“There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible and wrong.” (Henry Louis Mencken)
The above is one of my favourite quotes. My father, a retired GP conscious of the trappings of pseudo-scientific thinking, shared it with me when in adolescence I began to collect quotes from people in a little notebook. . .
If you have a medical problem, what you need is a solution. Correct? Well, perhaps unexpectedly, that is incorrect. . . !
Solutions are not, actually, the best approach, for reasons I will go into!
If you care about your health, and the health of your loved ones, I would caution you not to look for solutions! (Don’t worry, I’m not saying to give up, either – I have an alternative strategy to offer below!)
What’s more, if you are being offered “solutions” or “evidence” or “results” or “testimonials”, you would in most cases be better off running in the opposite direction. This applies also to the slick-sounding “Evidence Based Medicine” accolade. Surprised? Read on.
In fact, more often than not, solutions perpetuate the original problem. This is an inherent flaw of NOT applying systems thinking to living systems. And the same is true in all fields (and industries) – although here I am focusing on medicine. . .
Everyone seems to believe that “results” and “evidence” are what count in medicine. So everywhere we turn we are being told about the “successes” and “solutions” available via 1001 different medicines, pills, supplements, techniques, machines, gadgets or therapies. Or, it may be that we’re being told, instead, about how “close” we are to a solution or cure from a new machine or pill that’s in development.
Naturally, once medicine has been commercialized, it will fall victim to this trend of pushing medical “solutions” and “results” and “evidence based” modalities in the same way that companies justify themselves by pushing t-shirts, cars, phones with fancy noises, dildos with flashing lights, you name it!
Ultimately, it does not matter if the medical approach is an officially sanctioned institutionalized one which carries academic approval, or an alternative modality, if the basic commercialized (and, let’s face it, psychopathic) behaviour pattern remains the same. . . !
I have trained in many therapies. Field Control Therapy (FCT), founded by Savely Yurkovsky MD, stands apart, and I use it more than others, and the reason I do so gives me pause for reflection:
Whereas the other therapies are solutions (or sets of solutions), FCT is a problem-solving system.
This is a key point and has been a highly personal observation that I came to in my clinical practice over the years.
Another therapy I know of which comes close, in this sense, is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – my second favourite – as it is also an effective problem-solving system, although not precisely enough or extensively enough to handle heavy metal toxicity well, which makes it inconsistent in modern populations, while still an excellent approach.
Conventional medicine probably comes in at third place, as this is also a strength of it as an approach – in that it does attempt to be a problem-solving system – and sometimes succeeds. However, the effort is – in the case of chronic diseases – severely hampered by both commercialism and, even more so, a poverty of systems thinking.
This leads to a prevalence of superficial (neat and plausible) “solutions” with a high tendency to worsen the original problem rather than assist the whole system to better health. This can change, however, once conventional medicine evolves to base its strategies on Living Systems Medicine.
Even or especially in a situation where nothing has ever worked, FCT represents an investigative system – a way of playing medical detective systematically in order to discover what factors or obstacles are blocking or slowing progress. Then the logical outcome of this is that this process in itself will tend to bring results. But the separate issue, worth emphasizing, is that unlike many therapeutic systems FCT is not exclusively about “results” but, even more importantly, about the “why” of past failures.
It is not that results are not important – in the same way as a cart is important but the horse that draws it is more so! And then, in turn, the question of what is ailing the horse. . .
“Evidence Based Medicine”, in the context of a horse-and-cart, is as if to say “Cart Based Transport” where the horse is sickly yet the researchers are only analyzing the cart, and seeking plentiful “evidence” of cart-related problems, while ignoring the horse!
There is nothing in the phrase “Evidence Based” which would lead them to consider the horse – or even to analyze what leads them to choose to look at the cart or the horse. Systems thinking is what would achieve that, but it is not a part of Evidence Based Medicine.
This may seem counter-intuitive, because, if you are like most people, the marketplace has subconsciously entrained you to think that what you want in medicine is “results” and “solutions” and “evidence” – and nobody has entrained you to ask instead for “a problem-solving system”.
That is why I set out to share this article – directly inspired by Dr Yurkovsky’s example and teaching – in the hope that I can do my little bit to help “re-write” some of those scripts in the collective unconscious of modern civilization!
Let’s imagine, by way of parallel, that you have a car problem and want to get it fixed.
At first, you might be willing to try any local mechanic. And that may work at least some of the time. Most mechanics have at least something to offer, or they’d be out of a job. So far so good.
