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Bruneau_1998 (1)

esponsibility for

esponsibility for health. Orthodox medicine and integrative therapies have similar objectives, to improve health and thereby the quality of life. Orthodox medicine is concerned with disease care, where integrative therapy is concerned with whole health, good and bad. Both forms of therapy have their place in health care and must be recognized in order to obtain maximum benefit for the public. Antiquity tells us that medicine is a blend of science, magic, myth and superstition. Today, Canadian society has lost many of its spiritual and religious beliefs. 1 Our selfdefinition is based on the physics of the last few hundred years that sees us as merely biological entities. 2 Isaac Newton, the famed physicist, held this belief in the late 17th and early 18th century. It was Newtonian physics that described the universe in a mechanical way to explain the movement of planets; mathematical and experimental proof was needed to explain a set of phenomena. Because of this, the universe was then thought to be a mechanical machine with a very clear set of rules that govern its function. This idea was extended to describe the body mechanically and chemically, and as a result, modern medicine approaches the body as such, using chemicals to suppress symptoms. Although this technological fix proves successful in treating some diseases, fundamental ideas like prevention, exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, the uniqueness of the patient and environmental pollutants have been somewhat ignored. 3 The

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