Introduction the The Blog
At this point in the development of DD.org it has become clear from many of the comments/questions I have received that a place for more “general” topics might enhance this site. I am therefore planning on starting a blog that will cover areas of health & medicine that may not directly relate to Buddhist philosophy.
Many of my patients know that my interests in medicine focus not just on diagnosis and treatment of complex medical problems but also on the prevention of disease in the first place (for more biographical info see http://www.polyclinic.com/mccabe_mark_o_md). I’m curious to see what will happen if I “build out” this corner of the website and devote it to medical topics as they relate to prevention of disease. The diagnosis and treatment of disease are best accomplished in person in the setting of a trusting and therefore therapeutic patient-physician relationship. Prevention of disease, on the other hand, applies more broadly and a forum like this may be a useful arena to discuss issues such as how culture, diet, activity, habits, etc., all conspire to create either health or disease. Some medical professionals have identified this focus, pursued it scientifically and dubbed it “Lifestyle Medicine.” (There are even professional organizations devoted to this: The American College of Lifestyle Medicine and The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, e.g.) There is no shortage of “experts” wherever you look—television, the internet or at your local drugstore. That is why I have hesitated for so long to enter this “fray” of controversial messages. I’m not sure the inter-world needs yet another “authority” to dispense advice and foster even more confusion! On the other hand, useful information regarding the optimization of health and the minimization of disease has the potential for helping individuals avoid the personal medical consequences of not paying attention to simple and yet essential interventions in lifestyle that likely may increase functional longevity. In some regards, this is an area of deep speculation, hypothesis and the knowledge of the history of medicine. Historically speaking, spirituality has been intricately woven into the health of the body-mind. Modern western medicine is unique (and greatly disadvantaged) by its obliviousness to intellectual efforts throughout the ages to understand the art of longevity. To be sure, there have been many, many patently ridiculous theories put forth over the last 20-50,000 years (or for as long as the human species has been trying not just to survive, but lengthen and optimize its brief life on this planet). Despite this hubris, there still exists a veritable goldmine of wisdom that the consumers of modern healthcare are completely cut off from. The problem comes in integrating it with contemporary medical practice, which can be exceptionally effective as well in the reduction of ill health and the promotion of wellness.
Thanks for reading!