Western Medicine ? A Business

I have always wondered what would happen if we put more CARE in the concept of Health Care.

Lets look at the United States.  Per Capita , $ 8000 per person is spent , and in other Western Countries

the amount is closer to $3000 to $4000. Western Medicine focuses on Treatment of Medical conditions,

such as blood pressure,diabetes,and infections. The pharmaceutical industry is, rightfully, focused on

the treatment of these conditions. In the United States and New Zealand it is permissible to advsertise

pharmaceutical products. At the end of the add, the tag line is typically  ” talk to your doctor ” and people do ! The

outcome…The US and NZ have the highest pharmaceutical usage rates in the world. They do NOT have the best life expectancy outcomes…

In terms of life expectancy, the US has fifty countries with better odds of a long life.What would happen if the focus was on

prevention,nutrition,exercise,spiritual wellness,stress reduction,mindfulness based stress reduction,yoga,meditation, or simply a good night’s rest!


Why do I see 14 year olds who require gallbladder surgery.Why do I see 35 year olds having heart attacks.Why do I see 30 year olds with breast cancer.

Why have I seen 25 year old die of colon cancer.

Studies further have shown that in jurisdictions where more money is spent of medical proceedures, tests,and use of pharmaceuticals…..the outcomes were poorer !

In the US, some states have a knee replacement rate 2 to 3 times the national average.Also, some areas had 2 to 3 times higher stent insertion rates,and higer angioplasty rates.

Don’t get me wrong. Arthroplasty and stents and angioplasty proceedures, offer great relief and often with life saving results. This is true of course

if used in the properly selected patient population .  In jurisdictions in the US, in states that have lower rates of stent insertion,angioplasty,and knee replacements, the

hospital death rates are LOWER. Studies have shown that when there is a doctor strike ( a rare event) that hospital death rates drop. This is NOT to suggest that

doctors are making errors or doing bad work. It is simply that adverse events that are unexpected , are more frequent, the more proceedures that are done.

To a man with a hammer, ” everything looks like a nail”

Stents reduce symptoms but does not necessarily prolong life.

Unfortunately, Fee for Service Medicine payment models highly reward proceedural medicine.Taking time to discuss their lifestyle,diet,health,exercise,stress,rest(sleep)

patterns,and their important relationships.

Typical examples of a gap in care and knowledge ….the use of accupuncture for pain modification. There is NO hospital or publically funded clinic that does

accupuncture for pain management. Yet we do have funded availability of percocet,oxycontin,oxyneo,fentanyl,and various forms of morphine ( all highly addictive)

We are told that we can eliminate pain by increasing dosage…until pain is eliminated ( at what cost)  What do you think about publicly funded accupuncture,

physiotherapy,mindfulness based stress reduction,dietary councelling,and psychological councelling ( ALL  not available to the majority )

Patients can empower themselves by taking self care to a higher level . Dr Dean Ornish ( a cardiologist in California) published data that diet and lifestyle changes

can reverse some of the arterial changes associated with coronary artery disease.

Similarly,similar lifestyle studies have been done to look at the effects of lifestyle on gene expression. It turns out that out ability to have our genes express their genetic

information accurately relates to  sequences at the ends of DNA called telomeres. The shorter the telomere,the poorer the gene aexpression. The longer the telomere the

more accurate the gene expression.Studies have shown that daily stress reduction techniues,higher vegetarian diet content,45 minutes of exercise,and improved rest patterns,

caused a higher expression of genes protective against cardiac disease,diabetes and cancer.

We can do MUCH MUCH more using our common sense. BUT sometimes that is not so COMMON

I would like hear what you all think  and what we can all do about this.






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The Garden …. Reproduced ….When Suffering and Pain Become Too Much

God looked around his garden,And He found an empty place. He then looked down upon this earth and saw your tired face.

He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest,God’s garden must be beautiful…He always takes the best . He knew that you were suffering

He knew that you were in pain, He knew that you  would never Get well on earth again.

He saw that the road was getting rough and the hills are hard to climb. So he closed your wearyeylids and whispered

“peace be thine” It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t do alone, For part of us went with you,

the day God called you home .



