Integrative Medicine Essential Reads

Contemplating Rothko

Can mindfulness enhance creativity?

Stress and Cancer

By Lucy O'Donnell on December 16, 2014 in Cancer Is a Teacher
In this time of constant motion, running at full speed, being permanently on call, and losing our Sundays – it is no wonder we are stressed. Many studies show that there is indeed a connection between stress and cancer. Learning to manage stress is not difficult but it does require discipline.

Clarify Three Misunderstandings about Acupuncture

In spite of increasing acceptance and varied use of acupuncture for treating pain and other ailments in the United States, there are still at least three misunderstandings about the practice and its mechanisms, which are typically found in some news reports about acupuncture (Sun, 2014a). Clarifying the misunderstandings also has implications for psychology.

Diagnosing and Curing Our Sick Health System

By Allen J Frances M.D. on December 10, 2014 in Saving Normal
Many tens of billions of dollars are spent every year by the medical/industrial complex to perpetuate bad and expensive medicine. Our politicians are already bought and paid for. The smart money is on this Goliath. Only an outraged public and informed patients can contain harmful over diagnosis, over testing, and over treatment.

Can Art Heal Loss and Trauma?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Supersurvivors
Artists expressing suffering through their work is nothing new. Art therapy is also nothing new. But, recent years have seen an uptick in the number of exhibits combining the two in innovative and meaningful ways. The purpose of these exhibits is artistic, yes. But they’re also intended to help heal suffering. Does it work?

Reduce ADHD Symptoms Naturally With These Five Steps

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on November 16, 2014 in Mental Wealth
Does research support the use of natural methods for treating ADHD? Here are five evidence-based suggestions for tackling the poor focus and disorganized behavior that are part and parcel of this disorder.

Sick of Being Pregnant?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on November 11, 2014 in How We Do It
Nausea, often the first sign of pregnancy, afflicts three-quarters of mothers-to-be. For two-thirds of those women nausea will lead to actual vomiting. So why does it happen? Pregnancy sickness has often been explained away as a side-effect of hormonal changes during pregnancy. But there is evidence that nausea and vomiting evolved to protect both mother and fetus.

Why Patients Are Impatient

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on November 06, 2014 in BrainSnacks
The logistical convenience of the “one size fits all” approach to patient care comes at a cost, and not just in malpractice settlements and premiums. The decision to sue often hinges on a sense of outrage or injustice about the way the patients feel they were treated. And angry people tend to bad-mouth service businesses far more often than the happy ones praise them.

Omega-3s May Reduce Child Aggression

By David Rettew M.D. on November 06, 2014 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
A new study randomized controlled study suggests that fish oil may improve child behavior problems such as aggression, particularly if the parents’ behavior also changes.

Do You Know Your Fitness Age?

As much as many people would like to turn back the clock on their age, up until now it hasn’t been a very feasible goal. However, new research on the concept of fitness age shows that you’re more in control than you think of the way your body keeps track of time.

Mother Ibogaine

By Tom Shroder on October 09, 2014 in Acid Test
New research supports the ability of the psychedelic compound ibogaine, used in traditional healing for thousands of years, to help break the grip of drug addiction. An excerpt from the new book "Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal" puts the research in the context of a long modern history as well.

Behavioral Science and Local Empowerment

The West African Ebola crisis is holding up a mirror to the world, and what it is reflecting back is worrisome. I was listening to the news reporting yesterday with a mixture of interest and horror. The horror was not just about what is going on in these West African countries.

Are Some Life-Saving Treatments Overkill?

By Peter A. Ubel on September 17, 2014 in Critical Decisions
We lose sight of the fact that sometimes the best medical intervention is not the most aggressive one.

Treating the Ailing Doctor-Patient Relationship

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 14, 2014 in Saving Normal
Modern medicine places too much focus on lab results, too little on the person; and too much reliance on hyped medical magic, too little on Hippocratic human caring. Patients want and aren't getting more than just pills from their doctors. As Hippocrates put it 2500 years ago: "It is just as important to know the patient who has the disease as the disease the patient has."

