Spirituality Science – Whole Medicine:
Medicine is among the most ancient of human occupations. Evidences of the practice of ritual healing, combining religion, and primitive science, are found in the earliest traces of human society and communal living. The Healing Art of ancient Greece was associated with the worship of Apollo who taught Medicine to Chiron and it was passed on to Aesculapius who could be a real person that lived in Greece around 1,200 B.C. The term ‘Asclepiad’ describes a physician and it was used to designate physicians belonging to a family that had produced well-known physicians for generations.
In ancient Greece, the knowledge of Medicine was imparted at Medical Schools and such institutions of Learning were known as ‘Askleipion’.
HIPPOCRATES – THE FATHER OF MEDICINE:
Hippocrates, c. 460 – 377 B.C. was undoubtedly a historical figure in spite of the fact that most accounts about his life could be imaginative. Little is known about him, but a great tradition surrounds his name. Apart from practising his art, he presumably taught at the Medical School at Kos.
Greek philosopher Plato called Hippocrates, “The Asclepiad of Kos.” Greek philosopher Aristotle said that, Hippocrates was called “The Great Physician.” Hippocrates had a philosophical approach to Medicine. He regarded the body as a “WHOLE” – that is, as an Organism. His medical practice resulted from his collection of information regarding parts of the body into an embracing concept and thereafter, the division of the “WHOLE” into its parts. He had promoted Medicine based on objective observation and deductive reasoning.
Hippocrates stated that it is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has. In a quote attributed to Hippocrates, he claimed that wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity. Hippocrates may not have authored the so-called “Hippocratic Oath”, but he could have stressed the ethical code for the medical profession. He had also stressed the importance of diet and hygiene.
The principles taught by Hippocrates are, 1. a physician should work not for personal gain but for love of humanity, 2. disease should be studied by meticulous observation, and cases should be carefully recorded and studied to establish a prognosis, 3. disease is often the result of environmental forces, diet, climate, and occupation, and 4. a physician should emphasize simple treatment supplemented with careful diet and surgical intervention when necessary. In spite of the breathtaking rapidity of developments in modern Medicine, the basic concepts are still the same.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE – THE CONCEPT OF WHOLE MEDICINE:
Medicine is the Science and Art of Diagnosing, Curing, and Preventing Disease and it includes the relief of pain, minimizing of disabilities, improving, preserving and maintaining health. The term ‘Medicine’ is also used to describe any drug or other substance used in treating disease, healing, or relieving pain. In several native traditions across the globe, Medicine may include any object, spell, rite, etc., supposed to have natural or supernatural powers as a remedy, curative, preventive, or protective. The idea of ‘Take One’s Medicine describes the requirement to endure just punishment or accepting the results of one’s action. In my view, Medicine must be concerned with the status of man in the universe, in his natural environment, in his social community while the man exists as an individual with individuality. In other words, Medicine as a Science must primarily be concerned with the biological basis for the reality of man’s physical existence in the world. A systematic study of the biological basis of human existence would demand the study of Soul and Spirit as the vital, animating principle found in all living things. I seek the existence of Soul and Spirit in a substance that is basic to life activities. Spirit or Soul must be found in a living material substance that is responsible for all living processes. The term Soul and Spirit belong to the materialistic realm where the physical reality of man’s biological existence is established. Further, I do not intend to use the term Soul or Spirit as a metaphysical or transcendental reality independent of the living organism. I would define the phrase “Whole Medicine” as a systematic study of the Physical, Mental, Moral, Social, and Spiritual aspects of Man’s Well-Being in relation to health and disease while the man exists as a Created Being.
Spirituality Science – The Art of Medicine
The Art of Medicine in its essence is a spiritual practice. It aims to restore the experience of Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the living condition of the Man. The fundamental concepts of Medical Theory reflect the Philosophy of Nature and of Man. The term Physician describes the person who practices ‘The Art of Medicine’. This term is derived from the medieval English word ‘PHYSIC'(Latin. physica; Greek. physike which means nature) which is used to describe Natural Science, Medicine, and Nature. This archaic usage of the English word “Physic” as the name for the art, science, practice and profession of Healing suggests what the word’s Greek root signifies, namely that the physician is a student of Nature.
