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on 18 December 2012
I bought this book for a friend who has regular breakthrough seizures, and we were both very impressed by the well-researched, impartial information, and the care and consideration the book shows to people with epilepsy. People whose seizures cannot be fully controlled by medication, like my friend, receive much ill-informed 'advice' which does more harm than good, and this book offers real hope in that it is authoritative and deeply grounded in medical knowledge. It's obvious that the book's main aim is to inform the person with poorly-controlled epilepsy while offering as much protection as possible from bogus claims and fake practitioners all too ready to prey on the vulnerable. The author, who is an internationally renowned expert on epilepsy, does not make big claims that might give false hope to people with epilepsy, but presents the research and the evidence available in a dispassionate, balanced way. Some of the suggestions, such as regular exercise, are things we already do, as we walk a great deal regularly, and we would definitely like to try
meditation and aromatherapy, as well as the advice on stress management, which can be key to controlling seizures.
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on 15 June 2014
I'm a neurologist treating people with epilepsy in a busy NHS practice. My focus is the on the medical (and occasionally surgical) treatments which can help mitigate the effects of this condition, but I know these can be complemented by a range of alternative approaches - and this is the best and most balanced review of them I have read to date. Like her recent book on memory - a clearly written and positive book, useful to doctor, patient and family.
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on 2 April 2013
I bought this book after reading the excellent review in Pulse (the GP magazine). The GP who reviewed this book raved about it calling it ‘a manual to convert even the skeptics’. I agree. If you have epilepsy and want to get better control of your seizures there are lots of things in here to try. Some of the lifestyle stuff probably applies to most illnesses but it was interesting to read about how diet and exercise affect seizures specifically. I have never heard of the Donna Andrewes approach. It makes sense and has apparently worked wonders for some people. Its got to be worth a shot.
I’ve just read the bad review from the osteopath on here. It made me smile. She seemed to be complaining that there wasn’t anything on osteopathy for epilepsy in the book. Well there wasn’t anything about fairies casting magic spells in your ears either. According to the NHS website osteopaths may be helpful for a bad back, but ‘there is no good evidence that osteopathy is effective as a treatment for any other health conditions’. I note that the osteopath doesn’t actually offer any evidence to counter this, but just blames the author for pointing this out. There’s a difference between being critical and being objective. Quackery has always existed (always will) and these people will always prey on us when we are desperate to get better. Yes, the drugs can harm us but at least they are properly tested and regulated.It’s interesting that most of the stuff in this book that looks like it might help is free… could this explain why an osteopath wouldn't like it?
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on 4 April 2013
If you already 'believe' in alternative therapies and are looking for a book to confirm your beliefs then this is not the book for you. If you have an open mind and are looking to see what you can do, apart from taking the pills, to get some control over your fits and your life, then this is a really helpful resource to tap in to.

This book presents a balanced review of the treatments it covers. Some look like they might work, some clearly wont. It's worth knowing all the options.
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on 25 March 2013
I thought this was a really useful book, its really easy to read and gave me some new ideas about some new things to try...... I am going to start with the Mozart. ....fingers crossed it will work. I have had epilepsy since I was a kid and tried all the drugs and then some. They work for a while and then the fits come back. This book tells you the background to loads of different alternative treatments and explains why how they could help with epilepsy. A lot of them dont really work which is disappointing but worth knowing before you spend money on them and get your hopes up I think.
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on 28 November 2012
I purchased this book as it came up on a "recommended" list once I had ordered "Treating Epilepsy Naturally" by Patricia A Murphy. Its title lead me to believe it would give useful and objective information from a more medical perspective about the use of complementary therapies in the treatment of epilepsy. I could not have been more wrong. Dr Baxendale seems to have felt it necessary to devote enough time to produce a book which from cover to cover dismisses most of her selected 'alternative treatments' as unproven quackery. As a practising osteopath I was most interested in the section on 'osteopathy'...there wasn't one. Instead Dr Baxendale has chosen 'chiropractic care' and 'craniosacral therapy' to denigrate, lumping them together under physical manipulation therapies. Sadly for chiropractors she focuses almost entirely on the risks of cervical (neck) manipulation which she "finds it difficult to imagine that one would want to run these risks...". The tone implies that chiropractors use these techniques carelessly and without professional judgement and therefore may cause harm to the patient (Statistically chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation is far safer than many medical procedures and drug therapies!!). On the contrary, they are highly trained professionals who have undergone rigorous education and medical training in order to be able to use such techniques. As for 'craniosacral therapy' the whole paragraph clearly indicates that Dr Baxendale has either been misinformed or that she just has not bothered to do proper research into the subject. She says that "craniosacral therapy was developed by Dr William Sutherland", this is incorrect. Dr William Sutherland was an osteopath working with Dr A T Still (the founder of osteopathy) when he began to study his concept of 'osteopathy in the cranial field', more commonly known as cranial osteopathy. Both these men were experienced medical doctors not 'therapists' and their work was underpinned by medicine. The term craniosacral therapy was coined by another American ostoepath, Dr Upledger who began to teach these gentle techniques to non-osteopaths in the 1970s. Craniaosacral therapy training does not have the rigors of the 4-5 year degree course that is required to practice osteopathic medicine but an experienced practitioner can elicit very positive results. As for Dr Baxendale's explanation of craniosacral techniques, this is not only wrong but so child-like and simplistic that it is clear she has no understanding of the concept whatsoever. I cannot speak for the other disciplines included in the book but many of them have also been heavily criticised by the author. There is one point that Dr Baxendale makes that I agree with and that is that more research is needed into the treatment of epilepsy by a more holistic approach (ie complementary medicine), but this will only happen if the medical profession widen their perspective and embrace other treatment modalities and assist in financing the research they are so passionate about. I would not recommend this book as it does NOT "enable people to make an informed choice about treatments..."; it is heavily biased and grossly lacking in good quality WELL-RESEARCHED information.
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on 6 March 2014
Any help we can get is good. This book has been good to read with some useful stuff in it. Thanks.
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