Reproduced with Permission


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The Passing

How do we know that it is our time to pass from this reality to the next. We may know that we are ill. We may know the time is soon. Do we choose when to pass ?   I say we have much more control of this than modern science would think or acknowledge. I am in a unique position to have some level of experience of people who have made this journey.   A recent experience … One of my long time patients was stricken by cancer. The body was swollen and invaded by an unwelcome visitor…..the unforgiving and uncontrolled cells of cancer….. Illness lingered….One night, he asked that his wedding ring be placed back on his finger ( it had been removed due to great swelling associated with his illness  He requested that the truck in the garage be locked. He requested that the garage be locked … That day a large and beautiful Morning Dove visited the family birdfeeder ….The Dove spent all day at the feeder , unusually so …  The Dove left …My patient passed when the Dove flew off….The Family named her the Dove of Peace….Their Dad passed peacefully… He knew that today was the day( The ring,the locking of the truck door, the locking of the garage door,the Dove visiting all day,and the passing at the moment The Dove of Peace flew away ….He knew …I have many many of these experinces to share ….What are your experinces .  Please share .   drV

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What is the fine line between science and spiritual reality?

Its late and I have just returned from a medical education seminar ……It was all about hypertension….What could anyone teach me further about hypertension….Well plenty it turns out. Its not that doctors don’t know about the guidelines or the drugs…They do. Its that our patients are not compliant and don’t follow our prescriptions for  help. So why is that.
Lets start with fear. They think a drug will hurt them . They feel it may do something ” bad ” ….  Very unlikely but that is what they feel. They struggle with their humanness, They struggle with financial concern. They struggle  !  What to do. At the root is their fear is uncertainty about the meaning of their existence. Their relatioships and the relationship they have with their loved ones. Am I good enough . Do I measure up. AM I worthy  . Should I take these pills. What is the payoff….Why should I do this. If I live longer because my doctor says I should treat this condition and prevent that heart attack or stroke….then what….what is next…what happens next. That is the existential riddle of existence.   We will explore that here on this blog. Think of this…..What is the fine line between science and spiritual reality. Is it the pill we take to preserve our health. Just think. Today, the Catholic Church elected an NEW Pope….Pope Francis I… When I was little, I thought the Pope was sent from God….Pehaps….But he is a human…like you….like me….Once he was a boy, then a youth, then a student of the church, and thne a man. Then…after years of experience and grooming….He is now the Pope.  He is spiritual. He is accomplished. He is the spiritual guide of billions. He is spiritually connected to our maker. He is a man.  So what is the fine line between science ( the knowable) and existensial existence ( the unknowable and the unprovable) Well…we have many who tackle this question. My favourite is Depak Chopra ….He makes the most sense to me….   We struggle . We are human. Medicine tries to treat medical conditions and apply science ( a divison of human understanding ) But we are spirits having a human experience. Do we , as humans, have the inate, but, undefined ability to determine fuutre outcome by our thoughts and intent ….Well…What do YOU think…….I have a view…I have my view…I want to hear about your view…I want to know about your feelings about the human obsession with lengthening time in life ….If your spiritual self is beyond human understanding…why do we have an epidemic of the worried well. Our intent and outcome sources from our individual minds and souls. We have more control than you think…..I would like ALL your collective thoughts….What do you think….I will watch and wait for what you all share……More tomorrow    drV

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My First Blog

Well….I am new to this. I am proposing to start a health care and healing blog. I will cover many aspects of healing, not just western traditional medical,

but other points of view. Naturopathy, psychology, mindfulness meditation, yoga,Reiki, eastern ideas of healing, accupuncture, spirituality,

mind/body connection , new drug development, human genomics, stem cell research ….Well you get the idea. I invite all of you to post and I will try to comment or respond.

There is no agenda. We are here to share and learn and have fun ….So….stay tuned and check in often !



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Hello Patients!

Welcome to Dr. Vanderwater’s new website. Please feel free to look around, and remember, as always, to Practice Random Acts of Kindness Everyday

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