Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have died in service of the United States. On this day, many Americans also take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our Armed Forces.
Over the next 25 years, the number of Veterans is projected to drop from 21 million[i] in 2015 to 15 million in 2040 with the passing of the “baby boomer”, post-WWII generation. It is a challenge to care for the large numbers of elderly from this wave. A major challenge in caring for aging populations is properly tempering the dominance of high-tech interventions that tend to be applied even in terminal patients and to those at the end of life. Communication is another major challenge:both communication barriers built into the health care system and a culture not wanting to or being unequipped to talk about death and end of life needs. Read more
In 2013 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) documented what many in the healthy communities movement had known for a long time. That the health and prosperity of the nation was declining. What was remarkable and new in this study, however, was that these declines were occurring not just in a few areas of the country, or exclusively in poor or underserved areas, but across the entire nation – across multiple demographics and income levels. In addition, the study documented that this was not a recent phenomenon but, in fact, the health of the United States has been declining for more than 30 years. Read more
When we are ill we so often focus on what to do; a knife, a pill, a behavior change, your diet. Yet underlining any therapy is a process for its delivery
that often produces more of an effect than the treatment itself. Let’s explore that process; the “how” of healing, and contrast it with the “what”. So often the “how” of healing involves spiritual engagement and activity.
Avaton of Epidaurus – By Jean Housen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Explore the Ancient City of Medicine
A visit to Epidaurus, the ancient city of medicine where the Hippocratic school of medicine was founded reveals how ancient Greeks believed healing happens: Read more
As an Army doctor, I had the opportunity to learn about healing and medicine through a unique lens—one a little more international in scope than many medical school graduates experienced. I spent the first part of my career as the only doctor running an Army medical clinic for about 5,000 soldiers and their families in a remote area of Germany in the 1980s. Read more
Meaning and context are essential elements of healing. Sometimes called the placebo effect, meaning and context refer to how a treatment is delivered rather than the efficacy of the treatment itself. For healing to be optimized for any treatment, you need the expectation of an effect and you need its social meaning delivered in the right context.
Meaningfulness is not just about what you’re thinking in your head. It’s about your deep, core beliefs and that of the social group in which you live. It’s what the cultural belief is – what your physician believes, what you believe, and what your family and society believes is real. Read more