Treating Patients through ‘Whole Person Healing’
Treating sick human beings as a whole person was the original concept even in the Western medicine system of olden days—even in the 1950s, when I was a student. Thanks to the hi-tech new Western medicine, of complete reductionism, whole person healing (WPH) has almost disappeared from medical students’ vocabulary!  
 
As human beings, we have our worries and anxieties, social and environmental factors, our economic and social status and, above all, our religious beliefs which could collectively, and severally, affect our personality as a patient. The best doctor to know all these would be our family doctor. Again, thanks to the birth of sub-specialists who, in India, are called super-specialists making them God incarnates, WPH has been fully buried.
 
The super specialists know more and more about less and less until they come to a stage where they know more and more about nothing. This tendency to diagnose and treat patients with the tinted glass of reductionism has become the bane of Western medicine today. 
 
In such set-ups, the patient is hardly listened to, or examined, physically. They are subjected to a huge list of investigations and, from then on, the specialist treats only the reports and NOT the sick human being. This leads to much misery and economic loss to the patient and gains to the medical and pharmaceutical establishments.
 
It is usually outsiders who spot the lacunae in any system and think outside the box. Both, Albert Einstein and David Bohm, declared themselves outsiders for physics and so were able to think outside the box during their times. 
 
My good friend, a great scientist, Professor Rustum Roy, who could think outside the box even in his own specialisation of chemistry and metallurgy, was appointed a professor of medicine at the University of Arizona with no conventional medical qualifications, based purely on his original research in human healing and his out-of-the-box thinking.  
 
It was he who coined the term Whole Person Healing, while I used to write and think about it as bedside medicine. Professor Roy approached me at one meeting where both of us were lecturing and convinced me to join him in this journey of what he called WPH. Thus started our long journey which ended only when he died a few years ago.
 
Late professor Roy was a remarkable human being and one of the best scientists I have known in my life. He was the first to think of nano particles way back in 1954 when he was a junior member of Linus Pauling’s chemistry department at Berkeley University. His original paper on So-Gel technique is still being used by nano scientists. The paper has had more than 75,000 citations till date! Although he was the Fellow of all science academies of the world with a Golden Ray Award from the Emperor of Japan, he was denied the Nobel Prize, despite being nominated 21 times! 
 
I think this was because of his pro-Indian bias and, moreover, his original works did not interest the industry so much. Being the founder-fellow of the IOM (Institute of Medicine), he was able to get the word WPH officially accepted into the medical vocabulary in 2009. Since then, I have adopted that word in place of bedside medicine which is patient-centred and not disease-centred. We started the World Academy of Authentic Healing Sciences in 2005 with our own journal, The Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes (thejsho.com), of which I became the editor-in-chief and professor Roy became the co-editor-in-chief, till his death. He was followed by Hans Peter Duerr, the emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute in Munich. Now, we have Evan Pugh professor of obstetrics and paediatrics at Penn State University, Joanna Floros, as the co-editor-in-chief. She is a great researcher too.
 
I happened to see a very fit young man last week. He was 46 years young and was a good specimen of physical fitness in every respect. The only mistake he made to jog nearly five kilometres daily. One day, while jogging, he thought he had some vague chest pain. He went for a check-up. To cut the long story short, he landed with angioplasty, two stents and lifetime of blood-thinners with some other medicines. 
 
He was devastated as he is as fit as he used to be with an ejection fraction of 59% coming down to 54% or so after the procedure. His family and he are now worried stiff and he was even contemplating becoming a recluse! Our reductionist intervention has had such an impact on his whole family that, I am sure, he will not be a useful citizen for the country. 
 
Now, Coronary artery blocks are not coronary artery disease. Even young boys in the US army in Korea and Vietnam, with an average age of 20 years, angiographed post-mortem after they were shot dead (a total of 205 soldiers) had three vessel blocks (72%). Some of them had even left main equivalent blocks but they were in the pink of their health, to be in the US army. Reductionist science equated coronary block with coronary disease, a good business proposition.
 
I have a very dear friend who, in his 80s, had bad knee joints, but was still active. I used to dissuade him from having his knee replaced. He also had aches and pains everywhere. Our friends convinced him to have it done and one of his knees was operated upon. He never fully recovered from his post-operative sickness and had pneumonia first, thanks to nosocomial infections and, as he was getting out of those episodes, his aches and pains increased to a great degree. 
 
After so much of investigations, they have come up with a diagnosis of multiple-myeloma now. His knee pains have increased and so have his aches elsewhere. I wonder if the diagnosis was missed pre-operatively or was it that multiple-myeloma was triggered by the surgery. God only knows. He is in bed at his age and is suffering. What is the quality of life we have been able to offer him? When is the whole man considered as our primary interest? 
 
