Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Chicago

Building the Bridge of Healthcare

Sep 28, 2011 09:30AM ● By Darren Weissman

Modern medicine has been able to map the genome, create cocktail vaccinations to combat disease and raise billions of dollars in the name of millions of people that have lost their lives to cancer, diabetes, and many other debilitating degenerative diseases. It’s a herculean battle, as we live on the edge of our seats anticipating the next bubonic plague—the bird flu, autism and antibiotic resistant bacteria live in the undercurrent of what’s driving people’s choices.

While in the same breath, there is a growing consciousness today of the application of ancient healing arts and philosophies being used to support and discover the source of healing that comes from within. Research has revealed and validated that subtle energy methods and wellness care such as Chinese medicine, yoga, healthy eating and energy medicine can enhance and even reverse what science has said in the past is irreversible. This awareness is now in the forefront of our culture, enticing and driving us to take action regardless of the level of fear in our modern day world.

My intent for writing this article is to provide a deeper appreciation for the contrast and compliment between the western medical model focusing on eradicating symptoms and disease and the holistic wellness view aiming toward activating the body’s self-healing potential. Even further, to create a conscious vision of a healthy marriage between the two paradigms, bridging what seems to be other than love at first sight.

The ultimate vision of both perspectives is to improve the quality and sometimes quantity of life for the patient or client. The western model is an outside-in approach, aiming to control the body through biochemical means or surgery. In contrast, the holistic model is an above-down-inside-out approach, aiming to open communication and free an innate energy or life-force, empowering the body to produce the appropriate chemicals necessary for self-healing. Western medicine tends to be more of a reactive model, while holistic care tends to encourage clients to recognize and utilize active steps of self-care and empowerment.

The Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR), the medical world’s bible—used for teaching medical students—is a commercially published compilation of information on prescription drugs. It is filled with disease names that are updated annually whose approach is purely medically based. Strangely—in my opinion, lacking integrity—it’s financially supported in part by pharmaceutical manufacturing corporations which create the drugs listed within its pages.

One of the interesting aspects of the PDR is many, if not most, of the diseases mentioned in its pages are caused by a unique name called “idiopathic.” As grand as it sounds, idiopathic literally means unknown cause. In the medical world, an idiopathic diagnosis is often met with a Russian roulette approach. A blindfolded scenario of experimentation using pharmaceutical drugs approved for other disease processes in hopes they will also impact the current symptoms a patient is experiencing.

It’s a gamble many people opt to take as both they and their medical physicians are often ignorant of any other option. The challenge is each drug mentioned in the PDR has pages upon pages of what are termed side-effects. In actuality these are the direct effects of the pharmaceutical that for some people stay under the radar, causing no apparent damage and for others the physical and emotional consequences are catastrophic.

For example, many people (if not most) suffer daily with symptoms they learn to tolerate. Symptoms such as low grade headaches, fatigue, bloating, muscle and joint pain and an underlying feeling of anxiety and depression are commonplace, rather than rare occurrences. Upon visiting their physician—who runs a battery of diagnostic tests—patients are often told all of their results show to be within the normal reference ranges. They are commonly suggested to wait and watch the symptoms as, “Maybe they will just go away,” or even to take specific medications that are targeted at eliminating the particular symptoms. This often leads to further symptoms—caused from the effects of the medications—to which they are told to take more medication.

By the time a person finally decides to go the holistic route, they are often taking a handful of medications, knee-deep in medical bills and insurance papers, and nowhere closer to getting to the root of why their body has been speaking to them in the first place. As a holistic physician, I am grateful when a person chooses the natural route. However, waiting until all mainstream approaches are exhausted prior to seeing a holistic practitioner is also a limited approach to utilizing the fullest potential of what holistic care has to offer. It’s not that holistic care won’t benefit a person that is in a degenerative process. Rather, my purpose is to help bridge the gap between these equally valuable paradigms so the end user—you—are empowered with a conscious way to approach health care verses sickness care.

Growth is a natural byproduct of enduring stress. Just as the roots of a tree grows deeper because of facing strong winds, so do we. I encourage you to respond to the call of action that we’re all being asked to answer. Let’s come together on all levels and create not only the health care system we know is possible, but peace in the world that we also know is possible—it begins by building a bridge.

Darren Weissman, DC, is a Chicago-area holistic physician, author and developer of The LifeLine Technique. He teaches The LifeLine Technique in trainings around the world to participants from all backgrounds. For more information visit