July 5, 1974

Report Outline
Trend Toward ‘Whole Human’ Approach
Biofeedback: Mind-Body Links Revealed
New Assault on Psychosomatic Disorders
Receptivity to Exotic Medical Art Forms

Trend Toward ‘Whole Human’ Approach

The mystical interaction of mind and body in maintaining—or disrupting—human health was recognized intuitively long before the advent of modern medicine. So it would have been no surprise to the ancients to learn that certain men of science today are trying to “teach” patients how to relieve or cure physical ailments by concentrating their mental faculties on that goal. This remarkable process is known as “biofeedback,” a term redolent of the age of technology although its effects, if validated, are more suggestive of black magic. Nor would the ancients have been surprised to learn that other men of science are trying to reduce patients' mental and emotional miseries by dosing them with various miraculous potions or by cutting into their brains. Scientists call these measures “psychopharmacology” and “psychosurgery,” but despite the scientific non-menclature, these procedures also have mystic overtones.

Meanwhile, modern medicine is showing new respect for exotic therapeutic techniques developed outside the western tradition, which has relied mainly on “hard fact” knowledge provided by the scientific method. Scientists long have acknowledged the beneficial effects of herbal medicine used by primitive peoples, especially when the plant's chemical properties were assisted by the powers of “faith healing.” A number of medically useful modern drugs have been developed from herbal sources.

Respect for folk medicine was boosted 20 years ago when clinical trials proved the efficacy of the first tranquilizing drug, Reserpine, derived from a plant that had been used medicinally in India for more than 3,000 years. Now Western doctors are giving credence to evidence that acupuncture—practiced in China since 2500 B.C.—can suppress pain, even though science still cannot explain how or why it works.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Mar. 24, 2023  Aging and Mental Health
Jul. 01, 2022  Youth Mental Health
Jul. 31, 2020  COVID-19 and Mental Health
Oct. 11, 2019  The Insanity Defense
Jul. 12, 2019  Suicide Crisis
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
Biology and Life Sciences
Mental Health