Complementary medicine



Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

An infodemic or being swamped with more information than our mind can process is what many of us have encountered in our attempt to seek  better understanding of the deadly coronavirus epidemic.  A considerable percentage of this information consists of advice on keeping physically and mentally sound in the light of the exponential spread of the virus. And fake news as well.

As expected, much of the health information comes  from the Western perspective on medicine. I quote from the viewpoint  of a friend who for the past 40 years had been involved in the study of  the relationship between mind, body, and spirit.  Grace B. Eleazar is a former director-general of the Philippine Institute on Traditional and Alternative Medicine (PITACH), which was a program of the Department of Health which then headed by Dr. Manuel Dayrit.  PITACH was an offshoot of Senate Bill 8423 on Traditional Medicine sponsored by the late senator Dr. Juan Flavier, making the practice of complementary medicine legal.

Grace focused her study on showing how the body functions in synergy with our mind, thoughts, and feelings and how the totality of our consciousness has a direct effect on the physical aspects of our body. Here, she offers an insight into the nutritional and spiritual aspects and what we can do about it.  She says:

Corona virus, SARS, and bird flu were all predicted by the forerunners of Complementary Medicine as far back as 80 to 100 years ago. Our nutritional deficiencies due to intake of processed and preservative-laden food, animal products fed with antibiotics and hormones, pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables, and pharmaceutical products, have brought about the conditions which we are in now. The resulting drug-based approach only addresses the symptoms in our bodies, without dealing with the root causes in our body’s inherent healing powers or immune systems that have been compromised due to unhealthy lifestyles and abusive reliance on drugs. I am not denying the effectiveness of Western medicines. They do jumpstart the healing process but it is only the innate intelligence in our body that can heal itself which we encounter in a ‘placebo healing experience.’

“Western medicine only enforces or triggers this natural process.

If It is this innate intelligence of the body that heals and not the medicines we take, does it not behoove us to study how our body functions and  optimizes this process? The quest just doesn’t improve our physical health but also our state of inner well-being. After all, won’t you agree that our mind, body, and spirit are all connected? I was asked: What is the meaning of all these global events? My answer:  That it is a wake-up call. The alarm has been ringing for quite sometime. When environmental issues started cropping up decades ago, we were too slow to respond.”

She, and I am sure, most of us have begun to realize the full gravity of this unexpected turn of events.  That there is no way of returning to our old lifestyle.  The impact of the pandemic on the economy, on the social and political life of the entire global community will soon be felt – in terms of governance and leadership, on social relationships, on consumption habits, and that we should be prepared to adjust to these radical disruptions.

COVID -19 Update:

As of time of writing, March 25 at 10 p.m., the number of those registered  positive with the virus in our country number 552; with 35 deaths.  There are complaints from several sectors - from medical frontliners, hospitals, etc., of the lack of appropriate personal protective equipment.

President Duterte signed the bill giving him special powers to act on priority needs – cash assistance to the poor, purchase of personal protective equipment, testing kits for health workers, and ensuring full coordination between production of commodities, delivery,  and utilization in the spirit of “bayanihan,” compassion, and solidarity.

Among the casualties of the pandemic are some prominent doctors and medical frontliners who have either died or tested positive for the virus and two national senators who tested positive. On the international front, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, Tom Hanks, among others, were likewise tested positive.

I am glad that the World Health Organization had corrected its usage of the concept, “social distancing” and replaced it with physical distancing.

A theory in social science (sociology, political science, communication),  social distance refers to an individual’s attitude towards those outside of his own social group. Thus, in a family-oriented social system as the Philippines, there usually exists social distance or lack of trust of others outside of family or close members of their social group.

My email is florangel.braid@gmail.com_