This is the headline would like to see, whenever we hear about the latest scientific research in the media. However, even with the best scientific journals, pinning down “the truth” in medicine can be a tricky business. I think that science is important in guiding our health care decisions this, but we must be wary about overreliance on so-called evidence-based medicine.
Imagine two co-workers: one slim, the type who can seem to eat anything without gaining a pound — and therefore does not feel the need to exercise; the other one overweight, but who works out regularly. In spite of your latter colleague’s efforts, he has found it very difficult to lose weight. Which one is at greater risk for health problems down the road?
“Holistic medicine” does not just mean substituting herbs for prescription drugs; it means looking at the whole person — body and mind. Stress has a powerful impact on our mental/emotional health, as well as our physical health (via the neurologic and endocrine systems). To that end, I often teach people techniques such as quiet breathing exercises to improve stress management.