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From The CriticsReviewer: Carlos D Giraldo, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This unique compilation addresses a variety of topics ranging from effects of emotional stressors to spiritual interventions to herbal therapies on cardiovascular disease.
Purpose: This book aims to educate the reader about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and its core mission to care for patients on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. As more of the population turns to CAM, conventional healthcare providers need to be familiar with the interactions of these strategies. This book provides a foundation to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the rapidly growing 36 per cent of American adults who use CAM, attempting to fill the gap left by traditional medical education.
Audience: This comprehensive manual of integrative cardiology will appeal to healthcare practitioners at all levels. Anyone interested in the field of integrative medicine can learn a great deal from this work. It is loaded with information that is useful for all levels of healthcare workers, ranging from the student to the individual trying to establish his or her own cardiac program in CAM. The end product is an authoritative work written by experts in their fields that successfully covers information relevant to a broad spectrum of healthcare providers.
Features: The authors and editors focus on the latest information about CAM, including its basics, treatment modalities, and mechanistic and physiological links to the cardiovascular system, and review common treatments that are known to impact cardiovascular health. The book starts by providing an existing model of blended medicine and the steps needed to integrate CAM into a preexisting cardiac program. The authors discuss important legal issues unique to CAM. A thought-provoking chapter covers bioenergetics, including transcendental meditation, which has been linked to reduction in cardiovascular mortality. There is intriguing information concerning acupuncture and its beneficial effects on perfusion and arterial disease. The review of herbal supplements with an evidence-based approach is among the most clinically useful. It includes many useful tables, trial references, and resources. The authors also review current knowledge regarding implications of dietary and lifestyle modifications, and forms of meditation. The exploration of stress and its physiological manifestations expands on the current understanding of its cardiovascular implications. The review of traditional Chinese medicine attempts to integrate the biophysical and metaphysical perspectives including many useful tables. The appendix provides an extensive listing of easily accessible literature useful for point-of-care referencing.
Assessment: This thorough review of CAM as it applies to the field of cardiovascular medicine provides an authoritative introduction. The authors and editors articulately summarize the facts about complementary cardiovascular medicine so that physicians can confidently and knowledgeably advise their patients. It is more up to date and covers a wider area than a similar book, Complementary and Alternative Cardiovascular Medicine, by Stein and Oz (Humana Press, 2004).