You can label medicine as western, alternative, complementary, integrative, etc. The bottom line is… is it Good Medicine?
Follow the links to view the videos by Harriet Hall, MD on Science Based Medicine as well as the Course Guide.
You might want to start as I did with Lecture 1, then 9, and finally 10. Thereafter choose the lecture which appeals to you.
Explore, Learn and Enjoy!
On November 12, 2015, the Council of Health and Integrative Medicine (CHIMe) of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians had its 2nd CHIMe Summit with the theme “Paano Piliin ang Magaling sa Kontra at Palpak” held at the University of Santo Tomas.
The aim of the Council for the 2nd Summit was Educating Filipinos on how to choose appropriate therapy from a simplified Evidence Based Approach. The council hopes to have the talks available online for the benefit of everyone.
I gave the first talk entitled” “Overview of Mainstream and Nonconventional Medicine”. The objectives of the talk were to present:
1. An overview of Alternative, Complementary, Integrative Medicine and the Holistic Approach
2. Insights on the use of CAM methods from the American Cancer Society
3. Flow charts for Wellness and Treatment
Video on Talk: Overview of Mainstream and Nonconventional Medicine
Click here: https://youtu.be/wIjuGQcVotg
So much has been written about Complementary and Alternative methods in Cancer but in most cases, the evidence for efficacy and safety is lacking.
Though the lack of proof does not mean the absence of efficacy, good medicine and common sense dictates that the modality should be safe and effective.
The best way to determine this for now is through the scientific method which from the perspective of evidence based medicine is a well done randomized clinical trial.
Anything less would be a leap of faith. This is not bad by itself except that some of the modalities have no effect, are harmful and are expensive.
We need more studies done in approaches which are presently considered complementary and alternative so that they may be part of good medicine in the future.
Click on the button below for the downloadable pdf file “Complementary and Alternative Methods in Cancer”, from the American Cancer Society.
There are many definitions of mindfulness. The most quoted and workable definition is from Jon Kabat-Zinn:
- The kicker here is being nonjudgmental. Once we start paying attention, we come to realize that we are judging most of the time… ourselves, other people, the external world, etc.
- Being non-judgmental means that one cannot fail at mindfulness… you can always start now. Each moment of practice is unique and different.
- It is a form of mental training. The more you practice, the better you get at it. Early on in school we were told to pay attention and signify that we were present but no one taught us how to do this.
- It is a state of being and has to be experienced. Talks and workshops on mindfulness emphasize experiential learning rather than conceptual knowledge.
- Mindfulness is counterintuitive. Instead of clinging to what is pleasant and avoiding the unpleasant, with mindfulness we are simply aware of whatever sensations, thoughts or emotions are present without trying to change anything.
- Mindfulness allows us to step back in awareness from whatever situation we are in, which changes the way we relate to the situation. This way, instead of reacting, we can respond with more insight, kindness and wisdom.
- Having an intention is important before starting mindfulness. However, in the practice of mindfulness, the best results are achieved by not trying to achieve anything at all.
- The attitudes of Open Curiosity, Warmth, Kindness and Compassion are essential elements in mindfulness giving it an ethical and spiritual dimension. This is why mindfulness is also known as Heartfulness and Kindfulness.
- Now that we know what mindfulness is, we might think that we can just go and start being more mindful…if only it were that simple. We need to remember to remember to be mindful, and the way to do that is by practice.
- Poetry oftentimes touches us at a level which ordinary language cannot. To get a more felt sense of mindfulness, check out my favorite collection of quotes and poems on mindfulness (1, 2 and 3) at
Hopefully these insights have given birth to more insights and raised some questions.
I would love to hear from you
Mindfulness, in its simplest form, is the human ability of paying attention.
The best operational definition of mindfulness I have come across is by Jon Kabat-Zinn who introduced it in the west in 1979 as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR):
“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through: paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Mindfulness is a state of being and as such has to be experienced rather than just talked about.
Oftentimes we are actually human “doings” rather than human “beings”. We run on automatic pilot, sleepwalking through life, only to discover that we have lived the same day countless times.
The well-developed doing-mode, also called the problem solving mode, benefits us in so many areas of our lives but can serve to increase our suffering when we bring it to bear on the experience of our thoughts and emotions.