Pediatric integrative medicine may not be familiar to some pediatricians, but the field continues to gain momentum and has been recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for more than a decade. It embraces both conventional and evidence-based complementary therapies and combines them to provide the greatest benefit to the patient, filling a critical need for modern approaches to health challenges in children and adolescents. The range of therapies encompassed is broad and most can be applied in both pediatric preventive care and chronic conditions. Guiding principles of the field are safety, supporting the natural healing response, and helping young patients learn to harness and cultivate resilience and self-efficacy. One of the primary goals of this issue of Pediatric Annals is to introduce the reader to high-quality resources useful in the clinical setting.
The first article provides an overview of the field, including historical perspective and current AAP initiatives. Benefits and challenges in the field are also covered, as well as pointers to help pediatricians introduce elements of pediatric integrative medicine into their practice setting. Other important topics covered in this issue include the pediatric anti-inflammatory diet, and stress, anxiety, and resilience, which all tap into the foundational topics of integrative medicine (nutrition and stress management); these are topics of interest to nearly every parent with strong supporting evidence in the pediatric population. Further, articles on integrative approaches to pediatric primary headache and nausea, which include case-based examples and focus on a rich collection of practical tools and strategies that can be applied in these common and often difficult-to-treat conditions, are also highlighted in this issue.
Written by experts in their respective fields, these articles provide readers a window into the field of pediatric integrative medicine, and hopefully pique their interest to learn more.