Alright, it might not happen with cats and dogs.
Nor Republicans and Democrats.
Certainly not Yankee fans and Red Sox fans, but over the past 3 decades, the gap between Alternative Medicine and Standard Medicine is slowly but surely being bridged. The catalyst was the New England Journal of Medicine article in the late 1980s which noted that a significant number of people were using Alternative Medicine in one form or another.
Since that time, medical schools have begun teaching introductory classes on a variety of subjects and CEU-based workshops on acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition are commonplace. Those medical school graduates from the 1990s and beyond have been exposed and many have accepted or at least tolerated it. The open ones have whole-heartedly embraced it, often working with Nutritionists, Acupuncture Physicians, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and the like. The end result is that the patient receives care from both worlds, so to speak. In other words, they are receiving Health Care, not disease management.
During my years in practice, I was in the most fortunate position of working with an M.D. who, aside from being brilliant (he was a neurosurgeon too), was very open to the types of therapies that I practiced — acupuncture, herbal medicine, applied kinesiology, blood test analysis etc. In fact, once we became familiar with each other and our methods, he would insist that his patients see me for either a nutritional consultation or a Hair Analysis (aka Trace Mineral Analysis).
As mentioned, I felt very fortunate working with him as well. As one would imagine, some patients needed Standard Care. Their illness was advanced and pharmaceuticals or surgery were the best option. In other instances, I simply could not identify what the issue(s) was (were) and needed a second set of eyes. I was grateful for this. Our patients were ecstatic.
When Dr. Kimbell and myself were working in this situation, the trend was just beginning. Now it is much more popular, albeit in at a slower rate than I anticipated. Some doctors are simply threatened by anything unfamiliar to them. Same with patients. Facts, history and proof cannot overcome this ego-driven, emotional reaction.
If I could look into the crystal ball, in 50 years (hopefully much less), I could foresee the day when it is commonplace to see hospitals in America following a model used by the Chinese.
The Chinese hospitals are divided into 3. There is the Standard Care wing (virtually identical to our hospitals — surgery, pharmaceutical therapies etc.) , the Traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition) wing and the Qi Gong wing (energetic therapy).
Perhaps the third wing would end up looking more along the lines of Spiritual/Psychological wing consisting of anything from stress management to counseling to prayer.
There are facilities that are based on my guess, though not divided equally into thirds.
Maybe it really will not take 50 years.
David is a Nutritional and Alternative Medicine Expert, Educator and Entrepreneur. As an Acupuncture Physician and Master Herbalist, he has created the best selling anti aging formula, Doc Wellness Supplement and the online school – Dr. Orman’s Wellness School.