Natural Science provides systematized knowledge of the physical world and its branches include Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, and Geology. The Faculty of Medicine represents Biological Sciences that are concerned with knowledge bearing on the relation of man to nature. Medical Science as a Natural Science must be concerned with the following two questions:
1. What is the Status of Man in Nature?
2. What is the true or real Nature of Man?
The first question deals with man’s relationship with the physical world in which man exists. The physical world represents the total of all things in Time and Space or the entire physical universe. The term Nature includes the Power, Force, and Laws that regulate or operate in the physical world. In Biology, the Theory of Evolution proposes a view about the origin of species and it describes that things in Nature change under the influence of Time. It opposes various cultural, and religious beliefs about the origin of man and his Status as a Created Being. The second question is about the essential characteristics or qualities that makes or describes man’s essence as a Human Being. The Nature of Man deals with the inborn character, innate disposition, and inherent tendencies of the Whole Person and it includes the instincts, desires, appetites, drives etc., of the Person apart from the vital functions of specialized organs. Man’s Nature could be detected from the activities of the human organism and from the forces that operate and influence these activities.
The Medical Theory – Atomism, Mechanism vs Spiritualism:
There is tremendous increase in our knowledge of the specific diseases and man developed a vast store of well-tested remedies and still the problems of medical practice essentially remain the same. According to Galen, the Art of Healing consists in imitating the health-giving and healing powers of nature itself.
Galen thinks of human body as an organic unity and not as a simple aggregation of atoms or a system of interlocking parts. Galen had opposed the views of Atomism, or Mechanism that views the human body as a mechanical assembly of tiny, individual parts. In Galen’s view, Nature works not by the external impact of part upon part, but by its faculties or powers for the performance of natural functions and the production of natural effects. “Nature is not posterior to the corpuscles( small, constituent parts), but a long way prior to them…” writes Galen. “Therefore it is nature which puts together the bodies of both plants and animals; and this she does by virtue of certain faculties which she possesses – these being on the one hand, attractive and assimilative of what is appropriate, and on the other, expulsive of what is foreign. Further, she skillfully moulds everything during the stage of genesis; and she also provides for the creatures after birth employing her other faculties again.”
Galen calls Nature the Artist for it produces effects according to its powers and in conformity to its needs. Nature seems to work with intelligence and for an end, not blindly and by chance. Galen stated it as a maxim, “Nothing is done by Nature in Vain.” An Art like Medicine seems to imitate Nature by cooperating with natural process. The Art of Medicine involves following the course of nature, and thereby it enables the natural result to emerge by overcoming the chances of adverse outcome. The interior nature is the Principal cause of Healing with the physician providing exterior or external help. The physician strengthens nature and employs food and medicine to assist the natural mechanism( such as the “Repair and Inflammation” described in the Science called Human Pathology) to achieve the intended end. The subordination of The Art of Medicine to Nature appears to be the keystone of the whole structure of Medical Practice. The patient is guided to regulate and control the various aspects of diet, exercise, and the lifestyle and medicines or drugs perform an auxiliary function. Surgery is used in the treatment of injuries and to resolve problems where medication by itself will not yield good results. However, it is important to remember that surgical procedures and interventions work by cooperating with nature and natural healing process called Repair and Inflammation. In other words, the physician is a servant , not a master of Nature. Medicine as an Art can be compared to Agriculture which helps a natural result to come about but this effect would never occur without the work of the Artist. Plants may grow and reproduce without the help of farmers. A person may regain some health without the care of physicians. But, in reality, it is impossible to raise a crop or to grow an orchard by simply depending upon nature and natural mechanisms.
