Family Therapy as an Alternative to Medication: An Appraisal of Pharmland

By Phoebe S. Prosky; David V. Keith | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Rethinking Illness

Zhao Mei, MD

“You are old, father William, ” the young man said, “And your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head—Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Society is plagued by disease: indeed, disease is a part of the human condition. Despite advancements in medical technology and understanding, the abundance of medications and the proliferation of doctors, nobody is safe from its clutches. Disease is constantly around us and in us in one form or another.

Western medicine has an important role to play in health management, but we need to realize that this is not an exclusive role. Despite the amazing and rapid advancement in medical science in the past years, there are still many diseases whose causes are unknown and invisible. Good health is the result of finding and maintaining a physical, mental, social, and emotional balance so that the body can tap into its inherent healing power.

As a doctor, surgeon, and gynecologist in China for over twenty-five years, I was initially trained in Western medicine and have seen patients in large hospitals and small clinics and treated them for everything from colds to cancer. I have run expensive and highly technical diagnostic tests, prescribed medications, and performed operations. My patients looked to me to treat their disease and thus restore them to good health.

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