A Tai Chi Master Sheds Light on Couples Therapy...

Jun 6, 2013 by

I was surprised and intrigued when my teacher, Dr. Ming Wu, a Tai Chi Master and a doctor of Chinese medicine, asked me if I would see one of his students for marital therapy. In class he emphasizes “heavy on the bottom, light on the top … simple but not easy.” Western psychotherapy seemed such a different approach. Why would he want me to see a student? He was as interested in explaining it to me as I was in learning. He began explaining that every case is different. “You must identify the root cause.” If you don’t find the root cause, maybe you fix the physical problem only to have it return or become chronic. He was more interested in getting to the heart of the matter. “Sometimes you approach the mind through...

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Finding Your Way: One Physician-Patient’s Look at Conventional and Complementary Medicine...

May 22, 2013 by

In health care, the world breaks down into two types: those who “believe” in alternative medicine and those who think it is quackery. This is unfortunate. New ideas are always alternative until they become well accepted. This is how science progresses. As a patient, however, it is very confusing. It is not much easier as a doctor. Trained as a physician in the 70s, I remember the eye rolls and derision when Adele Davis’ book came out, You Are What You Eat. I am not an apologist for all her ideas, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that, at that time, it was considered a ludicrous idea that food would impact disease. Exercise and stress management were also not taught to young physicians as something to focus on with our patients,...

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Holistic vs. Fragmented Health Care...

May 22, 2013 by

It may sound dramatic, but I got teary reading“The Talking Cure” in the Wall Street Journalthis week. I thought I was going to read an article about psychotherapy, but instead it was about how doctors don’t speak or listen effectively when communicating with patients. It can be true, I don’t argue with that. I have written about my own experiences. But if we don’t understand what underlies the problem, the tragedy will only be compounded by trying to apply a simplistic cure. After practicing for 30 years, I continue to deeply love being a physician. I know that most of my colleagues feel the same way and are deeply committed to caring for their patients. Many tell me they have sleepless nights after making a dire diagnosis. How did we get to the point that we...

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