Friday, August 13, 2010

Mental Health, Naturally The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP

Mental Health, Naturally The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP

Kathi J. Kemper writes an overview of different actions a person can take to maintain physical and mental health. Her book is very practical. She reminds us to get enough sleep, exercise for 45 minutes to an hour every single day, take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement, reduce exposure to environmental toxins like lead, mercury, and pesticides, eat a healthy diet consisting of mainly plants, and actively seek ways to reduce stress.

The sections on relieving stress and communication give many suggestions on how take care of yourself. For example, there are numerous short meditative exercises and examples on how to talk to yourself positively. She also describes how prayer, music, and art improve mental health. The descriptions were basic and exact.

The book has sections on alternative medicine. Kathi J. Kemper does not automatically endorse different therapies. She describes what the medical research shows on different treatments. There is a section on herbal supplements where she states several of the popular herbal supplements for improving moods are not effective. She also discusses how to use vitamins safely. She cites the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine  as a reliable source of information on alternative treatments. She also describes the training process for homeopathy and acuptuncture.

As a book on mental health, the author focuses on five different areas; interpersonal communication, stress, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, and depression. She does not attack the medical profession in the book. She reminds people to see a healthcare professional. In the reference section of the book, there are numerous citations from recognized psyhchology, psychiatry, nutrition, pharmacolgy, and alternative medical journals. The book is very much a book on integrative medicine.

I found Mental Health Naturally to be a very easy book to read. It was extensively referenced with lists of professional associations, a bibliography of recommended book titles, an index, and extensive notes for each chapter. It is one of the better books I have read on integrative medicine.
Dr. Kemper is nationally recognized pediatrician, doctor, and specialist in holistic medicine. This is a link to her biography.

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