By: Dr. Pierre Ghassibi -10/22
This article here is perhaps another repetition of what I wrote before, but I hope to crystallize some vital points regarding hard to diagnose and treat conditions.
The acute day to day problems have defined diagnostic procedures and treatments: Ear infections, sinusitis, acute back pain, sprains, poison ivy, etc., are straightforward conditions that can usually be diagnosed and treated right away. Many Minute Clinics are popping here and there, and they do a good job. At any rate, many of these ailments can also go away on their own.
Persistent back pain, chronic migraine, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, could have different causes. The cause is often hard to find, and treatment is not curative. If a specific cause is hidden, how can we remove it? However, Medicine is better at treating the killer diseases than those that slowly keep torturing us. We know what to do for a specific cancer, a broken bone, a pneumonia, but fibromyalgia eludes us.
The Minute Clinics cannot deal with chronic diseases. This is the job of the Primary Care Provider with help from specialists. Since the causes of these chronic diseases are often hidden, since Medicine does not have a quick fix, we usually prescribe medications that numb the brain without hitting the cause. We prescribe lifestyle modalities because we do not possess any specific treatment. However, these non-pharmacologic approaches do help by increasing the happiness hormones and relaxing the muscles and the soul.
Light clean eating, sharing time with friends, Tai chi or Qigong, music, avoiding toxic substances and toxic people, do contribute to “better being” if not to wellbeing.
To sum up, Tai chi and Qigong for these conditions, help more than pills, although pills may be needed too at times.
How many of us prescribe Tai Chi or Qigong? When I visited China, I saw hundreds of people meeting in a park to practice their Tai chi at 5 in the morning. It was always a beautiful sight.
Once I saw a procession of a hundred older people singing and dancing on the sidewalk in the evening. When I asked what it all was about, they answered that they do this once a month to celebrate being Elderly Chinese!
P. Ghassibi, MD