As a generalist in medical practice, (I have a in B.A in Environmental Studies, B.A. in Health Science and Masters in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, as well as 10 years special study with doctors who specialize in Environmental Medicine, addressing toxins, microbes and chronic illnesses of all kinds, and 10 years teaching in a local higher educational institution as teacher and clinical supervisor..) I find that today’s medicine and in particular its ability to address the current Covid situation is lacking a generalist’s perspective. Today we have specialists in every aspect of our insurance based medical system. But, no one looks at the whole of the body. So, when it is learned that Covid -19 attacks all parts of the body, the medical community goes into shock like a deer in the head lights.
We need more general practitioners. Doctors don’t even look at you any more as much as they are looking at their computer screen and even rarer do they ever touch you or do physical assessment. Real medicine is mostly dead. It’s all insurance and pharmacy based treatment.
On my best days, my clients can tell you, I can address their emotional and spiritual issues with as much finesse as I can address their pain or Lyme disease. I can evaluate the progress of diseases internally and assess where and why the disease is acting in a particular place. I thank my particular education and years of study for that.
We need more generalists who can connect the dots between disease and the environment, diet and genetics. We need generalists who can assess and treat peoples’ spiritual despair and connect it to their physical symptoms without prescribing a pill to numb it away.
We need doctors who can stand up for clean air and water, safe technology and a healthy planet for all, because this is how we become and stay healthy.
Without a generalist’s perspective…without the larger view and context that we are all connected and the membranes are permeable and we all share the same air, we are going to continue to suffer. If we continue to treat the symptoms of the disease and not the root of the disease, we are missing the point. We are missing the opportunity to learn the causes of our illnesses. We will continue to avoid looking at the imbalanced way we live and work and love.
If this disease teaches us anything it is how out of balance we are with the truths of biology. We live in a closed system. We can’t pollute our own nest for long with out suffering diseases.
We need the overview and the macro perspective and yet we need small and local responses to it. Just like biodiversity protects plants from diseases, we need small bio-diverse individualized treatments to disease. The cytokine storm has become a house hold word now. What that really means is that each patient’s or person’s immune system is individualized. It reacts in different ways according to your particular make up, what we call your constitution. Your “constitution” is what you are born with, what you have inherited, essentially your genes. Your “condition” on the other hand is what you do or have done with that base. What you eat, think how you work and exercise…Do you smoke etc.
Each patient has to be addressed according to not only their constitution but their condition. So, not only can you do genetic testing but you also have to talk about diet and lifestyle. The best of both worlds, high tech medicine and lifestyle medicine.
We have ignored and suppressed both sides of the equation. We have suppressed technologies that help patients because they are not profitable enough and or they take too much time and effort on the part of the hospital and the patient and their family. We have ignored dietary advice because of inconvenient and sometimes challenging changes that patients would have to make to lifestyle and governments would have to make to policy.
We have suppressed simpler technologies and treatments in order to protect the shareholders and powerful interests.
In all my years of practicing holistic medicine. I find that treating diseases always has to engage the person’s heart and mind as well as their daily habits and their relational reality, their environment, their family, work situation, love life, diet and even going back further in their family history to address cycles of abuse, dysfunction, history and genetic makeup.
Our health is not being addressed in a holistic way. Our food system and every other part of our lives is not taking into consideration the Whole…our connections to everything else on this Earth. Until we do that we will continue to suffer.
My education in environmental studies and medicine has taught me this. But it doesn’t take an education to notice this. It doesn’t take any kind of degree to see we are living out of balance with ourselves, others and the Earth. We have just taken so much for granted. Well we can’t take anything for granted any more…
The Japanese word for “crisis” is “dangerous opportunity.” We have that now. We have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and change the way we live. We have the time and the crisis to do it. I hope we can take the bigger view of how our systems are connected and reconfigure a more balanced personalized way.