Changing the conversation about health

Complementary Medicine Roundup – May 2019

ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT: CHRONIC PROSTATIS/CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN SYNDROME

Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Randomised, Sham Acupuncture Controlled Trial, Quin Z, Zang Z, Wu J, Zhou, Kwong JSW, Liu Z (October 2018)

This research is studied by Petra Koczy on the Carstens Foundation website which may be viewed here [Note: a translation into English is available].

 

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE LESSONS: CHRONIC NECK PAIN

Refer to the abstract titled Self-efficacy and self-care-related outcomes following Alexander Technique lessons for people with chronic neck pain in the ATLAS randomized, controlled trial, Woodman J, Ballard K, Hewitt C, MacPherson H (January 2018)

This research is also cited in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine (January 2018; 17: 64-71).

BRISTOL MEDICAL SCHOOL: SCIM PROJECT PAPERS PUBLISHED IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS

This project was referred to on page 2 of my February 2019 blog. Subsequently, the project’s 4 papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. All except the EuJIM are open access (i.e. full articles are freely available):

Literature review: A Scoping Review of Systematic Reviews of Complementary Medicine for Musculoskeletal and Mental Health Conditions. BMJ Open

 

Focus groups: Trying to put a square peg into a round hole’: a qualitative study of healthcare professionals’ views of integrating complementary medicine into primary care for musculoskeletal and mental health comorbidity. BMC CAM

 

National survey: Complementary medicine use, views and experiences – a national survey in England. BJGP Open. And associated press release

 

Case studies: Complementary medicine and the NHS: experiences of integration into UK primary care. EuJIM

A review was also published in Positive Health.

YOGA FOR WOMEN EXPERIENCING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

The research abstract Efficacy of Yoga for depressed postpartum women: A randomised controlled trial authored by Buttner MM, Brock RL, O’Hara MW, Stuart S (2015) revealed an improvement in depression, anxiety and poor health-related quality of life for women in a Yoga group experiencing postpartum depression. This research has also been noted in Issue 250 of Positive Health Online.

YOGA: SIGNIFICANT CLINICAL UTILITY ESPECIALLY IN THE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF COMPLEX MULTIFACTORIAL DISEASES AND REDUCING THE RATE OF FUNCTIONAL DECLINE WITH AGING

For a study that demonstrates improvement in both cardinal and metabotrophic biomarkers of cellular aging and longevity in an apparently healthy population after a yoga – and meditation – based lifestyle intervention, refer to the [erratum of] the abstract published on 24.09.17 in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity and titled Impact of Yoga and Meditation on Cellular Aging in Apparently Healthy Individuals: A Prospective, Open-Label Single-Arm Exploratory Study by Madhuri Tolahunase, Rajesh Sagar and Rima Dada which includes the following conclusion:

‘… Making yoga and meditation an integral part of our lifestyle may hold the key to delay aging or aging gracefully, prevent the onset of multifactorial complex lifestyle diseases, promote mental, physical, and reproductive health, and prolong youthful healthy life…’

NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE: ABSTRACT TITLED “THE STATE OF THE EVIDENCE FOR WHOLE-SYSTEM, MULTI-MODALITY NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE: A SYSTEMATIC SCOPING REVIEW”

This article, by Stephen P. Myers and Vanessa Vigar, 2019, published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc publishers (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Feb 2019) to be cited ahead of printing (http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2018.0340) titled as above, reviewed 33 published research articles from around the world and concluded, among other things, that naturopathic medicine is effective for treating a range of symptoms and complex chronic conditions.

Explore information about the establishment and aims of The International Research Consortium of Naturopathic Academic Clinics (IRCNAC)A research paper published by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (February 2019) investigating naturopathic health care delivery in Canada may be viewed here.

AUSTRALIA: NATIONAL CENTRE FOR NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

The Southern Cross University in Australia will establish the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine in 2019 at its Lismore Campus with a $10 million donation by philanthropist Mr Marcus Blackmore.

A PHASE 3 RANDOMISED TRIAL OF CALENDULA OFFICINALIS COMPARED WITH TROLAMINE FOR THE PREVENTION OF ACUTE DERMATITIS DURING IRRADIATION FOR BREAST CANCER

The above 2004 Trial (authored by Pommier P, Gomez F, Sunyach MP, D’Hombres A, Carrie C, Montbarbon X), concluded that:

‘…Calendula is highly effective for the prevention of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher and should be proposed for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast cancer…’

Refer, also, to the “Authors’ Conclusions” in the 2009 Cochrane Systematic Review abstract Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments (Sossie Kassab, Mike Cummings, Saul Berkovitz, Robbert van Haselen, Peter Fisher).

HOMEOPATHY IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MEDICAL TREATMENT OPTIONS: THE FEDERATION OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY (GERMANY) COMPARED TO A STATEMENT BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

In a press release (13.09.18), Henning Fahrenkamp, the Chief Executive of the Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI), Germany, appealed for the recognition of homeopathic medicines as part of an integrative medicine. The press release acknowledged that more than 7000 licensed physicians, including emergency physicians and oncologists, have the additional name “homeopathy” and use these medicines effectively in the care of patients.

