Fifteen years ago I was formally accused by the College of the Massage Therapists of BC of being an “unprofessional” massage therapist because I was criticizing pseudoscience and quackery on my website with allegedly excessive flair and snark — they didn’t like my “tone.” Translation: they didn’t want me to criticize alternative medicine, but I had my facts straight so my style was the only thing they could complain about. My style was actually quite tame, though, and the whole thing was kind of ludicrous. In retrospect, I am amused that I found it stressful at the time.
I recently returned to the Body of Evidence podcast, my second visit (the first was about massage myths, and is apparently one of their most popular episodes). I talked with Jonathan and Chris about my weird origin story, how the ill-advised regulatory harassment over my “tone” drove me to fully embrace my writing career and abandon massage therapy…and how it all ended up amplifying my voice and my message, rather than stifling it (as was clearly intended). A classic Streisand effect has strongly shaped my career.