Tag Archives: alternative-med

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science Comes To The Hospital – By Chuck Dinerstein — May 11, 2018

The war against opioids has come to the hospital as a new study suggests that integrative medicine is an effective pain agent and will save money!

The study looked at 2,730 patients referred during their hospitalization to the integrative medicine pain management program; roughly 5% of their admissions during a three year period. The primary outcome was pain reduction at the first IM session; cost savings were a secondary outcome.  Continue reading


‘Pilot studies’ of alt-medicine: unethical and harmful

‘Pilot studies’ of alternative medicine: incompetent, unethical, misleading and harmful – Apr 4 – by Edzard Ernst

During the last 25 years, my research focussed on the critical evaluation of all aspects of alternative medicine. I do not aim to promote this or that therapy or profession, my goal is to provide objective evidence and reliable information

I have noticed a proliferation of so-called pilot studies of alternative therapies.  

In today’s anti-opioid climate, any non-opioid “treatment” for pain, is accepted uncritically, even if it’s only slightly effective for a few people, is promoted as “fighting the opioid crisis” (which is actually an “addiction crisis”)   Continue reading

Do capsaicin creams really work?

Molecular Level Answers: Do capsaicin creams really work? – by Holly Phaneuf Erskine

Even without taste buds, red pepper would still burn your mouth.

When you eat red pepper, you do not actually taste capsaicin with your taste buds. Like other oil-soluble, small molecules, it has the ability to penetrate tissues.

It slowly moves through tissues in your mouth, to trigger deeper nerves, and the classic burning sensation slowly grows.

Paradoxically, it relieves pain, but it isn’t your usual counterirritant.   Continue reading

Do Alternatives to Opioids Really Exist?

Do Alternatives to Opioids Really Exist? – By Richard A. Lawhern & Michael E. Schatman February 16, 2018

A recent article for MC/Opinion proclaimed that “Alternatives to Opioids Do Exist – We Just Need to Use Them.”  

However, is this assertion supported by medical evidence? We suggest this is not currently the case.

It is constantly repeated in public media that “more Americans were killed in 2015 from drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun homicides combined.” But what drugs?   Continue reading

Yoga is not a panacea

Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga… – PubMed – NCBI – Jun 2017

Thirty-eight individuals (mean age: 34.8 years old) participating in a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat were assessed before and after the intervention for psychometric measures, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), circadian salivary cortisol levels, and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines

Participation in the retreat was found to be associated with decreases in self-reported anxiety and depression as well as increases in mindfulness.   Continue reading

FDA Asks, Gets Answers, Pain Patients not Involved

FDA Asks, Gets Answers on Reducing Opioid Epidemic – Pain Medicine News – Oct 2017 – Kenneth Bender

The prevalence and consequences of opioid use disorder can be reduced without preventing patients with pain from receiving necessary opioid analgesics, according to a consensus report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine requested by the FDA.

Perhaps it can be, but it certainly is not.

Once again, the fate of pain patients is being decided by people who don’t understand the cruel waste of a life devastated by chronic pain.   Continue reading

The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy

Here are my annotations of five studies showing the efficacy of photobiomodulation (PBM), also called LLLT, for pain, depression, and muscle function. (as of 2/9/2018)

The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy – Ann Biomed Eng. 2012 Feb;  /PMC3288797/

This full-text article explains how LLLT works.

Soon after the discovery of lasers in the 1960s it was realized that laser therapy had the potential to improve wound healing and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.

In recent years the field sometimes known as photobiomodulation has broadened to include light-emitting diodes and other light sources, and the range of wavelengths used now includes many in the red and near infrared   Continue reading

Survey on Complimentary Therapy for EDS

Study Title: Use of Complementary Therapies for Pain Management in Patients with Ehlers-Danlos and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders – Principal Investigator: Jessica Demes

The purpose of our study is to learn more about how adult patients manage their pain when affected by Ehlers Danlos or a Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder. We are hoping that you could provide your opinions and perspectives in this survey.

To join the study, we will ask you to complete a survey with questions about hypermobility and how you experience and manage any pain you have. These questions may take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.

Is mindfulness making us ill?

Is mindfulness making us ill? – January 2016 – By Dawn Foster

It’s the relaxation technique of choice, popular with employers and even the NHS. But some have found it can have unexpected effects.

I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously

I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience.

Then comes the meditation.   Continue reading

An insider exposes Naturopathy’s false claims

Bastyr University is trying to silence a blogger exposing naturopathy’s false claims — Quartz

Complementary medicine therapies drawn from traditional practices, ranging from massage and vitamin supplements to acupuncture and meditation, are today becoming broadly incorporated into mainstream medicine as more scientific studies validate their efficacy

But naturopathy, a belief system built on the concept that “nature knows best” when it comes to healing, takes it a step further.

Practitioners use a host of pseudoscientific techniques including energy healing and homeopathy that can be not only ineffective, but dangerous.   Continue reading