Integrative Health Care is the term now used to represent the inclusion of complementary, natural therapies and alternative systems of healing (often from other cultures around the world) in our health system. I feel strongly that we all have the inalienable right to select our own path in life and in healing. There are often many paths, none of which is wrong. For me for instance, I’m much more likely to visit my chiropractor and use dietary supplements like Vitamin D3 and garlic as preventive measures; while I have friends whose first thought is to go visit a physician and ask for medication; and yet other friends whose first line of care is homeopathy.
I also feel strongly that we can do a better job with the research dollars that come through taxpayer funds. Over the last quarter century, through my work I have seen too much mediocrity in government managed research programs, too much favoritism towards drug development and big business, and too much compromising of scientific integrity to achieve a desired goal. If 85% of disease in the United States is the result of lifestyle, then why is 85% of the research funding not focused on lifestyle solutions?
I tend to lean toward an integral vision of health. This might best be explained through the words of the modern philosopher, Ken Wilbur in The Eye of the Spirit, ” To understand the whole, it is necessary to understand the parts. To understand the parts, it is necessary to understand the whole. Such is the circle of understanding. We move from part to whole and back again, and in that dance of comprehension, in that amazing circle of understanding, we come alive to meaning, to value, and to vision: the very circle of understanding guides our way, weaving together the pieces, healing the fractures, mending the torn and tortured fragments, lighting the way ahead – this extraordinary movement from part to whole and back again, with healing the hallmark of each and every step, and grace the tender reward. When we introspect we experience our inner consciousness through a world of images and desires, hungers and pains, thoughts and ideas, wishes and wants, intentions and hesitations, hopes and fears not a world of analog and digital bits scurrying through information networks or neurotransmittors hustling between dendric pathways. An integral vision would honor and incorporate both the subjective and objective approaches in the human knowledge quest.
2017 offers us a change to turn the page and start anew. My good friend and mentor, Dr. Leonard Wisneski offers this definition, “Integral Medicine or Integral Health Care is the optimal synthesis of conventional and alternative therapies (Integrative) practiced with a whole person (Holistic) approach and delivered with reverence and humanism.” I tend to agree.
January 18, 2017