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High-Tech and Healing Touch

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On the cutting edge of cardiac medicine, in a mainstream hospital, the best of East and West meet as Mimi Guarneri, M.D., and Rauni King, R.N., create a hospital for the future.

This article appeared in our April 2004 issue. As you read this, the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California, is plugging in a new machine that will let anyone take a Fantastic Voyage inside a human body — including your own. Climb into the new $3-million scanner and within a few minutes the video screen will show a voyage through your heart — or anywhere else in your body — in real time. On screen it will look as though a microscopic submarine has been dropped into an artery, allowing you to scoot about at will, finding potential health problems before they find you. Right now, I’m watching a demo video taken by a prototype machine, traveling through the arteries into a heart that has obviously undergone stress. The smooth, translucent arterial walls suddenly give way to the gleam of a metal tube, called a stent, that holds this artery open, eliminating the crushing pain of angina. Thanks to this new scanner, the patient can have the stent checked for blockage regularly with little more discomfort than driving in for an oil change. Better still, the new mac …

Stephen Kiesling is a former Olympic rower, cocreator of the Nike Cross Training System, and editor at large of Spirituality & Health. A 35th anniversary edition of The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence has just been published.


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