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What is Complexity Medicine?

You are going to ask us, “What is Complexity Medicine?”, and in this moment our answer maybe something like, “It is a lot like dancing, don’t you think?” Of course, your first inclination may be to think we are being facetious or flippant in our reply. I assure you, we are not. Thus, finding yourself so flummoxed, in the apparent face of this absurd response, you might reach to determine if we are being either literal or figurative in this instance. The answer is a whole-hearted yes, as we take our relationship to both action and metaphor very seriously in our tracking and pursuit of this ineffable Wisdom…Moreover, if forced to choose between a distinction between the orthodox and the heterodox, in this regard, we will no doubt choose to situate our present interaction within the paradoxical position and tensioning, betwixt and between the two...Before knowing or being known, we remain open to either (and neither), just as in the moment before falling, a shift in weight uses imbalance to create new dynamic possibilities of expression.

Complexity Medicine, The Art and Science of Health
Complexity Medicine Logo

So back to dancing, which is also to say back to this emergent forming of our Complexity Medicine, and thus back to a type of medicine more complex and encompassing in its form. What then is it to dance? – A shared participation in rhythm, interplay, interaction, improvisation, movement, pauses, cadence, syncopations, creativity, tradition, limits, calls, responses, missteps, resonances, dissonances, coherences…grace. To dance, to be danced, to be the dance…yet, what is to be danced by the dance which dances itself? 


The oldest human healing traditions - ancestral, ancient, and archaic in time - made the dance the centrality of their exploration and expression in the presence of a mysterium tremendum et fascinans. In the nighttime - under star, around a fire, stomping the earth underfoot, communing with the unseen – people would reemerge into the light of daily life - the night’s sweet entanglement held as a guiding metaphor in the organizing of their relationships with self, other, and the world about; in so doing, lived out their days in concordance with Nature’s brethren, of which they were one. So yes, today the answer as to what is Complexity Medicine is that Complexity Medicine is a dance.  Or better yet, the movement towards falling, that catches itself and is so danced.  

Breadcrumbs and strings to mark our trails…

Complexity Medicine, simply stated is:

  • Complexity Medicine is not a single metaphor; rather a holding for an indefinite number of metaphors, directing us towards Health, of which it is one.

  • Complexity Medicine, strives in form, to birth forth its prose from poetry.

  • Complexity Medicine serves, firstly, the Aesthetic needs of the Living and, in doing, so takes care of the pragmatic considerations of the mundane.

  • Complexity Medicine holds the question, “What is Health” – Health, in turn, answers that call.

  • Complexity Medicine is a shifting tension; and the act of tuning, that lies in the paradoxical juxtapositions of reason and absurdity, science and art, and "rigor and creativity".

  • Complexity Medicine, in seeking to “first, do no harm”, looks to align before it looks to intervene.

  • Complexity Medicine is…

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