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Do You Know Your Inner Doctor?

DOCTOR

By Michael Dorfman

You know your family doctor, your dentist, your skin doctor, but do you know the doctor within you?

In the words of Hippocrates, “Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

The ancient Greek physician freed medicine 2,500 years ago from the shackles of magic, superstition, and the supernatural. He saw medicine as a rational science, and for this he is still widely accepted and revered as the father of Western medicine.”

Proof of that is the Hippocratic Oath, which many medical schools ask potential doctors to abide by. It deals with the physician´s humanistic treatment of patients, with an emphasis on not doing harm, the respect for confidentiality, and the passing of medical knowledge to the future generations of doctors.

Unfortunately, most graduating medical students never learn that Hippocrates was a holistic doctor, in that he treated the whole patient and not just the disease. He saw the physician as the servant and facilitator of nature. All medical treatment was aimed at enabling the natural resistance of the organism to withstand and overcome the disease and to bring about the recovery, health, and harmony to the afflicted person.

The problem today is that nobody tells us about our inner doctor. Not our teachers, not our parents, nor the media…not even our doctors. So we grow up believing that it´s the “external” doctor who is responsible for curing our illness or disease. Not much credit is given to our body´s natural capacity to take care of itself 24/7 without our intervention. It unconsciously controls breathing, the beating of the heart, blood circulation, and food digestion. Our bodies know how to fight infections and warn us, with pain or discomfort, when something is not right. Can you imagine having to remember to take a breath every few seconds? I have trouble remembering to take out the garbage. If those responsibilities were left up to you and me, we would have kicked the bucket a long time ago.

What about the external doctors? Hippocrates then goes on to say: “The greatest medicine of all is teaching people how not to need it.” In other words, the main role of a good external doctor is to work hand-in-hand with our inner doctor to help our bodies maintain optimum health and well-being and, if we do get sick, to help our bodies cure themselves.

If we ignore our inner doctor, we put ourselves in the hands of the external doctor, who has, for the most part, been trained for treating the symptoms rather than the causes of diseases. In most cases, he or she does not have the time and/or the preparation to focus on disease prevention and reversal. In that case, I believe that caring for and respecting the needs of the “inner doctor” is each individual´s responsibility.

 

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