Saturday, 15 December 2012

Alternative Medicine..safe? But where is the Evidence?

Epub: Senders et al. Mind-body medicine for multiple sclerosis: a systematic review. Autoimmune Dis. 2012;2012:567324. doi: 10.1155/2012/567324.

Background: Mind-body therapies are used to manage physical and psychological symptoms in many chronic health conditions.

Objective: To assess the published evidence for using mind-body techniques for symptom management of multiple sclerosis. Methods. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Clinical Trials Register were searched from inception to March 24, 2012. Eleven mind-body studies were reviewed (meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, relaxation, and imagery).

Results: Four high quality trials (yoga, mindfulness, relaxation, and biofeedback) were found helpful for a variety of MS symptoms.

Conclusions: The evidence for mind-body medicine in MS is limited, yet mind-body therapies are relatively safe and may provide a non-pharmacological benefit for MS symptoms.


Whilst many of you believe in the virtues of non-pharmaceutical approach, the simple fact as shown here, is that there is not enough good evidence to support things one way or another. Who will fund the studies and who will undertake them?

4 comments:

  1. This:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/homeopathyrandi.shtml

    Whilst I believe in positive effects of herbs etc. (most drugs on the markets are based on herbal extracts) I don't believe in sugar drops :D

    Also I can't dance my name I already became quite good in Tai Chi.

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  2. If it's safe, then what's the harm? I don't think any MS patient thinks biofeedback, relaxation, mindfulness or yoga are going to cure them of MS. Do they? I don't.

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  3. For what it's worth I DO believe that some alternative treatments work - but only in an indirect way. My sensory symptoms typically appear when I am overtired, stressed or on long haul flights. The only way I can get rid of them is to try and flood the body with feel-good experiences - i.e. r and r. As part of this, massage or reiki achieve this. I emerge deeply relaxed and able to rest up.

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