Doctor, Be Well
Integrating the Spirit of Healing with Scientific Medicine
Dust Jacket Hardcover
Advance Praise for Doctor, Be Well: "The future of medicine involves more than the genome, stem cells, transplants, and new drugs. It also involves consciousness, spirituality, and new concepts of mind. For a thrilling look at what lies ahead in healing, read Doctor, Be Well." -Larry Dossey, MD, Author: Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words
"Doctor, Be Well contains a great deal of wisdom about true healing and treating our life experience instead of our diagnosis." -Bernie Siegel, MD Author: Love Medicine & Miracles, and Prescriptions For Living
This book is a valuable resource not only for doctors, but for anyone who is a patient of a traditional doctor and visits some kind of alternative health care provider as well. It will help you to understand how each member of your health care team can fit together. Beyond that, it will give you a new way of understanding what might be missing from your relationship with your health care professionals.
Doctor, Be Well is an ideal gift for your physician, nurse, chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, homeopath, massage therapist, or any health care professional. It is specially suited as a gift for anyone studying to become a health care professional.
Simon, a middle aged patient of mine, was in my office the other day and was telling me of his recent experience with his medical doctor. Simon had been troubled for years with an inability to raise his arms over his head without pain. His doctor had prescribed muscle relaxants, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, all to little effect. Simon, on his own, went out and found a chiropractor who, after just a few treatments, cured his problem. When Simon relayed this exciting information to his medical doctor, the doctor did not want to hear about it. It turns out that the doctor doesn't believe in chiropractic care so Simon learned, much to his dismay that this was a subject that he could not discuss with his doctor.
Brenda, an extremely sensitive middle aged woman, had been treated for anxiety with conventional drugs, but they made her mouth dry and she lost her ability to concentrate. She weaned herself off of the drugs and sought and found relief at the hands of a homeopathic practitioner. On a subsequent visit to her medical doctor, she informed him of her success in getting off drugs and beating the anxiety attacks. Her doctor became angry with her and told her that homeopathy couldn't possibly work, and that if it had helped her it just meant that what she really needed to do was to see a psychiatrist. I asked Brenda how she responded. She told me that she silently got dressed, left the doctors office, went into her car in the parking lot, and started to cry.
At this moment, health care is at a crossroads. The traditional models of how to practice health care, the assumptions about what can be expected from scientific medicine and even the nature of who is qualified to offer health care are all in a state of flux. Within that flux, there are three constituencies: doctors, alternative and complementary health care givers, and patients. Each of these groups has its own language, its own assumptions, and its own expectations. There is some common ground among these groups, but not nearly enough, especially considering that the overarching goals are the same-the giving and receiving of care.
The barriers that stand between each of these groups seeing eye to eye and functioning harmoniously are many. But greatest among them is a lack of common ground and common understanding. Doctors have been trained to think and speak in the language of objective science. The alternative and complementary health care community speaks with many voices, yet its scientific vocabulary can seem foreign to doctors. Patients speak plainly and oftentimes from the heart, just as they should, but often to the consternation of their doctors.
For things to change for the better, there needs to be some common language and a set of first principles that all of these groups can agree to. This can then serve as a basis for the enrichment of the community formed by all three groups.
In my experience, the main stumbling block for patients has been the placing of their doctors up on a pedestal, coupled with their lack of understanding of why doctors interact with them in the "cold, clinical" way that is so typical. The main stumbling block for alternative and complementary practitioners is lack of acceptance by the mainstream community (doctors, state licensing boards) coupled with the infighting among the various disciplines in an uncoordinated attempt to gain legitimacy. The main stumbling block for mainstream doctors is a narrow-mindedness that is educated into them throughout their schooling, coupled with an arrogance that serves to shield them from points of view outside of their own.
This book aims at crossing the cultural divides that separate these groups. Having great familiarity with the language, thoughts and feelings of each of them, I have attempted to create a set of first principles that can serve, for those in each group open enough to venture forward, as a common ground. It is written in a language that I believe will be accessible, with a little effort, to all and it is written directly to the doctors because they are the group of the three that needs to accept this message the most if there is to be meaningful change. It is my hope that the format, content and tone of this book can be part of that process. Clearly something has got to change.
Dr. David Shuch has spent the last twenty years of his life developing a way of practicing dentistry that integrates alternative and complementary therapies into a private dental practice. He has been instrumental both in his writings and in his seminars in conveying these new ways of practicing to dentists from the United States and abroad. Besides being a dentist, writer, and educator, he is also an artist, research scientist, entrepreneur and a student of meditative, spiritual and healing practices. He maintains a dental practice in Northwest New Jersey, drawing patients from twelve states, and from as far away as Alaska, England, and New Zealand.
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