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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 141-142

The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine Leonard A. Wisneski, Lucy Anderson

Director and CSO, AVP Research Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
P Ram Manohar
Director and CSO, AVP Research Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Manohar P R. The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine Leonard A. Wisneski, Lucy Anderson. Ancient Sci Life 2013;33:141-2

How to cite this URL:
Manohar P R. The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine Leonard A. Wisneski, Lucy Anderson. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 30];33:141-2. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2013/33/2/141/139064

Author and Editor: Leonard A. Wisneski

Year: 2009

Pages: 422

Price: 77.99 £

Binding: Hard Bound

Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group

The growing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine in the developed countries has triggered the evolution of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine aims to integrate body, mind and spirit in the process of healing. Steps are also taken to incorporate modalities of healing beyond the ken of conventional medicine on the basis of sound evidence of safety and efficacy. It is heartening, to note that research on integrative medicine is growing at a fast pace.

The community of doctors who practice integrative medicine is on the rise worldwide. This has created the need for learning resources, specially authentic textbooks for teaching and reference. "The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine" caters to the above need by putting in one place state of the art knowledge on the science and practice of integrative medicine in the form of a textbook.

In 11 chapters, this book gives an overview of the cutting edge research that is transforming the practice of integrative medicine into a science. Three chapters of the second edition are additions to the first edition. The new chapters deal with advancements in neuroscience and psychoneuroimmunology.

The first chapter is a review of the classic physiological systems and gives a detailed account of the nervous system, the endocrine system, the stress system and the immune system with recent research updates relevant to integrative medicine. This chapter prepares the reader to understand the rest of the content in the book. This chapter is especially useful for the nontechnical reader.

The second chapter deals with systems integration which is explained from the framework of psychoneuroimmunology. Examples of systems integration are hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis with the immune system and intercellular communication in the anterior pituitary.

The mind gene connection is revealed in the third chapter with the help of studies that have found that stress and disease influence telomere (a segment of the chromosomes) length. The body and mind appear more interconnected than they were thought to be. The subiculum, a small structure located in the hippocampus of the brain is recognized as the "switch" which regulates the impact of the stress response on memory.

The fourth chapter deals with the relaxation system. In this chapter, the chemistry of many important chemicals such as benzodiazepines, melatonin, cannabinoids etc., are discussed. This chapter also contains a discussion on placebos.

In the present edition, naturopathic medicine is discussed in Chapter 5. The various therapeutic modalities that influence the relaxation system have also been discussed in this chapter. Light modalities, sound modalities, bioelectromagnetic modalities, thermal therapies, nonthermal therapies, psychological modalities are all elaborately dealt with.

The sixth chapter deals with energy medicine and also includes a section on homoeopathy. This chapter also discusses prayer and healing.

The seventh chapter focuses on nonthermal electromagnetic therapies and focuses on seemingly esoteric interventions within the framework of scientific discussion. This includes a discussion on electrophotonic imaging which attempts to image the human energy field. The author has consciously avoided endorsing any of these interventions.

This chapter also reviews many new therapeutic devices that have been developed for use by the integrative medicine practitioners. This is very helpful for practitioners who are thinking of adopting them in their clinical practice.

There is a detailed discussion on various types of laser therapies in this chapter.

Chapter 8 also deals with energy medicine but with an exclusive focus on lasers. There is a discussion on the various effects of laser light in this chapter.

An interesting discussion on education constitutes the ninth chapter. This chapter gives an outline as to how the health practitioner needs to be groomed to meet the healthcare challenges of this century.

The tenth chapter presents the pineal gland as the energy transducer. It discusses at length our internal clock, the wake-sleep switch and many topics of interest in chronobiology.

The final chapter opens our minds to the fascinating phenomenon of neuroplasticity. The evidence that meditation can induce neuroplasticity as seen in electroencephalographic readings of practitioners is intriguing indeed. This chapter is titled "Soul Medicine: Crossing the border" and touches upon the concept of integral physiology of body, mind/emotions and spirit.

Interestingly, there is no discussion about Ayurveda, even though acupuncture, homoeopathy and naturopathic medicine are discussed. Yet, much of the discussion echoes many concepts that are foundational to Ayurveda. It is a fundamental notion in Ayurveda that the human being is an expression of the unity of body, mind and self and that there is an intricate connection between the body and the mind. A classical text book of Ayurveda states that the mind and body are connected in such a way that what happens in the body reflects in the mind and vice versa. The relationship between the two has been compared with that of ghee and an iron vessel. If hot ghee is poured into the iron vessel, the latter gets heated. And if cold ghee is poured into a hot iron vessel, the former gets heated. This book would therefore be of interest to those working in the field of Ayurveda for discovering the scientific basis of theories and concepts that have served as the cornerstone of the Ayurvedic approach to understanding health and disease.


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