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Dr. Richard Isaacson

What’s Missing from Western Medicine:  The Power of the Mind - Part I

In this four part series, I will describe what’s missing from Western Medicine that can get us well or keep us sick, and offer practical tools for harnessing this power.

Part I:  What Western Medicine can Learn from the Scientists and the Mystics

What distinguishes Western medicine from all other healing traditions on the planet are several key concepts:  the separation of mind and body, and the notion that all of nature can be explained via a materialistic world view.  On the other hand, every single non-Western healing tradition recognizes the inextricable link between psyche and soma.  “Dis-ease” is not limited to the physical body; thoughts and emotions are causative factors.  And healing necessitates addressing these elements of our being.  Getting well is not just about fixing the physical body. 

Our thoughts are omnipotent.  Thoughts are powerful vibrations that can make us well or make us sick.  Negative thoughts can make us sick and keep us sick.  Positive thoughts can heal us and transform our lives.  These concepts do not come from the realms of pseudoscience.  In fact, there is a tremendous body of scientific research that can support these notions. 

Most notably, researchers in physics and engineering labs have been conducting experiments that suggest the profound effect of consciousness on the material world:  how our thoughts can affect us, literally, and physically1-4.  For over 25 years, scientists at Princeton University’s PEAR Laboratory have demonstrated powerful correlations between human intention and machine behavior.  They have shown that untrained individuals can influence the output of random mechanical and electronic number generators, just by “thinking” in which direction the numbers should go.  These effects were found to be independent of space and time.  Effects persisted when the individual was thousands of miles away, and, when the individual influenced the machine before and even after it was run.

These ideas are millennia old, and have roots in many of the world’s ancient traditions from cultures outside of our Western culture, and are implicit aspects of healing traditions throughout the globe. 

However, Western medicine has remained unaware of these notions, and, unaware of this research.  Most medical students took the easy college physics course to get into medical school, and were never exposed to the paradigm-changing observations that modern physicists made in the early part of the twentieth century, leading to the models of quantum mechanics and relativity.   

These models dramatically influenced our understanding of nature, and, ironically, given that they were the result of sophisticated, technologically advanced research, led scientists to become more philosophers than technicians.  And in these new notions of nature, were parallels to the ancient traditions of other cultures, to the healing traditions of other cultures, and to mystical, non-Cartesian views of life. 

These notions are not new; again, they are millennia old.  The ancient traditions of Chinese medicine and Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), for example, draw links between bodily symptoms and emotions.  In Chinese medicine, the lung is the repository for grief, the liver for rage, and the kidney for fear.  In Ayurveda, the vata dosha may yield arthritides and worry, the pitta, ulcers and rage.  To even consider a separation between these elements is contrived.

In Part II, I will continue to describe the dichotomy between Western Medicine, and the concept of inherent connectedness of mind and body.

1. Tiller, W.A., Dibble, W., Kohane, M.  Conscious Acts of Creation.  Walnut Creek, CA:  Pavior Publishing;2001.
2.  Tiller, W.A. Science and Human Transformation:  Subtle Energies, Intentionality, and Consciousness.  Walnut Creek, CA:  Pavior Publishing;1997.
3.  Jahn RG, Dunne BJ. Margins of Reality:  The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World.  New York, NY:  Harcourt Brace;1997.
4.  Jahn RG, Dunne BJ. On the quantum mechanics of consciousness with applications to anomalous phenomena.  Foundations of Physics 1986;16:721-772.
2006 Patricia A. Muehsam, M.D.

Dr. Muehsam is a holistic medical doctor practicing in New York City. She can be reached by phone at (212) 946 - 5700.

Click HERE to see Dr. Muehsams listing on The Healing Directory.

• A version of this article was published in The Epoch Times on July 17, 2006

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