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About the Health Medicine Forum


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Mission Statement

The Health Medicine Forum is a non-profit educational foundation comprised of health care practitioners and community leaders dedicated to producing educational events, certification programs, Integral Healing Groups and to the advancement of Integral Health Medicine, which is based on integrative, holistic, preventive, person-centered care. Our mission is to demonstrate the many paths to wellness.

Vision Statement

The Health Medicine Forum is dedicated to creating healthy and sustainable communities through thought, word, and deed. We support the attributes of collaboration, generosity, and compassion, believing that our future depends on understanding and assimilating different views in science, philosophy, culture and spiritual endeavors. The constellation of problems before us must become a space we navigate together for tangible and progressive solutions. Our collective cautionary tale gives us the inspiration to spend our time and energy in pursuit of positive change.

Values Statements

We value the findings of science in Western medicine as well as traditional, indigenous and other cultural wisdoms that include an awareness of human spiritual dimensions in attaining well-being.
We value each person as a participant in their own health care, and recognize we are all participants in the health of our planetary society.
We value the ideal of acting locally, thinking globally, and imagining cosmically.
We value the cultivation of meaningful and respectful dialogue to explore, learn, and benefit from our perceived differences.
We value the lessons of history, as we face the challenges of today to build the world of tomorrow.

The History of HMF

January 1995 was set as the formal launch date of the HMF, or the Forum, as this group is now affectionately referred to. At first we gathered to discuss what troubled us about medicine as it was then practiced. As we got to know one another, we learned what each of us did in our particular mainstream or CAM specialty—and there were many of them! As a group of committed professionals, we inquired rigorously into how each discipline worked. In these early days, the focus of most meetings was on a “show and tell” agenda. Practitioners gave demonstrations so that everyone could see or experience firsthand what a particular modality was like from the standpoint of the caregiver or patient.

Interest in the Forum grew so quickly that within 18 months we found ourselves sponsoring a three-day symposium, which attracted 200 practitioners from a wide range of disciplines. We provided each professional with the opportunity to explain his healing modality, and we encouraged each one to explore with the entire conference how his approach might become part of a collaborative and integrative treatment approach. The symposium also considered the crucial distinction between curing and healing, and explored the difference between treating diseases and addressing the needs of the whole person. Many attendees spoke of the role of spirit in health and, ultimately, the healing power of love. The presentations were interspersed with singing and skits, and even included chanting, rituals, and prayer. Spirits were high, and the entire conference rocked with excitement.

The inspiring success of this conference led to yet another large event the following year, in 1998. This one featured many nationally known speakers and authors eager to participate in the growing Health Medicine movement. Our keynote speakers included Jerry Brown, Barry Sears, John McDougall, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Martin Rossman, Meg Jordan, Beverly Rubik, and many others. While the enthusiasm was high, at least one crucial ingredient was still missing: the practical wisdom and business acumen needed to bring Health Medicine into clinical practice.

The evolution of the Health Medicine model naturally unfolded from there. Gradually, the primary emphasis shifted to exploring real cases and experimenting with how specific disciplines might work together to create better health care for our patients. We termed these various combinations multidisciplinary assessment and treatment teams. Emerging from these experiments, the HMF developed a style that puts a patient in a circle with experts from varied disciplines. This was the origin of the Health Medicine Healing Circle, perhaps the most important innovation of the movement.

Since the HMF’s inception, more than 6,000 health care practitioners representing countless disciplines have attended at least one meeting there. As of this writing, the Forum has sponsored more than 350 meetings, workshops, and symposiums. Today our general meetings engage in interdisciplinary exploration of health care issues as these are related to diseases, treatment, research, economics, business, politics, and philosophy. Recent topics explored in the monthly symposiums have included sports medicine, energy medicine, holistic health testing, insomnia, diabetes, depression, integrative cancer strategies, and bodywork methods. We have reviewed these topics from the perspective of as few as one and up to as many as eight different disciplines in a single meeting. For example, when heart disease was the subject of one of our recent meetings, practitioners representing cardiology, psychology, biofeedback, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, nutritional medicine, and Qi Gong were included. It is remarkable that most of the time, these widely differing styles of practice come to rather similar conclusions with regard to both diagnosis and treatment, despite the language and conceptual differences.

For 15 years, the HMF has continued to meet to define what Health Medicine is and how it should work. Among our achievements was to create and refine a clinical model that embraces four core Health Medicine principles, as elucidated below. We’ve tested this model first on ourselves, then on pilot samples of patients, and some of us have brought it into clinical practice. At least one enduring integrative clinic, my own, has arisen from this creative milieu of open-minded practitioners.

The Principles of Health Medicine

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