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Jan 10, 2009

Alternative Medicine is Mainstream Medicine

Deepak Chopra - January 09, 2009

Co-authored by Dean Ornish, Rustum Roy and Andrew Weil
In mid-February, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Bravewell Collaborative are convening a "Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public." This is a watershed in the evolution of integrative medicine, a holistic approach to health care that uses the best of conventional and alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Many of these therapies are now scientifically documented to be not only medically effective but also cost effective.
President-elect Barack Obama and former Sen. Tom Daschle (the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services) understand that if we want to make affordable health care available to the 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance, then we need to address the fundamental causes of health and illness, and provide incentives for healthy ways of living rather than reimbursing only drugs and surgery.
Heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer and obesity account for 75% of health-care costs, and yet these are largely preventable and even reversible by changing diet and lifestyle. As Mr. Obama states in his health plan, unveiled during his campaign: "This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely."
The latest scientific studies show that our bodies have a remarkable capacity to begin healing, and much more quickly than we had once realized, if we address the lifestyle factors that often cause these chronic diseases. These studies show that integrative medicine can make a powerful difference in our health and well-being, how quickly these changes may occur, and how dynamic these mechanisms can be.
Many people tend to think of breakthroughs in medicine as a new drug, laser or high-tech surgical procedure. They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices that we make in our lifestyle -- what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke cigarettes, how much exercise we get, and the quality of our relationships and social support -- can be as powerful as drugs and surgery. But they often are. And in many instances, they're even more powerful.
These studies often used high-tech, state-of-the-art measures to prove the power of simple, low-tech, and low-cost interventions. Integrative medicine approaches such as plant-based diets, yoga, meditation, and psychosocial support may stop or even reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and other chronic conditions.
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that these approaches may even change gene expressionin hundreds of genes in only a few months. Genes associated with cancer, heart disease, and inflammation were downregulated or "turned off" whereas protective genes were upregulated or "turned on." A study published in The Lancet Oncology reported that these changes increase telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control how long we live. Even drugs have not been shown to do this.
Our "health-care system" is primarily a disease-care system. Last year, $2.1 trillion were spent in the U.S. on medical care, or 16.5% of the gross national product. Of these trillions, 95 cents of every dollar was spent to treat disease after it had already occurred. At least 75% of these costs were spent on treating chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes that are preventable or even reversible.
The choices are especially clear in cardiology. In 2006, for example, according to data provided by the American Heart Association, 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed at an average cost of $48,399 each, or more than $60 billion; and 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 each, or more than $44 billion. In other words, Americans spent more than $100 billion in 2006 for these two procedures alone.

Despite these costs, a randomized controlled trial published in April 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that angioplasties and stents do not prolong life or even prevent heart attacks in stable patients (i.e., 95% of those who receive them). Coronary bypass surgery prolongs life in less than 3% of patients who receive it. So, Medicare and other insurers and individuals pay billions for surgical procedures like angioplasty and bypass surgery that are usually dangerous, invasive, expensive, and largely ineffective. Yet they pay very little -- if any money at all -- for integrative medicine approaches that have been proven to reverse and prevent most chronic diseases that account for at least 75% of health-care costs. The INTERHEART study, published in September 2004 in The Lancet, followed 30,000 men and women on six continents and found that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease.
That bears repeating: The disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable simply by changing diet and lifestyle. And the same lifestyle changes that can prevent or even reverse heart disease also help prevent or reverse many other chronic diseases as well. Chronic pain is one of the major sources of worker's compensation claims costs, yet studies show that it is often susceptible to acupuncture and Qi Gong. Herbs usually have far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals.
Joy, pleasure, and freedom are sustainable, deprivation and austerity are not. When you eat a healthier diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain may grow so many new neurons that it could get measurably bigger in only a few months. Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease. Your sexual organs receive more blood flow, so you may become more potent -- similar to the way that circulation-increasing drugs like Viagra work. For many people, these are choices worth making -- not just to live longer, but also to live better.
It's time to move past the debate of alternative medicine versus traditional medicine, and to focus on what works, what doesn't, for whom, and under which circumstances. It will take serious government funding to find out, but these findings may help reduce costs and increase health.
Integrative medicine approaches bring together those in red states and blue states, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, because these are human issues. They are both medically effective and, important in our current economic climate, cost effective. These approaches emphasize both personal responsibility and the opportunity to make affordable, quality health care available to those who most need it. Mr. Obama should make them an integral part of his health plan as soon as possible.
Dr. Chopra, the author of more than 50 books on the mind, body and spirit, is guest faculty at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dean Ornish, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. His most recent book is The Spectrum (Random House, 2007). Mr. Roy is a professor at Penn State and Arizona State University. Dr. Weil is director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.


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Posted: Saturday January 10, 2009, 7:36 pm
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Yvonne Mendes Siblini (218)
Tuesday February 17, 2009, 1:43 pm
I completely agree with what you are saying, who wouldnt really. If Obama wants to really make over the health services, he should promote alternative and put a watch dog on the FDA.

redd Reilly (3)
Friday March 27, 2009, 11:22 am
Im so glad someone with influence is finally stating the obvious. Working in the disease and symptom care field everyday is disheartening. Everything I see is preventable or controllable holistically but we want a quick fix and magic pill to do the job for us. Our "health" system has enabled people to take no responsibility for their own health and now that system cant keep up. WE're dying faster and sicker than any other industrialized nation and we have all the technology and money which just proves that that is not the problem or the answer. I hope i live to see the day where we have a HEALTH CARE SYSTEM that actually ADDS to it.