Sexuality in the Cancer Patient

The cancer experience (including treatment and emotional aftermath) can and often alter the sex life of both the patient and partner. The two are not, however, mutually exclusive, depending on the specific cancer and the relationship of the partners.

Looking for the Right Doctor? Pick a Babysitter

By Peter Edelstein M.D. on August 02, 2014 in Patient Power
Most people with a serious medical condition simply accept the doctors to whom they're referred. But if you think about your own health (and life) as you do about your children, you'd realize that selecting the right physician partner for you is as critical and as much your responsibility as is picking a babysitter to watch over your kids.

Back Surgery for Back Pain: Caution Is in Order.

While there are certain situations where back surgery can be life-saving, the evidence for operating on people with chronic back or sciatic pain is scant. For those with chronic pain and no evidence of nerve damage, caution is in order as studies have shown that surgery is generally not superior to physical therapy and behavioral therapies.

My Opinion on Second Opinions

By Peter Edelstein M.D. on June 29, 2014 in Patient Power
Are you unsure whether your doctor is providing the best treatment for you or a loved one? When should you seek a second opinion? And who should provide that critical medical advice? In order to "Own Your Health," you need to know!

Giving Nutrition Its Due in Bipolar Disorder Treatment

People struggling with bipolar need long-term support that includes a focus on nutrition to help them build momentum toward a healthier lifestyle.

Can Back Pain Be Contagious? At Times, the Answer Is "Yes."

We think of back pain as being caused by an injury to the back. But a combination of stress and exposure can create the right condition for back pain. And this phenomenon is much more common than you might think.

Why You Should Stop Worrying So Much About What You Eat

Just because we don't yet know whether broccoli or Brussels sprouts have a more potent benefit to our health and longevity, we know enough about lifestyle behaviors to make better decisions than most of us are currently making when it comes to nutrition.

Master of Soul: An Interview With Thomas Moore

By Mark Matousek on May 12, 2014 in Ethical Wisdom
The renegade author of "Care of the Soul" talks about getting real about spiritual life, forgetting about closure, and cultivating a path of authenticity.

Is CBD Better Than THC?

Why are people so excited about Cannabidiol (CBD)? Why are growers breeding marijuana plants with significantly higher levels of CBD? The answer lies in unpacking a series of complex truths, making distinctions between what is known and what is not known, and dispelling some false claims.

The Role of Neuroplasticity in Pain: For Better or Worse

Most people are aware that neuroplasticity is the process by which our brains change. However, many people are not aware that the brain can learn pain. This type of pain is caused by neural pathways and the resulting pain is very real. It turns out that this process is surprisingly common. More importantly, it’s relatively simple to identify and often easy to treat.

"What Potions Have I Drunk?" Concerns about Diet Supplements

Each week Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose television show is seen by millions worldwide, convincingly expounds on the miracles of different dietary supplements that purport to lead to fat burning, appetite suppression, and even substantial weight loss. How much do we really know about the efficacy and safety of these compounds?

Can Our Dreams Solve Problems While We Sleep?

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on April 15, 2014 in Dream Catcher
People can intentionally dream about the problems of a target individual they do not know.

It's Time to Do Something About Your Sleep

By Sherry Pagoto Ph.D. on March 24, 2014 in Shrink
Yes, you will sleep when you are dead, but not sleeping now may get you there sooner.

Is Your Hormone Balance Destroying Your Emotional Life?

Many women believe that pregnancy, menopause and breast cancer are all simply life states they have to endure. Sara Gottfried, M.D. a Harvard doc and gynecologist, explains why this is not the case in an interview with Srini PIllay, M.D. a Harvard psychiatrist and also previews some of her work in her new book "The Hormone Cure".

Rankism Can Be Harmful to Your Health

No society can regard itself as dignitarian if access to quality health care is limited to those with enough money to afford it.

Genetically Engineered Monkeys Born, Could Humans Be Next?

By Jessica Cussins on February 07, 2014 in Genetic Crossroads
Chinese scientists announced the birth of the first primates created with a precision gene modification technique, raising both hopes about new insights into human diseases and concerns about new attempts at human inheritable genetic engineering.