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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John Weeks: “Mending Our History” – Acu-Detox Group Engages Its Black Panther and Young Lord Roots in the Time of George Floyd

The dominant origin story of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) – known for their certified providers of the 5-point ear acupuncture protocol – begins with the association’s formation in 1985. It is a story featuring a remarkable white male medical doctor who was a breakthrough clinician in recognizing the value of group delivered services. Yet the development of the acupuncture protocol itself has an earlier, also powerful story. These origins are traced to a community health uprising in the South Bronx of New York in 1970. The action was led by the Black Panthers and the Nuyorican activist group,

Read More »

The Path to a Virginia Medical Center’s COVID-19 Integrative Protocol Using Multiple Natural Agents: Interview with Paul Marik, MD

Editor’s Note: Soon after publication of this interview between John Weeks and Paul Marik, MD, FCCP, FCCM, Medscape published a commentary, Doctors Say Their COVID-19 Protocol Saves Lives. Others Want Proof. We recommend you read this along with the interview and give us your opinion. The polarization in US medicine has never been so front and center as it is with COVID-19. Natural agents are off the table. Despite early clarity that the state of the host matters big time in susceptibility to the virus, natural strategies focusing on host susceptibility are routinely denigrated and dismissed.  So it was remarkable

Read More »

U Vermont’s Multi-Stakeholder Integrative Pain Pilot: Initial Reflections on Outcomes & Transferability

In recent weeks, two influential integrative health organizations each chose to feature presentations on the expansive, multidisciplinary, and remarkably patient-choice integrative pain pilot associated with the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC). The presentations for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) featured the project’s remarkable, multi-stakeholder partners: the state’s dominant payer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Vermont Department of Health, and the academic medical center. Included in the latter was the project’s research leader, longtime integrative health policy activist and prior NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative

Read More »

FTC’s Crackdown on COVID Claims: Insights on Novel Regulation from the Integrative Canaries in the Coal Mine

News feeds for the natural products and integrative health practitioner fields have in recent weeks included a drumbeat of alerts on actions of the Food and Trade Commission (FTC) on what the agency considers inappropriate COVID claims. A major natural health organization blasted the FTC’s efforts as practitioner gagging and censorship and is mounting a campaign to stop the activity. Others in these fields point to bullseyes some practitioners and companies have painted on their foreheads via gross over claims (“this mushroom will cure your COVID”) that laser-guide FTC’s actions. At a sober center amidst a tangle of issues –

Read More »

NCCIH Director Langevin’s Brilliant Whole-Person Health Plenary and the Call for Comments on the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan: Due June 30

The paradigm-exploring brilliance of the whole-person health focus National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) director Helene Langevin, MD chose to kick off public comments on the agency’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan sneaks up on you. In her virtual keynote, Langevin engages her audience with a fireside chat type conversational tone. She shares concepts under consideration since she left the directorship of the Harvard Osher Center for Integrative Medicine for her NIH post 17 months ago.  The highly-regarded basic science researcher starts, indeed, with basics. She shares that she and her staff are re-examining what they mean by the key

Read More »

Lori Knutson, Civilian Medicine’s Top Integrative System Builder, Joins Former VA Leader Gaudet at Alice Walton’s Whole Health Institute: An Update

The surprising news last August that Tracy Gaudet, MD was leaving the Veterans Administration where she birthed the transformational Whole Health program was leavened on learning that Gaudet would partner with the world’s wealthiest woman, Alice Walton. Together they would form the Whole Health Institute with a goal of nothing less than to translate and build off the VA model in civilian health and medicine and spread it globally. Other than a brief announcement at kick-off, plans have not been public. Last week word arrived that the professional with the most significant experience in developing integrative strategies in civilian medical

Read More »

Mapping a Healthcare Frontier: CHI Illuminates Science and Action in $2.8-Billion Energy Medicine Industry

