Questions about health care, doctors, medicine, ‘natural’ medicine, ‘spontaneous healing’, placebos, stress reduction, ‘Laughter - the best medicine’ etc.
I think medical science has saved my life several times. This topic isn’t questioning the value of medical science.
We know that many illnesses clear up by themselves. This is the ‘health care system’ of wild animals, and was the human health care system for a hundred thousand years.
Medicine men in pre-scientific times could burn sage and waft the smoke over a patient, maybe give him an expensive tiger tooth to wear around his neck. The problem would often go away. A patient’s recovery would add to the medicine man’s reputation. If the patient didn’t recover, the medicine man could easily provide reasons why not.
This is the ‘science’ of the placebo effect. Laughter, and being surrounded by supporters helps the sick recover. This is the ‘science’ of prayer as a healer. The opposite of this is the hex, making a doll to represent someone, then sticking pins in it, etc.
There are thousands of products on the market today that take the place of the witch doctor’s concoctions. People pay a lot of money for a mixture of herbs - they get better - they tell their friends - and the product earns a place on the shelves of health food stores, even drugstores. Eventually medical science tests the product, often finds no beneficial effects, (maybe finds negative effects), and the product slips out of sight to be replaced by other ‘placebos’ - potions that cost a lot of money and sport a brochure or WEB site with a list of testimonials that swear by the new miracle cure from the rain forest and ‘Swiss research’ etc.
But the point I want to make is that most illnesses probably clear up by themselves - no matter if an M.D., a hospital, naturopathy, or prayer claims the credit.
Zen literature says, ‘Eat 75 percent of your capacity; the other 25 percent is for your doctor.’ One thing that helps the naturopaths is that patients often give up a number of bad habits once they start paying a lot of money for herbs and office visits.