Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 481
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page


 
 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 334-335

Quantum view of medicine and its implications


Department of Medicine, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication9-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Padmanabhan Vijayaraghavan
Department of Medicine, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_79_17

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Vijayaraghavan P. Quantum view of medicine and its implications. Int J Acad Med 2017;3:334-5

How to cite this URL:
Vijayaraghavan P. Quantum view of medicine and its implications. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Jul 23];3:334-5. Available from: http://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2017/3/2/334/222480



To the Editor,

The term “quantum” refers to the smallest amount of a physical quantity that can be counted or measured. The name “quantum mechanics” is derived from the observation that some physical quantities can change only in discrete amounts (Latin quanta) and not in a “continuum” way. The theory and practice of medicine needs to be understood in a similar “quantum” rather than the “continuum” way if the observed phenomena in the world of medicine are to be fully accounted for. For example, when a disease is understood to be nearly incurable by conventional medicine and is cured by an unexplained alternative medicine, this cure is usually overlooked or disregarded as an “exception.” The quantum view of medicine can explain such apparent variations or exceptions.

We understand the theory of a disease (its causation and treatment) based on some scientific principles. There is a flow of logic from one aspect to the other in a continuous way as in the case of Era 1 or “body” medicine (structure-based), which constitutes most of conventional medicine. The recently understood Era 2 or “mind-body” (thought-based) and Era 3 or “mind-body-spirit” (feeling-based) medicine have their own way of understanding disease causation and treatment.[1] In practice, all these three “Eras” of medicine operate simultaneously (involving structure, thought, and feeling) in varying proportions in different individuals, with both conventional and alternative medicine having components of all three “Eras” within them.

If such a phenomenon of simultaneous working of different “Eras” is to be explained, we need to visualize medicine as consisting of “quanta” of these different “Eras.” While conventional medicine is currently having Era 1 (body) as its main component with the nursing profession mainly providing the Era 2 (mind-body) and Era 3 (mind-body-spirit) components, the various streams of alternative medicine apparently have Era 2 (e.g., hypnotherapy) or Era 3 (e.g., faith healing) as their main operative component. The outcome of a disease process would be decided by the relative “quanta” of Era 1, 2, or 3 components in operation for the disease in question at the causative and therapeutic levels. The physician would use one of these “Eras” preferentially, depending on his own training and temperament.

While we see quanta of different “Eras” in operation in the same patient, each quantum will have its effect independent of what precedes, follows, or accompanies it. Medicine in real time operates in such a quantum way. This is supported by the fact that a high proportion of all patients who are treated by conventional medicine are apparently benefited by concomitant use of some form of alternative medicine.[2] The Era 2 and Era 3 components in the different forms of alternative medicine apparently contribute substantially to their unexplained effectiveness.

There is need for a common coherent model to understand and assimilate the different philosophical approaches of conventional and alternative medicine.[3] The quantum view of medicine, by understanding conventional and alternative medicine in terms of the three “Eras,” gives a meaningful basis to comprehend all three. It paves the way for a system that values the individual doctor's subjective experience in treating patients on par with acquisition of scientific knowledge in the concerned field. It provides a common platform for teaching and learning all three “Eras” – the body, mind-body, and mind-body-spirit components of medicine. It allows the inclusion of positive thoughts and an empathetic attitude toward the patient as integral parts of therapy.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Padmanabhan V. Becoming Aware of Mind-Body-Spirit Medicine; 2014. Available from: http://www.futurehealth.org/articles/Becoming-Aware-of-Mind-Bod-by-Vijayaraghavan-Pad-Attitude_Body_Compassion_Comprehensive-140426-607.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 07].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. Available from: https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 07].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
FDA and the Challenge of Alternative Medicine: Realistic Assessments and Regulatory Flexibility. Available from: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8852106/Tricia_M_Hwang.pdf?sequence=1. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 07].  Back to cited text no. 3
    



This article has been cited by
1 The need for empathy-based medical education
Vijayaraghavan Padmanabhan
Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences. 2019; 7(1): 136
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed779    
    Printed31    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded15    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]