Shoshana Silverman

I am a listener, copywriter, editor, fundraiser, program developer, yoga instructor, cook, wife and mom.

Writing Sample: Book Chapter November 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shoshana Belisle @ 1:35 am

school_success2Selection from Chapter 10, “A Review of Alternative Treatments Parents Can Consider,” from School Success for Kids with ADHD, published by Prufrock Press

We live in an era in which more individuals are seeking alternatives to the traditional Western medical system, and hence, there is a growing trend toward the use of complementary and alternative (CAM) modalities. By definition, “complementary” modalities are used as an adjunct to conventional treatment, and “alternative” modalities are used in place of conventional treatments. There is a broad range of modalities included in the domain of CAM: acupuncture, chiropractic, diet-based therapies, yoga, herbal medicine, and many more.

Based on results from a national health survey, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that 36% of adults are using some form of CAM, and the number rises to 62% when megavitamin therapy and prayer specifically for health reasons are included in the definition of CAM (Barnes, Powell-Griner, McFann, & Nahin, 2004). One oft-cited study found that visits to alternative medicine practitioners in the United States increased from 427 million in 1990 to 629 million in 1997 and that the U.S. public spent an estimated $36 billion to $47 billion on CAM therapies in 1997 (Eisenberg et al., 1998). Tremendous resources, mostly out-of-pocket, are directed toward these therapies.

The medical community is now recognizing the popularity of many such treatments and, based on growing evidence, has slowly begun to incorporate training in these areas into Western medical education, leading to a new form of medicine called Integrative Medicine. This evolution in medicine blends conventional Western medicine with evidence-based alternative, complementary, and indigenous healing traditions, benefiting from ancient healing wisdom, as well as the proof of science. Consumers are drawn to this trend because it emphasizes a more holistic and prevention-oriented, as opposed to symptom management, approach. Additionally, when conventional medicines result in undesirable side-effects, or the intricacies of the health care system leads to frustrations, consumers will explore alternatives, some based on anecdotal evidence or media and Internet advice. These consumers, in particular, need guidance as to safe and evidence-based options so that they are not led astray by unfounded claims…