A New Year brings new horizons for me. Of late, I've been overwhelmingly excited about the new research and attention that Complimentary and Alternative Medicine practices and practitioners are garnishing.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology published two studies supporting Acupuncture's ability to decrease hot flashes and joint aches for women with breast cancer on certain medical treatments.
The Journal of Evidence Based Complimentary Alternative Medicine, showed that breast cancer patients on chemotherapy undergoing "reikki reported improvements in quality of life and mood that were greater than those seen in the usual care group." A group at Columbia has started a trial "that incorporates the role of Reiki practitioners in applying mind–body principles and energy healing to help to prepare patients for breast cancer surgery and emotionally accept the loss of their breast(s)." More here...
Two other studies presented in the Journal of Advanced Nursing concluded that reiki was helpful in reducing pain and anxiety in HIV-positive patients and immediately after reiki blood pressure levels were lower and self-reported anxiety was reduced.
A recent Cochrane review, reveals "controlled trials of acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis suggest statistically significant and clinically relevant benefits."
None of these studies have concluded that avoidance of traditional Western therapy for disease states, for example breast cancer, is a successful method of treatment. However, this growing body of literature is pointing toward a significant role of complimentary medicine alongside Western treatments in the age-old mind-body-spirit paradigm of healing.
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Lauren Hedde, DO; James Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Co- Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.