Why Do We Care More About Disease than Health? | Martin Picard (2022)


Modern Western biomedical research and clinical practice are primarily focused on disease. This disease-centric approach has yielded an impressive amount of knowledge around what goes wrong in illness. However, in comparison, researchers and physicians know little about health. What is health? How do we quantify it? And how do we improve it? We currently do not have good answers to these questions. Our lack of fundamental knowledge about health is partly driven by three main factors: (i) a lack of understanding of the dynamic processes that cause variations in health/disease states over time, (ii) an excessive focus on genes, and (iii) a pervasive psychological bias towards additive solutions. Here I briefly discuss potential reasons why scientists and funders have generally adopted a gene- and disease-centric framework, how medicine has ended up practicing “diseasecare” rather than healthcare, and present cursory evidence that points towards an alternative energetic view of health. Understanding the basis of human health with a similar degree of precision that has been deployed towards mapping disease processes could bring us to a point where we can actively support and promote human health across the lifespan, before disease shows up on a scan or in bloodwork.

Keywords Health · Medical care · Genomics · Personalized medicine · Energetics · Preventative medicine

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