Monday, January 11, 2010

Review: Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Women's Health


Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Women's Health: Bridging the Gap Between Western and Eastern Medicine was written by Kathleen Albertson, a practitioner of Eastern Medicine. From the description:
Effective health care for women is crucial. Women have suffered for years as Western medicine suggests drugs or surgeries to ease symptoms. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers natural resolution and has successfully treated gynecological diseases, infertility, a variety of illnesses and health problems facing women for over 5,000 years.

This book explores the potential value of TCM so that women can consider their treatment options. ... Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Women's Health examines nutritional and lifestyle tips to help you make better, more informed health choices, while correlating emotional health, such as stress, overwork, exhaustion and depression with physical health.
There is an incredible amount of information in this book. Clearly, it was very well researched. The author brought to it a career built on understanding TCM and acupuncture, and also went out of her way to uncover all the latest research on how TCM treats women's health issues. The nutritional information was, in particular, new and enlightening. If you are looking for a resource on TCM, holistic nutrition, and acupuncture treatments for OB/GYN problems, infertility, or a whole host of other women's health issues, you might find this book helpful.

Personally, though, I found it to be too much. I was overwhelmed reading this book. I got lost in the lengthy descriptions of symptoms for each malady and my attention wavered reading all the descriptions of published studies showing the effective use of TCM. There was so much that I wasn't quite sure whether this book was really intended for a layperson. It felt, at times, like a resource for an Eastern medicine practitioner.

I also felt like the subtitle on this book was misleading ("Bridging the Gap Between Western & Eastern Medicine") as this aspect of the book was short-changed in comparison to the rest. Instead, this part of this book can be summarized in about two or three sentences: Do you have an illness that is currently being treated by Western medicine? You should try TCM or acupuncture, too. Studies show that they really work well and usually have fewer side effects. There you go.

Its not to say that no one would enjoy this book. If you are woman getting TCM or acupuncture and would like a deeper understanding of your illness or treatment, or would like nutritional information as well, you may really enjoy it. For me, though, this book wasn't worth the labor it took to read.

Buy Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Women's Health: Bridging the Gap Between Western and Eastern Medicine on Amazon.

If you are in Southern California and interested in learning more, here's the website for Dr. Albertson's office in Orange County.

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