Traditional Medicine Starts To Examine Alternative Therapies

We’re on the brink of going back to the future in medicine.

Stem cells, genes and transplants are getting the headlines, but the bigger story may be that medicine is advancing beyond the biomedical model and embracing medical pluralism.

The overwhelming trend is the integration of orthodox medicine, defined by its pharmaceuticals and invasive techniques, with other ancient, old-fashioned and unconventional healing practices.

The future of medicine, it seems, is not only in the high-tech laboratory and the surgical suite but also on the NST and massage tables, at the herbalists and the health food store, behind the therapist’s closed door, but most especially in the cerebral hemisphere ã the mind.

This week’s edition of Annals Of Internal Medicine, the August journal of the conservative American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, kicks off an unprecedented series on complementary and alternative medicine.

And they take the subject seriously, referring to “postmodern medical diversity.” It’s probably the first time that Haitian “vodun”, hair analysis, crystals, magnets and charismatic healing have all been mentioned without derision in the pages of Annals.

Authored by David Eisenberg, MD, and Ted Kaptchuk, OMD (Doctor of Oriental Medicine) of Harvard Medical School and its division of complementary and integrative medical therapies, the series considers everything from acupuncture to iridology to chicken soup to Reiki to vitamins to “ethno-medicine.”

“The alternative medicine `boom’ is not new,” Kaptchuk says. “What’s new is that orthodox medicine has abandoned the crusade against alternative medicine and is trying to accommodate widespread patient belief and acceptance of these practices.”

MDs are unlikely to suddenly start recommending copper bracelets to combat arthritis or stopping a nosebleed by placing a a red string around the neck, but they are acknowledging that a patient’s belief in healing properties may be just as powerful in many medical situations as the interventions of the physician.

In this week’s issue of the journal Science, there’s stunning testimony from University of British Columbia researchers about how the mind can heal the body. Their study suggests that the placebo effect in Parkinson’s disease produces the same neurological outcome as active drugs used to treat Parkinson’s: an increase in dopamine release by neurons impaired by the disease.

The placebo effect occurs when individuals take an inactive substance, rather than an active drug, and experience beneficial effects only because they believe they’re receiving beneficial treatment.

“The magnitude of the placebo effect was surprising,” admits UBC researcher Ral de la Fuente-Ferny¥ndez. “The greater the expectation, the greater the effect of the mind’s healing power.”

He adds, “This paper shows that there must be a bridge between traditional medicine and natural medicine.”

In studies of the impact of psychological therapies on longevity in patients with metastatic cancers, Ontario Cancer Institute senior scientist Alastair Cunningham found an association between intense spiritual work and longer survival.

“The psychological dimension offers promise for the treatment of many physical diseases,” writes Cunningham in the forthcoming issue of Advances In Mind-Body Medicine, an innovative, peer-reviewed scholarly journal published in the U.S.

“Modern medicine is conservative,” says Cunningham. “My approach is to try to play on the medical playing field and give evidence.”

Scientific, evidence-based proof of the placebo effect and the psychological dimension is only one reason for the dramatic shift right now toward inclusiveness and away from the historical antagonism to alternative practices by the medical establishment, say the Annals authors.

“People generally adopt multiple healing practices, even when biomedicine is generally available,” note the Annals authors.

This sheer force of numbers comes at the same time as a trend toward consumer-oriented medicine and away from “doctor knows best.”

More and more, the increasingly sophisticated patient is an educated partner in medical decisions. Knowledgeable health consumers are letting the medical profession know they want inclusive medicine.

The medical profession is responding for two reasons. First, there’s money to be made from patients, since most alternative services must be paid for privately.

But with the US leading the way, there’s also more funding for alternative and complementary medicine. American researchers vie for grants from the prestigious National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine. And insurance providers such as HMOs in the US are beginning to realize that alternative practices can be just as effective and a lot cheaper than expensive high-tech interventions.

But what may appear to be new and cutting-edge is only a change in perception and attitude by orthodox medicine, maintains Harvard’s Kaptchuk, co-author of the Annals article.

“I’m so bored with people being hypocritical and pretending that all this is new, rather than saying that they’ve changed standards,” he says. “That’s a kind of distortion, not looking at the reality of the phenomena. It’s the response that’s different. What is new is that conventional medicine has to redefine its relationship to this phenomena.”

