Locating the true cause of a disease may be the origin for something new.
I live surrounded by physicians. My sisters, my friends, my friend’s friends, we all grew up together, went to the same schools and are all but a few years apart from each other. Between us lies a whole range of specialisations and about everyone has now some 20 odd years of practical experience under their belt. A lot of routine, no-one is really excited anymore, most are disillusioned, many are bored, a few right out hate what they are doing, it but cannot get out.
This is why I am glad I took a hiatus from practicing medicine to return full circle.
Looking at this it occurs to me, that I had to do that. I had to unlearn, not the knowledge or wisdom itself, but the way it was applied, to get a chance to put it into practice in new ways. Contrary to a common belief, one does not really forget the art of practicing medicine. It is first and foremost a sensory skill and actually I would argue, to use one’s five senses and instinct is still the most appropriate way to make a proper diagnosis. If necessary, one could always back it up with lab-tests or diagnostic imaging and any physician would agree. But for many reasons this is not how it is done any more and I can understand it in some ways – I have friends who see up to 70 patients a day, so you do the math.
A decade ago, complementary medicine grew more popular and many physicians today have basic knowledge of homeopathy, acupuncture and other holistic methods. When I returned, I had to get my acupuncture experiences validated and attended some classes. I found the way it was taught completely contrary to the idea of energy medicine, where symptoms are pointers to the cause of disturbance and not the task at hand. Anyway, I am just a bloody purist, it works fine and a few needles do usually less harm than a prescription drug. After all, it’s not the individual method but the faith in the process that heals a disease. But I wonder how so many are deliberating missing the point when they are getting involved with holistic medical systems. Well, I get distracted now…
So where I am trying to put my finger on is how to go beyond symptoms and beliefs. Many patients today come and have strong opinions or beliefs about allergies, parasites, the liver meridian, zodiac sign or blood type as the cause for their health issues. Everyone is looking for an interesting explanation, mostly outside of themselves, and a quick fix to take care of it. And most importantly – just one cause.
Mea culpa, this oversimplified linear relation is what the pharmaceutical industry propagated for years and to tell you the truth, it works great to affect acute illness, but a prescription drug is not enough to a contain chronic disease, which is the result of a very complex and moreover dynamic disturbance.
What we need to look at today is the unresolved issues of diabetes, obesity, rheumatic disorders, allergies, pain and cancer. And we need to look at depression, exhaustion and addiction as pointers. In fact, looking at what I have just written, I get the hunch we can put the mechanism of “addiction” right at the centre of it.
What is it that drives us to deliberately damage our health, thats the question at hand.