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The Knowledge of Healing

   1998    Medicine
The documentary 'The Knowledge of Healing' is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices. Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gy├╝shi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed. Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.

Forks Over Knives

   2011    Medicine
Documentary filmmaker Lee Fulkerson explores the possibility that so-called 'diseases of affluence,' such as heart disease, can be reversed by simply adjusting our diets to include less processed and animal-based foods. Back in the 1960s, Cornell University nutritional scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell was working to find a way to feed the citizens of impoverished Third World nations when a trip to the Philippines forever changed the way he thought about food consumption. There, he discovered that the rates of liver cancer among affluent children who subsisted on diets rich in animal-based foods were notably higher than in children consuming plant-based diets. Meanwhile, surgeon Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at Cleveland Clinic, was also discovering that many of the diseases he was seeing in patients were practically non-existent in areas of the world where people were primarily consuming plant foods. Several subsequent investigations by the researchers (who would not meet each other until the 1980s), including a ground-breaking study in China by Dr. Campbell, led them to the revelation that a whole-food, plant-based diet could prevent, and even reverse, such degenerative conditions as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. In this film, Fulkerson examines Dr. Campbell's and Dr. Esselstyn's theories by following the two doctors' individual, yet very similar, story arcs, from their farm-based upbringings to their astounding discoveries. The film also records the experiences of a group of patients suffering from chronic maladies as they participate in an experiment in which their diets are substantially altered and wholesome, plant-based food is, essentially, used as medicine

How to Live Longer

   2017    Medicine
Our lifespan is increasing by 2.5 years every decade - and a third of all babies born today can expect to live to 100. But living longer can come at a cost. Old age itself brings with it a range of debilitating illnesses, many of which are the result of accumulating damage during our lifetime. Three diseases in particular have become the main killers in the developed world - cancer, heart disease and dementia. But a revolution in bio-medicine is now offering new hope for the treatment of these ailments, and the potential to extend our lives still further. Methods such as gene editing and stem cell therapies are transforming the way medicine can conquer disease today. "How to Live Longer" counts with the guide of the Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse, for whom the big question isn't just what science can do to fix our bodies and extend our lives, but whether it's right to use all the tools and techniques available.
Series: The Big Think
The Planets
The Planets

   2000    Science
How Earth Made Us
How Earth Made Us

   2010    Science
Colour The Spectrum of Science
Colour The Spectrum of Science

   2015    Science
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History
Living Universe
Living Universe

   2018    Technology
The Art of Russia
The Art of Russia

   2009    Art
P.U.L.S.E
P.U.L.S.E

   2006    Art
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science