Kaptchuk claims that orthodox medicine’s nascent inclusiveness of complementary and alternative medicine is “a breathless attempt to co-opt it.”

“It’s market-driven,” he says, with distaste. His cynicism is understandable.

“In 1970 I was arrested in Cambridge (Mass.) for practicing medicine without a license,” Kaptchuk says. “Now I’m a professor at Harvard Medical School.”

Authored by Judy Gerstel

The Star.com August 10, 2001

Becoming the change he wants to see…

This testimony was shared with me today from a very special client of mine. A divine man opening to his heart and purpose one step at a time. Just in the few energetic bodywork sessions we have done I have seen and felt GREAT changes in his whole being. I am so proud of you Matthew. keep shining and flying free. You DO deserve EVERYTHING!

Chakra Balancing – Energetic Bodywork Session

Vega Lyra,

You are the Bright Star illuminating the path for me and others to travel freely.The emotional tug of wars going on inside me since seeing you today has been draining while energizing at the same time. It wasn’t 45 seconds after I was in the truck before the drama started. ( Family, Work, and Friends) It seemed that all 7 of them needed it NOW dammit, and I was 25 miles from any of them. In the most recent past I would’ve still handled all the issues but in a very different manner. How dare 7 different individuals interfere with my peace today, this was the first thought that went through my mind. Then I remembered one of the first things that you taught me, BREATHE, so I did. And you know when I took that first breath, deep way down into my root chakra, I knew something fundamental immediately. I was learning how to love myself, how could I expect those that I was interacting with to act differently just because I am. Their thoughts, actions, and attitudes are as loveless as mine have been for the last 42 years.

 

 Change starts with me, if others are to learn to understand that we all have this burning energy inside, then I must show the way. I will do this by transforming who I have been into who I am meant to be thru the divinity in me and those around me.

With regards to the session today I would like to share my feelings with you and I don’t know why? I don’t really know you but I feel that you are real and since I make a living off of reading people (hence my cynicism to life) I will go with that truth.

I am shamed that I wasn’t more open. I want to travel this path and quickly (to make up for lost time) therefore I must be honest. Today’s time with you was and still is the most satisfying time I have had in many years. I FEEL, really FEEL mental clarity, physical strength, emotional uncertainty – vulnerability. I wonder at your courage, how strong you are to share a piece of your soul with someone you barely know. Can I too grow to the level of understanding love, that I am able to be free with others without fear of judgment or condemnation.   I am sharing this next part because I feel it is important for me as a breakthrough. This was a complete and pure feeling of satisfaction as defined sexually wow that was difficult to say. Put into a sexual description – I have never experienced the purity that you shared with me today. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way.

Others come to me all the time for help-consul-a sounding board if you will. I have held others as they pour out their pain but I have never been on the receiving end (was raised saying love but not showing it, you know men don’t show that sissy crap) . All my life family, friends, co-workers with issues are drawn to me or I to them like a magnet. I had grown cold, distant, and indifferent, when dealing with my life issues let alone anyone elses. There was a time when I joyed in helping others, but that feeling has long since faded. The feeling from today is just more than I can put into words or even describe. I feel like I am young and purposeful again.

Thanks for listening.

With much love and appreciation,

Matthew S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch, Intent & Healing

A frequent question asked by patients and practitioners is “To what extent do intent, attitude and touch affect health outcomes?” Although these issues may seem unrelated to the technical aspects of health care, a growing body of evidence suggests that such factors may significantly affect the healing process.

Bunnell 1 conducted a study to determine whether “healing with intent” could be shown to exert an effect on pepsin enzyme activity. The rate of breakdown of egg albumin by a 1 percent pepsin solution was measured across 20 separate trials. This assessment method was chosen to eliminate the possibility of a placebo effect. The reaction rate of samples “healed with intent” was compared to “unhealed” controls.

The samples “healed by intent” demonstrated significantly greater reaction rates than the controls. Even more striking were the results of a study by Bengston and Krinsley. 2 After witnessing numerous cases of cancer remission associated with a healer who used “laying on of hands,” one of the authors apprenticed in these techniques alleged to produce the healing effect.