Kirann d. (4)
Wednesday April 8, 2009, 3:42 am
of course the modern school of medicine is indispensible in the field of surgery and emergencies,BUT when the question of CURE arise,there is nothing like the alternative medicine because the allopathic medicines only PALLIATE or SUPPRESS i.e.PUT AN END TO...FORCIBLY

Sea G. (3)
Tuesday July 14, 2009, 1:19 pm
thank you for taking up this cause to enlighten national
health care; my son is going into naturopathy & yogic/ayurvedic studies and unfortunately a ND unlike an MD is not recognized by governments as yet as being covered by Medicare so general public has trouble affording these types of diagnosis & treatment.

janine k. (81)
Tuesday July 28, 2009, 4:01 pm
Perhaps since this is America we should let the people say what they want when they need healthcare. We are individuals and need individual care. I'll take massage anyday over a pill to relax but some people are hellbent on pills and couldn't even let somebody touch them. So let's do the democratic thing and "to each, his own."

Pat Tyler (1)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 1:39 pm
I just sent this very information to our government. We are responsible for our health not the insurance Companies. Eat well ,exercise,smile do what you love,be your autheentic self and dance and we will be very healthy.
Pat Tyler Naturopath

Kudelasz Edward (4)
Thursday September 3, 2009, 4:38 am
this year our top enginier is mother nature and find me a doctor more clever as the lord is, for the days will come let our doctors to hope that they will learn one day human body is not a car made by us, we need more not just surgery and pills

Kudelasz Edward (4)
Thursday September 3, 2009, 4:39 am
this year our top enginier is mother nature and find me a doctor more clever as the lord is, for the days will come let our doctors to hope that they will learn one day human body is not a car made by us, we need more not just surgery and pills

Adelle J. (9)
Wednesday September 16, 2009, 2:27 am
Dear Deepak - You have such a great gift to see things clearly that others cannot, and even a greater gift, a loving heart and desire to bless all of humanity. Thank you for sharing your gifts, for so long. Things you revealed, are now acknowledged as truths and shared by other wise and learned men in science and medicine, and are actually becoming mainstream! ! ! HIGH FIVE TO YOU DEEPAK! ! ! I don't know how long you had been working at this when I first came to know of your work, 30 years ago, but I thank God for your perseverence! ! ! It seems that creating change, with love, takes time. I thank God for your patience. I think change that happens like this will be lasting. President Obama has taken a COURAGEOUS STEP in trying to incorporate these truths into our nation's health care system. I wonder how many people fully realize the kind of power he is up against. Other great leaders have been taken from us for attempting less. May God Bless and Protect the blossoming of these truths and our President.. Thank You Deepak...May God always Bless You, Namaste.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 12, 2010, 1:50 pm
This is wonderful. Giving everyone the opportunity to make choices regarding their health care. I see more practices being open to alternative medicine. Being educated about other alternatives, and finding what treatment works best for specific conditions. Such a pertinent topic and thank you for addressing this issue. My mother just recently passed and lived a long life but I had found a note left asking to be freed from her health care system. She was also a nurse as a profession.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 23, 2010, 8:05 pm
WE DEMAND FULL DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY for GEOEngineering and Climate manipulation that has been going on for years!!!

Are you aware that the government admits to the deployment of aerosolized particulates of known toxicity over America for training in military applications and other purposes? Geoengineering? Climate Control?



HAARP and Beyond - Dr. Nick Begich VERY INFORMATIVE...

Jesse Ventura investigates HAARP

"I can’ t believe that people spend time on the internet arguing about “contrails versus
chemtrails” when this has been going on openly for decades. Call it what you want, the
military has been spraying us without our permission for generations."
the full article -

See the "Contrails in the Media" section near the bottom of the page... KNBC 4 in LA, the Weather Channel, PBS

Signs of toxic chemicals used to Modify Climate showing up in drinking water??? Hmmm... on KNBC 4, LA and KTVU 2, SF Bay area...

Briefings prepared for a UK Parliamentary environment lobby group meeting on 18th July 2005. Additional information on HAARP and mind control compiled 24th July.

VIDEO: HAARP Nature Modification Weapon! Project Blue Beam.Flv


Ke A. (7)
Tuesday September 14, 2010, 10:04 am
I have found that the answer to every aliment emotional or physical is a pill...with more side-effects than the problem you started with in the first place. The drug companies are invisable in the background, financing and funding doctors training and so called indepenant reasearch into the effect of certain drugs. It appears that it is just a revenue maker and at the cost to our our health. I believe in a balanced informed approach to healthcare, alternative medicine definatly has its place.

Shirley Marsh (24)
Saturday June 4, 2011, 8:32 pm
I find it hard to believe so many people don't understand the relationship between our health and what we eat. Yet we seem to understand it completely when it comes to feeding our pets! The cells in our bodies need a balance of all essential nutrients in order to their job; keep us fit and healthy. Fill your shopping basket with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins, i.e. free range, and ignore as much of the canned and packaged stuff as you can, try and find at least half and hour a day for some sort of exercise, and you're nearly there!


Deepak Chopra
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