Want good Health? Dump the Drugs and pick up the CLANGERS. [star rating =4/5]
Having chosen to come and see a show about health, it is uncomfortable to realise within the first three minutes that you cannot actually define what it is.
Dr Phil Hammond, of Have I Got News For You and Private Eye infamy, spends an hour reminding us that health does not mean physical perfection, that it has little to do with the “wellness” being peddled by certain Hollywood stars, and it certainly isn’t about achieving economic growth in the NHS.
It may not be all that much about medication either.
With the aid of only six bottles of his own-brand OBECALPs (read it backwards) and a toy Clanger representing eight non-medicinal ways to change your life to maximise your health and well-being, Dr Phil assures us that what we need for good health is a sense of purpose and enough fitness to fulfil it.
Learn to love your imperfections, and resist the temptation to unnecessarily bleach any part of yourself.
His is certainly a liberal view of the world, but it is interspersed with enough statistics and eye-watering anecdotes from his own years of practice to remind us that he knows his stuff.
Dr Phil believes health to be relational, not medicational: “Kindness is the best medication, and it’s very hard to overdose”.
We medicate people for depression when actually they are lonely.
We prescribe statins when the patient really suffers from poverty and poor life experiences – or as Dr Phil tells us it is known in the trade, “Shit Life Syndrome”.
But it is hard to resolve societal inequality in a ten-minute consultation, and Big Pharma don’t make money out of hugs.
It should be said that after years working in Sexual Health Dr Phil is perfectly comfortable talking about, and using the medically correct terms for, sex and genitalia.
Possibly a little more comfortable than his slightly older audience were. But if you’ve ever wondered the best position with which to achieve mutual orgasm, or how you can permanently injure your finger with an afternoon quickie, he has the stories for you.
Come and take one of Dr Phil’s magic placebos, and learn that the CLANGERS will do you as much good as all those pills will.