DOUBLE VISION by Alexandra Dundas Todd


An East-West Collaboration for Coping with Cancer
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 An earnest plea for a holistic model of medicine combining the best of Eastern and Western approaches. Medical sociologist Todd (Suffolk Univ.) recounts how she utilized Eastern therapies to help her 21-year-old son Drew recover from a rare, aggressive form of cancer. These efforts were made with the consent but not the cooperation of his doctors, who are here identified only by initials. Todd states repeatedly that she does not reject Western medicine, and she makes no claim that her son's cancer could have been cured without its high technology. However, she argues strongly that his rapid recovery--not just from cancer but from two surgeries and numerous radiation treatments--was greatly facilitated by alternative therapies. These included a macrobiotic diet, acupuncture, and relaxation and visualization techniques. Professionally well versed in the workings and shortcomings of mainstream medicine, Todd had found it of no help when she suffered severe reactions to environmental toxins. She turned to a macrobiotic diet for relief, and her initial skepticism was soon replaced by considerable faith in the healing power of miso soup. Interwoven with her personal story are chapters on research into Eastern therapies, Western attitudes toward these therapies, the reasons for Western doctors' resistance to them, and the benefits to be gained by combining the humane gentleness of Eastern medicine with the disease-centered aggressiveness of Western medicine. Appendixes provide data on the specifics of Drew's diet; references for information on the theory and practice of macrobiotics; mail-order sources for exotic, hard-to- find foods; addresses of counseling centers; and a reading list. Persuasive in its general message concerning the flaws of Western medicine, although the author gets bogged down trying to dispel macrobiotics' cult image and gives short shrift to other alternative therapies.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8195-5279-8
Page count: 208pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1994


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