The medical field is saturated with professionals who focus on illness over wellness, and the public’s opinion on this sort of focus seems to be shifting in a big way. In 2016, Time Magazine mentioned that Americans spent over $30 billion a year on complementary medicines. Today, the number is far larger, with many holistic doctors seeing a surge in their practices. Modern medicine has proven efficacious in solving some of the problems that affect human beings, but there are significant flaws in how it approaches solving the human condition. This article hopes to offer some insight into why modern holistic medicine is becoming so popular.
Focusing on the Individual
Modern medical science deals with hard numbers and figures. In many cases, this quantitative approach can be useful. However, it has lost sight of the core elements of medicine that made doctors such a valuable part of society for hundreds of years. Treatment is partially about curing a disease but also about giving comfort. The link between mind and body has been mainly ignored by modern medical science. However, research has shown that mind-body techniques can be useful in the right setting. The Journal of General Internal Medicine notes a disconnect between how much these techniques are used and how much they should be used to help patients.
Addiction and Mental Health
America is only now coming to terms with its mental health epidemic. With so many thousands of individuals suffering from mental health issues, there is a need for alternative approaches to therapy. One of the major drawbacks of modern treatment is the locations that these patients are housed in. Mental hospitals have this overwhelming sense of depression around them. As Dr. Joseph Yi notes, “Just because it IS a mental clinic doesn’t mean it needs to look and feel like a mental clinic.” Dr. Yi has been instrumental in changing perspectives in modern medicine regarding holistic wellness. The doctor is the founder of Modern Behavioral, an outpatient facility for those recovering from substance abuse and striving to achieve mental wellness. Through a holistic approach, he seeks to help individuals regain control over their lives.
Dr. Yi is only one of many doctors who realized that modern medical facilities had failed holistic medicine and, by extension, their patients. By focusing on the illness rather than the root cause for healing along with separating the patient from their humanity, they may potentially be doing more harm than good. Human beings are not a statistic, but modern medicine seems to treat them as such. Dr. Yi’s approach incorporates all aspects of a human being’s life into his treatment. Medical care is complemented by spiritual, nutritional and mindfulness practices designed to reconnect patients to the fullest expression of themselves. For most holistic healers, the aim is always to help the patient become their #1 doctor and engage them in a journey of self care and accountability.
Finding a Place in the World
Modern Behavioral is one of several facilities that have found their places in the supersaturated field of addiction management and mental health treatment. Their presence here suggests that there is space for treatment facilities that don’t conform to the traditional methods of Western medical treatment. Maybe, in the future, we may see other doctors follow in Dr. Yi’s footsteps. The world could use more physicians who understand what it is to be human.