Edmonton

U of A professor's TV show debunking alternative therapies will be on Netflix

In Tim Caulfield’s show 'A User’s Guide to Cheating Death,' he tries cryotherapy, napper-cizing and other alternative therapies popularized by pop culture.

Tim Caulfield's show 'A User's Guide to Cheating Death' has been seen in 60 countries

Tim Caulfield, University of Alberta professor and host of 'A User's Guide to Cheating Death,' says his show will be on Netflix soon. (A User's Guide to Cheating Death/Supplied)

In Tim Caulfield's show A User's Guide to Cheating Death, he tries cryotherapy, nappercizing and other alternative therapies popularized by pop culture.

The University of Alberta law professor's show has been seen in 60 countries  — and now it's set to be picked up by Netflix.

"I've got to admit, it feels like a pretty big deal," Caulfield told CBC's Radio Active. "I really hope that it helps it get an audience here in North America."

The show explores the evidence (or, in many cases, the lack thereof) behind many of the alternative therapies. Caulfield talks to people who feel the therapies work for them and presents it all to the audience.

His show brought him to places throughout the United States and around the world.

"We really thought there was a need for — or perhaps an appetite for — a show that was rooted in science, but that was still fun and still looked at different perspectives," Caufield said.

Caulfield tried crystal therapy, using stones and crystals as a means of healing the body. He meditated with a monk in Japan, and he tried nappercizing — which is exercise followed by a nap.

He also tried cryotherapy, where he froze his body at -152 C for three minutes. "That's Edmonton cold," he joked.

He said he's still skeptical of most alternative therapies, but thinks there is something to meditation and mindfulness.

But his show, he said, is presented in a way that shows his willingness to be open-minded. "There are some science shows out there … they almost make fun of them or mock the people," Caulfield said.

"We try not to do that. We really try to have a variety of perspectives."

Caulfield says his show has given him a new perspective about a few of the alternative therapies. He still doesn't subscribe to them, though. (Sam Martin/CBC)

That's not to say his perspective has changed much — many of the therapies with little scientific backing do not have his support.

But the show provided him with perspectives he hadn't heard much of before, which was a start. "It was fascinating to hear from the people who believe it works for them," he said, adding many of them are aware of it potentially being a placebo effect.

"I can understand why people think it works."

Caulfield isn't sure when the first season will be on Netflix, but said it should be soon. Season two is set to go up this fall, and he's hopeful for a third season of production.