holistic medicine hitting the mainstream?

Last night, while finishing my dishes, I turned on PBS and watched a bit of “UltraMind Solution” with Dr. Mark Hyman.  He wrote a book called The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Fixing Your Body First.  I don’t know if it’s a good book or not, and I don’t plan to read it.

BUT, what I did find interesting during the few minutes of his program that I listend to was his statement that as a society, Americans look at disease all wrong.  Hyman said, “If you have ten people with depression, likely they will have ten different causes for their depression, and each person’s depression should be treated differently.”  I liked that statement very much, and I’m so glad to hear a medical professional saying that!

Hyman went on to say something like this: A person may have depression and skin problems and joint problems and intestinal problems.  Their doctor will then tell them to see a psychologist, a dermatologist, a [doctor who works on joints], and a gastro-enterologist.  Yet all of those different problems may actually be symptoms of the very same problem.

Finally!  This kind of holistic thinking is starting to hit the mainstream!

I first became aware of this kind of thinking when I found the book The Infertility Cure and used traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture and herbs) to become pregnant with my second child.  I was amazed that different symptoms such as cold feet, lower back weakness, craving for sweets, anxiety, and certain menstrual cycle irregularities could all be symptoms of one single form of imbalance.  Wow!  What a completely different way of looking at health!

Hyman also made the point that we Americans cannot avoid being poisoned by our surroundings today.  There’s simply no way to escape it — chemicals are everywhere.  So, he brought up the importance of detoxifying our bodies.  I forget how he actually said to do this, but diet is a big factor.  Certain supplements also help.  Obviously, enough sleep and adaquate exercise make a big difference, too.  But in all my thinking about alternative health, I haven’t paid much attention to detoxification.  It’s something to think and learn more about.

I certainly hope that the medical doctors of the future will not look at people in piecemeal fashion, but will look at the whole person – physical and emotional symptoms – before prescribing appropriate treatment.  I think that with more media exposure like this, that’s where we’re headed.

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