DR. Jeffrey Rediger working for a science of health
Jeffrey Rediger works on unexplained medical phenomena. He seeks to bring a focus on health and hope to a field obsessed with disease.
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I came for a really conservative background on a farm without the usual conveniences. I grew up feeling I was not a part of the culture around me. I was a very questioning kid. My parent hadn’t gone to college. I served as an orderly in a hospital in high school and learned what it means to care for patients. After I finished a degree at Princeton Seminary I decided to go into medicine. I was really interested in the question. “How do people heal?”
I think it was a brilliant and really important step when early scientists took illness from the Church and said. “You can’t blame people for being sick”. Things are beginning to change. It’s a new era in medicine but we haven’t really studied health and healing. Doctors are trying to treat diseases, but I think that’s just the symptoms, not the underlying causes. I study patients who say their doctors were dismissive or even irritated by them. There’s nothing spontaneous about spontaneous remission. We don’t study it and I don’t know why. That changed for me in 2002. A nurse from Massachusetts General Hospital came to me for help. Se didn’t know how to tell her son that she had pancreatic cancer. She eventually went to Brazil to see a healer called Joao de Deus. She called me from Brazil to say that she was healing. She invited me to visit and study what that healer was doing. I was afraid of what my peers would say. I said I’m just not going to do it. But eventually I did go to Brazil in spring of 2003 and it changed my life. Since hen, I’ve been collecting cases with clear medical evidence for recoveries that where thought to be imposible in the paradigm I was trained in.
I believe that the overarching course of human evolution is that there’s a slowly growing respect for the underlying capacities of each and every human being. It’s very interesting how words for mind and body and soul developed over time, words such as “me”, “we” and “soul”. You slowly have the rise of democracy and human rights. It’s my belief that medicine and religión have been slow to accept the democratisation. Medicine has been uniquely resistant to the democratising influences for a variety of reasons.