As more and more Americans and their doctors seek alternative approaches to health care, isn't it time we offer our children the benefits of integrative medicine? Written by two conventionally trained physicians, Healthy Child, Whole Child offers a new generation of parents the best of modern medicine and scientifically proven alternatives to aid their children's physical, emotional, and psychological health. Included are treatment strategies for the most common childhood diseases, sound advice about everything from television watching to herbal remedies, and the latest information on many of the hot-button issues -- including vaccines, antibiotics, and diet -- that have arisen in the past decade.Filled with compassion, common sense, and the knowledge of two experienced physicians (and parents) who understand the importance of treating the whole child, this book reflects the changing face of modern medicine. It is an invaluable resource for mothers and fathers who want the best for their children today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Healthy Child Whole Child offers the most up-to-date mix of conventional and alternative advice for parents, including:
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Stuart H. Ditchek, M.D., is a practicing pediatrician, a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and five children.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
By Andrew Weil, MD
Writing forewords to books is not a high form of the literary art. When I do it, it is usually out of a sense of obligation to author-friends or publishers. That is not the case at present. Healthy Child, Whole Child is a really terrific work that embodies the spirit of the new medicine I have been trying to develop. It is a pleasure to introduce it to readers and help it find a place in the homes of parents who want to create healthy lifestyles for their children.
I know all three authors of this book, have taught them all, and worked with them. I am proud of their contributions to the growing field of Integrative Medicine and delighted that they have taken on the tremendous task of applying it to the realm of children's health.
These are the basic principles of Integrative Medicine:
* A partnership must exist between patient and practitioner in the healing process
* Good treatment should include appropriate use of all available methods to facilitate the body's innate healing response
* Physicians must consider all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease, including mind, spirit, and community as well as body
* Doctors should neither reject conventional medicine nor accept alternative medicine uncritically
* Good medicine should be based on good science and open to new paradigms
* Doctors should use more natural, less invasive interventions whenever possible
* Medicine must address the broader concepts of health promotion and disease prevention as well as the treatment of illness
* Practitioners themselves must be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development.
Dr. Stuart Ditchek, Dr. Russell Greenfield and Lynn Murray Willeford
Willeford observe all of these principles in Healthy Child, Whole Child. I can vouch, especially, for their adherence to the last one, because I know them all to be personally committed in their own lifestyles to health and healing and, as parents, to modeling healthy behavior for their children.
The field of pediatrics is ripe for Integrative Medicine. Pediatricians are open to it. They may lack knowledge and experience of other modalities of treatment because their training failed to provide them, but they have no intellectual baggage in the way of learning. Most parents today want to make use of more natural methods of prevention and treatment for their kids. And the healing potential of young persons is greater than that of grown-ups. Give their bodies a chance and some support, and they will usually come back to the balance of health quickly, often dramatically.
At the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, I co-direct a national center for research in alternative medicine in pediatrics. Among other projects, I and my colleagues in the Department of Pediatrics and the Program in Integrative Medicine are studying the efficacy of cranial osteopathy and echinacea in managing recurrent ear infections and the usefulness of chamomile tea and hypnosis in improving recurrent abdominal pain. Both conditions are very common childhood ailments.
A great deal more of this kind of research needs to be done. But we do not have to wait for the results of studies to come in to apply the basic principles of Integrative Medicine to raising healthy kids in the 21st century. That can be done right away, and Dr. Russ, Dr. Stu, and Lynn Willeford have done it. I think you will find, as I did, that they have produced a very readable, user-friendly guide that is rooted in common sense and the same balanced approach to health and medicine that I advocate and teach. Raising healthy kids is one of the most important contributions we can make to the future. This book gives you the information and tools you need to do it.
Tucson, Arizona January 2001
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