On the Front Lines

with John Weeks

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Who is John Weeks?

John Weeks is a writer, speaker, chronicler and organizer whose work in the movement for integrative health and medicine began in 1983. He is publisher-editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports, which since 1995 – in various prior forms – has created primary connective terrain for the diverse stakeholders and professions in the field. He is a new contributor to Today’s Practitioner and contributes a regular column to Integrative Insights at Integrative Practitioner, a column for Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, and regular blogs for the Altarum Institute, the Huffington Post and elsewhere. In May 2016,  he accepted an invitation to serve as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Since mid-2015, John has re-focused his work on presenting, teaching and mentoring.

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Integrative Health and Climate Change: Perspectives of Thomas, Katz, Sommers, Kelly, Kane, Purdy and Harvie

What kind of response would come in from the call for perspectives (up to 250 words): “How might rapid uptake of the integrative model influence climate change?” My call was stimulated by a commentary from Harvard’s Peter Wayne, PhD and others in the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Medicine in which they boldly assert that Integrative Medicine Is a Good Prescription for Patients and Planet. I opined that I don’t believe that the environmental movement necessarily views the movement for integrative medicine as a core ally, yet that the field would serve itself to up its environmental profile. The call brought

Read More »

Can $1-Million to Kick-Start a New RAND Project to Revitalize Research in Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Naturopathic Colleges?

The beginning of the RAND project proposal captures dimensions of an awful tend: “The future of research in the Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) institutions is in jeopardy. A number of CIH colleges and universities are losing their research departments due to lack of consistent funding and the understandable inability to subsidize them with tuition costs. The CIH Colleges are in danger of becoming technical teaching institutions and not institutions of learning. Those teaching the students will not be scholars and researchers who are producing new knowledge for their profession. NIH offers several training grants for researchers and these have

Read More »

Coming of the Light: The 2019 Integrator Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine

The Integrator Blog News & Reports annually marks the winter solstice with a Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine. In the selection of the Top 10, “the accent is on the affirmative” as the jazzman sings. Thus the Coming of the Light from individuals and organizations in the field making positive contributions to shift the medical industry toward a system that focuses on creating health. Less positive things sometimes make the list. Integrator articles are now published at johnweeks-integrator.com/posts with content going back to 2006 at the original Integrator site, Prior Top 10 lists, a

Read More »

Can the New American Nutrition Association Finally De-Rodney Dangerfield Nutrition in US Medicine?

What reform push to turn the medical industry toward health has been shouted from the white-papered roof tops as long as the call to dramatically increase the role of nutrition in professional education and practice? Food as medicine is both cornerstone and connective stratum across the naturopathic, functional, integrative, lifestyle, and most traditional medicine models for reform. The bugle was sounded again recently. With a reminder that poor nutrition is a leading factor in chronic disease and an assertion that “personalized nutrition has the power to reverse this epidemic,” five nutrition-related organizations announced they have banded together to form the

Read More »

Elizabeth “Liza” Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA Honored with AIHM’s Change-Maker Award: 8 Leaders Offer Gratitude

How about a research department at an acupuncture and Oriental medicine school? Let’s partner with mainstream academic institutions and go after NIH grants!  Wouldn’t it be terrific to have an organization that could give voice to all the licensed complementary and integrative health professions in dialogues they could not enter alone? Might this be a vehicle to foster interprofessional and inter-institutional relationships between these fields and their better-resourced peers? Might they give voice to the integrative health values and disciplines in multiple dialogues at the National Academy of Medicine and elsewhere to shape US medicine and health? And isn’t it

Read More »

Cleveland Clinic’s Functional Medicine Outcomes in JAMA: Six Perspectives

Today’s Practitioner recently posted the press article for a recent JAMA study, showing that a functional medicine model at the Cleveland Clinic was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The following is a commentary from various health professionals as part of John Week’s regular column. The decision of the Cleveland Clinic to start a Center for Functional Medicine was big news. That the $9-billion system gave the initiative significant visibility suggested arrival for functional medicine. A few hurdles still existed. Cleveland Clinic’s new partners needed to clarify and create a clinical model that could be measured. That was

Read More »

Chiropractor Goertz: Chairperson at PCORI & Duke Spine Care Leader – Interview and Data on PCORI Integrative Grants

