Holistic Therapies for Adults with Neck Pain

An overview of alternative and complementary treatments for neck pain.
In this debut guide to holistic approaches to neck pain, Meuser and McMaster guide readers through unconventional approaches to treatment. After an introduction and other material that includes case study, the book moves on to the specifics of alternative and complementary therapies. Each chapter features a different practitioner describing the treatments he or she has found effective for managing neck pain, from acupuncture to reflexology to Pilates. Meuser and McMaster ask readers to take an open-minded approach to the various methods; those who raise eyebrows at statements like “it is all about engaging the body, the breath, the mind, and the spirit to bring more oxygen and vital energy to the body and specifically to the areas that the individual intends to heal” may not find that the book meets their needs. Each chapter includes an explanation of a practitioner’s approach and his or her view of the causes of neck pain and most-often used therapeutic techniques. Besides exercise and stress management, many of the practitioners featured in the book advocate eating natural, unprocessed foods and minimizing wheat consumption. Each chapter makes a convincing argument for the validity of its treatment system, and at no point do Meuser and McMaster try to discourage readers from pursuing traditional allopathic medicine, particularly in conjunction with complementary treatments. The book concludes with a series of exercises designed to encourage readers to keep journals to help them reflect on its advice and decide how best to apply it to their needs. While some readers may remain skeptical about the effectiveness of reiki or yoga as treatments for neck pain, few will disagree with the book's broader message about the evolving nature of medicine: “[R]ather than something that is done to you, your care is performed with you in a partnership different from previous provider-patient relationships.”
A useful guide for open-minded readers looking for new ways to treat pain.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1480079649

Page Count: 166

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2014

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

WHY WE SWIM

A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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