Slow Medicine and Mindful Living
As slow food with its focus on the mindful process of eating, slow medicine is opposed to recent tendencies of unnecessary overcomplication and industrialization. Nowadays, health professionals have to be productive and quick in their decisions, but sometimes it is important to slow down and think deeper about work performance and its outcomes. Slow medicine is a concept that could be explained in various ways, but the accent is always on a mindful studying of patients’ life conditions and anticipation of a treatment’s advantages and disadvantages.
There are various views on slow medicine in the medical community, which provided me food for thought. In the perspective of Dr. McCullough, in geriatrics, it is valuable to be reflective and cautious considering elderly patients’ needs and avoid possible risks (Schumann, 2014). Dr. Sweet promotes slow nursing and treating the human body as a garden. Cohen and Hochman note that in the growing number of medical gadgets, patients and doctors have to go through the exhausting process of changing their habits. Hence, practitioners should carefully consider if new methods will make a difference for their patients before their application.
However, I suppose that the best definition of slow medicine was presented by Dr. Finkelstein. He considers that living from the heart and purposeful reprioritizing is the driver giving patients energy to heal (KPIX CBS SF Bay Area, 2015). Our condition is affected by a great variety of factors, but the most essential is our set of daily habits that ultimately shape our lives. Today, many people live in a world of overabundance: they have the luxury of free time and money to spend.
However, they often lack the most valuable things as they are detached from the world and people around them. The fast mode of living prevents people from meaningful communication and exposure to nature and art. Stress and dissatisfaction with life result in many diseases which could be treated by conscientious reprioritizing and small steps towards purposeful living.
The concept of slow medicine relates to the ideas of slow food and slow living. The emphasis changes: both practitioners and patients could “take a deep breath” and look at the problem from a wide perspective of their daily living patterns, consider effective changes, measure the risks and opportunities of possible treatment. The pressure of fast living disconnects people from themselves, and slow medicine is designed to fix it.
KPIX CBS SF Bay Area. (2015). Bay Sunday – slow medicine [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Schumann, J. H. (2014). If slow is good for food, why not medicine? NPR. Web.