How does Integrative Holistic Medicine Work?

(This is part 2 of new contributor Dr Alan Mease‘s 5-part series on Integrative Holistic Medicine. Part 1 is here.)

What makes man unique is his consciousness, which exists even in infants and can be simply understood as the realms of waking, dreaming and deep sleeping. Central to the unifying theory of integrative holistic medicine is the existence of an energy field associated with the body-mind. The existence of a body with each realm of consciousness is taught in most healing traditions. This is due to the increasing complexity of the physical body-mind.

The 3 bodies of increasing complexity are the physical body-mind, the subtle body-soul and the casual body-spirit associated with three realms of consciousness, waking, dreaming and deep sleeping. Each of these is associated with the increasing complexity of human consciousness. (see below)

Modern medical science studies the exterior of each of these. The body-mind was incrementally understood in term of structure, anatomy; function, physiology and biochemistry. Treatments of body-mind dysfunction/disease use either a surgical/anatomic approach or chemical/drug approach to restoring normal physiology/function. Physical energies including radiation, electromagnetic and light are used in modern medicine and can be easily measured.

Ancient healing traditions teach that there are increasingly subtle energies associated with the increasing complexity of the physical body-mind. These are called subtle energies associated with the body-mind, the body-soul and then the body-spirit. The latter are equivalent to soul and spirit respectively. Each of these is represented in the interior consciousness of the human condition. More precisely the greater the degree of exterior complexity of physical form the greater the degree of interior consciousness within. This allows preservation of the enduring truths of the traditions without the outmoded interpretative frameworks. It also provides a model for continued human development through adulthood.

These subtle energies have been long recognized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as Qi. Manipulation of Qi is used in acupuncture, meditation and Qi Gong. Tai Chi or Taichiquan is a form of internal Qi Gong. Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies in Boston, Massachusetts is running a trial on the efficacy of Qi Gong compared with aerobic exercise as an adjunct therapy for cancer patients. See also Dr. Saint Cyr’s article on Tai Chi and Arthritis.

Newer healing methods using subtle energy include applied kinesiology, thought field therapy, therapeutic touch, reiki, polarity therapy, homeopathy, and healing traditions of indigenous peoples. There is an increasing body of evidence today supporting the effectiveness of these methods in certain situations. Prayer and spiritual healing may also be the result of activating subtle energies. Subtle energy is beginning to be understood and measured by physics therefore gaining credibility as the unifying principal of integrative holistic medicine.

Next Week: Part 3 – Why does Integrative Holistic Medicine Work?


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2 thoughts on “How does Integrative Holistic Medicine Work?”

  1. Dr. Mease, you are probably fully aware that integrative medicine’s biggest hurdle on the path to wider acceptance is presenting experimental evidence which supports its effectiveness. Have there been any attempts to measure the above mentioned “subtle forces”? What were their results? are there any theories as to what these energies might be?

    1. Damjan from chinahealthcare blog asked a good question:

      “Dr. Mease, you are probably fully aware that integrative medicine’s biggest hurdle on the path to wider acceptance is presenting experimental evidence which supports its effectiveness. Have there been any attempts to measure the above mentioned “subtle forces”? What were their results? are there any theories as to what these energies might be?”

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