February 2012 John Weeks Round-up

By John Weeks 


In which the integrative medicine/health community, as Puer Aeternis, enters the Year of the Dragon
Comment: Is the integrative community a Puer Aeternis? This is the Jungian, dreamy "eternal boy" who refuses to grow up. The image came to mind last month while I wrote about the policy opportunities for integrative health care as described in the remarkable report The Affordable Care Act and Beyond: A Stakeholder Conference on Integrated Healthcare Reform. I juxtaposed the practical potential in this document from the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) and our lofty vision of transforming our healthcare system, on the one hand, with the fact that the only multi-stakeholder lobbying entity for the integrative health community can only support a not very well paid half-time executive director. This community would seem to want transformation without stepping into the messy, not very boyish, and not at all dreamy work of lobbying to get what we want. Thus Robert Bly's story of the puer aeternis came to mind. Can the community wake up, and step up?

I note with pleasure the efforts noted below as we enter the Chinese Year of the Dragon that commenced January 23, 2012. One website speaks of the dragon in remarkably integrative terms: " ... powerful almighty king because (the dragon) was made up of different parts of animals such as a tiger, fish, snake and an eagle. The Chinese dragon was not seen as a threatening evil being as we do in the west - rather a symbol of power, superiority and rule." One of my colleagues used street terms to describe the meaning of the Year of the Dragon: "It's the year to get shit done." Perhaps this is the time to cast off the puer aeternis and reveal the dragon!


Indian Health Service includes naturopaths, acupuncturists and chiropractors in loan repayment programs

A bit of integrative medicine histor