In the last two centuries Western medicine has become the application of one science, namely biochemistry. Its basic tenet has been that life is chemical. Thus, it has seemed logical to assume that, whatever the ills of our chemical bodies; the right chemical antidote could cure them best. The philosophical outcome of chemical medicine's success has been belief in The Technological Fix. Drugs have become the treatment for all ailments. Although we are learning that the more chemicals we put into our body the more we disturb the chemistry of our bodies, the medical community stays on the same merry-go-round. In addition, techniques that do not fit such chemical concepts, even if they seem to work, have been abandoned or condemned.
More importantly, life processes that are inexplicable according to biochemistry have been either ignored or misinterpreted. As a result, medical science has abandoned the central rule of all science, which is revision in light of new data. In many ways medical science has been frozen in time by looking for more and more chemical solutions for problems that are not chemical in origin. As a consequence, the discoveries that have kept physics so vital have not occurred in medicine.
The search for a cancer cure illustrates this tunnel vision. The battle against cancer in 1974 was being waged with $270 million. Today the budget has grown to over $6 billion and, using more and more complex and toxic chemical weapons, we are not winning the war. After so many years and millions of dollars spent for negligible results, it is still assumed that the cure for cancer will be a chemical. On every level, this approach is becoming more and more disastrous.
Conventional medicine has always put the emphasis on crises intervention, and that is where it is most successful. We are the best in the world when battling disease with surgery and drugs. With acute illness, high tech medicine outperforms any alternatives as far as speed of effectiveness.
However, illness in this country has shifted from being predominantly acute to chronic. Degenerative diseases, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, cancer, stroke, arthritis, hypertension, ulcers, and others, have replaced infectious diseases as our primary health problem.
The newly organized Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health is spearheading the exploration of a wide range of alternative approaches. Many of these efforts are aimed at chronic diseases for which conventional allopathic medicine and biochemical solutions have been least effective. Even insurance companies are beginning to reimburse some alternative modalities, because they help them where they hurt...in their pocketbooks.
Dr. James Gordon, a clinical professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, Director of the Center for Mind-Body Studies in Washington, D.C. and Chairman of the Advisory Council to the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, stated in an editorial published in the Washington Post that The surgical and pharmacological remedies that modern biomedicine has developed are potent and effective in emergencies, but for most chronic illnesses they are little more than palliative. And all too often, both surgical and pharmacological treatments are used inappropriately, produce significant and deleterious side effects and are overpriced.
Dr. Gordon and many of his colleagues believe that techniques that are fundamental to the healing systems of other cultures should be fully integrated into our own., Alternative approaches, nourished on our own soil yet scorned by the medical establishment, should once again be considered as members of the family of official medicine.