“We are dealing with a complex system”
The physician Prof. Dr.Dr. Christian Schubert is the head of the Laboratory for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University Hospital in Innsbruck. He sees Vegetative training as one example of the paradigm shift in medicine.
INTERVIEW: Steffen Arora. Der Standard Austria -18,12.2018
STANDARD: In vegetative training, there is talk of a paradigm shift in therapeutic access to humans. Do you think so, and if so, what does that mean?
Schubert: Based on what I have read so far about this subject, this method means to conform to a new paradigm. This refers to the change from one basic scientific concept to another. That’s a big word. This new paradigm, also referred to in vegetative training, perceives the body and the psyche as a cohesive, complex system. The old school medical paradigm is not holistically oriented in this form.
STANDARD: But even in school medicine, there is talk of a complexity.
Schubert: Yes, but what is missing is the dynamic-functional interaction between the individual elements of the human system. It could be said that the mind changes the body, which in turn changes the mind, i.e one from top to bottom (top down) and from bottom to top circular causality. A med student would not speak that way. Therefore, one concentrates on one-sided effective directions. So that the psyche does something with the body and maybe the body does something with the psyche. But not that body and psyche are in complex reciprocal relationship.
STANDARD: How can one imagine this based on a concrete example?
Schubert: Let’s take an inflammation. The organism reacts to a stressful situation with inflammation. This is like a first defense wall being produced to quickly counter possible infection and injury. In vegetative training, people are activating self-regulation processes centrally, to bring about a certain change of state of consciousness, which is accompanied by a change in the autonomic nervous system. And this change now works backward, bringing you into a top-down, bottom-up loop, as described above. In the concrete example of inflammation, the parasympathetic system activated by vegetative training can now exert its anti-inflammatory effect. This explains why, for example, the athletes report that this “method” accelerates their healing processes during exertion and injury.
STANDARD: Can one derive a universally valid effectiveness from this?
Schubert: No, you cannot visually generalize the application and say it always works the same. The therapist must deal individually with each client. It is also important to include the biographical background and personality. The difference is, one does not assume that the athlete is a machine that always needs the same input to regenerate. Which is logical because you are dealing with a complex system that needs to be considered individually.
STANDARD: Would not such a medical approach always be better from the patient’s point of view?
Schubert: Right, I’m convinced of that. In a new medicine, the patient needs to be perceived in his or her specific biopsy-co-social biography, so there must be a biological, psychological and social developmental aspiration of being human in diagnosis and treatment. That would do justice to man in all his facets. The vegetative training, whose effectiveness results from the complex interaction with the practitioner, is likely to work as well.
Human experiences are not only absent from contemporary evidence-based medicine, but it is also in fact explicitly eliminated by the mathematical analyses performed during assembly of evidence. The bio medical model has fallen.
All disorders – mental or body- is also a disorder in the vegetative system. This disorder is essentially a contradiction in the vegetative system, which could not be resolved in a satisfactory way for the individual. Any mental phenomenon has its physical body correlate (answer).
The function of the vegetative system is based on the assimilation of contradictions. Disorders in the vegetative system are unresolved contradictions in the same system.
These differences in the vegetative system are reflected in the organism. When the vegetative system is precluded optimal function through this contradiction, this will penetrate into the organism’s organizations at all levels.