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Michael Laitman, PhD

Being Well and Staying Well

“Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.”

--Dr. Martin Henry Fischer


Thousands of years ago, in ancient China, medicine was practiced quite opposite to the way it is practiced today. In those days, every household put a vase outside its door. As the healer made his daily rounds through the houses of the village, he would look into each vase. If there was a coin inside it, he took the coin and went on his way, knowing that everyone in the house was healthy.

If the vase was empty, the healer knew that someone inside was ill. He would enter and treat the patient to the best of his ability. When the sick person was well again, the daily payment of a coin resumed.

This was a simple method that guaranteed the healer’s interest in the health of his patients, for his payments continued as long as the patient was well. To maximize his profits, the healer needed the people under his supervision to stay healthy as much of the time as possible. For this reason, the healer would walk around the village in his free time, advise people on healthy living, and reprimand those who were negligent. If a person was stubborn and refused to lead a wholesome way of life, the healer would exclude him from his rounds and refuse him medical attention when he needed it.

This simple method guaranteed that both patient and healer had a vested interest in keeping healthy—a stark difference from our present approach to medicine.

In modern medicine, a physician’s salary is comprised of how many patients are treated daily, how many commissions are given by drug manufacturers, and how high the doctor’s rates are for services. Under private medicine, wealthier patients pay more for better doctors, which produces a skew in the quality of care available to those in lower income brackets.

In addition, today’s system penalizes a physician whose patients are healthy. In fact, the practitioner could theoretically starve to death or get a pink slip precisely because he or she has succeeded in keeping people healthy!

The drug companies, which we hail whenever they announce a new drug or treatment for an illness, are trapped in that same circle. If they produced a drug that actually made people well, they would go bankrupt. Hence, it is in their interest that we remain alive and unwell. The whole system—hospitals, drug companies, doctors, nurses, and caretakers—actually benefits from perpetuating our ill health. It is the only way healthcare workers can sustain themselves.

But this reality is not the fault of any one person. Doctors are not evil people, at least no more than you and I. They are trapped in a system that has been built to maximize profit instead of health and well-being. As a result, patients—ordinary people—must protect themselves by purchasing costly health insurance and depend on the judicial system in cases of malpractice.

This, in turn, forces physicians to buy costly insurance policies to protect themselves against malpractice suits. This whole system reflects a very sick situation!

And what evildoer has created this broken system? It is our own ignorance of nature. Indeed, the healthcare system is perhaps where the symptoms of seeing only one half of reality manifest most acutely.

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