But now let’s imagine that it turned out your car had a “challenging” or “unusual” problem, or perhaps the problem was not unusual but something was blocking the success of the repairwork. At this stage, you will begin to be more discriminating. This, incidentally, is the phase most of my patients are already in when they come to see me.
Suddenly, you don’t want to find just any old mechanic who can report “successes” and “evidence” and quote “numbers”. Now what you need is a mechanic who can analyze failed repairs and find out why they failed.
This is the crux of the article, and so I hope you don’t mind if I repeat that, for emphasis:
Someone who can analyze failed repairs and find out why they failed!
In short, you don’t need just an offered solution, of the “one-trick pony” sort that in my experience typifies most approaches in medicine – no matter how much evidence is or isn’t stacked up to support it. (And after all, who knows if that “evidence” really applies to YOUR engine – or even applies intelligently to ANY real engine!)
Instead, you want a genuine problem-solving system. (This also symbolizes the move from commercial medicine to genuinely scientific medicine).
Or, another way to put this – speaking now from the viewpoint of a healthcare practitioner – is that regardless of what therapeutic approach you practise, when things don’t go as planned or hoped, and progress is somehow blocked or slowed, what do you do then?
And what about all those “incurable” diseases which can supposedly only be “managed” because things are blocked right from the outset?
Do you have a systematic means of analyzing why your tools failed (or at least fell short) – of finding out which exact blocks, organs and pernicious factors are involved in a patient case, on any given day, and with what relevant systems criteria of priority for each?
Speaking for myself, during all my naturopathic, Chinese, homeopathic, nutritional, healing, detoxification, bioresonance, herbal and other healthcare courses, to the tune of tens of thousands of euros of investment and many years of my life spent in training, and in spite of having learned plenty of useful knowledge and skills, NOT A SINGLE COURSE ever taught me this, except when I trained with Dr Yurkovsky. That, in a nutshell, is why I am here now writing this and why when I am with my patients I focus on FCT as the jewel in the crown, so to speak, out of the options I can make available.
This also does not mean that I am arguing you should drop what you are doing in order to practise FCT. Make use of all your knowledge and skills, as I have done – but at the same time be prepared to learn a true problem-solving system which you can depend on when all the “solutions” have fallen short.
There is a fundamental difference between a solution versus a problem-solving system.
It is this: one is blind hope (often in the name of science), the other is science.
Hope can serve us well, and in most cases this relates to strategies that worked before in some cases, and therefore are repeated blindly in new cases formulaically without knowing the true reasons for success or failure, or the true causes of the problem at hand. Results, then, are likely to be inconsistent.
So when you have a supposed solution but it doesn’t work in a given case, you’re basically stuck after that, because you don’t know why and you’ve already “done what it said in the manual.” And what’s more, it may even have made matters worse (and often does). You are now faced with a choice: will you gloss over these failures and accept them as limitations of the therapy you are applying; or will you seek a problem-solving system that can be applied to investigate the true causes of illness and reasons for failure?
This is essentially where most alternative and conventional therapies are at, broadly speaking. They have useful solutions which work some of the time, but are not (and do not set out to try to be) true problem-solving systems capable of analyzing failures and deriving improved strategies consistently.
It is so because they have not been built up on failure analysis and innovative strategizing – which are the “bread and butter” of FCT (the reason for that being because FCT represents a clinical application of the Living Systems Medicine model – i.e., it is based on applying systems thinking to medicine).
This is the scientific approach, because science itself, as Dr Yurkovsky emphasizes, is about problem-solving – and, being a reality-based approach, science requires that when dealing with living systems, it is necessary to apply systems thinking, in the same way that a screwdriver is needed when using a screw, but not when using a nail. This also illustrates the reasons why Dr Yurkovsky observes that very few people actually understand science – including the “scientists” themselves! If they did, then they would be queuing up to learn about systems thinking and the properties of living systems. But they are not – yet.
When faced with problems (such as, for example, chronic diseases), the essence of science is not about “results” or “evidence” or “successes” or “solutions”.
(And I know that what I am writing here is flying in the face of an enormous amount of dogma to the contrary which has flooded the media and public consciousness in recent years – but all the more reason not to mince my words!)
That is also why so-called Evidence-Based Medicine is, contrary to popular belief, unscientific! – a controversial but important topic I will return to in a future blog post. . .
Instead, the essence of science is about applying a problem-solving system – and one which is based on the properties of what you are seeking to help and/or understand – in this case, living systems.