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Book and Media Reviews
September 17, 2008

Integrative Pain Medicine: The Science and Practice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pain Management

JAMA. 2008;300(11):1362. doi:10.1001/jama.300.11.1362

Andrew Weil praises this book as the “definitive guide to integrative pain management.” However, I am less certain.

Clearly, the subject is appealing. The number of integrative health centers has increased dramatically, and pain is a symptom all physicians want to treat as effectively as possible. This multiauthored volume covers most relevant topics, from basic pain concepts to legal issues. Its main emphasis is a broad outline of how alternative treatments like meditation, hypnotherapy, tai chi, yoga, osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, and herbal medicines might help individuals with pain. Most multiauthored books display a degree of heterogeneity, and those on alternative medicine often exhibit this malady.