In the West we are divided about healing pain. We take two approaches and rarely integrate them. One approach to pain and illness is a technological approach. This the “we’re going to go in and we’re going to fix you” approach. It’s often done later in the disease process, is often high-cost, and it usually is quite manipulative. It over values the physical things you can see and do. For example, people in pain often get drugs, but also surgery or implantable devices.
The other approach is less visible. Read more
What is healing exactly?
The meaning I use is: the process of recovery, repair, and a return to wholeness.
In fact, the root word “to heal” actually means wholeness, to become whole again. It is the same root from which the word “holy” comes, meaning sacred. Thus, healing, wholeness and the sacred are intertwined. Read more
A flourishing society requires access to affordable health care, healthy food choices, a safe, natural environment and integrative medical care. Some might see this as an elusive dream, but I am optimistic that the shift from conventional medicine to a holistic health care approach is gaining momentum. While some have promoted this idea for decades, no one has been as effective in bringing it to our nation as Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
I have been a family physician for over 30 years. In my career, I have been a military physician, a medical school faculty member, a health policy advisor, a medical research training program director, and the director of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine, and a Director of a World Health Organization Traditional Medicine Center.
Over this period, I have learned about and investigated many of the world’s healing traditions many that are very different than the western medicine of my training.
During my time at NIH and working with WHO, one of the things that I observed was that the world’s healing traditions and our western healing methods, if you go back several hundred years, were not very different.
But in the last hundred years, ours western approach has radically changed—often for the good and sometimes for the bad. With my next few posts, I’d like to illustrate both sides of that coin: showing you the dilemma that we’re in in health care today and, I hope, the way out of that dilemma. Read more
In an article on the increase of CAM use for millennials, a fascinating statement was included that explains precisely why Samueli Institute exists:
Steven Salzberg, a professor of medicine, biostatistics and computer science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, has opposed integrating alternative medicine into academic curriculums. He says most alternative modalities and supplements have shown no scientific evidence of success.
While he concedes that yoga, meditation and massage can be helpful, he says many practitioners and marketers use the CAM label to promote bogus claims. He also warns that some herbal remedies can have “nasty” interactions with prescription medicine. His advice to consumers is to take a skeptical view of the CAM marketplace.
I have debated Dr. Salzberg at Johns Hopkins and I disagree. It is precisely BECAUSE many complementary or integrative modalities have not been sufficiently explored through research that CAM should be taught in medical schools. Read more