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Western medicine historically has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. That was appropriate as science began to define how the body worked and how it became ill. As diseases became defined, treatments became more sophisticated. As technology advanced, extraordinary treatment options and diagnostic testing became commonplace (heart surgery, MRI’s, etc). However, with all of the enormous talent and money focused on disease, the need to diagnose and treat dysfunctions largely fell to the complimentary therapies. The emergence of “holistic medicine”, once thought to be a fad, has become a multi-billion dollar business.

Still, the vast majority of the public would rather have science. We trust and understand numbers. We want technology and science to define dysfunction so that it is measurable, quantifiable, and well understood. We want predictability about the results of particular treatments and interventions. We want Western medicine to broaden itself to include the recognition and treatment of dysfunctions in addition to disease. We do not need new tests as much as we need a different type of analysis of the data we already have. It is a simple shift that only requires asking the question of why the body would have created these specific lab results, and then interpreting the lab data from that vantage point. Any effective treatment, complimentary or Western medicine, will be reflected in subsequent laboratories.

Evidence suggests that Americans underestimate what it actually takes to maintain our bodies well. Positive results require a mindset shift. Although the physical body is an extraordinary machine that works in amazing ways to keep itself balanced and healthy, it does demand maintenance. You have to earn your health. We all only have so much energy and we have to choose what in our lives we wish to maintain well.

Individual tests and scientific analysis can provide an appropriate program of maintenance, but the reality is that each person needs to take that information and assume responsibility for performing the maintenance themselves. A balance must be found for each individual. While most people don’t mind taking supplements for a period of time, they don’t want their whole life to revolve around a large number of vitamin and herbal bottles sitting on their kitchen counter. They will need to visit their physician on a periodic basis to check laboratory tests, find out how they are doing, and make the appropriate adjustments.

Author: Dr. David Luce

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a innovator and thought leader in the integration of Western medicine with complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Luce | MD

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a medical innovator, educator, public health advocate, and a leader in the integration of evidence-based Western medicine with complimentary therapies. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, Dr. Luce has over 20 years experience designing and implementing innovative treatment programs that restore health and wellness to his ...

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