Long-timers in the integrative trenches will know the paradoxical feelings of dismay at how messed up health care still is and at the same time satisfaction at just how far “integration” has advanced. Evidence for the latter comes from not one but two recent moves in the career of chiropractor and health services researcher Christine Goertz, DC, PhD. Place yourself in 1988. The chiropractors were just concluding their decade-long, successful Wilk vs. the AMA anti-trust suit. Most of medicine and much of the media – in part because of the AMA’s economically-driven attacks – equated “chiropractor” with “quack”.  Now consider

Read More »

The Intriguing Impacts of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: Exit Interview with PCORI Founding Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH

The way Joe Selby, MD, MPH tells it, the naming of the $3.2-billion Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – which from the outset had a charge to explore the comparative effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine methods – was both serendipitous and brilliant. At the time the quasi-public agency was established as part of the Affordable Care Act, the idea of “comparative effectiveness research (CER)” a hot-potato for the medical industry. Medicine’s waste, morbidity, mortality and cost prompted interest in real-world, decision-oriented research. But powerful medical stakeholders were worried enough about the comparative effectiveness of their part of the

Read More »

The New (Naturopathic) Face for a Therapeutic Order: The Healing Power of Nature and Integrative Health

I sometimes refer to my 1983-1993 years with the re-emergence of the naturopathic profession – amidst the broader social-medical movement that birthed integrative health – as my boot-camp. Given the decade duration of the commitment, it was more of an extended Marine Corps stint. The work was hard, ground won celebrated, compensation scarce, friendships fierce, and mission central. The pole star was the naturopathic profession’s commitment to “treat disease by restoring health.” The constellations that guided the voyage were a set of principles and something educators Jared Zeff, ND and Pamela Snider, ND would articulate as the “naturopathic therapeutic order.”

Read More »

John Weeks: Self-Interested Whims of the Oligarchs: Google and Facebook Kill Access to Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Before we jump into John Weeks’ column, we thought it best to give you some background on recent changes to Google and Facebook that may be affecting your practice’s website traffic. In case you missed it, from 2018 and into the summer of 2019, Google and Facebook changed their search engine algorithm to make it harder to find information about alternative and integrative medicine. They placed lower ratings (from contract website raters) on what is called Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) websites because of “inaccurate potentially dangerous medical advice.” Health websites that focus on alternative and integrative medicine suddenly lost

Read More »

Integrative Health and Climate Change: Perspectives of Thomas, Katz, Sommers, Kelly, Kane, Purdy and Harvie

What kind of response would come in from the call for perspectives (up to 250 words): “How might rapid uptake of the integrative model influence climate change?” My call was stimulated by a commentary from Harvard’s Peter Wayne, PhD and others in the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Medicine in which they boldly assert that Integrative Medicine Is a Good Prescription for Patients and Planet. I opined that I don’t believe that the environmental movement necessarily views the movement for integrative medicine as a core ally, yet that the field would serve itself to up its environmental profile. The call brought

Read More »

Can $1-Million to Kick-Start a New RAND Project to Revitalize Research in Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Naturopathic Colleges?

The beginning of the RAND project proposal captures dimensions of an awful tend: “The future of research in the Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) institutions is in jeopardy. A number of CIH colleges and universities are losing their research departments due to lack of consistent funding and the understandable inability to subsidize them with tuition costs. The CIH Colleges are in danger of becoming technical teaching institutions and not institutions of learning. Those teaching the students will not be scholars and researchers who are producing new knowledge for their profession. NIH offers several training grants for researchers and these have

Read More »

Coming of the Light: The 2019 Integrator Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine

The Integrator Blog News & Reports annually marks the winter solstice with a Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine. In the selection of the Top 10, “the accent is on the affirmative” as the jazzman sings. Thus the Coming of the Light from individuals and organizations in the field making positive contributions to shift the medical industry toward a system that focuses on creating health. Less positive things sometimes make the list. Integrator articles are now published at johnweeks-integrator.com/posts with content going back to 2006 at the original Integrator site, Prior Top 10 lists, a

Read More »

Can the New American Nutrition Association Finally De-Rodney Dangerfield Nutrition in US Medicine?

