Monday, June 6, 2011

TNS#76: A Return to Healing

TheNextStep show #76 was taped 1/24/11, with Dr. Len Saputo about his book A Return to Healing: Radical Health Care Reform and the Future of Medicine (, I heard Dr. Len on last year, was very impressed and was delighted when a mutual friend introduced us and he was willing to come down to Palo Alto for a show.
Len founded the Health Medicine Forum in 1994 and subsequently founded the Health Medicine Center in Walnut Ck CA, one of the first clinics to bring the new model of integral-health medicine into practice. In addition to A Return to Healing, he is coauthor of Boosting Immunity and editor of six other books. Len and his wife Vicki produce a weekly radio show "Prescriptions for Health" Fri 9-11am on KEST 1450 AM.

From my show notes: Len's 4 principles of 'health medicine': integrated, holistic, person-centered, preventative. Conventional medicine focuses almost entirely on managing symptoms. New style of medicine needed: CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). The Orthomolecular premise: if all body cells were functioning perfectly, one would not be sick! The 4 factors of cellular health: nutrition, detox, genetic defects, psychospiritual factors. The 4 paths to cyto-pathology: genetics, toxins, nutritional deficiency, stress.

Reasons why a new approach is needed: US last place in preventable death among industrialized nations; cost of health care now causing a bankruptcy every 30 secs; premiums grown 4x faster than wages in last 8 yrs; 50% of all Amer. bankruptcy due to medical bills; obesity up to 33%/population now and #2 cause of preventable death; multiple chemical sensitivity now 30%/population; cancer up 85% since 1950, now 50%/population; "war on cancer" a failure: still #2 cause of death.

Len does a great job laying out the economic argument for universal health care. He supports 'healing circles'. He offers a 5-point plan for making America healthier:
1. Fund programs to make exercise universally available and attractive.
2. Tax junk food, subsidize sustainable farming and healthy foods.
3. Fund comparative assessment research for 'alternative' treatment regimes and require disclosure of all treatments supported by scientific evidence.
4. Provide broad support for preventive screenings.
5. Ban DTC (direct to consumer) drug ads, advertise healthy lifestyle.

I found Len personally charming and his book compelling, and hopeful. Check it out!
Great Albert Schweitzer quote: "It's supposed to be a secret, but I'll tell you... We doctors do nothing. We only help and encourage the doctor within."

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