Top Row Photos: I have studied in these places to deepen my understanding of other healing approaches. What follows is not in any way comprehensive of what World Wisdom offers. (1)French distillation of lavender oil remains a family business. That lineage provides some assurance of the quality for those who ingest and apply the organic-grade essentail oils. Europeans, Australians, and others take essential oils as medicines. (2) An entrance to a Berber Farmer’s Market (Morocco). Here, the standard diet is fresh organic produce because that’s mostly what’s convenient. While not a wealthy country, the standard health of “ordinary” citizens is obvious. As a visitor, I experienced an improvement in my sense of well-being, also. (3) An acupuncture model displays meridian (energy) pathways we can’t see, but impact our health. Balancing the energy fields around the body is one of the main differences between Eastern and Western Medicine. (4) In Morocco, Argan oil (used for numerous health issues) is extracted by pounding these nuts. Some cultures believe the closer a substance is to its natural state, the more potential it might have for healing. In the West, we isolate and refine, then replicate what we believe to be the “active ingredient” to make medications. (5) Music, such as from this harp, has been used for healing worldwide. Music is energy, and the healing music resonates with different parts of our body. Because these healing approaches differ from ours, they may serve as effective supplements to Western treatments.
ABOUT ME : My Collision with “Life-Based Medicine”:
An uploaded resume reveal facts about a professional, but not what she is like as a physician. But to address this, I went to the following schools: University of Chicago (’68), Yale Medical School (‘ 71) Washington Hospital Medical Internship (’72), and University of Pennsylvania Psychiatry Residency (’75)). But where a doctor trains is a small part of how she practices medicine.
To me, what’s important is what a professional does after training. We all need to evolve in response to our particular circumstances. That leads me to explain how I came to do Acu-Psychiatry.
My first collision with “Life-Based Medicine” was about twenty-five years ago. I got sick with a flu-like illness that didn’t go away. That was before the Epstein-Barr virus became a household word. After my third doctor visit and a few rounds of normal blood tests, my internist wondered (out loud) if I had emotional problems. I didn’t welcome this line of inquiry, given I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed those last six months, didn’t have the concentration to read more than a few moments, and didn’t have the memory to recall what I did read. No one wants to be told his problem is “in his head”, and that includes psychiatrists. I discovered the area called Environmental Allergies, one of a number of conditions that were not (and still aren’t) widely recognized. Recognized or not, people still get the problem.
My son was also affected. Eventually, this led to writing “Parenting Plus, Raising Children with Special Health Needs.” (Dutton 1990, Penguin 1992). The book won a Presidential Award, but is out of print now. From conventional standards, “Parenting Plus” just about vaporized. Yet the Google references today let me know the book still lives. For me the bottom line was the experience, a stepping stone in my post-graduate training: there’s no authority that substitutes for one’s own thinking. My experience of getting ill was not “recognized” by diagnostic codes. That did not make me any less ill.
Conventions can be confused with truth. And that happens in healthcare, also. We are all evolving. What we regard as “evidence” today may turn out to be a passing convention. This becomes very confusing for patients and even professionals. Becoming a savvy patient is difficult.
My next encounter with “Life-Based Medicine” was about 15 years ago. Sometimes you can know what’s wrong, but “fail” to get better , even with the “right” treatments done by one of the best professionals. That’s what happened to me.
This is not high drama, but the experience changed me and my direction in medicine. I was rear-ended and herniated two cervical disks. The surgery did not help. On pain medications and physical therapy, I went downhill, barely able to work. That’s when I discovered that options for pain conditions can look much better on paper than what they can accomplish in real life. Also, while what I had was not “terminal”, it could keep me from quality living. In fact , it did. My stamina plummeted as the fibromyalgia became a problem, along with my chronic neck pain. Out of desperation, I signed up for a weekend introduction to acupuncture. I am still learning. Acu-Psychiatry is part of what happened.
These experiences taught me labels may speak very little to what happens to the body and how to repair it, along with how that event impacts someone’s life. That’s why where I went to school, centuries ago, does not tell you who I am as a doctor today. For me, it’s what you are willing to learn once you leave the safety of school that matters.