When I was a small child, Dr. Mosher, our family doctor, would arrive at our house carrying his mysterious black physician’s bag.
Though I escaped his ministrations, my sister, who suffered from ear infections, was often the unwilling recipient of his penicillin shots.
I remember a practical joke I played on Dr. Mosher, handing him a realistic-looking wooden apple. I remember how terrified I was at the sudden thought that he might actually bite into the apple and break his teeth.
A lot has changed in medicine since the days when the family doc made his daily rounds. The older, simpler remedies, from mustard packs to salt gargles, are no more than faded memories.
The miracle drug of my childhood was penicillin, and the prevailing illnesses were acute infections that generally responded well to antibiotics.
These days, we see fewer sore throats, and more illnesses with unusual, sometimes chronic symptoms that don’t fit the standard diagnostic criteria.
There are, unfortunately, no penicillin-like miracle cures for these modern ailments: debilitating fatigue; crippling anxiety, depression, insomnia, autoimmunity, cancers, and other baffling disease syndromes.
Few of our patients have ever seen a family doc. Where the GP was once a phone call away, the first stop today is usually an appointment with an internist. An impersonal assistant greets us very professionally and weighs and measures us, asks us a few standard questions, often with back turned, and pecks out our responses on the computer.
After a long wait, the internist arrives. While some internists may have a reasonable breadth of knowledge, many function as little more than doorkeepers in managed-care settings, tasked with referring patients to the appropriate specialist.
Modern medical care revolves around affixing a diagnosis and adding it to the patient’s chart. Insurance companies demand a standard diagnosis before they’re willing to reimburse the doctor for the patient’s care. With the exception of annual physical exams and a few preventive tests and procedures of debatable value, the insurance companies are likely to deny reimbursement for non-standard therapies aimed at prevention or health optimization.
Modern conventional medicine depends on the pharmaceutical management of diagnosable disorders, with the preferred medications labeled as “the acceptable standard of care.” Yet most of the patients that Dr. Marcel and I see nowadays are suffering from conditions for which there is no clear diagnosis, and no easy pharmaceutical cure.
Medicine is conditioned by cultural norms. In a society that insists on cataloguing everything “by the numbers,” we are addicted to our neatly labeled definitions. Yet, what we think we know about healing often proves false, as our scientific understanding evolves.
We are now able to diagnose our patients more accurately than ever, using fancy new imaging technologies, and assays that define the body’s biochemical and physiologic reactions. We can even map genes to uncover genetic determinants of illness. But our treatment options have fallen increasingly far behind the stream of new diagnostic technologies.
And that’s a shame, because it need not be so.
As naturopathic physicians, we are familiar with many effective treatments for ailments that traditional medicine is poorly equipped to address. Yet the insurance companies still refuse to accept energy medicine within their narrow scope of “standard” medical care.
Generations ago, hacksaws gave way to refined surgical instruments; and today, laser surgery is commonplace. I believe our current medical practices will give way to subtler treatment modalities that will address disruptions in the body’s energetic patterning.
Next week, I’ll discuss several therapies that combine technology with energetic treatment that employs light and sound.
Read more about the medical services Dr. Connie offers here: http://www.naturopathichealthconsultations.com
Link to The Country Doctor, 1909 film (14m 12 sec) on Wikimedia Commons.