Compare the above to an open letter sent by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia to all Australian pharmacies, instructing as follows:

‘…to cease all activities that encourage the stocking, promotion, recommendation or marketing of homeopathy…’ 

See below for a media release by The Australian Homeopathic Association. petition may be signed here. Another Australian petition “Your right of choice in healthcare is under threat” may be viewed and signed here.

For observations about the GERMAN LEGISLATIVE & EU DEBATES relating to CAM, refer to my October 2018 blog.

CAN HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT SLOW PROSTATE CANCER GROWTH?

Following a 2006 experiment involving Copenhagen rats inoculated with prostate tumor cells, the abstract of which may be viewed here, the authors (Jonas WB, Gaddipati JP, Rajeshkumar NV, Sharma A, Thangapazham RL, Warren J, Singh AK, Ives JA, Olsen C, Mog SR, Maheshwari RK) were able to conclude that:

‘…The findings indicate that selected homeopathic remedies for the present study have no direct cellular anticancer effects but appear to significantly slow the progression of cancer and reduce cancer incidence and mortality in Copenhagen rats injected with MAT-LyLu prostate cancer cells…

HOMEOPATHY: THE CONTEST CONTINUES

Notwithstanding numerous positive research papers and articles about homeopathy, its practice and prescribing continues to receive negative public health policy directives from some countries, including those in the UK, Australia and Spain.

My previous blogs outline the problems encountered by Homeopaths and their patients. See, in particular, my December 2107 blog (IN DEFENCE OF HOMEOPATHY) and my June 2018 blog (page 3: NHS FUNDED HOMEOPATHY: THE SCREW TIGHTENS).

For a brief assessment, review the following:

 

 

 

 

An explanation of recent events in Australia is provided in the News Alert (Week 11, 2019) posted by The Alliance for Natural Health International under the caption Australian assault on Natural therapies? It includes reference to a public consultation instituted by The Medical Board of Australiathat could end up drastically restricting access to natural therapies”, including homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Written submissions may be filed by 12.05.19, by email marked: ‘Public consultation on complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments’ addressed to medboardconsultation@ahpra.gov.au.

See, also, the section below: AUSTRALIAN HOMEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION REBUKES PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA…

A post (20.12.18) on the website of The Society of Homeopaths has pledged support for homeopathy in Spain:

‘…after the government there announced all ‘natural therapies’ were to be examined to ensure patients received clear information and assurances that remedies did not interfere with regulated treatments.

The move, part of a major government health project, is thought to be unprecedented in the European Union…’

The application by the Spanish Government was rejected by The European Commission which, it is reported, will not change the use of homeopathic products in the EU on the basis that:

 “The current framework finds a balance between guaranteeing quality and safety and informing consumers, including healthcare professionals” 

(extract from a post by The Faculty of Homeopathy).

For a Spanish commentary, refer to the post (12.12.18) on EL PAIS (Brussels rejects the Spanish request to change the law on homeopathy by Alvaro Sanchez).

To analyse a perspective from Germany, download the WissHom Report: The Current State of Homeopathic Research and the Information Sheet provided.

In India, a Media Note (23.01.19) has been posted regarding the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum on the regulation of homeopathic medicinal products: Advancing global collaboration, which included this statement:

‘…The three-day forum is being organised by Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH), with the support of Ministry of AYUSH, Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) and European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products (ECHAMP), Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). The forum has participation of key public and private sector stakeholders, such as representatives from World Health Organisation (WHO) and drug regulatory authorities, as well as pharmacopoeia experts and industrialists from countries like Germany, USA, France, UK, Brazil, Belgium, South Africa, Argentina, Russia, Greece, Austria, Cuba, Qatar, Croatia, Malaysia, Japan, Hongkong and Sri Lanka.  Among the delegates are also present veterinary experts, as well as the regulators and drug controllers of various states of India.

 …Dr. Robbert van Haselen, Director, World Integrated Medicine Forum (WIMF), in his keynote address, mentioned that AIMF aimed to further develop evidence-based Traditional, Complementary and Integrated systems of Medicine (TCIM) by promoting public-private co-operation, where the public and private sectors are the ‘actors’, while patients and health care providers are the ‘drivers’. He said that the legitimate and increasing demand/need for homeopathic products by patients and health care providers worldwide needs to be balanced by appropriate regulatory framework which proportionally addresses quality, safety, effectiveness and availability of medicines. To achieve this he said, the role of regulators, industry and respective countries are intertwined. He said that India is the rightful host to such a forum, given its openness to medical pluralism, both

politically and culturally…’

[Note: bolding of the above text added by me]

The proposal that patientsas well as health care providers should be the drivers, as bolded in the text of the above media note, is a strategy that could be adopted in the UK and elsewhere in support of integrative CAM.

Take another opportunity to read about the collaboration between the Government of India and The College of Medicine with regard to traditional Indian medicine, in the College’s updates respectively titled: (22.04.18) Indian Government and the College of Medicine to create UK AYUSH centres of excellence and (26.04.18) HRH The Prince of Wales and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveil a plaque to commemorate the first centre of excellence in traditional Indian medicine.

The Department of Health for India and donors in the UK will give funding for the centres to be established. The Ministry of AYUSH, based in New Dehli, was formed in 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of systems of health care around Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.