Alternative Medicine

The Definitive Resource on Alternative Medicine for Christians Herbal remedies, supplements, and alternative therapies – Their specific uses – Which ones really work (and which ones don’t) – What to watch out for Christian versus non-Christian approaches to holistic health Clinically proven treatments versus unproven or quack treatments Truths and fallacies about supernatural healing Ancient medical lore: the historical, cultural, and scientific facts And much, much more In today’s health-conscious culture, options for the care and healing of the body are proliferating like never before. But which ones can you trust? Some are effective, some are useless, some are harmful. Some involve forms of spirituality that the Bible expressly forbids. Others that are truly helpful have been avoided by some Christians who draw inaccurate conclusions about them. Alternative Medicine is the first comprehensive guidebook to non-traditional medicine written from a distinctively Christian perspective. Here at last is the detailed and balanced coverage of alternative medicine that you’ve been looking for. Professor and researcher Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., and national medical authority Walt Larimore, M.D., draw on their extensive knowledge of the Bible and their medical and pharmaceutical expertise to answer the questions about alternative medicine that you most want answered—and others you wouldn’t have thought to ask. This massively informative resource includes: Two alphabetical reference sections: – Alternative therapies – Herbal remedies Entries include an analysis of claims, results of actual studies, cautions, recommendations, and further resources. A handy cross-reference that links specific health problems with various alternative therapies and herbal remedies reviewed in this book. Five categories of alternative medicine defined and then applied to every therapy and remedy evaluated in this book.

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Tags: New Health Ideas, medical lore, conscious culture, walt larimore, inaccurate conclusions

3 comments for “Alternative Medicine

  1. Robert P. Vogt
    March 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Sane, sound and scriptural: Alternative Medicine evaluation This ambitious project by Doctors O’Mathuna and Larimore exceeded my expectations. Their clearly stated purposes are: to point out benefits of alternative medicine; to explain the potential risks of alternative medicine; to anticipate the reader’s questions; provide objective answers. Starting with overviews and definitions of alternative and conventional medicine, they acknowledge the limitations of both types of medicine and explore some follies perpetrated over the centuries in the names of both orthodoxy and alternatives. They then move on to discuss Christian principles of health. Their definition of holistic health does not narrowly view it as the pursuit of physical health solely, but as part of the means to a successful life that includes physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects. They also offer well-researched biblical explanations for illness and suffering. Lastly, they offer advice on how to pursue good health. This last section is somewhat lacking in its own academic rigor as far as documenting the efficacy of their recommendations. However, I found all of their listed suggestions to be very reasonable. It is hard to argue with advocates of preventative health care visits, exercise and balanced diets.The authors’ spiritual analysis of each therapy, measuring each against a bible-based standard, sets this book apart from others. Such information is important because of the current trend to equate some health behaviors with spiritual maturity, or to presume that “anything that works must be good (or from God).” O’Mathuna and Larimore carefully look at each treatment or supplement to evaluate possible spiritual implications, using as much of the original source materials in each area as possible. They also present both the overt and covert spiritual worldviews of the therapies’ practitioners. Some of these are incompatible with biblical truth, and Christians must steer clear of them. However, both authors also acknowledge that sometimes one’s choice of health behaviors (e.g. dietary choices) comes down to a personal conviction and not a biblical command. Before diving into their evaluation of each specific therapy, they present how they objectively evaluate them to determine effectiveness and safety. Their concise primer on the scientific method and statistics is helpful for any reader unskilled in critically evaluating the medical literature. They briefly discuss their statistical methods, why and how the methods originated, and then freely acknowledge the limitations and weaknesses statistical methods have and their need for continued refinements. If you are looking for a sweeping condemnation of all alternative medicine, you will be disappointed (and shame on you anyway). They clearly state when there is good evidence for the effectiveness of alternative therapies, even if it ruffles the feathers of some conventionalists. Conversely, they are willing to sternly warn of the ineffectiveness, wastefulness, and potential dangers of therapies that do not meet their objective standards. They base their reviews on the best international literature available. This use of international literature is particularly important given that many of the best studies available, and in some cases the only studies done, were not performed in the United States or published in English-based journals. After a short explanation of how to interpret some of their smiley faced and check-marked tables, they launch into a structured analysis of alternative medical practices that includes acupuncture, biofeedback, magnet therapy, Tai Chi, yoga and 35 other modalities.The book’s last major section succinctly evaluates 56 herbal remedies, vitamins and dietary supplements. The `medicinal herbs’ reviewed include ones familiar and foreign to me, such as: aloe, ephedra, milk thistle, pennyroyal, vitamin C, and zinc. They neither trample on nor trumpet any given supplement. Rather, they apply consistent standards and report their results. O’Mathuna and Larimore’s research helps patients and practitioners alike to avoid alternative therapies that are medically dangerous, drains to their pocketbooks, and in some cases, spiritually worrisome. On the other hand, for modalities or supplements of proven value, they inform the reader as to what specific condition(s) they treat and how to determine how much active element an herbal or vitamin product contains.This is an excellent, readable resource for health practitioners and patients alike. Alternative medicines and therapies are used by up to 40 percent of patients. Most patients and practitioners alike are woefully uneducated about the data that supports or disapproves the efficacy of these non-conventional approaches. Similarly, most Christians are unaware of the spiritual significance the practitioners of some of these therapies ascribe to them, with attendant dangers. In my opinion, neither the giver…

  2. John B. Waits
    March 3, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Essential addition to your library This book is truly unique. With scientific excellence and compassion, O’Mathuna and Larimore give readers an outstanding resource on alternative medicine. The book works well whether you are a health care practitioner or a layperson considering using an alternative modality for your health. The book is also worth having if you are not a Christian, for although they write from this viewpoint, it contains scientifically sound advice for all faiths.

  3. Dwight Bain "Author, Counselor, Coach"
    March 3, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    End the confusion; medical views on alternative medicine I always wondered if vitamins really helped improve health and mood. Thankfully, now I know due to the exhaustive work of Larimore and Mathuna in Alternative Medicine- The Christian Handbook.

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