September 12, 1995
Web posted at: 12:14 a.m. EDT
From Correspondent Norma Quarles
NEW YORK CITY (CNN) -- He's considered one of the most accomplished cardiothoraciac surgeons in the nation -- 35- year-old Dr. Mehmet Oz, attending surgeon at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
"We can cure the angia, chest pains, patients have with coronary artery disease by doing bypass graphs, triple bypass," Dr. Oz says. "...(But) are they really cured when we're done with them?" (185K AIFF sound or 370K WAV sound)
To deal with some of the other issues -- depression, pain, anxiety and healing -- associated with heart disease, Dr. Oz set up the Cardiac Complimentary Care Center.
One of Dr. Oz's employees is Julie Motz, who is neither doctor nor nurse. She is a healer. Motz will often ask patients to "experience the vibrational energy of the new heart" along with the energy of the body "and bring the two together." (93K AIFF sound or 185K WAV sound)
The Cardiac Care Complimentary Center employs music therapy, letting patients listen to music before, during and after surgery.
"Many of us have favorite songs and it gives us pleasure to listen to those songs," Dr. Oz says.
Both children and adults are being taught self-hypnosis, guided imagery and therapeutic touch.
"We have a very large program in teaching nurses to carry out this practice," says Jerry Whitworth of the Center, adding that therapeutic touch is the "laying on of hands that Christ used years ago."
Dr. Oz acknowledges that his work is controversial, and that he does "get heat" for it. And some of that heat is coming from the National Council Against Health Fraud.
"Columbia set up an alternative medicine center funded by private people who support a fraudulent alternative," claims Dr. Victor Herbert. (110K AIFF sound or 110K WAV sound)
But Dr. Eric Rose, chair of Columbia's Department of Surgery, says that's not so.
"I don't think (Dr. Oz) is a fraud," Rose says. "He's not an advocate for those therapies. He's an advocate for evaluating them. There's a big difference."
The Medical Center believes there is an obligation to evaluate these non-traditional therapies.
"I suspect that some will be of value, and some won't," says Rose, who adds that so far, all are safe.
Studies thus far show that patients enrolled in Dr. Oz's therapies indicate decreased discomfort, reduced stress, and better rest while hospitalized. And as one doctor said, what they know is that they are doing no harm.
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