The New Medicine

The following quotes are excerpted from an article in SFGate entitled, “Osher Center marries Eastern Medicine with Western.” Published MARCH 2011

The Osher Center…offers physicians trained in integrative medicine, as well as specialists in traditional Chinese medicine, biofeedback, guided imagery, therapeutic massage and ayurveda consultation. There are a range of public programs and lectures, including how to prepare for surgery and how to be mindful in childbirth and parenting. Some of the group classes include tai chi, laughter yoga and meditation.

For the cancer, she (a breast cancer patient) has had 18 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and 30 lymph nodes removed, and she is now undergoing 25 sessions of radiation.

For her body and mind, she is getting acupuncture, Chinese herbs and a diet rich in cancer-fighting foods. She also practices visualization.

“My feeling is that Western medicine treats the disease, and Eastern medicine treats the whole body and whole person,” said Ward. “When you are diagnosed with cancer, that doesn’t mean it’s what you are. You have the rest of your body and future, and you need to be strong and sustain yourself.”

“What we are trying to do here is really to transform medicine,” Barrows said (a family physician).

‘Treating the garden’DSCF0918

“The other doctors are looking at treating the weed,” Pamasik said. “Dr. Abrams is about treating the garden.”

Abrams, an oncologist for 30 years who completed a two-year fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, sat in his office sipping green tea.

“I focus on things including nutrition,” he said. “I co-manage my patients with a traditional Chinese medicine person. I’m big into medicinal mushrooms. I talk with patients about supplements. So often, cancer is about losing control. It’s given to the person doing your chemo, and your radiation. My job is to re-empower my patients, to give them things they can control.”

Abrams added, “You know how I end all of my appointments with patients? I ask them: ‘So what brings you joy? What are your hopes? Where does your strength come from?’ Then we come up with a recipe to continue to obtain that joy.”


The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine was founded by Dr. Andrew Weil. May we follow in the footsteps of these progressive thinkers–taking back our kitchens, our bodies & our minds. We can demand the necessary changes in healthcare, thereby paving the way for the future of the new medicine. -BigMama