“Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.” – Paracelsus
The achilles heel of reductionism is the almost inevitable loss of perspective on the whole that comes as a result of the obsessive and narrow focus on the parts. Western medicine is suffering greatly under this limitation at this juncture in history. Its advances have come at a terrible price, and we now find ourselves in desperate need of regaining perspective on the matter of health and wellness.
The answer I feel will not come from digging deeper, but from stepping back. It would be foolish to argue that the medical advances and the accumulation of knowledge of the last 100 years have not helped us, but one would have to be equally imperceptive to not notice that we’re quickly digging ourselves into a hole that is shutting out the light of understanding. Our understanding of the minutiae is constraining to pigeonholed medical interventions, moreover, our interventions are colliding in ways we couldn’t possibly have anticipated due to drug interactions, energetic complications, etc.
If there is anything to be gained from the recent push toward integrative medicine, where modern discoveries and best practices are coordinated with the many valuable tools and approaches which were abandoned in the fanatical pursuit of the science of medicine. Art and medicine can be reunited, but to do so we must step back a bit, regain our perspective on the processes of life which can and will work in and through us if we act in accordance with them, rather than seeking to control or suppress them at every turn.