Dr. Oz on Complementary Medicine: 'Challenge the Status Quo'

Renowned surgeon on the healing power of song, aromatherapy, meditation & more.

ByABC News via logo
August 30, 2009, 11:03 PM

Aug. 31, 2009 — -- Dr. Mehmet Oz, a world-famous heart surgeon, is advocating another type of medicine that does not require a scalpel: complementary medicine.

Oz believes that we are only beginning to understand what contributes to healing and wants all of us to expand our definition of health care.

At New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center, every patient recovering from heart surgery is offered massage therapy and cranial touch therapy thanks to Oz's advocacy.

The goal is to stimulate the flow of energy in hopes that something from Eastern medicine can make a difference in the West.

"I think that we're beginning to globalize medicine now," Oz said. "You have to take Eastern approaches and bring them to the West, and share West with the East."

Music has an essential effect on how we feel. During surgery Oz listens to high-energy songs by Bruce Springsteen, but music isn't only for the doctors. During recovery patients are invited to join in music therapy.

While singing "Dream a Little Dream" with recovering patients, Oz explains that singing prompts deeper breathing and healing.

"We used to spend hours asking folks to take deep breaths, and this accomplishes that goal," Oz said.

According to Oz "energy medicine" is at the forefront of healing, but he acknowledges that he is sometimes a lone pioneer in this field.

"I'm sure people think that I'm out in left field you know, playing by myself," Oz said.

But for this doctor it comes naturally. He is a son of the East and the West, having spent most of his childhood in Turkey.

"It's a unique country, because it truly bridges the East and the West," Oz said. "People who believe in integrated medicine and people who believe in high-tech conventional medicine."