98 von 102 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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I agree with the previous reviewer that this book is a bit simplistic and does not go into great detail, but it is meant to be an overview of "alternative" and complementary treatments for the average health care consumer. As a physician, I would not recommend this book for providers, but I think it's a great starting point for patients, and I would not hesitate recommending it to my own patients. The idea is to give the reader a quick summary of the CAM (complementary/alternative medicine) treatment involved, a helpful "traffic light" system that indicates whether the authors think the treatment might be beneficial (green), unknown/might be useful/use caution (yellow), or unsafe (red), based on the best scientific evidence available. There is a quick blurb on "What the research says" for each CAM treatment, and this is where I wish there was a bit more information--perhaps a list of studies that the motivated patient can look up himself. As a provider, I am interested in the studies from which the authors are drawing their conclusions--perhaps a book from the Mayo clinic experts with this kind of information specifically for providers can be made available someday.
There is a lot of conventional medicine in this book as well, some good sections on diet, exercise, and lifestyle, and a section on "what makes a good study". I don't find the presentation to be patronizing; rather, it is appropriate for the broad range of educational backgrounds of the audience for which it is intended. I think the photos and layout are pleasing to the eye.
I found the sections on energy therapies (reiki, healing touch, acupuncture) and "other approaches" (ie, naturopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine) to be a little too lenient ("yellow lights" were given to most of these); most of these treatments need more research, and it should be stressed in the chapters that they should not be undertaken IN PLACE OF conventional treatments, but perhaps as adjuncts. In another chapter, spirituality and prayer is discussed, and although this is given a green light, it really should be stressed that prayer alone will not cure illnesses such as meningitis or diabetes, as some religious groups would have us believe. Of course, it can be used as a useful integrative practice for some patients.
A strong chapter on quackery and how to spot it should always be included in any book on CAM, in my opinion. Since it is not really addressed in this book, I would recommend my patients to also read Dr. Stephen Barrett's Quackwatch internet site, which is free, and which does not mince words when it comes to criticisms of CAM, studies involving CAM, and even the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
I believe that the search for "alternative" treatments has picked up recently because conventional doctors, due to decreasing insurance reimbursements and increased demand to see greater numbers of patients, are not able to spend enough time with their patients, and really LISTEN to them. Doctors are no longer able to afford to open their own practices and become part of a community, where their patients are their neighbors and friends. More and more we see doctors jumping around the country in order to find the states with the lowest malpractice insurance rates, the best call schedules, the highest salaries. Patients are searching for someone they can trust, who will listen to their concerns and offer support. Many times a massage therapist or reiki provider has the time to provide this, whereas a doctor does not. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of "quack" CAM providers who take advantage of this as well, and they have a large stake in the continued support of their practices by the public and the government. It is up to conventional medical practitioners, who should demand as much scientific evidence to support CAM treatments as conventional treatments, to help patients sort the wheat from the chaff, and I think this book is a good starting point for opening the lines of communication.
23 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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The answer to the question "Is this book worth the money it costs?" greatly depends on what you expect to get from it. If you're looking for a reference guide for the so called "alternative therapies" (I'll use CAM for short henceforth), you probably should look someplace else. If you are a believer in CAM, looking for a scientific proof that CAM works, you might be disappointed. Although the book does list 20 conditions, which can be "helped" with CAM according to scientific studies, a closer look reveals that by "helps" they almost always mean "provides a temporary and mild relief for some superficial symptoms", namely: non-specific pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. In my case, I was looking not for the information, but for another point of view. It's not difficult to find all the information in this book online, either in favor of CAM (mostly coming from practitioners), or against it (QuackWatch, SkepDic, NCAHF, CSICOP etc.), or even something more or less neutral, like NCCAM. After listening to all the sides I thought that Mayo Clinic, as a respectable medical institute, but with unusually liberal approach towards CAM, may provide a unique perspective on the matter. In this respect the book was more or less worth the money I paid for it. Two things soured the experience, however. First of all, the book isn't as comprehensive as I was hoping for. It contains a basic description of 25 popular types of "alternative therapy", as well as 59 common herbs, vitamins and minerals. This is a nice coverage, actually, but with hundreds of therapies and thousands of herbs out there (if not more) it's far too small to be a real compendium. I was hoping for at least twice as much. In particular, there is nothing about such famous (or infamous) things as colon cleansing and Philippine healers. One star off for this. There is a lot of information about healthy living, and just a handful of pages about the dangers of CAM and the quackery, but since I've found nothing there I didn't know already, it didn't affect my rating. Some people might find it useful, though. Another matter is more serious: deception. To my best knowledge (but who knows) they tell only the truth in the book, but definitely not the whole truth, which creates false impressions. For example, they speak of the idea of "putative energy" or "life-force" as a supposed basis of some "therapies", but never mention the fact that such concepts are extremely anti-scientific. People who aren't versed in science may take this silence as a sign that science, at the very least, doesn't deny the existence of such "energies", which is not true. A more disturbing example involves prayer. The book gives it a "green light" and says that a study (emphasis on "a") showed that prayer can change the course of some disease, yet never mentions all the other studies, including at least two performed by Mayo Clinic itself (!), which showed absolutely no benefit of prayer on healing. Whether prayer works or not, I find such glaring omission unacceptable. There are many other examples like this one, and even the choice of words is sometimes misleading ("study couldn't prove" instead of "study disproved", for example). Because I generally like and respect Mayo Clinic, I will take off only one more star for this, but I can't promise to be so nice next time.