“The person who relies on non-natural medicine must recover twice; once from the disease and once from the synthetic medicine.”
— William Osler —
Dorian Paskowitz, a Stanford-educated doctor who gave up a lucrative medical practice to embark, with his family, on a peripatetic and celebrated surfing life.
Dr. Paskowitz did not believe in conventional schooling for his children; their education came from books and travels across the United States, Mexico and Central America. He earned enough money in temporary medical jobs to reach the next stop.
“I don’t care about being a great doctor or a rich person or a celebrity or anything else, I just wanted to be a good husband and a good father, and thus a good man.”
THE FISHERMAN AND THE FISHMONGER
Two men make their living from the ocean. The fisherman sails the sea, feeling the currents rolling beneath him, the temperature of the water, and the agitation of the choppy waves. Gradually he learns the behaviors and peculiarities of his catch. Together the fisherman and the fish share a sensory, intrinsic relationship because they experience the same home. So in tune is he to the fishes’ vivacity, the fisherman knows whatever disturbs the fishes’ plight will ultimately disturb his too.
The fishmonger is the fisherman’s closest ally but he lives far removed from the fisherman’s boat bobbing amongst the waves. His is a cold, unemotional environment smelling of chemical disinfectant while he wears a thick smock as a shield and welds sharp knives. His forte is the understanding of fish anatomy in order to dismember one efficiently and he excels at this task. The fish he knows are dead or dying and he sees no point in considering the once vibrant elements of their lives.
This story reflects one healer’s awakening of the intuitive nature of eastern medicine. Where once he was ruled by intellect only, he experienced a shift that impelled him to surrender and simply feel. Finally he sensed the energy waiting within, and his transformation from faceless fishmonger to instinctive fisherman began. The original author, Dr Emill Kim reveals, “This didn’t happen through my academic studies, this occurred for me first on my yoga mat; from this space it spread outward into everything.”2
So what is the difference between our fisherman of the East and our fishmonger of the West? Dr Kim says simply that it is the environment in which they work, “one understands it, the other lives it.”3 One treats the disease; the other treats the person and understands their environments. I am compelled to wonder if we cannot do both?!
From its stronghold of the last few centuries, many people are reassessing the dominance of modern western medicine as the world becomes more conscious of ancient wisdom and the interconnectedness of all things, especially with nature.
MODERN MEDICINE HAS ITS PLACE WHEN USED IN THE RIGHT WAY
Modern medicine is ideal in order to support and assist the body’s natural healing mechanisms, rather than trying to replace them. With the right approach, modern medicine can intervene to support our natural healing designs. Modern medicine creates sophisticated tools from natural elements to conduct complex surgeries, to test for underlying causes in dis-ease and dys-function.
Ideally modern medicine could be a tool to help us stay healthy and to prevent us from moving down the health spectrum. Also in times of sudden need when accidents and acute trauma occur. Modern medicine can be used to intervene and support the changing conditions of bones, ligaments, tendons and all other biological systems.
Modern medicine should not replace natural healing mechanisms, it should support and enhance. The future of healing is human and nature centric in its approach, integrated and holistic.
DEFINING MODERN MEDICINE
Modern medicine is a system in which medical doctors are the “gate-keepers” and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, surgery or other interventions based on the best available scientific evidence. This approach can also be called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine and orthodox medicine.
So is modern medicine making progress in tackling the common health challenges of the 21st century? Well, it depends on what we use as the yardstick.
If we measured:
- The absence of chronic disease—then we find that 1 in 2 people are currently living with a chronic preventable disease and 7 in 10 will have their quality and length of life reduced because of this same burden.
- Longevity and the prevalence of Bluezone communities. Only seven such communities in the world stand out as having truly embodied longevity and quality of living for all in their community, whilst remaining connected to the natural environments they live in.
- Length of life—We would find that globally we have improved our global average to 72 however there are huge locational discrepancies. Some communities’ life expectancy is only in the 50’s.
- Quality of life—Bhutan may be one of the only countries with the right approach, measuring gross domestic happiness over productivity.
- Life lived free of disability and restriction (DALY’S)—As mentioned previously, our length of life is increasing, it’s questionable whether our quality of life is better than our grandparents. What is clear is that 1 in 2 people are living into their old age restricted by one or more chronic and preventable diseases. With an increasing burden. Perhaps the amount of days we live free of disease and restriction over the age of 50 is a better measure for us to consider?
CALL TO ACTION
It's time to decide which way we want to go together. Continue to rely on passive interventions. Or, build enabling environments, supportive communities, nourish our natural environment so it continues to nourish us. All whilst taking radical self responsibility for how we feel and our choices each day.
“A single bee is often ignored. But when millions come together, even the bravest run in fear.” — Unknown —
What do you choose?___________________
I look forward to the day we all stand together and be the change we wish to see in the world. It is clear that something needs to change. True health interventions should not have collateral damage, they should not be expensive and limited, they should be empowering, not passive.
It is also clear that modern medicine is necessary too. If you find yourself in a traumatic accident, then modern medicine is amazing. The best herbs and natural remedies may not save you there!
The simplicity of the 80–95% is in 12 Medicines of SelfCare; many which are free and readily available to you right now. Where modern medicine and biotechnology are secondary. They are here to support, but never to replace your body’s innate wisdom. Nature, community, and daily lifestyle choices, truly are the foundation for good health and wellbeing.
Perhaps we need to start listening and taking advice from global longevity hotspots living in the Blue Zones and less advice from global chemical and bio- technology companies that are more interested in profit margins than global health and longevity.
Whatever you believe to be true. It is clear that if our current approach was working, then the statistics in this book would not be a reality. But they are. Let’s pivot together and change the way we do things. Let’s focus on moving as many people as possible out of the red zone and orange zone and into the green and blue zone. By doing so, we can free up 47-trillion dollars in resources to help address larger issues for humanity. Imagine what we could co- create together for future generations!
This is directly referenced from the amazon best-selling SelfCare Book "Lifestyle Medicine For the People" by Rory Callaghan. If you would like to read more content like this. Grab the free online chapters of the book or a hard copy.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, all references available here and referenced in the text.
We also understand that most thoughts are not our own and there is a collective unconsciousness, unconsciousness, and universal mind stream of energy that is always at work. How are references are sorted and filtered is here.