How is modern medicine failing? Why is a more human approach required? This book challenges the dogma of modern technological medicine that ignores both the therapeutic effect of the doctors and the self-healing powers of the patient. It reviews the vast weight of evidence on the effectiveness of this ‘human effect’, and uses the evidence to describe how to use the human effect in everyday practice. This book is about a vision. A vision that practitioners and patients will recognise and regain their therapeutic potential. It provides a shift in perspective on what doctors can achieve. Thoroughly referenced, it is vital for general practitioners, and also very relevant to all doctors, nurses, health managers, policy makers and indeed patients. ‘Pendulums swing in most fields of life, and medicine and general practice are no exceptions. At the mid-point of the twentieth century the human side of medicine was well understood and implicitly accepted by most working practitioners. As the century progressed, the personal aspects came second (but now) the pendulum of thought has started to swing back again towards the personal.
Introduction. Part One: The history of medical practice: a review. Challenging the current therapeutic perspective. Challenging the conventional history of clinical medicine. Uniqueness in clinical practice: reflections on suffering. Doctors and patients: the therapeutic relationship. Part Two: Placebo theory and research: the physical healer. Using the placebo effect. Why do placebos work? How does the palcebo effect work? How can the mind effect the body? Evidence from psychoneuroimmunology. How the physician healer works: three theories. Part Three: Theory into practice: how do we improve of effectiveness as physician healers? Theory into practice I. Theory into practice II. Theory into practice III. Summary and conclusions.