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Real Life Wellness-A History Lesson about Healthcare

By Dr. Bill Hemmer
I’ve often wondered why Natural Healing wasn’t the first thing Western Medicine used to help people.  More than 80% of sickness would never happen if diet, exercise, sleep and mindfulness were the frontline treatment done in a timely manner throughout life.  

Why do we wait until chronic diseases like Diabetes, Heart disease, Obesity and Arthritis get a hold of us before we seek any type of treatment or help?  Shouldn’t our healthcare have systems in place to keep us out of these messes before we get into them?  Isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?

I found a historical reason why Western Medicine is the way it is.  It all starts back in 1910 with a report funded by J.D. Rockefeller called the Flexner Report.  

Mr. Rockefeller was looking for a new source of revenue from the by-products of his booming oil refining empire.  He found out that newly discovered vitamins and the first drugs could be extracted from his oil by-products.  So, he commissioned Abraham Flexner to study Medical education to see how this education could help him sell his new products and services to the public.

In the early 1900’s, there were more than 160 Medical schools.  They taught Natural Healing methods, such as, Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Herbal Therapy, Nutritional Therapy and Manual therapy.  When Mr. Flexner visited all of these schools, he concluded that all of these teachings were not going to be helpful to Mr. Rockefeller’s new venture.

Once he visited the educational institutes in Europe, he becameinfatuated with the emerging German Scientific Medical model that was only interested in treating symptoms of disease with medication. Once he returned, he found his solution for Mr. Rockefeller business problem and wrote his report. 

This report “concluded” that there were too many doctors and medical schools in America, and that all the natural healing modalities which had existed for hundreds of years were unscientific quackery. The report called for the standardization of medical education, whereby only the AMA (another monopoly) would be allowed to grant medical school licensure in the U.S.

The vision for medical education narrowed medical schools’ interests to disease, and not on the system of health care or society’s health beyond disease. Preventive medicine and population health were not considered a responsibility of physicians, bifurcating “health” into two separate fields: scientific medicine and public health.

Once the report was finished, Rockefeller enlisted Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan to lobby Congress to adopt Flexner’s recommendations. Once those legal changes were in place, Rockefeller teamed up with Andrew Carnegie and started funding medical schools all over America on the strict condition that they only taught allopathic (Western) medicine.

Incredibly, allopathic (Western) medicine became the standard of care, even though at the time its main treatment methods where bloodletting, surgery (quite barbaric at the time) and the injection of toxic heavy metals (lead and mercury) to supposedly “displace disease”!

By 1935, all but 66 Medical schools were left.  All of them only taught about drugs and surgery and symptom management, not disease prevention.  No wonder we don’t hear about anything about prevention.  

Don’t you think it’s about time for a change?

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