Global Integrator: Blogging Globally to Support Local Action in Integrative Health and Medicine

One characteristic of movements for change is that they are in themselves mind-body efforts. There is the body of the work on the ground by thousands of people, often working alone or in semi-isolation. Then there is the connective mind and spirit energy in discovering and learning from others who are similarly engaged. The metaphor may be of other shoulders at the wheel. Or it may be shared nourishment from “stone soup” in which everyone contributes what they can. What one engages in microcosm is multiplied, energized, magnified and refracted by similar activities of others. One engages one’s part, and celebrates or worries the whole.

The movement to enhance the appropriate application of the values, practices and disciplines associated with integrative health and medicine in creating health exemplifies this interplay. Work on the ground can be quite challenging. One confronts perverse incentives, reductive models, and past individual and system patterns that are obstacles to optimal integration. At the same time, many if not most see their work as part of a transformative campaign from disease-centric to a health focus, from reactivity to pro-activity. One may primarily work on change manifestation in one’s practice, one’s hospital or medical unit, one’s profession or one’s community. Yet the work is necessarily global. By definition, integrative medicine draws on multiple traditions. By philosophy, integrative health errs on the side of inclusion.  By the mere fact of living in 2015, our lives are daily woven of myriad threads of cultures, peoples and practices. Our nature is global.

The opportunity to develop a Global Integrator Blog for Global Advances in Health and Medicine was offered to me following over 20 years of writing, in various formats and publications, typically more geographically limited content that became known as The Integrator Blog. The focus here as there will continue be on the policy, business and organizational news rather than specific clinical notes. These may be drawn, for example, from: the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s decision to start an Institute of Integrative Medicine; the continuing battle over the government’s relationship to homeopathy in Australia; the international aspirations of the new Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (with which I am involved); or the work in multiple nations toward the direction set by the World Health Organization in its 2014-2023 Traditional Medicines Strategy. Some news may be immediately useful. Others will be of passing interest. Others will merely connect. My practice is to report, then comment on what I report. From time to time I add the commentary of others. The blog is meant to be in service.

I view this as an opportunity to “develop” this service as I am not sure where the routine writing of 8-10 pieces a month will take us. I know for certain that the Global Integrator Blog will benefit from connecting to your news, and ideas. Contact me with information and queries at johnweeks@theintegratorblog.com. Together we can knit a fabric that enriches and serves the global movement of which we are all part.

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