Next Meditation Monday 25th May
by Dr Samantha Batt – Rawden
The majority of these studies show a significant stress reduction and increases in psychological wellbeing following Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. However there is very little definitive evidence for such a benefit. Although many studies do employ the use of a control group often controls were recruited from the waiting list to receive MBSR. This may bias the results of such studies as these subjects; clearly those interested in MBSR are more likely to believe it has a clinical benefit. Aside from the clear methodological problems associated with a lack of a control group, much of the available literature suffers from further flaws which only serve to limit the generalisability and validity of the reported results. These include: use of unvalidated tools to measure outcomes and failure to control for confounding variables such as concurrent treatment and arbitrary determination of the primary outcome measure as evidence for clinical response.
This literature review highlights the need for large trials and methodologically sound research. Yet there is evidence to suggest the potential promise of mindfulness as an effective intervention for enhancing the psychological and spiritual wellbeing of patients with wide range of medical disorders and psychiatric diagnoses, and for health care professionals. Whilst the biological basis of both medical and psychiatric disease is advancing exponentially, as we understand more about the human brain questions are raised as to the basis of the mind, and the interface between psychiatry, psychology, philosophy and spirituality becomes ever more interesting. This, and its concurrent growing popularity, might suggest there is a role, alongside more traditional treatments, for MBSR in modern medicine.
I’ve edit this to show you the reviews for the healing modalities I’m qualified to use.
BY Meredith Engel
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, July 18, 2014, 2:59 PM
Reiki master Gianantonio Corna told the News he can’t even remember the last time he got sick, which he thinks is due to the healing practice.
Can a slight touch, a firm touch or even no touch really heal what’s ailing you?
Energy healing — tapping into the body’s own frequencies as a type of alternative medicine — is being taken seriously by health practitioners trained in both eastern and western modalities of medicine.
And science is backing up its powers: One 2013 study found that 10 minutes of energy healing was as effective as physical therapy in improving the range of motion in people with mobility problems. UCLA even has en electromyography (EMG) lab that studies electrical activity in the body.
But many remain skeptical. Dr. Edzard Ernst, a professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter in England (the first-ever professor of this branch of study), has repeatedly refuted the efficacy of energy healing, stating once that just five percent of alternative medicine has evidentiary support.
I put four energy-based alternative healing practices to the test to find out if any of them are worthwhile complements to Western medicine. But first a disclaimer. While I don’t have any major medical issues that required serious healing, I did try these to get a feel for what each procedure is like.
What it is: Gentle self-taps on various acupressure points in the body (under the eye, the collarbone) to signal to the brain that it’s OK to calm down. Also known as Emotional Freedom Technique.
What the expert says: “When we feel stressed, it’s not a sensation we just experience in our head — we feel it in our entire body,” said Jessica Ortner, author of “The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence.”
“By stimulating these acupressure points while focusing on the thought that is causing the stress, your body is communicating to your brain that it’s safe to relax,” she said. Ortner swears the practice is effective for everything from back pain to weight trouble. She cited one study in her book that found 89 women lost an average of 16 pounds over eight weeks without diet and exercise — just by adding two hours of tapping a week, which averages to 15 minutes a day.
My experience: Having just started my job at the News, and adjusting to leaning on my phone’s headset for much of the day (a big no-no…I’m aware!) I told Ortner I was feeling some tension on my left side.
Ortner guided me as I very gently tapped nine pressure points on my body six times, while using affirming self-talk. After initially tapping on the side of my hand, I moved up to the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, on the chin, on the collarbone, under the arm and the top of the head. Afterwards, I did notice the pain had subsided.
The great thing about this treatment is that you don’t need a practitioner’s help once you have it down. I have since used tapping when I’ve found myself in stressful circumstances, and I especially love tapping the underneath my eye — I find it instantly relaxes me.
What it is: A practitioner moves his hands above the client’s body in a way that opens up the body to different types of frequencies. From there, the intelligence of the body is supposed to intercede — without the practitioner manipulating or touching the body. For example, someone coming in with a knee problem might not realize that the body’s intelligence might need to fix something else in the body or mind, which is only presenting itself with a knee issue. It’s a quick practice, with three sessions being the maximum recommended.
What the expert says: The practice allows us to “step into our limitless potential,” said Dr. Eric Pearl, the movement’s founder and the author of “The Reconnection: Heal Yourself, Heal Others.” “People come in to have the experience of more fully embodying and embracing their lives.” Pearl explained that we need to let go of our belief that the body heals solely through chemicals produced by within the body, and instead embrace the idea that the body can heal through frequency, vibration, resonance, informational exchange and light. “If you’re lucky, your healing will come in the form your desires, but if you’re truly fortunate, your healing will come in the form that you’ve not dreamed of, one that the universe has in mind specifically for you,” Pearl said.
My experience: I had one of Pearl’s associates lead our session. He had me lay face-up and flat on the table and close my eyes.
He waved his arms over me in all sorts of rhythmic patterns and, wow, I felt a tingling, pins-and-needles sensation in my body almost immediately. My ears almost felt like they were filling up with water as well.
The pins and needles came and went for the half hour I was on the table, as did a soft whirring sound in the room. It was the most visceral treatment I had, and put me into a trance-like state. I felt uneasy being a bit “out of control.”
The Reconnection Dr. Eric Pearl, center, teaches people how to do reconnective healing.
Afterwards, I woke up curious about what I had experienced, but Kelly’s prompt questions made me feel like the sensations I experienced were normal and to be expected. I can’t speak on it healing any condition I have, but I can see how people believe in this practice’s capabilities.
What the doctors think
Physicians specializing in both eastern and western medicine both affirmed the power of these healing modalities. Deepak Chopra, a holistic physician who also subscribes to Western teachings, said that science is starting to understand how energy healing works.
“It triggers your own healing system, which is called homeostatis,” he said. Homeostatis is what tells your body to create an antibody when you have an infection, or a clot when you fall so that you don’t bleed to death.
Dr. Mark Melrose, an emergency medicine physician at Urgent Care Manhattan, said that there’s “infinitely more that we don’t understand,” about medicine, and that alternative therapies such as energy healing could certainly benefit patients, provided that they do no harm and also are complements to traditional treatments.
“If it makes you feel better, then it’s probably helping,” he said.
The bottom line
If anything, these practices can help with stress reduction, which is linked to an improvement of many health conditions, like heart disease and hypertension. But with so many people extolling the benefits of these techniques, I’m likely to think that there is some unexplainable magic to them. I wouldn’t use them as my only method of treating a disease, but I can see how they complement other therapies.