Investigators from Philipps-University of Marburg in Germany did
a meta-analysis of the efficacy of biofeedback (BFB) in treating
migraine. A computerized literature search of the databases Medline,
PsycInfo, Psyndex and the Cochrane library, enhanced by a hand search,
identified 86 outcome studies, of which 55 studies met the inclusion
Researchers at the Institute of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Brighton
in the UK investigated the impact of foot massage and guided relaxation
on the well-being of patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass
graft (CABG) surgery.
There was a significant effect of the intervention on the calm scores
(ANOVA, P=0.014), mostly due to the massage, although to a lesser
extent due to the imagery. Dunnett''s multiple comparison showed that
this was attributable to increased calm among the massage group. There
was also a clear but non-significant trend across all psychological
variables for both foot massage and, to a lesser extent, guided
relaxation, for improving psychological well-being. Both interventions
were well received by the subjects.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton
reviewed the literature to see which complementary therapies can
effectively reduce anxiety before diagnostic cardiac catheterization.
The article cites music therapy, massage, guided imagery, therapeutic
touch and stress management instruction as modalities that have been
used successfully to decrease patient anxiety prior to diagnostic
cardiac catheterization, providing better patient outcomes.
Researchers at the Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York College at Old Westbury,
examined the molecular process involved with relaxation. Central to
their hypothesis was the significance of norepinephrine, nitric oxide,
dopamine and morphine, signaling both in the central and the peripheral
This team established that nitric oxide and morphine control
catecholamine processes on many levels, including synthesis, release
and actions. As a result, they concluded that there existed enough
scientific information to support these phenomena as actual physical
processes that can be harnessed to provide better patient care.
Researchers from the University of Michiganís Department of
Integrative Medicine examined whether practicing Transcendental
Meditation (TM) offered beneficial outcomes to seventh graders. Ten
middle school students were taught to practice TM for a one-year
period, and then were interviewed in a semi-structured qualitative way
to determine benefits.
Students described (1) an increasing state of restful alertness; (2)
improvement in emotional intelligence skills (self-control,
self-reflection/awareness, and flexibility in emotional response); and
(3) improvement in academic performance.
Researchers at United Christian Hospital in Hong Kong compared
the effects of progressive relaxation with Qigong on improving the
quality of life in cardiac rehab patients.
A total of 65 subjects, with a mean age of 65 (range, 42 to 76), were
recruited for the study. Their cardiac diseases included myocardial
infarct, post-coronary intervention, valve replacement, and ischemic
heart disease. Patients were alternately allocated to two groups: the
first group of patients received instructions and practiced progressive
relaxation. The second group underwent training in qigong. A total of
eight sessions were conducted, each session lasting 20 minutes.
Researchers from Meir General Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel,
investigated the efficacy of motor imagery practice for the treatment
of Parkinsonís disease symptoms.
Of 23 patients with idiopathic PD, an experimental group of 12 was
treated with both imagery and physical practice, and a control group
received physical exercises alone.
Exercises for both groups were applied during 1-hour sessions held
twice a week for 12 weeks. Comparable motor tasks provided to both
groups included callisthenic exercises, functional tasks, and
Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston
reviewed the impact of mindfulness meditation on cancer patients. A
literature search produced 9 research articles published in the past 5
years, and 5 conference abstracts published in 2004. Most studies were
conducted with breast and prostate cancer patients, and the mindfulness
intervention was done in a clinic-based group setting.
The search revealed consistent benefits--improved psychological
functioning, reduction of stress symptoms, enhanced coping and improved
sense of well-being in cancer outpatients.
Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, UK
compared the effectiveness of treatment as usual with an additional 22
sessions of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in 253 individuals with
bipolar disorders, to see if recurrence rates of major mood episodes
could be reduced. . Patients were assessed every 8 weeks for 18 months.
A new study at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington
in Seattle, explored whether Vipassana meditation (VM), a Buddhist
mindfulness-based practice, can provide an alternative for individuals
who find traditional addiction treatments incompatible or unattractive.
The investigators evaluated the effectiveness of a VM course on
substance use and psychosocial outcomes in an incarcerated population.
The R. Madhavan Nayar Center for Comprehensive Epilepsy Care at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Kerala, India, assessed the efficacy of a yoga meditation protocol (YMP) as an adjunctive treatment in patients with drug-resistant chronic epilepsy. The yoga intervention consisted of a YMP 20 minutes twice daily (mornings and evenings) at home, and supervised sessions of a YMP every week for 3 months. Continuation of the YMP beyond 3 months was optional.