The Coming Paradigm Shift in Health Care
The Paradigm Shift
A paradigm shift in health care is upon us, and it has the potential to bring momentous changes to the health of all. This shift is bringing integrative and holistic approaches to healing into the mainstream of medicine.
This is a great thing, because it will help a lot more people realize the capability of living a Low Density Lifestyle. And it is an amazing thing, because not too long ago, these approaches were scoffed at by the gatekeepers of modern medicine.
In today and tomorrow’s articles, I will tell you what makes me say that the paradigm shift in health care is upon us.
Dogmas and Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The dogmas of the quite quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.. we must disenthrall ourselves so we can save our country.”
To have a paradigm shift occur, dogmas have to be let go. Dogmatic thinking is also an impediment to living a Low Density Lifestyle and keeping you in High Density Lifestyle mode. And so, we are seeing the dogma of health care start to fade.
The U.S. Senate Hearing on Integrative Health
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 was a landmark day for health care in America: The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on “Integrative Care: A Pathway to a Healthier Nation,” and testifying at the hearing were Drs. Mehmet Oz, Dean Ornish, Mark Hyman and Andrew Weil.
This week, as President Obama set aside $634 billion for health care, with a strong, new emphasis on preventive care, these four doctors, pioneers of the Integrative Health Care movement, gave their prescription for the health of the nation as health care expenses consume 16.5% of the gross national product.
Dr. Mehmet Oz
“Americans must find new ways to address the poor health record and staggering expenditures gripping our country,” urged Dr Mehmet Oz, MD, the cardiac surgeon, author of the popular You: health book series, and frequent Oprah guest. Oz agreed that “lifestyle choices drive 70% of the aging,” advising Congress to shift policies to combine the best of modern medical practices with integrative approaches to “harvest the natural healing powers of our bodies.”
He pointed out that we spend twice as much on health care as European countries, but are twice as sick due to high rates of chronic disease.
Oz argued that we need to incorporate integrative approaches into the conventional health care economy, via insurance company reimbursements. He envisioned simple credentialing for all practitioners and research money for these therapies.
Dr. Andrew Weil
“Integrative Medicine can offer low-cost alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs and surgery for many conditions that now drain our health care resources,” offered Dr. Andrew Weil, MD.
Dr. Dean Ornish
Dr. Dean Ornish who has studied how lifestyle changes impact health outcomes gave figures. “Last year $2.1 trillion was spent on medical care, with 95% of it spent treating disease after it occurred. Many of these diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, prostate and breast cancer, and obesity account for 75% of these health care costs, although studies show they are preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes.”
New drugs and high tech surgical procedures aren’t the only kind of medical breakthroughs, said Ornish, “One study projected nearly $81 billion in annual savings due to preventive programs.”
Dr. Mark Hyman
Bestselling physician author, Dr Mark Hyman, MD, urged that “We must change not only the way we do medicine, but also the medicine we do.”
He set forth a new paradigm of personalized, patient-centered health practice, based on a systems biological model called Functional Medicine, which tracks how the triad of environment, lifestyle, and genes interact to produce health imbalances which cause “the signs and symptoms we call disease.”
Designed for acute illness, trauma, and end-stage disease, acute care medicine is “the best in the world,” Hyman acknowledged. “But it’s the wrong model for chronic illness, because it doesn’t address why people are sick (or seek out) the underlying mechanisms and causes.”
“That’s why we’re witness to a first ever decline in life expectancy,” he concluded.
Can the Paradigm Shift in Health Care Happen?
Equally amazing was how receptive the Senators were to the testimony – they were in agreement that change has to come to the health care system.
The bottom line is this: can a nation addicted to living a High Density Lifestyle change? It will happen, because the paradigm shift in health care is happening before our eyes.
If you’d like to see the full Senate hearings, here is the link – the video will start within a few seconds: http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2009_02_26/2009_02_26.html