A new look at medicine

By Roger Hollands

A spoonful of sugar may not be enough to get the medicine down.

On Mon., Jan. 28, Dr. Erminia Guarneri, Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director for the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California, delivered a lecture on the need for integrative health practices in day-to-day life.

"This is the typical American meal," she said, gesturing toward the image of a gravy-laden steak and potato dinner. "When you have a high-fat diet your vessels can’t dilate and over time, this leads to hardening of the arteries."

With a background in Biological Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York, a Medical degree from the SUNY Medical Center in Brooklyn and an English degree from New York University, Guarneri challenges traditional practitioners in her approach to medical treatment.

She contended that modern medical procedures, although successful in and of themselves, do nothing to treat long-term illnesses.

"We are very good at treating acute emergencies," Guarneri explained. "But we are bad at chronic disease management."

Guarneri’s primary criticism of modern medicine is that it leaves victims of disease incapable of self-administering care beyond acute medical treatments.

"How can somebody go through coronary bypass surgery only to return to a lifestyle that does nothing to help their problem?" she asked.

Guarneri explained that patients of the Scripps Center are placed on long-term health plans to treat coronary diseases, an approach that encompasses the whole individual.

"My whole goal is to motivate people by feeling good," said Guarneri. "[North Americans] focus on quantity of life instead of quality. What kind of an existence do you have if you are hooked up to a machine and can’t move?"

Guarneri suggested that a healthy diet and attitude can accomplish more than traditional and highly invasive surgeries. She also discussed a relation between mind, body and spirit.

"If you heal the soul you will heal the body," she said.

Guarneri’s presentation sponsored by the Faculty of Kinesiology and was the second in the Kinesiology Active Living Series.

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