Description: This book is about an integrated approach to the practice of medicine and patient care, a holistic approach incorporating complementary, alternative, and some Western therapies. It focuses on the patient as a teacher and helps one look at nonconventional treatment modalities.
Purpose: The author states that he hopes ". . .that this book will take you on a journey to a new insight and understanding of human biology at all its levels of complexity and integration, and in the end leave you with more questions than it can possibly answer." The author meets his objective.
Audience: This book is written for advanced practice nurses, medical students, and physicians. The author states, "Integrate and individualize your approach to treatment. You and your patients will be pleasantly surprised." This book is a good sampling of various alternative therapies, although traditional Chinese medicine is heavily emphasized. The author is credible, as he is well-grounded in both the theories of Western medicine (anatomy, physiological chemistry, medicine, etc.), being educated in this modality in both the Republic of South Africa and the U.S., and alternative medical therapies (homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, etc.). He was the medical editor of Biological Therapy and the lead author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine Publishing, 1997). He is currently medical director of a company dedicated to research and development of innovative medications based on natural and energetic principles.
Features: I like the way the author begins at ground zero. He does not assume the audience already knows the subject. He introduces his paradigm, defines the terms, and gives a brief history. Although the book is not flashy and pictures and graphs are in basic black and white, I found the book interesting and informative. The title could be clearer as to what is included, however. When I first read the title, I thought the book was about each of these types of medicines in clinical practice. In reality, the book is about integrated medicine, a holistic approach incorporating complementary, alternative, and Western modalities.
Assessment: This is a fairly good book on integrated medicine. The author presents his paradigm, principles of integrated medicine, examples of alternative/complementary therapies, and concludes with a case study of an application of integrated management. This book is heavily weighted (approximately 50 percent) toward traditional Chinese medicine (patterns of diagnosis, Chinese herbal prescribing, and acupuncture). The remainder of the book is dedicated to other forms of alternative medical treatment (homeopathy, neural therapy, ayurvedic medicine, etc.), each receiving a more superficial treatment.