Tag Archives: healthcare

Is materialism health care’s Achilles’ heel?

“Turtles all the way down.” That’s the now famous response to a scientist’s inquiry as told in an anecdote by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time.  After explaining the basics of astronomy and the relationship between the earth and sun, a little old lady expresses her disbelief to the scientist and pipes up, “The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”

Hawking continues, “The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’  ‘You’re very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady.  ‘But it’s turtles all the way down.’”

There’s both humor and heartbreak in the old lady’s retort.  Such determinism has propelled the achievements of many a visionary.  It also illustrates the stifling nature of a stubborn dogma that can blind thinkers and shutter what should be the open-minded nature of true science and scholarship.

Today’s healthcare practices offer a similar dichotomy…Read more

Can modern medicine evolve beyond materialism?

Turtles all the way down“Turtles all the way down.”  That’s the now famous response to a scientist’s inquiry as told in an anecdote by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time.  After explaining the basics of astronomy and the relationship between the earth and sun, a little old lady expresses her disbelief to the scientist and pipes up, “The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”

Hawking continues, “The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’  ‘You’re very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady.  ‘But it’s turtles all the way down.’”

There’s both humor and heartbreak in the old lady’s retort.  Such determinism has propelled the achievements of many a visionary.  It also illustrates the stifling nature of a stubborn dogma that can blind thinkers and shutter what should be the open-minded nature of true science and scholarship.

Today’s healthcare practices offer a similar dichotomy: the unyielding resolve to understand the nature of human systems for the betterment of health pitted against a tenacious faith in the doctrine of materialism.  Is the domain of medicine merely the “flat plate” of physicality, measuring and manipulating matter?  Or is there something more to it, something fundamentally diverse and substantially more dynamic?    I’m referring to the solid evidence that our spirituality – our tie to a greater consciousness – has a big impact on our health.  Read more…

The need to “ease your pain” takes on new urgency

iStock photo
iStock photo

We aren’t getting any younger. That appears to be the reason NBC News anchor Brian Williams, a 35 year sufferer of knee pain, decided it was time to replace it.  He had surgery last week.

“I reached a point recently in the last 12 months where I decided this has to happen and to be mathematical about it, I’ve lived now most of my days, so worst-case scenario, if this doesn’t go perfectly well, which it will, it can’t hurt more than it hurts now,” according to Williams as reported in the Enquirer.

His public revelation brings to light the growing numbers of those incapacitated by chronic pain, a struggle that occurs across all ages and genders, but especially among older generations.

1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain.  That includes 100 million Americans.  Researchers also report that anywhere from 3 to 4.5% of the global population suffers from nerve pain, “with incidence rate increasing in complementary to age.” Is relief within sight?  Opinions vary, but new treatments are on the horizon.

The same day Williams was preparing for his procedure, a new survey was released showing a majority of Americans are not keen on the idea of living beyond what is considered the current “normal” life expectancy.  Nor are they fond of the treatments needed to get there.   Read more…