MEDICINE IS CHANGING–DRASTICALLY
The Power of Context
PART 3 of 4 articles
As Malcolm Gladwell states in his book “The Tipping Point”:
“Epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur“.
What is it that changes everything…something about our circumstances or awareness that moves an idea, service or product into the forefront and into Mainstream acceptance? Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “The Tipping Point” is all about that, and we’ve been exploring his 3 main ideas. This month’s article is all about the CONTEXT that creates acceptance and breakthrough to success.
Power of Context #1:
The context was The 2016 Olympics in Brazil, with billions of people watching worldwide. What were those purple circles on multi-Gold Medal Winner Michael Phelps’ back and shoulders?! Curiosity was peaked, the media got excited, and our phone began to ring at the clinic for an ancient Chinese Medicine technique called “cupping”. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/do-purple-dots-michael-phelps-back-work?page=2
Chinese Medicine Practitioners couldn’t have paid for better advertising! The education that came along with the news coverage of the Olympics helped to bring the value “home” to people all over the world. Talk to anyone…it will be hard to find someone in your circles who doesn’t know about cupping after the Olympics. Superstar, Michael Phelps has set the stage for more prominence and awareness of Chinese Medicine. Thank you, Michael, for the medals and the massive exposure for our medicine!
Power of Context #2:
LESS TRUST IN THE ESTABLISHMENT
One thing which clearly stands out in this 2016 Presidential contest is the unprecedented level of distaste for the establishment being exhibited by a large segment of our population. One such area of distrust is with our food supply. The incestuous relationships between the FDA and Big Pharma and between the FDA and the Biotech/Genetic Modifying companies, for whom Monsanto is the poster child, are becoming more common knowledge in the mainstream through the various GMO Labeling Campaigns and their hard fought victories and losses within the states. Early this summer, a federal law was passed by about 60% of our Senate which invalidates the rights of states who DID pass such laws, e.g. Vermont and Oregon. Not sure who those lawmakers thought they were representing, but it doesn’t appear to be “the people”. It’s fairly common knowledge among those closer to the topic that Monsanto had a large hand in writing the law. As more people begin to recognize what’s happened, it brings further distrust of government and lends more credence and interest in buying local and knowing who has their own chickens!
I’m Excited About this One: The Organic Movement is no longer a “fringe” interest group, and this is a measurable statement. A 2011 poll from Thomson Reuters found 58% of America prefer organic food. The Organic Trade Association, in their 2014 massive survey, found that 45% actually DO buy organic for some, if not all, of their food. And, to top it off, it’s across all regions of the country and all ethnic groups, for nearly the exact percentages as the ethnic groups themselves are a part of the overall population. It seems all types of people around the country are onboard with the concept of “clean food”!
Power of Context #3:
COST & COMPLEXITY OF THE MEDICAL INSURANCE SYSTEM.
Insurance isn’t paying so well anymore. It’s hard to figure out. It’s hard to use. It’s even painful! And Obamacare has its own Light and its own Dark side….well dark sides. One is that Natural medicine is barely included, although there is one Marketplace plan that has acupuncture. For another, to the aware observer of pricing models, it appears that Big Pharma and Big Insurance had a major hand in writing these policies and are making some serious money. Nope, health insurance today isn’t what we grew up to expect it to be.
It’s Painful & Stressful: I’m watching an injured friend laboriously negotiate the volume and complexities of medical bills she’s receiving, post nasty car accident. The number of different bills from different places just keep arriving. Her table is filled with piles of bills and papers. Mind you, she’s still in a neck brace and healing from 9 broken ribs, 2 months post-accident. Here’s her experience:
“Having insurance gives you a false sense of security. Insurance is really NOT there as you’d expect when you actually need it. Even though you’ve done your part for the last 30 years, paying that bill every month, if you have an accident, all of a sudden the burden of proof, and negotiating/ensuring payments are made, are on you!
I spend hours and hours on the phone. You talk to one person who sends you to another person who sends you to yet another person. It’s the money game. The hospital wants the insurance company to pay them directly because insurance will pay more than Medicare. But the insurance company drags its feet because they want Medicare to pay. Then the warning letters arrive that bills are past due. Now you have to call and call to try to straighten out the situation. This shouldn’t be happening at all. The whole system is insidious.”