What reform push to turn the medical industry toward health has been shouted from the white-papered roof tops as long as the call to dramatically increase the role of nutrition in professional education and practice? Food as medicine is both cornerstone and connective stratum across the naturopathic, functional, integrative, lifestyle, and most traditional medicine models for reform. The bugle was sounded again recently. With a reminder that poor nutrition is a leading factor in chronic disease and an assertion that “personalized nutrition has the power to reverse this epidemic,” five nutrition-related organizations announced they have banded together to form the

Read More »

Elizabeth “Liza” Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA Honored with AIHM’s Change-Maker Award: 8 Leaders Offer Gratitude

How about a research department at an acupuncture and Oriental medicine school? Let’s partner with mainstream academic institutions and go after NIH grants!  Wouldn’t it be terrific to have an organization that could give voice to all the licensed complementary and integrative health professions in dialogues they could not enter alone? Might this be a vehicle to foster interprofessional and inter-institutional relationships between these fields and their better-resourced peers? Might they give voice to the integrative health values and disciplines in multiple dialogues at the National Academy of Medicine and elsewhere to shape US medicine and health? And isn’t it

Read More »

Cleveland Clinic’s Functional Medicine Outcomes in JAMA: Six Perspectives

Today’s Practitioner recently posted the press article for a recent JAMA study, showing that a functional medicine model at the Cleveland Clinic was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The following is a commentary from various health professionals as part of John Week’s regular column. The decision of the Cleveland Clinic to start a Center for Functional Medicine was big news. That the $9-billion system gave the initiative significant visibility suggested arrival for functional medicine. A few hurdles still existed. Cleveland Clinic’s new partners needed to clarify and create a clinical model that could be measured. That was

Read More »

Chiropractor Goertz: Chairperson at PCORI & Duke Spine Care Leader – Interview and Data on PCORI Integrative Grants

Long-timers in the integrative trenches will know the paradoxical feelings of dismay at how messed up health care still is and at the same time satisfaction at just how far “integration” has advanced. Evidence for the latter comes from not one but two recent moves in the career of chiropractor and health services researcher Christine Goertz, DC, PhD. Place yourself in 1988. The chiropractors were just concluding their decade-long, successful Wilk vs. the AMA anti-trust suit. Most of medicine and much of the media – in part because of the AMA’s economically-driven attacks – equated “chiropractor” with “quack”.  Now consider

Read More »

The Intriguing Impacts of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: Exit Interview with PCORI Founding Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH

The way Joe Selby, MD, MPH tells it, the naming of the $3.2-billion Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – which from the outset had a charge to explore the comparative effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine methods – was both serendipitous and brilliant. At the time the quasi-public agency was established as part of the Affordable Care Act, the idea of “comparative effectiveness research (CER)” a hot-potato for the medical industry. Medicine’s waste, morbidity, mortality and cost prompted interest in real-world, decision-oriented research. But powerful medical stakeholders were worried enough about the comparative effectiveness of their part of the

Read More »

The New (Naturopathic) Face for a Therapeutic Order: The Healing Power of Nature and Integrative Health

I sometimes refer to my 1983-1993 years with the re-emergence of the naturopathic profession – amidst the broader social-medical movement that birthed integrative health – as my boot-camp. Given the decade duration of the commitment, it was more of an extended Marine Corps stint. The work was hard, ground won celebrated, compensation scarce, friendships fierce, and mission central. The pole star was the naturopathic profession’s commitment to “treat disease by restoring health.” The constellations that guided the voyage were a set of principles and something educators Jared Zeff, ND and Pamela Snider, ND would articulate as the “naturopathic therapeutic order.”

Read More »

John Weeks: Self-Interested Whims of the Oligarchs: Google and Facebook Kill Access to Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Before we jump into John Weeks’ column, we thought it best to give you some background on recent changes to Google and Facebook that may be affecting your practice’s website traffic. In case you missed it, from 2018 and into the summer of 2019, Google and Facebook changed their search engine algorithm to make it harder to find information about alternative and integrative medicine. They placed lower ratings (from contract website raters) on what is called Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) websites because of “inaccurate potentially dangerous medical advice.” Health websites that focus on alternative and integrative medicine suddenly lost

Read More »

Who is John Weeks?

John Weeks is a writer, speaker, chronicler and organizer whose work in the movement for integrative health and medicine began in 1983. He is publisher-editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports, which since 1995 – in various prior forms – has created primary connective terrain for the diverse stakeholders and

Read More »