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Where has Medicine Taken us and Where is it Going?

Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. This approach is about the health care provider expertise and judgment and the specific patient. EBM is a way of taking research data and applying it to a systematic approach to providing health care.

Evidence based medicine cannot only rely on scientific rationale. Re-creatable and substantial outcome based evidence is needed to make EBM a favorable choice in health care. Scientific plausibility cannot be the sole basis for making clinical decisions; it needs to be part of the whole health care picture. This leads us to the increase appeal to holistic medicine.

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person, body, mind, spirit, and emotions, in the quest for optimal health and wellness. According to holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health, the primary goal of holistic medicine practice, by gaining proper balance in their life.

Holistic medicine health care providers believe that a whole person is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. This lends to the idea that if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.

Holistic medicine is also based on the belief that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healer and a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and well-being. Other principles of holistic medicine include the following:
  • Every person has innate healing powers
  • The patient is a person, not a disease
  • Healing is a team approach that involves the patient and the doctor, and addresses all aspects of a person's life using a multitude of health care practices
  • Treatment involves finding and fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating or treating the symptoms
Holistic health care providers use a variety of treatment techniques to help teach their patients to take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve the best possible health. Depending on the health care provider’s training, these may include:
  • Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more
  • Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, and others
  • Western medications and surgical procedures
  • A health care concept known as ‘grounding’
We have turned into a population of people who believe that taking a pill can fix all health care issues. The human body possesses an enormous, astonishing, and persistent capacity to heal itself. Disease generally occurs when we abuse our bodies or deprive them of basic requirements to keep us healthy over extended periods. Overexposure to antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant organisms. An antibiotic may kill most of the bacteria but a few tough bacteria, not being killed off, can go on to reproduce and transfer their resistance to others. Overuse of antibiotics can weaken immune function leaving you more vulnerable to illness. Poor diet has also been proven to affect how well our immune system works and the immune system maintenance requires a steady intake of all the necessary vitamins and minerals. This can be accomplished by eating a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.

Where does that leave us? That leaves us with a lesson to be learned about how the body has healing powers that we fully do not understand and that we cannot ignore what the body itself tells us and what it can do. We need to look at all aspects of medicine and see what benefits they can bring us as a whole picture, not just one single approach. This all leads into a type of medicine called Integrative Medicine.

Integrative medicine is a practice of medicine that takes the whole person, therapeutic approaches, health care professionals, and appropriate disciplines of medicine into consideration when caring for and treating individuals. The goal of integrative medicine is to combine all the best practices of medicine with other healing processes and therapies from many types of cultures.

To read more about Integrative medicine, Click Here to review an article written by Duke Medicine on the US News website. 

Educating health care providers in all areas of medicine is imperative in today’s times. The need for higher acuity of care in the hospitals all the way down to the in-home care givers is needed to better care for our families and patients. Pedagogy, along with Pedagogy authors are dedicated in providing that higher level of education.

Pedagogy Blog by Alicia Peplinski, medical student at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. 

Visit us at: http://www.pedagogyeducation.com
Posted: 11/11/2013 8:33:25 PM
Sheila Plemmons
Great article, very informative.
11/12/2013 2:16:24 PM

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