Spirituality Science – The Spiritual Basis for Health and Wellbeing:
If the term Soul or Spirit describes the vital, animating principle that governs and operates the existence of the human organism, its nature and functions can be derived from studying the structure and functions of the Red Blood Cell or Erythrocyte which simply exists to integrate and to harmonize the functions of trillions of individual cells, tissues, and the organ systems that constitute the Whole Person who exists as an Individual with Individuality. Health is that condition of the body in which the physiological elements are in balance and in which the various parts function harmoniously with one another. Health represents harmony or good order, or equilibrium in the body. I describe Spirituality as the operating Principle that generates this functional unity, good order, and equilibrium among the cells, tissues, organs, and the organ systems that comprise the human organism and the human Individual who exists because of these functions experiences Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in his living condition.
The Theory of Medicine will determine the nature of The Art of Medicine that is practiced to establish the Physician – Patient Relationship. If The Art of Medicine is based upon Spirituality Science, the Physician – Patient Relationship will have a Spiritual basis. I would ask my readers to give attention to the problems of modern medical practice and we need a Medical Theory that would have a bearing on the following three aspects of The Art of Medicine:
1. Is Health better served by the General Practitioner treating the Whole Man or by a Specialist treating a functionally differentiated Special Organ or Organ System?
2. What should be the nature of the Physician-Patient relationship? Is there a therapeutic factor in the relationship that underlines the effectiveness of the Physician’s skills in all other respects?
3. What is the interaction between mind and body in the origin and in the cure of disease?
Spirituality Science – Wholistic Medicine
Holism is described as the view that an organic or integrated whole has an independent reality which cannot be understood simply through understanding of its parts. The term or phrase “HOLISTIC” deals with a view that is concerned with whole or integrated systems rather than with their parts.
I am indeed pleased to write this blog post in Celebration of Life, the life of Professor Rene Jules Dubos of The Rockefeller University, the French-American Microbiologist who had advocated the need to perceive man as a Whole Person. The term ‘Whole’ means auspicious, sound, uninjured, healthy, entire, complete, intact, containing all the elements or parts or constituting the entire amount, extent, and number. When the term ‘Whole’ is applied to a human being, it must state all aspects of one’s being that are instrumental to the establishment of the existence of that Living Being.
Professor Rene Dubos is credited for discovering the first commercially produced antibiotic, Tyrothricin-Gramicidin, an antibiotic that is effective against Gram-Positive bacteria. He isolated the antibiotic from soil microorganisms. He laid the basis for chemotherapy. Rene Dubos played a great role in promoting our understanding of environmental and social determinants of human health and disease. In his book, ‘Mirage of Health’ (1959) he had expressed the view that man will never be free from disease because man has to continuously adapt to environmental changes. Disease results from the dynamic process of life, a process of adaptation to constant changes, both in the internal living condition, and in the external environment in which man physically exists. In his book, ‘So Human An Animal’, Rene Dubos contends that each human being is unique, unprecedented, and unrepeatable. For the same reasons that Dubos had shared, I describe man as a ‘Created Being’, the being that exists with unique, one of its own kind, original Genome which has never existed in the past, and will never again exist in the future. Rene Dubos expresses the concern that each person faces the critical danger of losing this very humaneness to his mechanized surroundings: “People spend their days in a confusion of concrete and steel, trapped in the midst of noise, dirt, ugliness, and absurdity.”
The medical term ‘Etiology’ describes the causes or origins of disease. Professor Rene Dubos had promoted the understanding of the disease as a consequence of the relationships between the host, the etiological agents such as the disease-causing bacteria, and parasites under the influence of social, and environmental conditions that demand man to adapt to constant changes in his living conditions.
Professor Rene Dubos provides a perspective on Ecological Crisis and seeks positive values in man’s relationship to Nature. He sees hope in Benedictine stewardship. He speaks of “The Demon within”..”The thrust of technology and institutions that may run counter to living in harmony with nature.”
In various books that Professor Rene Dubos had authored, he developed a Philosophy of Man in his Environment. He stressed the importance of man’s relationship to the natural environment. Some of his works include, ‘Health and Disease'(1965), ‘Man, Medicine, and Environment'(1968), and ‘Beast or Angel'(1974). He described human choices and interventions to shape life, environment, and civilization. He paved the way for social action to combat environmental problems and to prevent environmental degradation that have health consequences.