Professor Mary Tinnetti of Yale University in her article in the American Medical Journal, entitled “The End of the Disease Era”, convincingly argues that the organ-based disease diagnosis has almost come to an end and she wants that be replaced by a new holistic approach. Sick human beings need our compassionate understanding and a useful management and not heroic things done to set the anatomy right and physiology corrected without fully understanding the patient.
 
Western medicine is not a true science. It is just a statistical science where averages of all measurements are converted into normal. When one converts averages into normal, one generates 5% to 25% false positives. Today, the diagnosis has becomes a disease in itself. 
 
We can create epidemics where none exists and we convert the hapless human beings, who come to us with their anxiety for help, into patients for the rest of their lives! Let us try to re-introduce WPH into the medical curriculum for the common good of mankind. We should also teach medical students to understand the human mind to get to know their patients better. In the quantum world view, the human body is an illusion of the human body. This needs to be stressed, as today, in reductionism, we think that the mind is in the brain! 
 
The future sickness-care has to incorporate all good treatment methods in all systems authenticated by hard scientific yardstick, not just the quick-fixes of modern Western medicine but from all scientifically validated treatment methods in other systems also. Western quick-fixes are a must for emergency-care only but the latter is just 2% of the sick population. 
 
The earlier this is done the better. Benjamin Rush had predicted this kind of unscientific monopoly of Western medicine over all other systems. He did try his best to avoid caste system in healing process, but the 1910 Abraham Flexner report buried this hope for ever.
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    COMMENTS

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    4 years ago

    Whole Person Health and thinking outside the box; My Guru Okada Mokichi was there in the 1920s. He was not a Doctor. "Just" a healer.

    Janakiraman Rajalakshmi

    4 years ago

    While living in Kolkata I went through severe problem of water retention. No one would believe . Hence not writing in detail. All the allopaths I consulted prescribed the routine tests & all of them turned normal. One doctor in an upscale locality called me a "hypochondriac " that I was "imagining". Eventually another allopath called Dr.Chanda asked me to consult the well known Homeopath Dr.Prashanta Banerjee. What he prescribed cured me INSTANTLY.

    Janakiraman Rajalakshmi

    4 years ago

    When we ALREADY have our Adi Shankara who analyzes threadbare this mind-body complex in His 'Viveka Chudamani' ( Crest Jewel of Wisdom) so called "quantum world view " is nothing new . Our Upanishads have long established Time is Mithya -a seeming reality. Einstein's theories are nothing new so to speak. Almost all allopaths of India have been blindly following only Western system of medicine. It is only Homeopaths that always think & treat a person as a whole. There might be many Homeopaths . But I steadfastly & consistently maintain Kolkata Homeopaths are the BEST.

    Vannala Keervanamma

    4 years ago

    Absolutely correct. This is the reason in Homoeopathy, person as a whole
    is considered, his symptons, his mentality etc and medicine is selected. Only in
    acute cases medicines are selected based on the diseases and its modalities.

    Pulse Beat
    Cancer ‘Research’
     
    Sometime back, the ‘famous’ journal Science published an article which upset the players in the field. The study clearly showed that ‘bad luck’ alone determined how unexplained gene mutations occurred in the stem-cell lines to start a cancer. In short, it did say that all our theories so far have no basis!
     
    The year 2016 is important for the so-called cancer research. In the October issue, the other ‘famous’ journal Nature published a paper from Stony Brook Cancer Center in New York which makes a complete U-turn and shows that cancer is purely environmental (90%) and chance has a role. Six months, and the Atlantic Ocean, separate these two studies, which are statistical and done by people who have not cared for any cancer patient and have no hands-on experience! 
     
    Cancer has been killing mankind from eons and we, who boast of our great science, have no clue about how one gets the disease. Neither have we won the battle against cancer, so far. A lucky few who did survive have done so because of their own immune system and not due to our empirical treatment modalities. 
     
    If the public has still some faith in our science it is, again, only due to chance. I was reading a blog showing how cancer is not a disease but a trillion-dollar industry and most research in the area, funded by the vested interests in the industry, is only a fraud. Take your pick.
     
    Law Suits against Cholesterol-lowering Drugs
     
    The $100 billion dollar cholesterol-lowering statin drug industry is under attack, as thousands of Americans are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins. Research continues to confirm just how dangerous these drugs are, with yet another study published recently linking increased statin drug use to type-2 diabetes. 
     
    Since the study was published by the American Diabetes Association, these known risks to cholesterol-lowering drugs can no longer be denied or defended, and the lawsuits are pouring in, at a rapid pace. Most lawsuits, at this point, are from women who have suffered from diabetes as a result of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs; but lawsuits over breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver damage, and others may soon follow, now that it is generally known how dangerous these drugs are. 
     
