The Mind Body Spirit Doc

He is America’s best-known medical doctor, and his name a multi-million dollar brand: Dr Andrew Weil, who was once named by Time Magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

A graduate of the prestigious Harvard Medical School, he is also a fierce critic of conventional medicine – the kind that relies on costly high tech interventions and drugs alone, focusing exclusively on the body and neglecting the role the mind and spirit play in maintaining and restoring health.

Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, holistic approaches and alternative medical systems like those found in China and India, he has attempted to re-unite mind-spirit focused understandings of medicine with the more conventional, scientific kind.

Dr Andrew Weil calls his model “integrative medicine.” One of his critics has called him a “snake oil salesman.” Jane Little has visited him in Tucson, Arizona, to find out what exactly he means by Mind Body Spirit medicine and how he answers his many critics.


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  • Good, tough questioning of Dr Weil from Jane Little, and many thought-provoking answers. I think anyone who’s challenged the one-size-fits-all healthcare model with such consistency is heroic.

  • It is very interesting to me that the common sense of medical practice (broad sense) is so uncommon to the physicians trained today. The empiricism of the past is so discounted in the light of double blinded (used advisedly) studies with such rigorous entry criteria that the outcome is a foregone conclusion so the next study will be funded. This is an economic consequence of soft money based departments in universities (no longer the strong bastions of intellectual integrity they once were).

    The ‘do no harm’ philosophy is given verbal legitimacy in our training, but the actuality is all the things we prescribe do good, but most can also do harm to some other body system! The body system silo effect of specialization permits us to disregard the other body systems to treat what our specialty needs to do at the time. Very interesting!

    The issue of the ‘spirit’ is another interesting topic. In the cultures that had limited understanding of physiology, all recognized that when the breath/spirit left the body, life functions ceased. This was true physiology and not ideology or organized religion. His explanation was a little more in depth than the original practical notion of this, I think. I do believe that the human spirit is a powerful tool in healing! This cannot be discounted.

    Great interview! I enjoyed it!

  • These comments came to me direct after my interview with Andrew Weil went online.

    “Your interview with Andrew Weil was fascinating and I have since spent time finding out more about his work and writings. As I get older and things begin to creak a little more than before I’m really beginning to consider how I can improve my lifestyle and look at alternative ways of “wellness”. Sally, UK (NW)

    “I really enjoyed the interview”, Margaret, Virginia

    “Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing.” Deb, Texas

    “Love your interview!!! Great job!!” Judy, ND (Arizona)

    “Nice interview, I thought it was very interesting, especially his discussion about criticisms coming from both traditional and other non traditional camps.” Craig, VA

    “Loved it! Fascinating. Hadn’t heard of him before but am now going to investigate his work! ” Emma, London

    “Love it! Congratulations. I am a big believer of integrative just never called it such”. M.

  • I very much enjoyed hearing this interview with Dr. Weil. Sadly I have heard from too many people I work with that their doctors said to them “you’ll just have to live with it” or there’s nothing more I can do for you”. And I too ask my self the question “what is standing in the way of this person being able to heal?” as I work with people. …operating from that perspective changes everything and how we help people reclaim good health.

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