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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 Gyüshi (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.

The Irrational Health Service

       Medicine
Richard Dawkins examines the growing suspicion the public has for science-based medicine, despite its track record of successes like the germ theory of disease, vaccines, antibiotics and increased lifespan. He notes a fifth of British children are currently not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella, attributing it to fears arising from a highly controversial report linking the vaccine with autism. Dawkins criticizes the growing field of alternative medicine which does not pass the same objective and statistical rigour as scientifically derived treatments using controlled double-blind studies. Without verifiable evidence, alternative therapies must rely on biased anecdotes and word of mouth to perpetuate. Dawkins observes these treatments have fanciful rationales and rituals behind them, with many alternative treatments employing pseudoscientific jargon such as "energy", "vibration" or "quantum theory" to give themselves greater credence to patients.
Series: Enemies of Reason

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

       Medicine
Has the age of antibiotics come to an end? From a young girl thrust onto life support in Arizona to an uncontrollable outbreak at one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals, The film investigates the alarming rise of a deadly type of bacteria that our modern antibiotics can’t stop.

Sicko

       Medicine
Michael Moore’s documentary sets out to investigate the highly profitable American health care industry, compares it to other nations and shows HMO horror stories. Sticking to his tried-and-true one-man approach, Moore sheds light on the complicated medical affairs of individuals and local communities. Sicko is as indicting as the rest of Moore’s films.

Forks Over Knives

       Medicine
The film examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug and major medical operations have become routine. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country's three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to 'battle' these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases. Could it be there's a single solution to all of these problems?

The Last Shaman

       Medicine
The Last Shaman James is an all American boy whose promising life is brought to a halt by acute depression. Turning his back on the most progressive western treatments and medicines, James discovers ayahuasca in search of healing in the Peruvian jungle. Over the course of 10 months venturing from Shaman to Shaman, James finds friendship, answers and a kind of redemption hidden deep in the Peruvian amazon. (Click CC for subtitles)
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