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Synapse: October 17, 1974

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From 40 Years Ago:

Vol. 19, No. 6, October 17, 1974:

"Technology and science, once worshipped as the gods of our secular society, have lately been found wanting. People are wondering how the human qualities can be restored to a field which is now dominated by technology."

So reported the Synapse forty years ago in the article "Two-Day Seminar Explores Traditional Medicine" by Chris Jacobson. The program it highlighted covered a variety of non-Western approaches, including "American Indian medicine and medicine men, traditional and contemporary Chinese medicine, acupuncture, ancient techniques, and contemporary research into biofeedback."

"There is a growing conviction, held by people who work in health related professions and by those who receive health care," the reporter wrote, "that while contemporary Western medicine has made impressive technological progress in the treatment of disease, the humanistic aspect of medical care has declined greatly over the past three decades."

Today, science and technology has become ever more advanced, but debates continue over whether they have left us informationally rich but socially poor. Tension remains between believers in conventional medicine, allopathic medicine and other approaches to healing. We are not precisely where we were then--for example, medicine is not as paternalistic as it once was--but as this article shows, the more things change...