A new study by the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center shows that patients reported significant improvement in side effects of cancer treatment following just one Jin Shin Jyutsu session. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy.
Presented at the 2012 Markey Cancer Center Research Day by Jennifer Bradley who is the Jin Shin Jyutsu integrative practitioner at Markey, the study included 159 current cancer patients. Before and after each Jin Shin Jyutsu session, Bradley asked patients to assess their symptoms of pain, stress and nausea on a scale of 0-10, with 0 representing no symptoms.
The study found that in each session patients experienced significant improvement in the areas of pain, stress, and nausea with the first visit and in subsequent visits as well. The mean decreases experienced were three points for stress and two points for both pain and nausea.
"I was pleased to see quantitatively the improvements that patients noted in these primary areas of discomfort," said Bradley. "It was interesting to note that regardless of age, sex or diagnosis, cancer patients received a statistically significant improvement in the side effects from treatment. It is encouraging to note that Jin Shin Jyutsu made improvements in these areas without adding additional unwanted effects that so often occur with medication interventions."
Funded by a grant from the Lexington Cancer Foundation, Jin Shin Jyutsu is considered part of an integrative treatment plan available at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Bradley offers Jin Shin Jyutsu to all cancer patients at no charge. Patients may self-refer, though half are referred by their physician or Markey staff.
During a Jin Shin Jyutsu session, patients receive light touches on 52 specific energetic points called Safety Energy Locks as well as fingers, toes, and midpoints on the upper arm, upper calf and lower leg in predetermined orders known as "flows." Patients remained clothed except for shoes and all hand placements are done over clothing.
Sessions were performed in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room, Chemotherapy Outpatient Clinic, or in the patient's hospital room. The study also noted that the greatest overall improvement came from sessions held in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room, where sessions are generally of a longer duration.
The study did not include controls for several parameters including the time between sessions or location and duration of service. Bradley's next study will control more of these variables, and her team will access patients' medical records over the time period of their participation to evaluate changes in patients’ medication usage for cancer and symptom management of pain, stress and nausea.
"The American Cancer Society has noted that quality of life is an issue for all cancer patients; those undergoing treatment, late stage patients, and cancer survivors," Bradley said. "There is a need for additional research to develop evidence-based interventions that have a positive impact on the quality of life for all of these individuals without adding to their burden. From what I have seen in my office and the results shown in the study, I believe that Jin Shin Jyutsu has great promise in this area.”
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
The effectiveness of spinal manipulation divides medical opinion. On the British Medical Journal website, experts debate whether spinal manipulation for neck pain should be abandoned.
Spinal manipulation is a technique that involves the application of various types of thrusts to the lumbar spine (lower back) or cervical spine (neck) to reduce back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Neil O'Connell and colleagues argue that cervical spine manipulation "may carry the potential for serious neurovascular complications" and that the technique is "unnecessary and inadvisable."
They say that studies "provide consistent evidence of an association between neurovascular injury and recent exposure to cervical manipulation." Such injuries include vertebral artery dissection (a tear to the lining of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain) and stroke.
They point to a Cochrane review of randomised trials of neck manipulation or mobilisation which concluded that as a stand-alone treatment, manipulation provides only moderate short term pain relief versus controls, sham manipulation, or muscle relaxants, and is unlikely to offer meaningful long term benefit for people with neck pain.
Other recent large, high quality trials reinforce this message, suggesting that manipulation is not superior when directly compared with other physical interventions such as exercise, they add.
They argue that, given the equivalence in outcome with other forms of therapy, manipulation seems to be clinically unnecessary. "The potential for catastrophic events and the clear absence of unique benefit lead to the inevitable conclusion that manipulation of the cervical spine should be abandoned as part of conservative care for neck pain," they conclude.
But David Cassidy and colleagues argue that cervical spine manipulation is a valuable addition to patient care and should not be abandoned.
They point to high quality evidence that "clearly suggests that manipulation benefits patients with neck pain" and raises doubt about any causal (direct) relation between manipulation and stroke.
When combined with recent randomised trial results, "this evidence supports including manipulation as a treatment option for neck pain, along with other interventions such as advice to stay active and exercise," they say.
However, they acknowledge that, when risk, benefit, and patient preference are considered, "there is currently no preferred first line therapy, and no evidence that mobilisation is safer or more effective than manipulation. Thus the identification of safe and effective interventions for neck pain remains a high priority."
They conclude: "We say no to abandoning manipulation and yes to more rigorous research on the benefits and harms of this and other common interventions for neck pain."
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Regular meditation could decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in teens who are most at risk, according to Georgia Health Sciences University researchers.
In a study of 62 black teens with high blood pressure, those who meditated twice a day for 15 minutes had lower left ventricular mass, an indicator of future cardiovascular disease, than a control group, said Dr. Vernon Barnes, a physiologist in the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Health Sciences University Institute of Public and Preventive Health.
Barnes, Dr. Gaston Kapuku, a cardiovascular researcher in the institute, and Dr. Frank Treiber, a psychologist and former GHSU Vice President for Research, co-authored the study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Half of the group was trained in transcendental meditation and asked to meditate for 15 minutes with a class and 15 minutes at home for a four-month period. The other half was exposed to health education on how to lower blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease, but no meditation. Left ventricular mass was measured with two-dimensional echocardiograms before and after the study and the group that meditated showed a significant decrease.
"Increased mass of the heart muscle's left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure," Barnes explained. "Some of these teens already had higher measures of left ventricular mass because of their elevated blood pressure, which they are likely to maintain into adulthood."
During meditation, which Barnes likens to a period of deep rest, the activity of the sympathetic nervous system decreases and the body releases fewer-than-normal stress hormones. "As a result, the vasculature relaxes, blood pressure drops and the heart works less," he said.
School records also showed behavioral improvements.
"Transcendental meditation results in a rest for the body that is often deeper than sleep," Barnes said. "Statistics indicate that one in every 10 black youths have high blood pressure. If practiced over time, the meditation may reduce the risk of these teens developing cardiovascular disease, in addition to other added health benefits. "