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14 Aug

Researchers from B. J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, studied numeric measures of respiratory function, cardiovascular parameters and lipid profiles of those practicing Raja Yoga meditation. The profiles of short and longterm meditators were compared with those of non-meditators.

The study found that vital capacity, tidal volume and breath holding were significantly higher in short and longterm meditators than in non-meditators. Longterm mediators had significantly higher vital capacity and expiratory pressure than short term meditators.
14 Aug

Long-term meditating subjects as well as energy healers who work in the altered state have long reported that the mind state that initially produced spotty transcendental experiences at isolated moments during their beginning practice, evolved to subjectively co-exist in a steady, everyday way with normal waking and sleeping states. Researchers at the Maharishi University in Fairfield, IA investigated the neurophysiological correlates of this integrated state by recording EEG in experienced meditators who reported this integration to subjectively be the case. Investigators recorded EEG in these subjects and in two comparison groups (17 in each condition) during simple tasks and tasks requiring close attention (called contingent negative variation or CNV tasks).

14 Aug

In a small exploratory study by Carol Ginandes, PhD and Daniel Rosenthal, MD at Mass. General''s Dept. of Bone and Joint Disease in Boston, 12 adults with bone fractures were followed for 12 weeks, to see if hypnosis accelerated their healing. Radiographic results showed dramatically improved healing at 6 weeks in the hypnosis patients. In addition, orthopedic assessments of mobility, strength and need for analgesics showed greater improvement in the hypnosis patients at weeks 1, 3 and 9. The hypnotic intervention included audiotaped suggestions to reduce swelling, stimulate tissue growth, and fusion at the injury site, and counteract pain and stress; and imagery rehearsals of greater mobility, enhanced bone strength and recovery of normal activities.

Citation: Ginandes CS, Rosenthal Dl. Using hypnosis to accelerate the healing of bone fractures: a randomized controlled pilot study. Alter Ther Health Med. 1999 Mar; 5(2):67-75

14 Aug

Gordon, Merenstein, D’Amico and Hudgens studied the effects of therapeutic touch on 25 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in this single-blinded randomized control trial. Patients got either therapeutic touch, mock therapeutic touch or standard care. The TT treatment group had significantly decreased pain and improved function when compared with the placebo and control groups. (Journal of Family Practice, 1998; 47:pp.271-277.)

Citation: Gordon A, Merenstein JH, D'Amico F, Hudgens D. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Journal of Family Practice 1998 Oct; 47(4):271-7.
14 Aug

A research team led by Vaughn Sinclair from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing & Vanderbilt Medical Center evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral nursing intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Ninety adult women with RA participated in 1 of 14 nurse-led groups over an 18-month period. Personal coping resources, pain-coping behaviors, psychological well-being, and disease symptomatology were measured at four time periods. There were significant changes on all of the measures of personal coping resources (p < .001) and psychological well-being (p < .05), half of the pain-coping behaviors (p < .05), and one indicator of disease symptomatology (fatigue, p < .05) from pre- to post intervention. And the positive changes brought about by the program were maintained over the 3-month follow-up period. The study suggests that this kind of intervention could be adapted to benefit individuals with a variety of stressful medical conditions.

Citation: Sinclair VG, Wallston KA, Dwyer KA, Blackburn DS, Fuchs H. Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Research in Nursing & Health 1998 Aug; 21 (4): 315-26.

14 Aug

A randomized, controlled British study examined the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for patients with recent onset (less than 2 years), seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Fifty-three participants with a diagnosis of classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis received routine medical management during the study, but half were randomly allocated to the CBT intervention. All pre- and post-treatment assessments were conducted blind to the allocation. Significant differences were found between the groups at both post-treatment and 6-month follow-up in depressive symptoms. While the CBT group showed a reduction in depressive symptoms, the same symptoms increased in the Standard group. Immediately after treatment (but not at follow-up), the CBT group also showed reduction in C-reactive protein levels. However, the CBT group did show significant improvement in joint involvement at 6-month follow-up, as compared with the Standard group, showing physical improvements above those achieved with standard care. These results indicate that cognitive-behavioral intervention offered as an adjunct to standard clinical management early in the course of RA is efficacious in producing reductions in both psychological and physical morbidity.

Citation: Sharpe L, Sensky T, Timberlake N, Ryan B, Brewin CR, Allard S. A blind, randomized, controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis: preventing psychological and physical morbidity. Pain 2001 Jan;89(2-3):275-83.

14 Aug

Cognitive-behavioral treatment in unselected rheumatoid arthritis outpatients.
14 Aug

Effects of relaxation and stress on the capsaicin-induced local inflammatory response.

Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 3 conditions: stress, relaxation and a control condition, can affect an inflammatory response artificially induced by injecting capsaicin, the pungent compound in chili peppers, under the skin. 50 subjects – 28 men and 22 women – were pre-trained in relaxation, using an imagery-based relaxation tape, and then randomized to one of the experimental groups – a 20-minute stress test, a relaxation tape or a video control, followed by a capsaicin injection in the forearm. Digitized measurements of flare were taken for 1 hour after the injection, as well as measurements at regular intervals of cardiovascular variables, cortisol, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, and norepinephrine. Investigators found that the size of the maximum capsaicin-induced flare was significantly smaller in the relaxation group than in the stress or control conditions, which appeared about the same. Increases in norepinephrine, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure during the experimental task, but not after capsaicin, significantly predicted size of maximum flare and total area under the curve of flare measurements. The study concludes that stress reduction may well affect local inflammatory processes. Results are consistent with sympathetic modulation of the effects of relaxation on the flare response.

Citation: Lutgendorf S, Logan H, Kirchner HL, Rothrock N, Svengalis S, Iverson K, Lubaroff D. Effects of relaxation and stress on the capsaicin-induced local inflammatory response. Psychosomatic Medicine 2000 Jul-Aug; 62 (4):pp. 524-34.

14 Aug

A guided imagery study with asthma patients.
14 Aug

A pilot study in Venezuela on 35 asthmatic children shows that 6 months of psychosocial intervention, teaching them relaxation, guided imagery and self esteem techniques, created impressive reduction in their asthmatic reactions. Nineteen children were assigned to the intervention group, and 16 to the control condition. Both groups received conventional treatment. During the 6 months of the study, the intervention group experienced significantly fewer asthmatic episodes, less use of bronchodilator medication and improved pulmonary function when compared with 6 months before the intervention. In addition, this group had a significant reduction in IgE responses against primary allergens, an increase in NK (natural killer) cells, along with other impressive changes in surface markers - in fact, these became similar to those of non-asthmatic kids from the same vicinity. None of these changes were seen in the controls.

Citation: Castes M, Hagel I, Palenque M, Canelones P, Corao A, Lynch N. Immunological Changes Associated with Clinical Improvement of Asthmatic Children Subjected to Psychological Invention. Brain, Behavior and Immunity; 13, 1-3, 1999.

14 Aug

Coping skills and treatment outcomes in cognitive-behavioral and interactional group therapy for alcoholism.
11 Aug

Well, folks, ... DRUM ROLL... TA-DAH... !! If all goes well, at the end of this week -- Friday, August 15th, to be exact --our new website will launch