Editorial – The science of the good life


Author: Søren Ventegodt
Page Range: 177-179
Published in: Journal of Alternative Medicine Research, 15#2 (2023)
ISSN: 1939-5868

Table of Contents


Many medical doctors today seem little aware that there exists a science of happiness, quality of life, health, human needs and related subjects (1-3). This science is as old as medicine itself, yet its importance is rarely stressed for the students during their medical training. And yet, this science has been the root of medicine, both in east and west (4-7). Therefore, it might be wise to revisit it.

Medicine was only recently – just a hundred years ago – made into a story about drugs and surgical procedures. Before that medicine what about staying healthy by living a good and wise life, and about supporting the patient in regaining health and happiness by helping him finding his own hidden resources and inner healing powers (4-7) – very much the type of psychosocial medicine we find practiced by the physician Dean Ornish (8-11).

When we talk about happiness and self-healing powers, many doctors think “alternative” or “complementary” medicine (12-14). But the idea that we have self-healing powers that needs activation was at the very heart of the Hippocratic medicine. This medicine is Europe’s traditional medicine going all the way back to Hippocrates (460-370 BCE), who was called “the father of medicine” due to his more than 70 books on scientific medicine (collected in the famous “Corpus Hippocraticum”) (4), written on the island of Cos in Greece (5), about 400 BCE.

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