A monthly round-up of the latest news, events and topics in integrative healthcare from John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports.

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports


Positive whole person naturopathic cardiovascular risk study provokes editorial in Canadian Medical Association Journal

“Can naturopaths deliver complementary preventive medicine?” Thus ran the headline in a recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).  The editorial was written in reference to the publication, in the same edition, of a randomized clinical trial led by Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine researcher Dugald Seely, ND. The study is entitled: “Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized controlled trial.”  The researchers found that individualized, whole person-oriented naturopathic integrative care produced reduced cardiovascular risk for a group of Canadian postal workers. This is the first, positive study led by a naturopathic physician investigator to make its way into a journal of a national MD professional association.

Comment: The study, and the editorial, illuminate both the benefits and challenges in research on any trial of a kind of care that lives up to either naturopathic medicine principles or integrative medicine principles. It also points the way to the kind of research we need to create cost savings through reformed care delivery. The CMAJ editorial seeks to diminish the value of the study, and thus the profession that provided the outcomes. Fact is, the study suggests that actual children of actual Canadian postal workers are actually likely to have more time with their parents if they get more of whole person, individualized, naturopathic integrative care. A longer discussion is here at the Huffington Post.


JAMA posting on Low Back Pain suggests chiropractic, acupuncture

A posting on Low Back Pain for consumers on the Journal of the American Medical Association site sparked the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) to promote the JAMA;s acknowledgment of the value of chiropractic. The segment of the briefing on treatment options reads simply: “Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture. Sometimes medications are needed, including analgesics (painkillers) or medications that reduce inflammation. Surgery is not usually needed but may be considered if other therapies have failed.” The ACA’s president Keith Overland, DC, is quoted by his association as saying: “We are encouraged to see JAMA suggest patients try chiropractic and other more conservative types of treatment for their back pain. In many cases pain can be alleviated without the use of unnecessary drugs or surgery, so it makes sense to exhaust conservative options first.”

Comment: Funny what makes the grade and what doesn’t in such lists. Massage therapy and Yoga and mind-body approach don’t make this cut. Interesting, also, the language. A statement from on high suggests that physical therapy “can” help. But it is the voice of “some people” that there is “benefit” of chiropractic and acupuncture. Quibbling, here. Nice to see the integration.


May 2014 International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health Announces Keynoters

The big complementary and integrative medicine research conference come around on May 13-16, 2014 on a biennial rather than triennial schedule. The Miami, Florida gathering of what is expected to be over 1000 researchers and clinicians know as the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health. Conferece planners announced the keynote speakers: Catherine Bushnell, PhD, the scientific director for the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, on the brain’s role in the perception and management of pain; UCLA’s Steven Cole, on the social and psychological influences on gene expression; Linda Collins, PhD, on building behavioral intervention strategies; Elisa Eppel, PhD on cellular aging; and integrative medicine in the military leader Eric Schoomaker, MD, PhD. The conference is sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. A promotional video is up here. Alignment of interest: I serve on the conference’s communications committee.


European Journal of Integrative Medicine publishes special journal on public health

The two editors of  Special issue on public health/health services research and integrative medicine of the European Journal of Integrative Medicine are Pathways for Health’s Beth Sommers, PhD, LAc and Jon Adams, the founding of the Australia-based Network of Researchers in the Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NORPHCAM). The 82-page special section include 13 articles. It leads off with a piece from the co-editors entitled Public health and health services research in integrative medicine: An emerging, essential focus. The diverse set of articles include themes that range from multi-morbidities to complementary health practitioner uses in shortage areas and a piece on public health ethics in CAM. Boston-based Sommers is a co-chair of the Alternative and Complementary Health Practices section of the American Public Health Association.


Read More May Round-up>>