This article contained more of the opinions of the writer than Dr Horton himself and he wrote a letter of protest to the magazine.
Expanded Medical Awareness for Complete Health
Disease is just that: a lack of ease
The medicine of the future will have to respond to the demand which people are now beginning to make that a more practical and humanistic approach to medical care be found. The medicine of the future will not automatically cite physiological dysfunction as the cause of illness, but will consider the personal life of the patient, to understand how his social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual makeup are affecting his physical wellbeing.
Today's doctors have become expert in the sorting out, categorizing and classifying of disease. Innumerable drugs and remedies have been developed that serve as catalysts for changes in our physiological condition. Yet the basic cause of physical imbalance is often unknown.
Illness, however, is not really something mysterious. Illness arises either from one's external environment - his home, family, friends and society - or from his internal environment - his thoughts and emotions. We have become adept over
Doctor John Horton is one of the founders of "Divine Health Services," an enterprise oriented to the task of making the medicine of the future into the medical practice of the present. Divine Health Services is now planning the establishment of a Health clinic in New York City that will combine a varied range of scientifically valid medical techniques with a direct personal contact to facilitate the patient's healing. The clinic will also serve as a training ground for health care workers of the future.
the years at handling afflictions caused externally, but now we must examine the internal environment. This presents a problem for the average doctor well trained in biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy, but whose consciousness is limited to perspective gained for the most part in laboratories and classrooms.
Our old archetypal image of a doctor is a man who is wise and who has a remarkable understanding of human beings, both of the human body and of life itself. His practice is intuitive and experiential. The old country doctor is a good example. He was the mainstay of the town, relied on for just about everything from broken bones to family problems. People respected him for his dedication and compassion. Thus his patient could share with him the details of his life and express his anxieties, fears, mistakes and so-called sins. It was this deeper, more human relationship with the patient that allowed the doctor to recognize the underlying causes for illness and give direct and practical advice for overcoming any physical or psychological difficulties. Today the patient invests his doctor with a God-like authority so that whatever the doctor pays attention to in him becomes the patient's prime concern. Unfortunately, the average patient has little knowledge of medical terms or practices. Once a doctor begins the diagnosis the patient feels on the spot and is probably expecting the worst. The doctor typically proceeds with his investigation with only oblique and usually non-verbal communication of his insights and observations.
Disease is just that : a lack of ease. A great percentage of the requirements for medical care come from our actions, our feelings, our society and our social adjustment. Yet disease is treated in a mechanical, step-by-step fashion. If disease were just a question of accidental contamination, then medical attention could be less extensive. More often we are dealing with chronic illness, and it is the chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease and ulcers that are man-created. They are created within the context of the society and because medical science is an established part of that society it does not unravel the problem of disease, but actually continues it. Illness can simply be the way that a person seeks love and attention. Sometimes illness is used as a means of escape from a boring job, or from marital strife or as simply a real need for rest. All too often, though, the chronic sickness leads to self-destruction. The individual is a victim of his own negativity, anger and frustration and often resorts to alcohol or drugs to bring temporary relief. This case is followed by trauma and addiction.
Many times when a patient comes for medical treatment, the doctor is as sick as the patient. He is overweight, he smokes cigarettes. Perhaps he is in the process of obtaining a divorce; maybe he drinks or takes drugs. Usually the patient just seems to accept this, but on another level, his confidence is shaken. The doctor can't really fool people; underneath his external demeanor the doctor knows that he doesn't really touch the root of the problem and that there isn't a healing contact. The doctor may seem very proud, enthusiastic and confident, but he may be concealing feelings of guilt, despair and frustration. He is aware that he often is not really taking care of the problems that come to him; yet he categorizes people and their conditions. For example, a patient may come in quite anxious about a heart problem. If the doctor finds nothing out of order on his cardiogram or blood studies, then what does he do? He may say, "Well you should take it easy. I'll give you a prescription for tranquilizers." But if the patient repeatedly returns, the doctor may see him as a cardiac case or he may see him as a source of income, but most commonly he will just be an annoying unsolved problem to the doctor.
Now in this situation there are a number of steps that the doctor can take. He can decide on one organ as the trouble spot and refer the patient to a specialist. Or as a last resort he can send him to a psychiatrist. In other words he isn't prepared to delve into the person's life to discover the basis of the problem. He doesn't have anything to offer. This is frustrating. Of course if the patient's situation worsens the doctor may escalate and run extensive tests. The tests themselves are frightening to the patient; especially if the doctor does not tell him what he is looking for. But when all the tests have been exhausted and the illness has intensified, then what? Stronger medicines? This is often what the doctor decides upon in the absence of any more definite solution. The danger with this is the syndrome that often develops in which the patient's anxiety and the strong medications result in a new illness. About a quarter of the hospitalized people end up suffering from serious drug reaction.
Hospitalization presents many problems. The impersonal environment can produce more dramatic reversals than successful recoveries. In the case of genetic illnesses where the body seems to go through a programmed and readily understood change, there is still a relationship between the individual and the environment that has marked effect on his progress. A person is defenseless in a hospital and must accept whatever system is operating. If the hospital is a so-called "teaching hospital" then the situation is especially trying. Each patient has about five doctors. First, there is the medical student who tells the patient, "I am your doctor." Yet he's often unsure in his actions. Then there is an intern who's a little more
They found that forty percent of the patients were psychotic …
knowledgeable. There is a rounding man who is supervising him. And then there is probably a specialist or someone else that has been called in. Granted they may relate to the patient in a very nice and cordial way; assuring him that things are O .K . and occasionally leaking out a few bits of information. But they are never interested or aware of what is going on in a person's mind.
