Mind-Body Medicine

02/14/2013

Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine faculty interviewed in Washington Times

There’s a problem, says Dr. Eric Willmarth, when patients get their expectations for recovery set by “a Xanax commercial.”

In much of medicine, it really is “mind over matter.”  The trouble is most doctors and hospitals don’t practice that way.

That’s why Dr. Donald Moss, chair of Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, told the Washington Times a story about a patient who had a heart attack, and whose “ejection faction”  (a measure of how well the heart was pumping) was at 60%.  His doctor told him “Your ejection fraction is 60%,” and left.

The patient assumed this meant his heart was functioning at 60% of capacity, and suffered a pronounced decline in his physical health.

But in fact, 60% is a *normal* rating for ejection fraction, and extremely good in a patient who’s suffered a heart attack.  Once this was explained to the patient, he made a full recovery.

The divide between what medical culture tells patients they ought to be feeling, and what they can actually do, is the subject of an article in The Washington Times online that interviews Dr. Moss and two other members of Saybrook’s Mind-Body Medicine faculty.

Dr. Willmarth, a leading expert in medical hypnosis and a member of Saybrook’s faculty, says there is a change coming, but it’s coming from the grassroots efforts of patients, who are demanding better treatments and declaring themselves independent of the pharmaceutical lobby.

This time it’s doctors and hospitals playing catch-up to what patients already know:  that a medical system that won’t talk to them, won’t explain conditions clearly, and especially won’t listen, is broken.  They can do better.

Posted at 02:02 PM in

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