How Slow Medicine Heals Faster

Dr. Michael Finkelstein discusses modern medicine's failure to address root causes and how to get more time with your doctor for a slower holistic approach to speed up healing.

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By Karl Lawrence on Sunday, February 22, 2015
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In this episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Dr. Michael Finkelstein, a leading authority on holistic and integrative medicine. Dr. Finkelstein is the author of Slow Medicine: Hope and Heeling for Chronic Illness, co-founder of Sun Raven, the Center for Holistic and Skillful Living, and is a board certified physician in internal medicine and integrative holistic medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. Dr. Finkelstein has been featured in the New York Times and Huffington Post, as well as a guest on CNN, Martha Stewart Living, and ABC News. If you want to feel empowered to take your health back, this is a must-listen podcast!

Questions Asked:

  • What influenced your decision to make a shift from traditional ÔÇťallopathic" medicine?
  • Physicians seem to be losing control of their practice. What is the path out?
  • What should doctors do who want to provide more holistic care?
  • If you could script the perfect physician practitioner relationship in our current healthcare system, what would that look like?
  • How would an individual go about finding healthcare practitioners that support this method of integrative holistic health?
  • What is a 'flow state" as it relates to the practice of Medicine?
  • What was your life like before you made the change to holistic practice?

Key Lessons Learned:

  • The training experience for doctors diminishes the physician's power for compassion by exhausting them.
  • The institution of medicine is great when applying technology, but not the entire solution because time is necessary to apply heart-centered healing as well.
  • The current system removes time doctors need to know their patients.
  • Physicians need time to use their mind, intelligence and heart in order to understand the entire symptom complex. This includes the mental, emotional, and spiritual stuff, as well as the relationships people experience.
  • Many people often don't open up until after an hour into the conversation, reducing quality of care opportunities.

Modern Patient Driven Practice

  • Dr. Finkelstein's healing center has a 'whole person approach,' with western-trained physicians who do primary care, specialties like OB/GYN and pediatrics, supported by holistically-trained therapists.
  • The current systems are such that, from a reimbursement point of view, the 'whole person approach' wellness center is not tenable for the patient or practitioner.
  • Until the health insurance model shifts or government programs subsidize, these types of centers will be hard to find.

Flow State

  • Dr. Finkelstein likens 'flow state' to being only one person in an orchestra. You are part of a bigger picture.
  • Flow is to resonate with the natural environment and people around you.
  • Flow brings you back to the natural rhythms of nature that our biology requires.
  • We create stress when we fight the natural rhythm of the environment.
  • We need to rest and recover effectively to stay healthy.
  • It's not that we want to become rigid in our purity, but we need to be practical and recognize that when we push harder we need more rest.
  • There is a rhythm to each week, month, and to the seasons that we often overlook as being vital to the establishment of balance; that is so important to the health and wellbeing we seek.
  • Hard work and long hours isn't what exhausts us. For the most part it's the psychologically and emotional energy in work that doesn't have meaning that truly exhausts us.
  • When time flies that means you are in the flow state and in alignment.


  • When we eat, we are feeding our body, mind, and soul.
  • People have emotional and spiritual hunger, but tend to reach for more food if they don't deal with their emotional cravings.
  • Our focus on relationships and who is sitting around the table with us is vital to the whole experience of feeding ourselves.
  • We are what we consume, including information and thoughts.

Thank you for listening!

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Links to Resources Mentioned

Slow Medicine Doctor
Slow Medicine: Hope and Heeling for Chronic Illness (book)
The Power of Full Engagement (book)

2 click to tweet links! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)

Tweet: Get well faster with 'slow medicine'! Find out w/ @SlowMedicineDr & @wellnessgroup Tweet: Get well faster with 'slow medicine'! Find out w/ @SlowMedicineDr & @wellnessgroup

Tweet: Dr-Dr G'me the news - SLOWLY! Find out w/ @SlowMedicineDr & @wellnessgroup Tweet: Dr-Dr G'me the news - SLOWLY! Find out w/ @SlowMedicineDr & @wellnessgroup

From Your Best Life Podcast with Karl Lawrence

podcast Healing medicine holisitc
It is always encouraging to see other Ivy League healers think outside the box of conventional medicine!

The interesting paradox about natural 'Slow Medicine' is that it is also many times faster than suppressive medicine, which stops many physiological healing processes in their tracks.

Steroids, NSAIDs and even antibiotics, for example, can block the fundamental connective tissue repair processes that may be precisely what your body needs in order to heal and be done with an acute or chronic pain...

Studies on aspirin, for example, found that while they do reduce the acute symptoms of a headache, they actually tend to convert that acute self-healing process into a chronic cycle of recurrent headaches...

In some cases, symptomatic relief with gentle healing energies from nature can act instantaneously, or nearly so...

And can sometimes even do so independent of distance...

And even when supported self-healing is slow...

There is usually an endpoint, even if measured in months or years...

In contrast to the usual medical maxim of "get used to taking this drug..."

"You will need it for the rest of your life."

If a remedy supports accelerated self healing, I find it is most often only needed for about a month or so...

And then that particular causal chain is healed...

You body is freed to start unravelling the next layer of your health knot.

If you are ready for more fresh thinking about the fundamental landscape of healing...

Please join me in exploring my Clinical Theory of Everything...
Posted 4 years ago by Glen Swartwout

About Karl Lawrence

Karl Lawrence is the host of Your Best Life on the Radio Network. Check out his work at Read More