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Healing and the Scientific Method PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen Lawrence, M.D.   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 00:57

For the past five hundred years Western Scientific community has operated on the basis of what is called the Scientific Method. Western medicine subscribed not only to the Scientific Method but it also adopted the Germ Theory as the basis of its approach to disease. The Scientific Method required that for any medical approach to be accepted it must first pass rigorous scientific experiments, it must be proven and it must be reproducible. It must also fit within the existing body knowledge of what is accepted and acceptable.

While this is an extremely sound way to approach physics, mathematics and the other physical sciences, it does however, present some significant problems in the field of medicine and healing. While the physical sciences seemed initially to operate by fairly fixed scientific law the field of medicine does not. While the physical sciences could be proved or disproved by mathematics, when something was unable to be proved by a medical scientist it was simply labeled insolvable and left unapproved for trial or use by the medical community.

Fortunately this approach while "strictly" adhered to by the academic physicians, physicians in private practice constantly were leaving the scientific method to expand the horizons of medicine into areas where scientific theory would not work. Intuition was often required to solve medical problems and procedures were performed to investigate what was otherwise unexplainable.

The fields of nutrition, psychology, preventative health, and healing are still without complete recognition because they do not lend well to proof by scientific methods. Often the intuition of the physician has given birth to beliefs and treatments which worked long before the science was advanced far enough to prove them right. The use of herbs was wide spread long before scientific method could prove their value and long after modern drugs replaced herbs. Scientific techniques allowed us to realize the value of herbs and to synthesize their active ingredients into what we now purchase at the pharmacy at much greater expense.

One area where scientific research is still lacking is in the knowing what causes illness. For the most part the medical profession operates around the Germ Theory which suggests that all disease is caused by "germs" (bacteria, viruses). By current scientific methods one can prove that just about every infectious disease is associated with a specific germ. There are, however, major problems with this approach especially in the areas of when a "germ" cannot be found, why germs that we usually live with and who don't affect us suddenly attack us. It breaks down even further when we consider illnesses and diseases of the immune system, accidents, injuries, mental and emotional disorders and why these problems occur.

The medical community tends to want to say, "We have no answers now, were working on it," to these problems. The reason is that the medical profession is much more interested in the drug and surgical treatments and not so nearly as much in the cause and the ultimate long term affects.

The relationship between mind, emotions and belief systems and any condition that there is not clear and objective proof for, in the individuals who become sick is either not important nor meaningful for these types of conditions lend poorly to the scientific method.

The Scientific Method does not account for many aspects which may cause, potentiate or maintain illness and disease. No where in the Scientific Method can one find the spirit or spirituality, it cannot be tested for, proved or reproduced. No where in the scientific method can we account for will power, desire to survive, intention to solve problem, love, empathy or even fear. No where in the Scientific Method can we find or account for miracles, instantaneous healing, beating all of the odds or simply not dying when this is the expected outcome of a fatal disease.

The Scientific Method has great value in science and possibly one day we will better understand the laws that apply to healing, wellness and medicine, we do not have this knowledge today and to refuse to see this and to attempt to so rigidly refuse to accept what we cannot immediately see, is the antithesis of science. There was a time when an apple fell from a tree and there were no scientific answers to why this happened. There was a time when we looked out at the night sky and had many more questions than answers. Today, this is true of medicine, healing, wellness and life itself. As a scientist we can understand wanting to cling to the safety of the Scientific Method, as a human beings we may need to suspend science and try to understand what we cannot see until our eyes are opened and we finally begin to see the truth, human beings are special and they have special powers. They can heal themselves, they can heal their families, they can heal, their communities, they can most likely heal their world.