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Context is Everything | Kerry Harling | TEDxUniversityofPittsburgh
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Added Jul 18, 2016
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Context helps to put everything in perspective. Without context, we cannot make informed decisions. This is particularly true in medicine, involving the diagnosis of a patient. Medicine, while constantly evolving and progressing, still lacks personalization. Diagnoses are made from a collection of symptoms, but without context, these diagnoses run the risk of being completely wrong. Practitioners treat diseases, but fail to take into consideration the root causes of these diseases. In her talk, Kerry Harling aims to pinpoint and discuss such underlying mechanisms that lead to disease, as she specifically focuses on treating a patient, and not just their symptoms.

Kerry began her health journey way back in college where she studied neuroscience. In graduate school and during her public health masters courses she focused her studies on the effects of environmental toxins on human health, and saw the frustration as patients complained of a myriad of symptoms that had no specific diagnosis. They were left to ‘fend’ for themselves. At this point, she knew there had to be a different way of managing health. Through her many years of traveling and living overseas, she seemed to come back to a central question: How do we encourage certain health behavior in spite of our fast-paced culture, and how do we maintain balance in different settings around the world? “I was drawn to discover why most people by the time they reach their middle years, were so tired. Most had lost their vibrancy, their vitality and ultimately their health. I realized it was our lifestyles, our diets and our habits that determine our health and this drew me to Ayurveda.”

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at