“War is a short-term solution to complex problems.”
Stephan Dinan – Sacred America, Sacred Earth
On a personal level, I consider myself a pacifist and environmentalist. I am and have been a conscientious objector (CO) to war at all levels for most of my adult life. In fact, my formal CO application to the draft board in 1971 was one of my first writings in which I really developed and expressed my philosophy of life. I stated that I could not be part of the “war machine’ like the efforts being used for fighting in Vietnam and other places around the world. After my initial application was denied in Michigan, the process culminated successfully with confirmation of my CO status after my appeal was granted in San Francisco in 1973.
I was finishing up my training as a doctor during those years and as a practicing physician for the last four plus decades, and having done much study and writing about health and healing, I have come to see that Western Medicine is a form of war as well; at least it can be. I have called much of modern medical intervention an “attack and conquer” approach to our body. When something goes wrong, we may ask and look at “What we can take to make this go away?“ rather than a more healing approach and questions like, “Why is this going on in my body?” and “What is needed for real healing and not just symptom removal or suppression?” These are questions that have a more integrative and philosophical approach to health and life care. They seek more harmony and new balance, and take a deeper view. It may sometimes mean tolerating symptoms or pain to get the message about how to rebalance our body and life, yet the result is different and often deeper.
The War of Medical Treatments
Medicine today is often fully accepted as a complete system and all that is needed. It focuses mainly on identifying the symptoms or illness, naming it, and treating it with a drug, or surgery. This is often a cover up and does not usually apply to long-term healing. A more sustainable and lower cost process addresses the underlying causes, which are often lifestyle based, and seeks to correct from there. An integrative medicine approach takes this stance and I am always looking for and including my patients in this search for “What creates what?” How do our diet, stress, and life activities affect our healthy outcomes or illnesses? I believe this is the future of medicine and what I call NEW Medicine, N.E.W. being an acronym for the integration of Natural, Eastern, and Western approaches to address problems and support healing.