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
Wayne B. Jonas, MD, President and CEO, Samueli Institute
How does an individual achieve resilience and flourish, even when faced with a trauma or stress? How the mind, body and spirit reacts and transitions to a new normal stems from multiple factors and can result in different outcomes. In the process, the individual may evolve and transform, paving the way for new skills that will prepare them for new challenges in the future. A whole systems, whole person understanding of resilience is best approached through a dynamic systems framework and is a subject that researchers are only beginning to understand. Samueli Institute has been working to cast further light on these processes. Read more
This week, the Institute launched a new tool to help families with small children talk about wellness and healing. It is a book, Maya’s Enchanted Thread, written to a 7-9 year old reading level and intended to be read with a parent or other adult.
The book follows the framework of Samueli Institute’s evidence-based Optimal Healing Environments research as it tells the story of a young girl’s journey toward optimal health. The tale is told through colorful characters and in clear, simple prose—created by talented author and illustrator Marzia Motta—in a way that makes conversations about important topics such as exercise, nutrition and friendship fun.