In the minds of many in the dominant school of medicine, all of integrative medicine is frontier science. That bias often holds that the integrative frontier toward which one may sail is a chimera. Yet new continents have been found. Witness findings supporting acupuncture effectiveness and telomere lengthening through meditation. For integrative health, the frontier of that frontier is subtle energy and biofield healing. Spearheading efforts to quantify and advance science and action in this $2.8-billion industry is a self-styled “collaboration accelerator,” the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI).  CHI posits that the world they are mapping in their just published

Read More »

COVID-19: NCCIH Director Helene Langevin on the NIH Integrative Center’s Response

The push for evidence to assist in formulating more effective clinical response to the COVID-19 pandemic is awakening scores of research projects and multipliers more of recommended directions. In the integrative sphere, a team led by Lise Alschuler, ND from the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine published a paper on “considerations” for natural practices and agents. The Chinese government claims the use of traditional Chinese medicine is in part responsible for its apparently relatively rapid turn-around there. TCM researcher John Chen, PhD, PharmD, OMD, LAc and others have brought that work to the United States. Ryan

Read More »

Integrative (Weil), Naturopathic (AANP) and Nutrition (ANA) Organizations Open COVID-19 Resource Sites

Amidst of the waves of information on local, national and global developments related to COVID-19, efforts stand out of a few organizations to capture and bundle content that targets the integrative practice communities. Among the entities that have established resources pages are the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and the American Nutrition Association.  In contradistinction to the advisories of the United States’ federal agencies and state governments, these organizations have in common that their leaders believe that there is more that an individual can do than “healthy waiting” (sleep, exercise,

Read More »

Yes, Friends, the Medical Industry Can Be Transformed: The VA’s Whole Health System of Care at 2 Years

That there should be a huge transformational drama underway in the US medical industry is a desire and dream that powers the integrative health movement and the work of many others. Those who might enjoy a sort of reality TV examination of not the fantasy but the multi-dimensional actuality of what such change looks like have a treat coming. The scene of action is 18 huge medical centers distributed across the entire United States. The script writers are 25 scientists on an evaluation team. The drama cuts across 4 deeply inter-related story lines: the impact of the transformational change on

Read More »

John Weeks: “Mending Our History” – Acu-Detox Group Engages Its Black Panther and Young Lord Roots in the Time of George Floyd

The dominant origin story of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) – known for their certified providers of the 5-point ear acupuncture protocol – begins with the association’s formation in 1985. It is a story featuring a remarkable white male medical doctor who was a breakthrough clinician in recognizing the value of group delivered services. Yet the development of the acupuncture protocol itself has an earlier, also powerful story. These origins are traced to a community health uprising in the South Bronx of New York in 1970. The action was led by the Black Panthers and the Nuyorican activist group,

Read More »

The Path to a Virginia Medical Center’s COVID-19 Integrative Protocol Using Multiple Natural Agents: Interview with Paul Marik, MD

Editor’s Note: Soon after publication of this interview between John Weeks and Paul Marik, MD, FCCP, FCCM, Medscape published a commentary, Doctors Say Their COVID-19 Protocol Saves Lives. Others Want Proof. We recommend you read this along with the interview and give us your opinion. The polarization in US medicine has never been so front and center as it is with COVID-19. Natural agents are off the table. Despite early clarity that the state of the host matters big time in susceptibility to the virus, natural strategies focusing on host susceptibility are routinely denigrated and dismissed.  So it was remarkable

Read More »

U Vermont’s Multi-Stakeholder Integrative Pain Pilot: Initial Reflections on Outcomes & Transferability

In recent weeks, two influential integrative health organizations each chose to feature presentations on the expansive, multidisciplinary, and remarkably patient-choice integrative pain pilot associated with the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC). The presentations for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) featured the project’s remarkable, multi-stakeholder partners: the state’s dominant payer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Vermont Department of Health, and the academic medical center. Included in the latter was the project’s research leader, longtime integrative health policy activist and prior NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative

Read More »

FTC’s Crackdown on COVID Claims: Insights on Novel Regulation from the Integrative Canaries in the Coal Mine

