I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t go into Christina Vircillo Bresson’s documentary, The Way of Miracles, with a healthy dose of skepticism. The film features a wide range of stories about people whose health issues mainstream medicine all but gave up on. But, by combining Western and Eastern medicine, they found success in a more holistic approach. Though I may not have agreed with the film’s sentiment 100%, there is truth to be mined.
The Way of Miracles features holistic practitioner Dr. Mark Mincolla and several of his patients. One woman’s thyroid issues prevented her from becoming pregnant. Her initial doctor told her she had no nope, while Dr. Mincolla deduced her problem by asking just a few questions. He prescribed a new diet and supplements, and success! Other stories include a woman battling breast cancer and a man who slowly began losing his hearing. All healed through holistic means — primarily diet and lifestyle changes. Is it that simple?
Along with the stories, Dr. Mincolla and other experts explain the human body has this unique ability to heal itself. Subtle claims are made that western medicine sometimes gets in the way of this healing. Taken from the press release, “viewers discover how to harness the power of healing by exploring how the energetic properties of food, thought, and emotion affect immunity, chronic inflammation, and the genetic expression of disease.” Whew!
“…combining Western and Eastern medicine, they found success in a more holistic approach.”
I’m just a film critic, not a medical professional, so here are a few of my takeaways from The Way of Miracles. I’m a big believer that the corporatization of the food industry has traded convenience over nutrition. The food we eat off the shelf and in our fast food is full of chemicals and preservatives for the sake of flavor and long shelf-life. I always point out that a McDonald’s cheeseburger will never get moldy for years. How can this be good? Our diet and the source of our food have a massive impact on our health, and also, the food pyramid is upside down.
Stress is also detrimental to our health. We stew in our day-to-day stress worrying about everything, and become increasingly depressed from the news and social media. Managing stress is vital, and Bresson brings up various gratitude exercises to curb our “dis-ease.” While I believe that having a positive attitude and general outlook on life is healthier than the alternative, I began getting lost during the discussion of our “energies” and how this energy or force, whether positive or negative, can be passed onto others. It makes a great word picture, but I question the science. Again, I blame my natural skepticism.
My biggest takeaway from The Way of Miracles is you have to take charge of your health. While you can’t take blind faith in holistic medicine to cure all that ails you, you can’t 100% trust traditional medicine (your doctor) either. A pill is not going to take away the sources of your stress. Nor is feeling good going to prevent the growth of tumors.
The Way of Miracles is, if anything, educational about how our bodies work. Dr. Mincolla makes these heady holistic ideas understandable. He lets the results of his work speak for themselves and never resorts to any hard sell. We are sharply divided in almost every aspect of life. In this case, it’s health, and like every other issue, the answer always seems to lie somewhere in the middle.
"…you have to take charge of your health."