The recent Pangea conference featured numerous inspirational speakers with diverse backgrounds.
While “Pangea” is the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Conference, keynote speakers touched on matters other than strictly medical. Most delved into spiritual, moral, ethical, and cultural realms. Participants in the conference were left wanting more, I think – that was part of the great power of this community gathering. Along these lines, folks asked the speakers for reading recommendations, and this got me to thinking about those sources I consider informative to my practice of integrative pediatrics. I’ve picked ten books – there are more, of course. Note that none of these are medical books per se – they cross-over into many areas. Are they essential reading? For me, they have been, but you can make up your own mind. I’m curious what others would add to this list.
Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine (Saki Santorelli). A manifesto on finding the soul of healing within ourselves.
Coming To Our Senses (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Building on earlier works, the author urges us to consider mindfulness as an approach to issues in the larger world around us.
The Spiritual Life of Children (Robert Coles). A seminal text, consisting of interviews with children of different religions/cultures, demonstrating the mystical nature of spirituality within our children.
Choices in Healing (Michael Lerner). A dissertation on how and why we make choices about cancer treatment, and healing in general.
A Mind at a Time (Mel Levine). Developmental pediatrician introduces a new paradigm for education, highlighting the importance of individual differences. Creating the habitat to fit the learner, not vice-versa.
Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing (Ken Cohen). I’ve always been drawn to Native American culture, thanks to my paternal grandfather; this is the definitive text on Native American healing rites and rituals.
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal (Rachel Naomi Remen). Stories that tell of the soul of medicine.
Last Child in the Woods (Richard Louv). Makes a strong argument for why we need more free play in society.
Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America (James Whorton). Where we’ve been, and clues to where we’re going. A fascinating socio-historical ride through American alternative medicine history.
Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children (Ann Hulbert). Discusses and deconstructs the myths of child-rearing and child health advice over the years. Makes you realize how little we really know but how certain we make it all sound.