News feeds for the natural products and integrative health practitioner fields have in recent weeks included a drumbeat of alerts on actions of the Food and Trade Commission (FTC) on what the agency considers inappropriate COVID claims. A major natural health organization blasted the FTC’s efforts as practitioner gagging and censorship and is mounting a campaign to stop the activity. Others in these fields point to bullseyes some practitioners and companies have painted on their foreheads via gross over claims (“this mushroom will cure your COVID”) that laser-guide FTC’s actions. At a sober center amidst a tangle of issues –

Read More »

NCCIH Director Langevin’s Brilliant Whole-Person Health Plenary and the Call for Comments on the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan: Due June 30

The paradigm-exploring brilliance of the whole-person health focus National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) director Helene Langevin, MD chose to kick off public comments on the agency’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan sneaks up on you. In her virtual keynote, Langevin engages her audience with a fireside chat type conversational tone. She shares concepts under consideration since she left the directorship of the Harvard Osher Center for Integrative Medicine for her NIH post 17 months ago.  The highly-regarded basic science researcher starts, indeed, with basics. She shares that she and her staff are re-examining what they mean by the key

Read More »

Lori Knutson, Civilian Medicine’s Top Integrative System Builder, Joins Former VA Leader Gaudet at Alice Walton’s Whole Health Institute: An Update

The surprising news last August that Tracy Gaudet, MD was leaving the Veterans Administration where she birthed the transformational Whole Health program was leavened on learning that Gaudet would partner with the world’s wealthiest woman, Alice Walton. Together they would form the Whole Health Institute with a goal of nothing less than to translate and build off the VA model in civilian health and medicine and spread it globally. Other than a brief announcement at kick-off, plans have not been public. Last week word arrived that the professional with the most significant experience in developing integrative strategies in civilian medical

Read More »

Mapping a Healthcare Frontier: CHI Illuminates Science and Action in $2.8-Billion Energy Medicine Industry

In the minds of many in the dominant school of medicine, all of integrative medicine is frontier science. That bias often holds that the integrative frontier toward which one may sail is a chimera. Yet new continents have been found. Witness findings supporting acupuncture effectiveness and telomere lengthening through meditation. For integrative health, the frontier of that frontier is subtle energy and biofield healing. Spearheading efforts to quantify and advance science and action in this $2.8-billion industry is a self-styled “collaboration accelerator,” the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI).  CHI posits that the world they are mapping in their just published

Read More »

COVID-19: NCCIH Director Helene Langevin on the NIH Integrative Center’s Response

The push for evidence to assist in formulating more effective clinical response to the COVID-19 pandemic is awakening scores of research projects and multipliers more of recommended directions. In the integrative sphere, a team led by Lise Alschuler, ND from the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine published a paper on “considerations” for natural practices and agents. The Chinese government claims the use of traditional Chinese medicine is in part responsible for its apparently relatively rapid turn-around there. TCM researcher John Chen, PhD, PharmD, OMD, LAc and others have brought that work to the United States. Ryan

Read More »

Integrative (Weil), Naturopathic (AANP) and Nutrition (ANA) Organizations Open COVID-19 Resource Sites

Amidst of the waves of information on local, national and global developments related to COVID-19, efforts stand out of a few organizations to capture and bundle content that targets the integrative practice communities. Among the entities that have established resources pages are the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and the American Nutrition Association.  In contradistinction to the advisories of the United States’ federal agencies and state governments, these organizations have in common that their leaders believe that there is more that an individual can do than “healthy waiting” (sleep, exercise,

Read More »

Yes, Friends, the Medical Industry Can Be Transformed: The VA’s Whole Health System of Care at 2 Years

That there should be a huge transformational drama underway in the US medical industry is a desire and dream that powers the integrative health movement and the work of many others. Those who might enjoy a sort of reality TV examination of not the fantasy but the multi-dimensional actuality of what such change looks like have a treat coming. The scene of action is 18 huge medical centers distributed across the entire United States. The script writers are 25 scientists on an evaluation team. The drama cuts across 4 deeply inter-related story lines: the impact of the transformational change on

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 »