Pediatrics…The Role of Traditional and Integrative Medicine

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

As a nurse, I am very interested in the role that integrative medicine combined with traditional medicine is playing in healthcare today.

I believe that there is a balance between the mind, the body and the spirit  and that it helps to take care of all of these to attain better health even when a person or child is sick with an illness.

In the case of pediatric arthritis, the recent story in the NY Times highlighted a mother’s concern about her son and his diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. He experienced very debilitating symptoms which interfered with his life as a young boy…sports, school and family activities.

The tenacious spirit of his mother and her willingness to explore integrative medicine as well as traditional medical treatments for pediatric arthritis has made it possible for her son to now enjoy a remission of his symptoms.

There is much to be said for traditional treatments as well as integrative medicine and the balance between them.

This article highlights the need for parents to advocate for their children when it comes to healthcare … it also shows the internal struggle of the mom as well as the struggle between the parents when it comes to making decisions regarding the treatment plan for their little boy.

When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness it is a time of family crisis. All family members are affected…it is a time of disbelief and grief, worry and work to find the best possible treatments.

It is a path that requires an open mind on the part of the parents and sometimes it is helpful to talk to other parents whose children are experiencing the same illness. Today there are many resources available for parents and it is their responsibility to seek them out and make use of them to the best of their abilities.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help from social workers or other healthcare professionals in order to accept and deal with a child’s serious illness.

I hope you read this rather lengthy article and appreciate the role and balance of traditional and integrative medicine in today’s healthcare.

In the comments following this article there was concern expressed that this story may encourage parents to choose natural remedies ignoring traditional treatments only to have them fail.

For me, this article illustrates the judicious use of alternative medicine in conjunction with traditional treatments. These parents were not fighting with their child’s physicians they were working with them, which is how it should be, but as we know this is not how it always is.

I am in favor of working with specialists in both traditional and integrative medicine when illness and its symptoms are perplexing. I am in no way endorsing only alternative treatments when it comes to illnesses.

What do you think? Are you familiar with integrative medicine? Do you know of an integrative medicine practice in your area?

The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints –

Pediatric integrative medicine: pediatrics’ newe… [BMC Pediatr. 2012] – PubMed – NCBI.

What is Integrative Pediatrics? – the whole child.

Media « Lawrence Rosen, MD.