In his final book, ‘The Celebration of Life'(1981), Professor Rene Dubos stressed the importance of understanding life in the context of the entire web of ecological relationships. The famous dictum of this book is: “WHEREVER HUMAN BEINGS ARE INVOLVED, TREND IS NOT DESTINY.” I am hopeful that this ‘Destiny’ of man will be shaped by God’s Unconditioned Love that flows Beyond the Good and Evil Behavior of Man.
Spirituality Science – Holistic Medicine:
Holistic Medicine is a system of health care based on a concept of the “WHOLE” person as one whose body, mind, spirit, and emotions are in balance with the environment. It is a movement within Medicine that emphasizes the need to perceive patients as “WHOLE” persons and to treat them accordingly. Holistic Medical Care follows three basic tenets; 1. Recognition of the psychological, environmental, and social contributions to disease, 2. Active involvement of the patient in the treatment process, and 3. Emphasis on preventive medicine and on life-styles that lessen the probability of developing disease. Holistic Care stresses the importance of personal responsibility for health without accounting for man’s existence in the physical world. Apart from conventional Medicine, Holistic health care may recommend alternative medicine such as Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Faith Healing, Folk Medicine like “AYURVEDA”, Megavitamin therapy, Meditation and Yoga. It may avoid Surgery and Prescription Drugs. Holistic Health practitioners may encourage their patients to establish self-regulated regimes to control such illness-related factors as poor diet, smoking, alcohol intake, and stress. It may be noted that the concept of Holistic Medicine and Holistic Health Care is not officially recognized by the American Medical Association.
American Holistic Medical Association – AHMA:
American Holistic Medical Association, AHMA founded in 1978 is serving as the leading advocate for the use of Holistic and Integrative Medicine. AHMA defines Holistic Medicine as the Art and Science of Healing that addresses care of the “WHOLE PERSON” – Body, Mind, and Spirit. It integrates conventional and complementary therapies to promote optimal health, and prevent and treat disease by addressing contributing factors. Holistic Health Care practitioners strive to meet the patient with grace, kindness, acceptance, and “spirit” without condition as Love is Life’s most powerful healer. Each person is seen as a unique individual rather than an example of a particular disease. AHMA states that disease must be understood to be the result of physical, emotional, “spiritual”, social, and environmental imbalance. AHMA concludes that healing takes place naturally when the physical, emotional, “spiritual”, social, and environmental aspects of Life are brought into proper balance. AHMA does not mention as to how the physical, emotional, “spiritual”, social, and environmental aspects of Life establish the reality of the Human Being who may exist in the physical world because of the interaction of these factors that are involved in the causation of Disease.
The Concept of Whole Person, Whole Man, Whole Self, and Whole Dude:
I would ask my readers to give due consideration to the definition of the ‘WHOLE PERSON’. I suggest that the ‘WHOLE PERSON’ is derived from the Single, Fertilized, Egg Cell or Ovum which always comes into existence with a unique Genome that is Original, distinctive, one of its own kind, and a Genome that has not existed in the Past, and will not exist again in the Future. Hence, I claim that the ‘WHOLE PERSON’ always arrives in the World as a Created Being even if man uses the latest reproductive technology to use a fertilized Egg Cell that is cloned. Man always exists as a Created Being with Identity and Individuality without any exceptions. This Person is a Conscious Being and hence is distinct from all other physical matter and all other Living Matter. The Person is Conscious of the fact of his own Existence at any given time, place, and environment. Every aspect of the ‘WHOLE PERSON’ is derived or contributed by this Single, Fertilized Egg Cell which I would like to recognize as the ‘WHOLE CELL’. To promote the health and well-being of man at any stage of his human existence; at any age, any place, any environment, and as a member of any social community, I submit that, the factors that contribute to the establishment of the ‘WHOLE CELL’ and its transformation and existence as the ‘WHOLE PERSON’ must be explained.