In Women’s Health: Western & Eastern Perspective, author Nadiya Melnyk presents a solid case for considering Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as part of a proactive wellness regime for women that also acknowledges the benefits of western medicine.
Western medicine focuses on healing diseases and injuries through surgery or pharmaceuticals. TCM has a different approach, one that integrates the whole body with various techniques. To bridge the gap between both perspectives, Melnyk explains TCM modalities, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, diagnostic techniques and lifestyle changes, focusing largely on hormone health. She also describes the foundations of TCM: the ying and yang energies (often associated with female and male but not exclusive to each gender), the qi life force, and the body’s meridians.
A specialist in women’s health with a doctorate in integrative medicine, the author points out how TCM can help women balance essential chemical messengers, including estrogen, progesterone and thyroid. She shares how TCM modalities relate to women’s hormonal issues, from fertility and menopause to optimal weight, sleep, sexuality and emotional health. She also includes patient success stories to demonstrate TCM’s effectiveness, along with an extensive appendix of optimal food choices for most blood types—another foundation of TCM.
An index would have been useful, as would additional information in some cases. For example, when the author discusses infertility, she fails to mention polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can affect up to 12% of women. Another gap, relating to hormones, is the lack of discussion about medications like tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors that thousands of breast cancer patients take to reduce estrogen-related cancer risk.
Overall, however, the book is a clearly written and comprehensive look at women’s hormonal health from the TCM perspective. Readers who want to learn more about TCM and how it can integrate with Western medicine will find the book a valuable starting point.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.