A New Health Paradigm

Not too long ago what the world now knows as Western conventional medicine didn’t exist. While conventional medicine is a newborn compared to the Eastern systems of medicine, several of which have been in use for many thousands of years, its rapid ascension to becoming an internationally recognized standard is worthy of note.

Three advances in particular launched the system as we presently know it to its present orbit: anesthesia, antibiotics and sanitation. As such, it relies heavily on surgical and pharmaceutical interventions. Doctors who practice this system are compensated for treating illness and managing diseases. It is a highly commercialized system with many self-interested stakeholders.

Modern science flourished as a result of Galileo Galilei’s refashioning of the scientific method in the 17th century. Rene Descartes’ philosophy, now called “Cartesianism” also helped set its trajectory, especially its obsession with the intricate details of the mechanics of its interventions. A medicine, for example, is not accepted unless its effect is academically or scientifically understood using current analytical tools.

Proponents of Western conventional medicine have typically had a hard time accepting evidence-based interventions, that is, techniques or therapies which prove useful clinically, until their underlying mechanics are well-understood and mapped out in excruciating detail. This is in stark contrast to the ancient Eastern systems, which accommodate techniques and therapies that prove to be effective clinically, even if how they work is not yet (or ever!) understood.

Because of this bias, Western conventional medicine has discarded many therapies which have proven useful and safe through thousands of years of clinical use. The rejection of these interventions is uncharacteristically unscientific and usually comes in the form of derisive and emotionally-charged quips. For example, medical systems like herbalism, homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine are dismissed as nonsense, unfounded and unproven despite the mountains of clinically generated evidence which point to their effectiveness in both disease management and healthy maintenance.

I envision a new system which transcends the limitations of our present approach, one that:

1. Honors unequivocally the doctor-patient relationship

2. Sees symptoms as an expression of the body’s current attempt to restore balance and is therefore primarily non-suppressive in nature

3. Accepts time-tested interventions as valid without demanding comprehension as a prerequisite to their inclusion

4. Works with the physics (or energetic nature) of the body first and its biochemistry second

5. Recognizes the dynamic nature of the body and prescribes, for example, pharmaceutics (chemical, botanical, mineral, etc.) for no more than three days at a time

6. Educates patients to greater self-awareness

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8 Responses to A New Health Paradigm

  1. Zach says:

    The system you described seems like a great way to create a system that has the benefit of the patient as its central tenet. Conventional medicine needs to lose the agenda it seems to have against what is old. When it came to prominence it threw out everything that had come before it regardless of its efficacy and has resisted the re-addition of any of those elements.
    The focus of healthcare must be on the patient and what is best for the patient, individually. That is all that matters.

  2. Ricardo B. says:

    I think we all can agree that the element of personal responsibility needs much greater emphasis in our current system. With that in mind, for people to better take care of themselves will require acceptance of the fact that the body can heal itself and is always moving and aiming towards balance at all times. We do believe in the principle of homeostasis, but when the going gets rough our medical practices tend to dismiss it in certain ways by the manner in which our medicines just take over the body. If we get caught in a state of chronic imbalances, we should be thinking about what is preventing the normal good state of health instead of hijacking bodily functions via chemical wizardry to eradicate the symptoms of imbalance. More often than not, this fools us into thinking we are well while in reality the imbalance remains which slowly does get worse over time. I see this all the time in my practice, the effects of negligence.

    To be a doctor means to educate, to teach. Those of us in this discipline need to tirelessly reinforce the principles of good health, and when medicines are called for, we shall choose those that first do no harm and that secondly cooperate fully with the body’s intrinsic drive to heal itself. Easier said than done at times I know, given the severity of the situation, but that’s the way it is. The ultimate cure is in the prevention.

    To a healthier and happier future!

  3. Coco says:

    Very interesting post. I’ve thought the “evidance based” argument has been wielded as club to suppress competitors for health care dollars. It may have originated from an ignorant response but has become part of the education. ( Rather like when scholars also accepted the world was flat!) I prefer a doctor that isn’t limited by this accepted doctrine especially when I’m seeking a primary care doctor, one that can help me have access to all methodologies.
    On point # 5 are you suggesting seeing the doctor or practitioner every 3 days to reevaluate the pharmaceutics prescribed?

  4. Kolya says:

    I appreciate the foundation of respect that all of your points illustrate. Unfortunately, in our current system amid the politics and systemization, the actual needs of the patient is often forgotten. And, one size does not fit all. If we, as westerners are true scientists and innovators leading the way in healthcare, then it would behoove us to consider all modalities (ancient or modern) in our quest for transformative healthcare.

  5. RJ says:

    We have romneycare and obamacare- how about “commonsensecare.” I love what you have outlined here Gregg. Why not use ALL the tools for healthcare available- starting with the least suppressive, least invasive first? This would go a long way towards solving our out of control and unsustainable healthcare system.

  6. Steve Ventola says:

    Excellent points Gregg! Yes I like the comment about sensible health care. It is good to meditate on this subject and make it real in person.

  7. Hi Gregg,

    This has been the post that I have been waiting for for a long time! What are the new rules of medicine? I think you have done a great job in sharing where some sustainable points might be.

    Those doctors working under these principles are making huge strides in disease treatment, prevention and maintenance, and it is exciting to see the progress.

    Looking forward to more insight, I will share this as a guest post on my blog!

    james

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