The biases of western medicine | Dr Gabor Matte
Of Sustainable Human: “In the realm of child development, I wish we would really look at the evidence. But we don’t.
I worked in family medicine for 32 years, 12 of them with serious drug addicts, the other 20 in a simple family practice. And in those years, I found that people who got sick and didn’t get sick had certain patterns.
There is a major source of sickness, and I mean any kind of sickness, be it so-called mental sickness or physical sickness. And that’s childhood trauma.
Trauma is what happens inside of you as a result of what happens to you. And within you things can happen for which you don’t need very dramatic events.
Mounting scientific evidence shows that social and physical environments that threaten human development, due to scarcity, stress, or instability, can cause short-term physiological and psychological adjustments that are necessary for immediate survival and adaptation, but that can have a significant cost. to long-term outcomes in learning, behavior, health, and longevity.
Because of those early coping patterns, here’s the problem with them: They’re meant to be temporary states. If you’re familiar with my take on ADHD, that I’ve been diagnosed, it’s a coping mechanism. Young babies, when there is stress around them and they cannot escape, defend themselves or change the situation, they shut down as a way of coping. But then it connects to your brain and now it goes from a temporary state, which it should be, to a long-term trait.
There’s nothing wrong with doing it that way if you could just drop it once you don’t need to be that way anymore. But of course, that’s not how it works. These coping mechanisms are unconscious, so they are not deliberately chosen. Therefore, they cannot be deliberately released either. We are not even aware of them.
The reason these patterns make you sick is because it turns out, as traditional medicine practices have always known, you can’t really separate mind from body, except in medical school. But not in real life.
Now Western medicine looks at the disease from a particular perspective. And you have to understand something about medicine: it’s science, all right. But it is also ideology. And there is a difference between science and ideology. An ideology is a view of the world that you are not aware of, of which you have hidden beliefs that you do not question. And that exists in all fields, be it science, politics, history, economics, or any field of human thought or research. So there are always hidden ideological biases in any system.
Now, what are the biases of Western medicine? The hidden biases are, number one, that diseases have physical causes, in the sense of genes or external forces like bacteria, viruses or toxins, or that the diseases are what we call ‘idiopathic’. [meaning] we do not know what the source of this is. So that’s a bias, it’s that the causes are purely physical.
The second bias is that diseases happen to organs. So you have heart disease, lung disease, connective tissue disease or liver disease or whatever, and then there are specialties designated to study diseases of these organs in depth. Then we separate the organ from the whole person.
We might acknowledge the role of the physical environment, but we are certainly not acknowledging the role of the social environment. Then it could clearly and trivially change your physiology in a fraction of a second. He would just have to let out a bloodcurdling, blood-curdling scream and brandish a weapon at you. And your physiology would change as well. Your hormonal glands would begin to behave differently. Your intestines would stop digesting. More blood would flow to your muscles and you would be ready to fight or flee. That’s an obvious example, where emotion changes physiology in a fraction of a second. Well guess what, that happens 24/7. So the interaction between physiology and emotions is constant. It’s just that we’re mostly unaware of it, unless it’s dramatic.
In general, the role of emotions is to invite in what is nutritious, welcome, and healthy and keep out what is unwelcome, dangerous, and toxic. So with some people, sometimes we will invite closer proximity, and other times we never want to be around them. That is the job of our emotions, to maintain those limits.
Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not accidental or fortuitous. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you, by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created obstacles to bring yourself.
We can view psychological problems, relationship conflicts, and illnesses as simply problems to get rid of, or we can view them as opportunities for learning, development, and growth. You don’t say to someone who’s just been diagnosed with cancer, ‘hey, great, this is a great teachable moment.’ But if someone wants to learn, if he starts asking why, he is a powerful teacher.
And contrary to what my profession believes, that these diseases have a life of their own, separate from the individual, this is not the case. They are processes within people, and people have their response-ability to affect those processes, once they get it, and they drop the automatic patterns that have been driving them.”
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