes into how it can cause psychotic episodes, when mixed with anti-depressants and other drugs, such as those used for bi-polar or schizophrenia.
It isn’t recommended that you drink ayahuasca while you’re also prescribed on other medications, it’s not a good mix. It has previously caused seizures and outbursts that can have serious effects. Even to the extremities of killing people.
All in all, another episode that goes 360 into the topic, letting you make up your own mind. I’m on the fence of being very open to try it, as long as it’s in a safe environment and organised by people I trust.
Ep. 6 – Bee Sting Therapy
Completely new topic to me, however, like with everything, I was open to it and I was watching it with an open-mind.
The episode felt a little incomplete to me, compared to the other ones – it didn’t feel like a 360 view of the topic. There were areas where I felt more information was needed.
It was mainly swaying towards how good the Bee Sting therapy is, how it can help with reducing symptoms of lyme disease, what a great remedy it is to reduce wrinkles (for 12 hours) but with little scientific proof. Because it’s not proven to cure anything, doctors aren’t allowed to recommend it or use it as a healing method.
The targeted stinging of a certain body part, means that once the bee stings, it dies. You probably already knew that, but is that ethical? Not by my standards (each to his own, right?)
Bees are dying. You probably already heard it on the news or your social feeds. It’s old news, but still happening and it’s still an issue.
Bee stinging is yet another money-making scheme – for bee stinging retreats, for the creams, to sell bees themselves, it’s another business for most who can find a way out of making money form animals’ labour (who have nothing to say about the matter).
Of course you have to watch it for yourself to make up your own mind. I personally believe that bees should be left where they belong, in nature, pollinating our flowers.
However, I haven’t experienced lyme disease and I understand how it can stop you from having a normal, active life so I understand why it is used to treat the symptoms.
In Our Humble Conclusion
What I like most about this series is that it presents different angles of each issue. You’re told the good stuff and the bad stuff about it, giving it an objective feel.
Each episode lets you make up your own mind on the topic, which is likely to be influenced by your personal opinion – like my vegan take on Bee Stinging, or natural lifestyle outlook on Essential Oils which I am still using.
If I had to pick one episode as my favourite, I would pick the Ayahuasca one. It was the most interesting, the most eye opening and as it relates to indigenous people and traditions, the one closest to my heart.
All in all, I would recommend to anyone who is into various health remedies and wants to learn about alternative healing ways while discovering how they’re all money-making opportunities. Sadly.
It would be so lovely if you were willing to please share this with anyone you know, your friends or on your social feeds just to spread the wellness love ?