The Test

 

The authors obtained five experimental mice with mammary adenocarcinoma, which had a predicted 100 percent fatality rate of between 14 and 27 days. These mice were treated using the healing techniques learned by the investigator. The treatments were given one hour per day for one month. The tumors developed a blackened area, then ulcerated, imploded, and closed. The mice lived their normal life spans.

Control mice sent to another city all died within the predicted time frame. Three replications using skeptical volunteer “healers” at two different institutions produced an overall cure rate of 87.9 percent in 33 experimental mice. Histological studies revealed viable cancer cells through all stages of remission.

When re-injections of cancer were given to the mice in remission, they did not “take” and the animals remained in remission. The authors surmised that the treatment might have stimulated an immunological response.

The authors reached the following tentative conclusions: “Belief in laying on of hands is not necessary in order to produce the effect; there is a stimulated immune response to treatment, which is reproducible and predictable; and the mice retain an immunity to the same cancer after remission … ”

 

 Laughter Really Does Help!

Attitude also matters. Laughter and humor have been shown to have beneficial health effects as well.

Berk 3 et al investigated how humor-associated, mirthful laughter modulated certain neuroimmune parameters. Fifty-two healthy men participated in the study. Blood samples were taken 10 minutes before viewing an hour-long humor video. Additional blood samples were taken 30 minutes into the video, 30 minutes after the viewing was completed and 12 hours after the viewing.

Increases were found in natural killer cell activity: Immunoglobins G and M, with several immunoglobin effects lasting 12 hours after viewing the humor video. Other effects lasting at least 12 hours were increases in leukocyte subsets and cytokine interferon gamma. The authors concluded, “Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during and following the humor-associated eustress [pleasant or curative stress] of laughter may provide beneficial health effects for wellness…”

In a study by Kimata 4, allergy patients who watched a Charlie Chaplin comedy had skin welts shrink, an effect not found in control subjects who watched weather reports.

Do these studies mean that practitioners should abandon our clinical procedures and become stand-up comics? Certainly not! My point is simply that the very act of touching, inherent in the clinical encounter, may exert a beneficial influence. Intent enhances this effect.

Furthermore, an upbeat, positive, empathic attitude will benefit your practice members more than a neutral or negative one. In a study published by Di Blasi et al 5, the authors stated, “One relatively consistent finding is that physicians who adopt a warm, friendly, and reassuring manner are more effective than those who keep consultations formal and do not offer reassurance.

” As practitioners, we touch our patients, and we project an attitude that profoundly affects their well-being. We can do so by default, or by design. My message to practitioners and patient alike is to focus on your intent to allow the body to express its potential. It will significantly affect clinical outcomes.

 

About

Dr. Kent Christopher Kent, D.C., FCCI, president of the Council on Chiropractic Practice, is a 1973 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. He is a Fellow of the College of Chiropractic Imaging, and formerly specialized in magnetic resonance imaging. Named the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) “Chiropractic Researcher of the Year” in 1991, he was the recipient of that honor from World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) in 1994. Dr. Kent was selected 1998 “Chiropractor of the Year” by ICA. He is a co-founder of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance with Dr. Patrick Gentempo, Jr. Dr. Kent is also the main representative for the WCA to the Department of Public Information, affiliated with the United Nations, and chair of the NGO Health Committee. He is the author of over 100 articles in peer-reviewed and popular journals, a contributor to textbooks, and a member of the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges.

 

 

References 1. Bunnell T: “The effect of ‘healing with intent’ on pepsin enzyme activity.” Journal of Scientific Exploration 1999; Vol. 13, No. 2, Article 1. 2. Bengston WF, Krinsley D: “The effect of the ‘laying on of hands’ on transplanted breast cancer in mice.” Journal of Scientific Exploration 2000; Vol. 14, No. 3, Article 2. 3. Berk LS, Felten DL, Tan SA, et al: “Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during the eustress of humor-associated mirthful laughter.” Alternative Therapies 2000; Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 62-76. 4. Kimata H: “Effect of humor on allergen-induced wheal reactions.” JAMA 2001; Vol. 285, No. 6, letters. 5. DiBlasi Z, Harkness E, Ernst E, et al: “Influence of context effects on health outcomes: a systematic review.” The Lancet 2001; Vol. 357, No. 9258, Page 757.

Article can be found with comments from Dr.Mercola at www.mercola.com