Traditional medicine was failing Kathy Arnos. Her once happy and healthy 2-year-old daughter, Dan ielle, was experiencing chronic croup, ear infections, enlarged tonsils, a suppressed immune system, night terrors, anxiety attacks and environmental allergies.
Arnos started checking into alternative remedies. She went to several homeopaths, a licensed acupuncturist and a doctor of Oriental medicine. That was five years ago.
Through various alternative treatments, Danielle's immune system became stronger; she got off antibiotics, and her health vastly improved, Arnos said. Her daughter's turnaround inspired Arnos to share her newfound knowledge on alternative medicine with other parents through a newsletter. In August, 1988, she published the first issue of Mother to Mother: Another View, from her Van Nuys home.
"It takes a lot of digging to find alternatives to everything, but it is very important to me to help other parents keep their children safe," said Arnos, 37.
The first year, the eight-page newsletter came out every other month and was distributed free to health food stores, doctors' offices and alternative medical practices. Printed on recycled paper, it is now a 24-page quarterly that sells for $3.75 per copy or $14 for a four-issue subscription. Its paid circulation stands at about 1,000, Arnos said.
Topics covered in past issues include: questioning the safety of vaccines, naturally building up a child's immune system, causes and alternative treatments for ear infections, safe alternatives to pesticides for flea control, hyperactivity and learning disorders, homeopathy and exploring the safety of fluoride.
Arnos writes and researches some of the articles. There are also personal stories from readers and book reviews and articles by such alternative medical practitioners as chiropractors or doctors of Oriental medicine. About a third of the newsletter is advertising from alternative businesses, which Arnos said she checks out before running by relying on a network of friends familiar with them.
One reader, Michelle Bush, 36, co-owner of the Natural Parenting Store in Sunland, offers the newsletter in her store because she has found it helpful with her son.
"Mother to Mother has helped me because it gives me alternative choices for my child and family," Bush said. "It has exposed me to topics I haven't seen anywhere else. I recommend it to every mother I know."
Arnos also conducts workshops all over Southern California on alternative approaches to health care. She serves on the board of the environmental advisory committee of Let's Live magazine, an alternative health publication, and works part time for Capitol Drugs in Sherman Oaks, doing research. She also uses the pharmacy to research her own material for the newsletter.
She has produced and served as host on a cable-access show, "Raising Healthy Children Without Drugs," that appeared on United Artists cable TV, and recently self-published a 47-page book, "Bach Flowers for Children."
Dr. Edward Bach, a scientist and bacteriologist as well as a practicing physician who believed in treating emotional as well as physical symptoms, spent six years researching the flower remedies, using the essence of such flowers as impatiens, wild rose, crab apple and the blossoms of trees such as willow, walnut, elm and beech.
Arnos first tried the flower essences to help her cope with her daughter's health situation and found they calmed her and helped her focus. Her book covers such topics as choosing the right remedy and preparation of the flowers.
Where to Go
What: Mother to Mother: Another View newsletter.
Location: Available by subscription from Mother to Mother, P.O. Box 1029-198, Van Nuys 91408, or at local health food stores, homeopathic pharmacies and the Bodhi Tree bookstore in Los Angeles.
Price: $14 for four issues, or $3.75 per issue.