    This information, regarding a tsunami of lawsuits against cholesterol drug manufacturers, has yet to be widely published by the mainstream media, however. To find out the magnitude of the lawsuits being filed against statin manufacturers, we turn to law firms who are reaping the fruit of litigation against ‘Big Pharma’. 
     
    According to statistics supplied by various law firms, there were 464 claims filed against statins as of 15 April 2014, which increased to 703 by 15th May and then to 846 by 16th June. By mid-July 2014, over 959 claims have been filed for damages due to statins alone, and those increased in August to 1,162. There are also many claims currently filed against statins. These lawsuits now number well over 1,200 and are increasing at a rapid pace.
     
    Let us see how the Big Pharma is trying to fight the truth. Alberto Donzelli, head of education, appropriateness, and evidence-based medicine at Milan’s public health authority in Italy, has issued warnings about the dangers of this drug, and advised doctors in Italy not to prescribe it. Merck responded with two cease-and-desist orders and the threat of suing Donzelli. Donzelli backed down, but Merck is under a lot of public pressure in Europe since the story was picked up by the British Medical Journal
     
    It was also reported in the Wall Street Journal in the US. When doctors and medical professionals oppose Big Pharma, they put their careers and, sometimes, their lives on the line. This is the latest story on statins! I have been saying this for decades.
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    The Legal System Is Like Evidence-based Medicine
    “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” — Christopher Hitchens 
     
    I  was talking with the judges in service at the Karnataka Legal Academy. There were more than 200 of them. One of their own High Court colleagues had spoken to them just before my talk and they were all very keen to listen to some outsider who did not study jurisprudence! When I said that I am going to talk with them (not to them) about my concept of Humanism, some of them showed signs of unrest. From my understanding of the word, almost from the time of Comte, the French philosopher, it was meant to signify that anything that man does on this planet, ultimately, helps mankind. Comte did not invent the word as a neologism; he popularised it. Our understanding was that the talk would be interactive. The first question I asked them was if, in their opinion, the present adversarial system of justice, which we have blindly inherited from the British, serves the truth?  
     
    We then went on to dissect the word truth into The Truth and A Truth at a given time. As Khalil Gibran had so beautifully described, ‘The Truth’ is something that is final and unchangeable; while ‘A Truth’ is what we all think is the truth, to the best of our ability, which, of course, changes from time to time. In the adversarial system, the judge is ONLY an umpire and has no freedom for her/his free will to act on his information even to the contrary. 
     
    What then happens is that the so-called great lawyers charge exorbitant fees to distort the truth even when they know the truth from the culprit whom they represent willingly, under the protection of the infamous saying that any person is innocent until he is proven guilty. 
     
    Now, see the catch in that statement! For argument’s sake, let us say that the judge knows, for sure, that the culprit is guilty of the offence. The judge will not be able to take a definite stand. He only has to weigh the EVIDENCE provided by both the sides. The judiciary, the cunning lawyers, the investigating officers and, in fact, the whole system banks on that clause, to the detriment of truth. 
     
    That is exactly the reason why the rich and the powerful have one kind of justice and the hapless poor another kind. Even the man-on-the-street knows the crime that is perpetrated on the innocent people who today do not have a voice in our country, while the powerful perpetrators go scot-free.
     
    This reminds me of evidence-based medicine. No one ever questions the basis, and the quality, of the evidence. The statistical evidence that we use in medicine is not ‘The Truth’. Statistics, thus, used in evidence-based medicine are also dangerous. A senior professor of epidemiology in Washington calls this ‘science without sense’ in his book by that title. He shows how statistical evidence could be collected to favour the industry, using the so-called randomised controlled studies, where they just show that one treatment would be better than either a placebo or better than another drug of their rivals.
     
    The total immunity that the judges enjoy is also against the normal cannons of justice and is not in tune with the truth. Therefore, we must have tighter control in selection of judges. Let the collegium continue; but once the government gets the list from the collegiums, the list must be widely publicised so that the common man has a voice in their selection. If anyone has valid unimpeachable evidence against any one of them, that must be brought to the notice and thoroughly investigated before the final selection, so that the black sheep do not make a backdoor entry. A periodic review of the working of judges will also keep them alert all the time. The job they are entrusted with is a very serious one and they have to be completely authentic and trustworthy to command people’s respect—exactly what the doctors ought to be doing.
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    COMMENTS

    sriram

    4 years ago

    Crpc makes Complainant and accused to take of Witnesses so that False Persons do not come in place of actual Witness, Forcing Accused to be Present on all Adjournments days. More Sec. 205 Exemption gets defeated if Neither Police nor Judiciary shelves Responsibility of getting Actual Witness Persons Statements Recorded .Both are Paid from Publi Taxes only , but do not Bother to Comfort Public . As Aadhar card is Standardised for all Schemes Suppport , Courts and Police may also Collect Copy of Each Witness Aadhar card , so False Persons Witness Menace can be Curbed.

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