Could it be that people today are witness to the beginning of the end, of reductionism. Reductionism in the context of scientific theory means a reduction of the scope and content of one’s observations in a particular field of inquiry, becoming increasingly narrower in focus – almost to vanishing point. It is all very well for research money to be spent, peering down microscopes, observing neuroscience in action, but in so doing the bigger picture tends to become completely blurred and out of focus.
The problem is well put and stated in an article by John Buckle, PhD, who entitles the article – Ruthless Reductionism in Recent Neuroscience.
Prioritizing molecular research over funding community programs that serve the purpose of restoring community health and vigor, should be reconsidered. The neuroscientific approach is fueled by a need to know what areas of the body can be targeted by drugs, to overcome disease. In absence of support, for a continued drug regime, much of the neuroscientific effort is purely academic and should be prioritized accordingly.
The article points out that neuroscience has a role, but ultimately only a methodological role in our understanding of how the body works and maintains health and stability. At best we will only be getting a “peek” at the totality of the processes involved in maintaining homeostasis and regulatory order at any given moment.
There is no justification, moral or ethical, for people to use by way of health care, treatment on people that is anything other than holistic process. Holistic medicine supports and assists the body to health, rather than the wholesale invasion and oppression of the natural order that modern drug regimes cause.
Reductionism is alive and well in the context of conventional drug addiction recovery, most drug addicted people are offered and placed on a substitute drug program. Such programs have been intended to be a stop gap until scientific process can come up with a silver bullet to put an end to drug addiction.
No doubt the intention of the Human Genome project, funded for many years, has been to peer into the body, find the drivers of rogue genes – and simply take them out.
Now epigenetics proves to be the driver at the wheel – hundreds of epigenetic variations that we acquire from birth – each and every one a driver of genetic function – furiously trying to mediate between the stress of a toxic environment, and best possble functioning for the body.
However, when we try and look for causation, for events such as drug abuse, obesity and schizophrenia.- we see that epigenetics is only the “meat in the sandwich” – what’s driving adverse genetic expression, rampant disease and disorder in the body – is the toxic environment that we live in.
Pressures that directly affect gene expression, and the state of our health are the foods that we eat, pollutants and the relationships that we engage in.
Providing a suitable pet, to an elderly person with depression can bring about lightning changes in their mood and gene expression, a far cry from, but less intrusive, and more effective than attempted resolution by use of antidepressant medications.
Reductionism ultimately becomes its own problem, due to it failure to co-operate with and be part of the bigger picture. In trying to medicate for emotional issues and degenerative changes, that are essentially a response to environmental stress, medical science gets in the way of people using more holistic solutions, by calling an evidence based, and limited, proprietary drug regime, our only legitimate health care option.
Transdisciplinary study is the way of the future – no favored prima donnas, only people working together for the benefit of humanity, and not the bottom line.
Reductionism has run its course – people are now aware that environmental stress and harmful epigenetic patterns can be healed, reversed and removed by assisting and enabling people to have a more clean and healthy environment.
Using holistic methods, there is no dismay when it is discovered that many things in combination create stress, and that many things in combination will remove them. Playing with healthy combinations, good food and exercise, vitamins and minerals, new ways to deal with confrontations and to overcome depression are what life should be about – lively, active and reaching for solutions, instead of lined up in a doctor’s rooms, glumly waiting for someone to find the cure, the answer to our stress related ailments.
Substance abuse, drug use and dependence is a response to stress - that can affect and damage the body. Comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction recovery centers don’t reduce you to the status of a patient - you enroll as student and will learn, out of life’s abundance, how to give up a toxic life, become drug free and enjoy happy, contented freedom.