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Holism versus Mechanism [Extract from “Unspoken Voice”]

Most people address physical complaint to individual body parts: “ My neck is too short.” “My hips are too wide.” “I can’t reach my arm behind my back.” “ It hurts to bend over.” In our neighborhood crosswalk, we can see Mr. Carlsen has a stiff spine and aching knees.

Practitioners of conventional medicine and physical therapy view bodies as aggregations of damaged parts. They would Mrs. Garcia a shoulder brace and teach her some abdominal strengthening exercises. For Mr. Carlsen, they would advise pain medication and, eventually, knee surgery. While the medical model of the body can be lifesaving, many chronic problems —as displayed by the two people in the crosswalk— would be better saved by a holistic approach.

Unfortunately, conventional medicine’s endorsement of a mechanistic view of the body infuses our culture, influencing the way we regard and treat our bodies.

Among our bodies’ many complex and intricately interacting systems, the connective tissue system pervades and provides structure for all the rest. Like the global electronic Internet, it is a communication network that can connect any part to all the others. A short investigation of connective tissue will make it clear why healing posture involves more than repositioning an offending body part.

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