Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

June 28, 2013

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi – Afterward

"Compassion" Mandala

“Compassion” Mandala

From The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, by Peter M. Wayne, PhD, with Mark L. Fuerst

Afterword

Tai Chi and Twenty-First-Century Medicine

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

“The US health-care system is in serious trouble.” “… A 2009 study by Harvard Medical School faculty found that more than 60 percent of personal bankruptcies are due to medical costs, and in the majority of these cases, those claiming bankruptcy were medically insured.”

“What’s even more disturbing is that these massive expenditure for health do not translate into making US citizens the healthiest people in the world. Using virtually every measure of health-care outcome, including longevity, infant mortality, fitness, and chronic disease rates, the United STated appears at or near the bottom compared to other developed countries. The World Health Organization recently rated America thirty-seventh in health outcomes, on par with Serbia. In addition, for the first time in history, Americans are witnessing a decline in life expectancy. We are paying more and more for health and we have less and less to show for it.”

“The Chinese word for crisis ([I don’t know where to get those letters)] is sometimes interpreted as being composed of two characters, one representing ‘danger’ and the other representing ‘opportunity.’ More generally, according to the yin-yang principle, when a system becomes imbalanced and unstable, it affords an opportunity for transformation or change. Our current health-care system is at such a juncture, and one of the solutions is a greater emphasis on self-care and prevention.”

HEALTH CARE vs. “SICK’ CARE

“In a provocative article by Susan Blumenthal, former Assistant Surgeon General of the United States, who is a widely respected health-care leader, she stated, ‘Today’s health-care reform efforts must reestablish public health and prevention as priorities – transforming our country from a ‘sick’-care system to a health-care system.'”

“… chronic conditions contribute to 7 percent of health-care costs in the United States, yet only 2-3 percent of the US government’s health-care budget is invest in prevention – a a percentage that has not changed since 1934.” “… Each of us has a personal responsibility for lifestyle choices, and all sectors or society, including families, schools, businesses, health-care providers, foundations, media, and the government, will have to play a role.”

GREATER EMPHASIS ON SELF-CARE AND PREVENTION

“… my colleague Donald Levy, MD, Director of Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital. In both his academic lectures and clinical consultations Dr. Levy emphasizes the fundamental importance of physical exercise, stress reduction, psychosocial support, healthy eating habits, weight management, and a good night’s sleep.” “… Dr. Levy, along with a growing number of practitioners of integrative medicine, believes that by involving patients in there own self-care, they are more likely not only to improve their health but also to learn more about how their bodies work to maintain health.”

“One of the more versatile self-care tools in Dr. Levy’s toolbox for lifestyle change is Tai Chi. Typically, patients looking to manage their blood pressure without medications, ease and rehabilitate chronic back pain, or manage chronic depression or anxiety leave with a ‘prescription’ to learn Tai Chi as part of an integrated health care strategy. Because Dr. Levy practices in an evidence-based manner, patients who are ‘prescribed’ Tai Chi often leave with a research article that supports the application of Tai Chi for the specific medical condition.”

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