On CTV's Canada AM Dr. Oz recently made the startling and thought provoking statement that alternative medicine was in fact nothing more than the "globalization of medicine". Much has been globalized in this new interconnected world of ours, but here in North America the medical establishment continues to insist that patients should only have access to Western medical care and that everything else is "unfounded superstition". Dr. Oz asks the question why North American patients should not be able to put their money on the table and have the best medical practices other cultures have to offer, such as Ayurveda or TCM, made available to them.
Both TCM and Ayurveda recognize that the body is more than a collection of biological nuts and bolts, and that the energy that animates the human physical structure is an important component of health. Working with that energy is an integral part of ancient Eastern medical practices. Only here in the West have we declared that this energy does not exist. And in fact the great-grandfather of both TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and current forms of energy healing is Qigong, an ancient Chinese energy healing practice developed by Daoists back in the mists of time. Energy healing along with herbalism is the oldest form of medicine on the planet.
In the truest sense the "globalization of medicine" means not only importing for western use the best practices of other cultures' medicines, as we've seen with acupuncture, but also understanding the philosophies behind them. Recognizing the energy that animates us all would be a huge shift in Western medicine. Imagine the health innovations we would see, the staggering amounts of money we could save on public healthcare, if, instead of investing billions of dollars in researching the next expensive designer drug, we made an investment in exploring healing in the human energy field.