In the 21st century, the Western paradigm for healthcare is changing. Notwithstanding the great strengths of medical science, many people now have concerns about key features of our health-care system—among them, the widespread use of medical drugs and a relative deemphasis on preventive care.
But traditional Western medicine is not the only healing system rooted in science. Medical systems from other cultures, including those of India and China, have used natural treatments for centuries, some of which are now directly influencing our own health-care professions. These approaches not only emphasize healing with natural substances, but devote considerable attention to illness prevention and healthful living by considering the whole person rather than just targeting a condition.
What is the most effective way to nurture your own optimal health? Are there sound alternatives to the drugs so common in our health-care system, which can carry unwanted consequences and side effects? What about the range of natural methods, such as herbal medications, micronutrients, and the use of food itself as medicine? Are these approaches valid? And, if so, can we integrate the best of Western medicine with the best natural treatments to enjoy prime health and longevity?
In The Science of Natural Healing, board-certified cardiologist Dr. Mimi Guarneri, founder of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, leads you in a compelling and practical exploration of holistic approaches to healthcare, introducing you to the many nature-based treatments and methods that are both clinically proven and readily available to you. In 24 incisive and revealing lectures, you look deeply into the science behind natural treatments and preventive healthcare, including how medical conditions ranging from high blood pressure to heart disease and diabetes can be treated naturally with remarkable effectiveness.
You also discover, perhaps surprisingly, that a large number of ailments and illnesses that we usually accept as part of life are in fact directly linked to lifestyle factors—and that positive changes in lifestyle, diet, and physical activity can have a major effect in both preventing and treating illness.
By probing the underlying causes for common medical conditions such as inflammation, high cholesterol, arthritis, and migraines, and the range of natural ways to treat them—including the use of improved nutrition, plant substances, supplements, and stress-reduction techniques—The Science of Natural Healing leaves you with a rich spectrum of choices and possibilities for your own healthcare, as well as practical tools for creating a truly healthful lifestyle.
Healing the Whole Human Being
As a guiding context for your study of natural healing, you learn about a new paradigm for healthcare, as embodied in the field of integrative holistic medicine. (“Holistic” simply means “whole.”) Integrative holistic medicine takes a large view, focusing on the whole person—aiming to prevent and treat illness through a full-spectrum approach that looks deeply at the factors of your genetic makeup, environment, lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and psychology.
Integrative holistic medicine is thoroughly grounded in traditional Western medical practice but also incorporates the use of proven natural substances and healing methods, looking for the underlying causes of illness and dedicated to caring for body, mind, and spirit.
The Promise of Nature-Based Healthcare
In this far-ranging inquiry, you delve into core subjects such as these:
- The power of food in healing: By studying fundamental principles of nutrition, food sensitivity, and the impact of foods on the genome, discover the remarkable ways in which you can both prevent and treat numerous illnesses by what you eat.
- Micronutrients and natural supplements: Investigate the healing properties of natural substances, including probiotics, selenium, and the hormone vitamin D, and their effectiveness in treating and preventing ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and cancer.
- Clinically proven herbal medicines: Study the medicinal uses of aloe, ginger, and licorice for the GI tract, cranberry and saw palmetto for urogenital conditions, and herbal treatments for migraines.
- Natural treatments for common medical conditions: Apply the integrative treatment model and its many tools to specific conditions, including inflammation, cholesterol abnormalities, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- The mind-body connection in healing: Review substantial research on the mind’s effect on the body, including an in-depth study of stress, and learn about the use of guided imagery, yoga, meditation, and other mind-body modalities to treat physical illness.
- Natural approaches to mental and spiritual health: Explore eye-opening data ranging from the effects of micronutrients and herbs on depression to studies showing the correlation between spiritual practices and longevity. Learn practical techniques for deepening an affirmative mental outlook and feeling state.
Teaching of Rare Scope and Vision
Revealing both an extraordinary depth of knowledge and a passionate investigative spirit, Dr. Guarneri points you to numerous empowering avenues and alternatives for healthful living. You study the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet and how to choose specific foods for your own optimal health. You observe the critical importance of exercise in both illness prevention and treatment, and you learn a range of methods (including the use of your own breathing) to disarm stress and deepen the experience of well-being.
Dr. Guarneri enlivens these lectures with unusual and often astonishing facts and stories, inviting you to challenge common assumptions and habitual thinking about health. You learn that
- 75 to 90 percent of all visits to health-care providers result from stress-related disorders;
- plant substances such as garlic and wakame seaweed substantially reduce systolic blood pressure; and
- debilitating conditions such as arthritis and migraines can be triggered by simple sensitivity to foods.
In a penetrating exploration of the mind-body connection, Dr. Guarneri makes it clear that the health of the body is intimately related to the health of the mind and spirit.
- You review hard-nosed research demonstrating the role of healthy relationships in positive health outcomes.
- You learn why chronic anger increases the risk of heart attack by 230 percent.
- You track the medical consequences of depression and hopelessness, and studies linking positive emotions and strong social bonds to markedly lower incidence of illness.
You’ll also see the integrative paradigm in action in real-life case studies, including the profile of a woman with diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and depression. Then, observe how an integrative treatment plan for her includes dietary changes, specific micronutrients, exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and renewed social connection.
In presenting the case studies, Dr. Guarneri demonstrates, with great compassion and discernment, how the integrative physician can guide patients through the emotional challenges of difficult illness and recovery so that they retain their spirit and identity.
Your Health: A New Possibility
No matter what kind of life you’re living, optimal health is one of the greatest assets you can have. In The Science of Natural Healing, Dr. Guarneri offers you the opportunity to take a highly proactive and informed role in your own healthcare—to make use of the best of nature-based medicine, to live a truly nurturing lifestyle, and to care for your own well-being in the most comprehensive and far-reaching way. In speaking deeply to a truly integrative approach to healing, these lectures can make a profound difference in your health now and in the future and help you live your life to the absolute fullest.