More than 43 million people of all ages in the U.S. suffer from arthritis, an often disabling disease for which conventional medicine offers only limited relief from pain--and no cure. Arthritis patients are increasingly seeking alternative therapies, yet these have their drawbacks, too: though some have proven benefits, many others are expensive and work for only some, others are useless, and some are dangerous. This book aims to be a "common-sense guide through the maze of the most-used complementary therapies for arthritis, to help you choose wisely among the many options available," and it succeeds beautifully. The book lists 22 complementary therapies, from familiar ones like acupuncture, meditation, tai chi, and yoga, to less accepted treatments like copper bracelets, magnets, and bee stings (don't worry, the book isn't recommending this, only providing information). The "Nature's Medicines" section discusses more than 40 herbs and supplements.
The book describes each therapy and how it is used, presents scientific evidence and expert opinion, and gives tips on how to find a practitioner and information on costs, advice, cautions, and resources in a helpful and reader-friendly style. There are also guidelines for working with your doctor, choosing a therapist, and avoiding rip-offs. Author Judith Horstman, a two-time Fulbright Scholar and award-winning editor of Arthritis Today magazine, makes the point that complementary therapies cannot "cure" arthritis or replace proven medical treatments. They can, however, ease symptoms and improve your outlook, and may even enhance the effects of your conventional treatment. This is an extremely useful and beautifully illustrated book for arthritis sufferers seeking to expand their treatment as informed consumers. --Joan Price
From Library Journal
No longer content with merely warning patients about possibly dangerous treatments, the Arthritis Foundation has compiled a valuable guide "to the most-used complementary therapies for arthritis." Many experts in the fields of arthritis and alternative therapies contributed information to this thorough and well-organized book, which stresses the combination of conventional Western medicine and alternative therapies. Each chapter "describes the therapy and how it is used, the scientific evidence about the therapy, expert opinion of the therapy, how to find a practitioner, what the therapy costs, [and] resources on how and where to learn more." The work relies heavily on biomedical scientific data, which should appeal to health professionals seeking information on the efficacy of specific therapies. Appendixes cover basic information on different forms of arthritis and provide extensive lists of citations, recommended readings, and web sites. Nicely illustrated and neatly laid out, this is recommended for all consumer health collections.ALisa McCormick, Jewish Hosp. Lib., Cincinnati
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.