Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard educated physician, has spent a lifetime investigating natural and preventive medicine to provide a unique approach to healthcare, which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is a columnist, as well as a frequent guest on the former Larry King Live Show, Oprah, and the Today Show. He is also the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson.
During his presentation on November 16, 2011 at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara Dr. Weil stated, “Gratitude is a healing agent.” He then went on to say that there are two sides to gratitude—feeling gratitude and expressing gratitude. His delightful talk about health took each point, as shown with gratitude, a step deeper than normal conversation. I felt fortunate to be sitting within a short distance from him with an audience of over 1500 people, as I could see and feel his passion for a more natural health care system.
I’m very interested in healthcare and I’m a firm believer that the public should have a choice in the form of healthcare they desire and that works for them. I attended Dr. Weil’s lecture because of his work in creating a different health care system – one that tends be responsive to the interests and needs of the individual.
I was particularly interested in his ability to keep referring to health in terms that places the individual in charge of his own health. His reference to the root word for medicine, which indicates to meditate, was interesting because medicine is most commonly thought of today in terms of the use of drugs. Another idea he spoke about that caught my attention was that who you spend your time with is important. In this way you can improve your health by choosing to be with people who exemplify the life style that you wish to emulate.
There were serious and lighthearted moments in Dr. Weil’s presentation. The audience chuckled when he commented that children have more problems now than in earlier times because of excessive worry about dirt. This absence of dirt can prevent a natural immunity to dirt that is gained during those young years. I couldn’t help but think about my daughter being reprimanded by another parent when my grandson was allowed to stomp around in a muddy puddle on the school playground.
The last tidbit that I’ll share was his explanation of antibiotics. The word biotic refers to life. So anti-biotic means anti-life, opposed to life, so he counseled, “beware of the use of anti-biotics.”
All in all, a wonderful way to spend an evening – listening to thoughts on health to treat the mind, the body, and the spirit.