by Jessica Sanders

As technology advances, we grow more dependent upon that which increases longevity and less on the power of our own belief systems. In a situation where you have to make a decision about your health, whether to undergo a treatment or get a surgery, it’s easy to be confused about which will be best. Common sense is set aside and technology pushed to the forefront.

However, when you take advantage of health technology, while staying connected to your own beliefs and body, you can make the best decision. Increasing lifespan and wellness may actually be under your control. For example, determining whether an invasive cancer treatment is in fact the appropriate method to use, rather than just complying with the doctor who believes this modern method is the only option. Consider how you can utilize both the power of technology and yourself to heal.

Technological Advancement

Technological advancement continues to move at warp speeds in the medical field. New surgeries, robots and equipment are being developed every day. In some cases, these are beneficial to our health, and improve our quality of life. However, in other cases they lead to unnecessary surgeries and expensive treatments. For example:

health technology and healingTesting

A plethora of health problems may never be recognized or resolved without testing. They can reveal critical details about the running condition of your entire body. Most people are looking for the missing link to fixing their health problems, but some don’t know which test to ask for. Dr. Scott Saunders, director of The Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara and Health and Nutrition Advisor of Barton Publishing, recalls a case in which this was exactly the problem:

“I had a woman, a few months ago, she said ‘I’m tired all the time’… It turned out, she was missing an enzyme–it was a genetic abnormality–that should activate folate… She had normal levels in her blood, but she just couldn’t use it. The cool thing is, when you find out what the problem is, all we have to give her is the methylated folic acid, and all of a sudden she became normal — just like that.”

Necessary Surgeries

Technological advancements have lead to unnecessary surgeries that are expensive and controversial. In fact, Dr. Saunders suggests heart surgery, the #1 surgery in the United States, is the most unnecessary surgery to undergo. If you or the patient is not going to go the great beyond (this is not a National Park), then there can be a delay between diagnosis and surgery to investigate other options or opinions.

However, all emergency surgeries, such as gunshot wound, infection, or appendectomy, fall under the category of necessary , and technology in this field has made these surgeries more available and less expensive while improving response times.

Experts at explain, “The so-called rudimentary or standard examinations/technologies have been replaced with advanced studies and high-tech equipment. Computed tomography (CT scans) imaging technologies have been developed on a large scale and made available at low cost … In the emergency room, these developments make a major impact.”

Less Technology, More Self Power

With so much emphasis on advancing technologies, we forget that we as humans have the ability to improve the healing process. Marilyn Schlitz, the president of IONS, says, “Intention plays a role when you think about how our thoughts and our emotions and our cognition influence our immune system and our endocrine system.”


Schlitz explains that people who are under a tremendous amount of stress have a diminished immune system in terms of healing and functioning. When it comes to health problems and concerns, or medical diagnosis, stress is the least effective method of coping and eventually healing.

If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, for example, Dr. Saunders says the first step is to relax, pray and don’t panic. Smokers puff cigarettes to relieve stress, and studies found that the smokers diagnosed with lung cancer who didn’t quit lived longer than those who did because smoking decreased their stress levels.

But if we really want to have the best chance to get better – and healthy patients to avoid getting sick in the first place – then we should do everything in our power to support low-tech and high-healing interventions too.

A Little of Both

Ultimately, it’s your job to determine whether the technology is necessary . While this varies from one person and situation to the next, weighing risks and benefits will help you determine what is best. In hernia surgery, for example, 50% of patients continue having pain. In cases such as this, alternative methods of healing may be more effective, or simply less invasive, with the same outcome.

While promising medical technology makes it seem like expensive procedures are the only option, it’s important to remember the power that you hold on your own; emotions, stress and belief play a large role in healing.

Sometimes these two work in conjunction, while other times one or the other will be the best course of action. Dr. Saunders recommends that people take a moment to assess their options in a calm manner instead of jumping into unnecessary surgeries to make these potentially life altering decisions.