True Health is More Than Just Biological
Youngsun Kim

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Visible to Invisible – A Paradigm Shift in Modern Medicine


The basis of Western medicine is formulated on a biomedical model, that is, a focus on disease that is defined by a biological defect visible in an image, laboratory, or under a microscope. The efficacy of this theory is evident in an increased life expectancy now noticeable all over the world. This theory has saved the lives of countless people; that cannot be denied. But, it is my opinion that it also lacks a fundamental holistic approach and is, for that reason, incapable of truly promoting wellness.

Let me explain. In no other way is the value of the biomedical model more evident than in Germ Theory. Focusing on sanitation and antibiotics, the theory revolutionized medication in the late 1800’s, leading to a phenomenal drop in mortality caused by infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, and countless others. It is no wonder, then, that following this monumental medical change the pharmaceutical industry was revolutionized dramatically. Consequently, the ways in which the body was treated by doctors started to encounter a massive paradigm shift. In fact, things changed so drastically that physical discomfort was no longer treated as a mechanical issue; rather, medication was administered to mask the pain. Thus, Germ Theory paved the way for a treatment of physical defects with the use of medications.

As such, it is in direct relation to these changes that, in modern times, people still seek a chemical answer to a mechanical problem. It is no wonder, then, that so many patients visit specialists in the hope of finding a physical defect that can be treated using medication. It just isn’t working.

I believe that people have developed a tendency to rely too heavily on medications, technology, and surgery in order to cure visible physical conditions or defects. Unfortunately, these measures are still widely considered as the best way to treat physical ailments. In consequence, so few people realize that, in the late 20th Century, researchers disproved the efficacy of this approach. This is what they found:

  • Healthcare costs are increasing dramatically because of the rampant, and oftentimes irresponsible use of the latest medicines, chemicals, and technologies.
  • Disease changes: there is no formula and no single drug that can eliminate disease completely.
  • Bad behavior translates into health problems: smoking, exercise, and sleep are but some examples of factors that affect our health and which cannot be cured using medication.

Thus, research has shown that there is a discrepancy in the way modern healthcare, especially the biomedical model, approaches the patient. It is clear that the biomedical model seeks to separate mental and physical issues, prescribing medicines for physical ailments without accounting for behavioral patterns or lifestyle. According to physicians, behavioral or mental afflictions are the responsibility of a therapist and are ‘unreal’ in the medical world. Not so: the flaw in the biomedical model lies precisely in the fact that health is more than a physical diagnosis; it is an understanding of the mental, physical, and spiritual aspect of the individual. Importantly, it is only when all these areas are looked at in relation to one another that true health can be achieved. Medications are just not the answer.

In America alone 7 out of 10 deaths are the result of chronic diseases that cost the nation $1.9 trillion in healthcare costs. And the worst part is, the patients are not being cured! A third of them die! What we are missing is that we are only taking care of the physical body, not the whole being. If more attention was paid to the mind, defects in the body could be attributed to habits, addiction, misunderstanding, depression, and a host of other behavioral issues. This diagnosis could ultimately lead to a CURE, not just a pretense.

Time and time again I have witnessed the power of the mind. It is the single most powerful weapon we have. When we are positive, our health improves accordingly. When we are negative, or angry, our back pain increases, our mood fluctuates, and our blood pressure rises. The mental and physical realms cannot be separated. Well-being isn’t the management of disease, it is the study of the mind in direct relation to the cause of the disease. We have to look at the root cause of the problem, be that mental, physical, or spiritual, in order to cure and prevent its reoccurrence. Health, happiness, and wellbeing are as a result of multiple factors; let’s break away from the stagnant thinking of the biomedical narrative and into a full, accessible life.

You are not a machine, and thus, should not be diagnosed like one. Doctors should not be computers solely interested in administering medications to hide the problems. Healing is not a product of medication or surgery; it is found in the strong relationships professionals can build with our patients and in the understanding of the whole person, not just the disease. Research shows that medical professionals need to look at the bigger picture and not just at the illness. A human being is the most sophisticated creature God has ever made, and understanding HUMANITY, understanding every single person as a unique entity with behaviors, habits, knowledge, feelings, and value, is the key to a true healing experience.

So, discard the outdated biomedical model and opt, instead, for a biopsychosocial model which includes mental health, preventative and wellness services, and chronic disease management. We need to focus on patient-centered care that’s of a higher quality, has greater accessibility, leads to greater patient satisfaction, and comes with a much lower price tag. Your life is not just something to be examined and treated without humanity. Wellness is not disease centered; it is defined by the radical inclusion of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing in order to experience a superior quality of life. Walk the path which leads you to the life you deserve, today!

Dr. Youngsun Kim
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