This is an abysmal situation. There is a book called Sickness and Society, written by Duffy and Hollenson, which is a study of the Yale Medical School. The book openly describes conditions that are now existing in our hospitals. They found that forty percent of the patients were psychotic. They were so confused, suffering such overwhelming fears and anxieties, that sometimes they were unaware of where they were - what day of the week it was, or who they were speaking to. Yet this was never mentioned on their daily charts or records.
What is lacking in medicine now is an expanded awareness, which means an understanding of spiritual science, the spiritual experience. If a man is not experiencing his authentic being, then he is experiencing some false being. The body has a beautiful integrity. Biochemists and profound physiologists say that there is no reason for the body to deteriorate and that, ideally, there is no need for illness.
When a well-adjusted patient keeps coming back to the doctor due to constant headaches or indigestion and tests show no physical reasons for any of his symptoms, then the doctor has a subtle problem to work with. What may be bothering the man is that his life is not meaningful or centered. He may be the prey for his own negative thoughts and emotions while trying to find satisfaction in his relationships with his wife, his family or in any other external sources. He might be lacking a definite sense of satis faction that should be coming from the normal experience of the spirit. If a man is not having this experience of being in touch with the creative energy, then it's like he is not eating enough. If we don't eat enough we suffer from malnutrition, and naturally the body breaks down. If we don't have that experience, that central experience, then the mind and emotions cannot be ordered correctly, so they dysfunction. As they dysfunction so the body dysfunctions.
As spirituality is introduced into our existing medical system, reform is inevitable. The doctors who have been impressed by the observable power of spiritual healing will become accustomed to the fact that there are powers and images more subtle than they are used to seeing. This means that scientific data will become irrefutable.
Lately, Russian scientists have been researching the field of parapsychology and have been finding ways that the autonomic nervous system can be controlled consciously. If a person can become aware of a change in his blood pressure, he can regulate it. Practical experiences of this prove that there are energy currents that the mind is working thru, which may be subtler than the gross nervous system.
Another breakthrough in spiritual healing that is fascinating academic medicine is the work of a school of Filipino bloodless surgeons. These surgeons have been filmed doing surgery by penetrating the body with their hand, taking out the diseased organ, and closing up the body, then they are finished - there is no pain and no blood and the surgery takes about fifteen to twenty minutes.
Scientific evaluation and research into these matters will cause more and more people to accept methods of healing other than those currently considered to be valid. These are not new findings nor are they beyond our normal comprehension. Even though inner experience is suspect to the scientific establishment because it is subjective, this does not preclude the fact that there is a point where the subject and object merge and are one thing. This is fundamental energy.
Technical medical training is very necessary, but it is more difficult to nurture and recognize those subtle factors that make a real doctor rather than a technician. There is a need for correct orientation. Thus, a patient will experience a feeling of security and well-being when he comes to a doctor who really knows the soul, who trusts nature, and who trusts God in the whole creative process of living. An ordinary appointment will become a spiritual experience.
Your average doctor will agree that the problems people have are complex and not always physically perceivable, but that there just isn't time to deal with them. But this is an economic paroxysm, "I don't have the time because if I spent an hour with each patient, then I can only see 8 patients daily. Meanwhile 200 people are waiting." The doctor benefits economically if he can see the 200 patients and he can also do something about their need for medical attention. A compromise is made. Medicines are given to relieve the symptoms of the patients. But this compromise of dealing only with symptoms is actually a very impractical approach. This is a false economy and is self-perpetuating. We can introduce a more diversified health care orientation that will relate to causes as well as symptoms.
We are about to set up a clinic in New York with this in mind. The staff will include warm, relating people without an extensive medical education who can serve in the position of counselors. Physical therapists adept at relieving bodily aches and pains will be included. There will be a
… yet the work of a doctor should be based on a human interaction with a full flow of love, compassion and mutual respect.
sizeable crew of well-trained physicians, technicians, and specialists. We'll have people to teach various systems of exercise, common herbal remedies, proper nutrition and food preparation. We will also have a team of skilled psychiatrists.
Ideally, a person will come into the clinic and spend his time after the initial evaluation with the physical therapists or talking with someone in the kitchen or with one of the counselors. Eventually, he will for a relationship with one of the staff who might be able to discover the reasons behind his discomforts. All of these people have qualities that are complementary to a doctor's technical understanding. And technical understanding is something that is in many cases useful only for a short time or not at all. More important are the human factors, for they give the patient confidence and instill trust. The perspective of this clinic is oriented entirely towards the patient rather than to science, career, or for the sake of medical practice itself.
The doctors involved with this clinic and trained in this system willmhave enough realization of the pleasure gained from this kind of medicine that they will expect no profit. You simply take away the profit motive and you have people whose life interest and dedication is to serving others. Many doctors do not enjoy their work and look to material things for self- fulfillment, yet the work of a doctor should be based on a human interaction with a full flow of love, compassion and mutual respect. The person who is functioning correctly in his role is going to enjoy it so much that he will involve himself more and more.
Financial support for developing programs of humane medical care will have to come from the community. This is the only way for the profit motive to be taken out of medicine. There are government studies made to test methods for taking the monetary factor out of medicine and for government support of medical education. One possibility under consideration is the federal hiring of doctors. Another is a plan to have communities hire doctors at a certain set salary.
Many doctors now seek out charitable clinics where they can do sincere medical work without having the burden of a salaried position and the profit consciousness that seems to go along with it. A doctor who can accept any patient without thinking about whether he is rich or poor knows that to expect money for the love and intellectual discrimination that one can manifest is absurd. To this doctor, his work is a joyful process.
The approach that we have to building our clinic is to set up something that is perfect. The clinic will demonstrate an easy, broader and more effective way of dealing with illness. We will be financed in the beginning by Divine Light Mission. But as we grow and provide expanded health care a response will come from the community. Health will no longer be a concept.