Not to mention, medical bills are also considerably more expensive if you are under 65 when Medicare kicks in. People regularly claim Bankruptcy due to medical bills. I know, I used to assess and approve people for rentals. I learned quickly to look at the reason for the bankruptcy. If it was for medical bills, that had little or nothing to do with their ability to manage their finances. It was a financial hurricane, and you can only do so much to prepare for one of those.
Some were and still are Opting Out of Western Medical Care
Prior to our new Government-mandated insurance, many people simply had no insurance. Of course, our tax dollars were paying (and still do for some families).
Some of us had Catastrophic Coverage plans meant primarily for urgent care situations. As you would expect, Dr. David and Deb’s personal healthcare model isn’t the current mainstream American way. At least not yet. But that’s what we’re exploring in this article series, isn’t it?! People’s choices are definitely broadening and changing as they “hear” and discover more benefits of taking their power back and healing with Natural Medicine.
The Value of Insurance Today
Another thing I hear Dr. David say is: “I diagnose you with ‘Too Good of an Insurance Plan’.” Oftentimes in our Western healthcare system, having “good coverage” seems to lead to additional procedures and prescriptions simply because the provider believes they can get paid for it. Sometimes it truly isn’t necessary, and these procedures and medications can prove to be harmful. Isn’t health insurance supposed to help us be “Well”? This is the opposite of what health insurance should provide!
Our health insurance companies oftentimes work as though they are against their customers. Add to that the costs– and the dangers of Western medical care–and we understand why more and more people are looking for safer, cheaper alternatives that cause less stress and offer effective natural remedies. Add education to that, and health care consumers regain the power to heal themselves naturally. Most natural care providers are also educators at heart. Taken in total context, the Natural Healing Way is often much cheaper. For those interested in aging superbly, Prevention is FAR less expensive in both monetary and quality of life areas.
Power of Context #4:
SOCIAL GROUPS: Family & Friends
Medicine begins at Home and in small, social groups such as churches and hobby clubs. As an example, within a social group that has a treasured member with severe gluten intolerance issues, an incident of that person perhaps going to the hospital can “wake up” that group to the issue. They take note. They become careful and considerate for that member. They certainly don’t want to harm their loved one! They may even become curious about the issue for themselves, prompting them to do their own research and possibly make a different choice in their own lifestyle. The frequency of people with clear gluten issues has been steadily increasing over the past 30 years. Everyone at least knows about it by now.
This Context has up-close and personal power to begin changing the system. Ten years ago finding gluten-free bread or baked goods was hard. It’s considerably easier now. I went to a P.F. Chang’s Restaurant recently and was ASKED if I’d like a Gluten-Free Menu. Now that’s pretty awesome! Awareness has definitely moved into the mainstream in this case, and all the political & public media hoo-ha (well deserved) over GMO’s and eating Organic vs. Pesticide-sprayed foods, and chemical and probiotic laden animal protein, has made a difference.
Power of Context #5:
INFORMATION IS EVERYWHERE
We live in an era in which health information is available on smartphones, and chain drugstores offer walk-in medical clinics (which I see someday having natural medicine practitioners too!). The ready access to information is helping people understand and make other choices. There’s no going back to the darkness of not knowing, unless a person decides to ignore it all. When they get sick, though, more of them will explore the Natural Healing world now than they might have 10 years ago. Natural Medicine is steadily coming into the mainstream consciousness. Oh, and let me say one more time, “Thank you, Michael Phelps!” Your example just blew the bubble bigger for more people to become aware/be reminded of the efficacy of Chinese Medicine. The World’s top Winners use it, so it must be good!
With this 3rd article on our topic of how Natural Medicine is growing in acceptance and use. We’ve covered the 3 conditions required to move a Fringe idea, service or product into the Mainstream:
- #1 The People: Knowledge, connection, and salesmanship behind the New Thing..
- #2 The Stickiness Factor: What makes the New Thing memorable and desirable?
- #3 The Context: Infrastructure and circumstances of the time that support the New Thing.
In our next and final article, we’ll investigate some new areas of research that are guiding lights in the “new” science arenas of human health.
To Your Health,
Dr. David and Deb Martín and Staff
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area, including Cape Coral, Estero, Lehigh, Bonita Springs & Naples with acupuncture, massage, reiki, food healing, food consultations, energy healing, functional medicine, natural medicine.