Your journey to health and healing
October 5, 2012
EDITORS NOTE: Gary E Foresman MD will be providing a bi-weekly column answering your health and holistic healing questions.
By Gary E Foresman MD
So often I am asked “What is Middle Path Medicine?” Questions usually follow, inquiring why my advice is so different than other doctors, and of course how can you trust that my advice is “right”? Let me take you on my journey into the nature of healing and wholeness so you may understand why I may be your best guide on your journey to health and healing.
As most of you probably know, I am a Western Doctor of Medicine trained at the University of Florida, receiving an MD in 1987, finishing my Internal Medicine Residency at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 1990, Board Certified in Internal Medicine 1990 (scores on this exam in the top 2 percent), and Internal Medicine Fellow and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCI from 1991-1994. The résumé for my Western training includes being part of the Junior Honors Medical Program for accelerated training through medical school and basic science research with a publication on my favorite enzyme: Ornithine Decarboxylase. I have also done clinical research for a publication on Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
I love Western Internal Medicine for exactly what it is, and you will most likely never meet anyone who knows and most importantly truly understands and practices Western medicine (drugs and surgery) as I do. In fact I disappoint many patients by being “too Western;” unfortunately many people have been misinformed into believing medicines are never the right option. I am here to guide everyone as to when and what kinds of medicines and surgeries present as the best choices.
What separates and distinguishes me from other MDs is that I love all systems of healing and am a lifelong student of physics, philosophy, the nature of “reality”, and how every aspect of our life affects our health. As a student of life, it became clear that Western medicine had to do solely with the diagnosis of disease and treatment based only in drugs and surgery. Furthermore, the drugs never (yes, I do mean never) actually treat the underlying disorder, they poison (Paracelsus, the Father of Pharmacology stated “all medicines are poisons it’s just a matter of the dosage”) key enzymes and receptor sites.
We, as physicians, just pray that the good outweighs the harm. My journey since 1990 has also taken me through trainings with Deepak Chopra and Ayurveda, Sherri Sorro and massage school, Charlie Iron Eyes and Reiki, the American Botanical Council, The Institute for Functional Medicine, The International Academy of Homotoxicology, The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), and so many other systems of healing that I will not bore you with the rest. Your physician must know how all humanity views healing (as much as humanly possible), not just the tiny, fragmented view that is Western Medicine.
When you look objectively at where the United States ranks worldwide in quality of Health Care, the mind-boggling 100,000 people per year killed by appropriately prescribed medicines, and the arrogant disregard of the entire World medicine perspective on healing by the average Western physician, one thing became clear to me. I had gone to medical school naively thinking I was learning all medicine; in fact, I was being “indoctrinated” into a Western Medical Belief System that educates through the 100 hour work weeks and the pounding into our brains that if a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Prospective Clinical Trial doesn’t exist on the subject, then it must be quackery. Instead of nurturing inquiry and true science, medical training creates true believers, priests of a belief system.
When you see an average Western MD, you are not seeing a healer; you are seeing a priest of the surgical and pharmaceutical industry. This is not wrong, it’s just what is. When my father had sudden cardiac death at the emergency room, I am so glad that the appropriately trained priest was there, and truly did a laying on of the hands (paddles). When the cardiologist did an angiogram and placed a stent, he provided life-saving relief. Herein lies the beauty and the tragedy of such events. Why? Western MDs perform true miracles, and we become mesmerized and worship at the temple of those who perform these acts of awe. It all makes sense from one perspective. The masses have miracles, and the priests truly believe, and now the Western MD can speak on all aspects of medical care, even those subjects the MD has not been trained about.
This simple understanding helps us understand why MDs, experts on disease diagnosis with pharmaceutical treatments, can’t possibly shepherd a health care system, only a disease care system. Nor can they help the vast majority of people who have symptoms prior to disease or the management of the majority of our health care conditions.
Middle Path Medicine restores order to health care. Not Western, nor Eastern, neither allopathic, nor alternative, we strive to empower each individual to inquire, to investigate, to treat themselves. Is that difficult? In a word, yes. That is why a guide who knows, understands, and, most importantly, empathizes with your journey must be beside you, just as any venture is made easier by someone who has been there, and won’t take you only down his path. Your symptoms and signs serve as guideposts; I can serve as your best, most knowledgeable guide. That is what I do.
Gary E. Foresman, MD is Board Certified and Fellowship Trained in Internal Medicine, Functional, Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, and a Fellow in Integrative Cancer Therapies. He is President of Middle Path Medicine in Arroyo Grande.
Questions you would like to see addressed? Feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and check back at Cal Coast News for answers.