March/April 2010, Volume 3, Issue 2
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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research at NIH: Interview with Josephine Briggs, MD
Since Congress created the Office of Alternative Medicine in 1992 as part of the National Institutes of Health, there has been a steady expansion of federal support for complementary and alternative medicine research. Upgraded to “center” status in 1998, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine now has a budget topping $128 million, which funds not only clinical and basic research studies but also the development of a CAM research infrastructure at both medical schools and CAM institutions. Read article »
CAM in Review
CAM covers a wide range of topic areas, as do our highlighted studies for this issue. A review of dozens of studies finds that acupuncture is helpful for insomnia; grapefruit extract is helpful for head lice; and a survey finds that among physicians, increased spirituality and religiosity coincides with more personal use of CAM and willingness to integrate CAM into a treatment program.
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and Fitness
Two new studies find that exercise helps hold off the development of dementia; researchers confirm that exercise helps knee pain but that weight loss does not add to this effect; and both resistance training and all-around exercise diminish musculoskeletal pain in all regions of the body. Read article »
Full Kinetic Chain Adjusting: Interview with James Brantingham, DC, PhD
Chiropractors’ focus on the spine is enhanced by recognizing the dynamic influence of the legs on the body’s overall structural and functional integrity, according to James Brantingham, DC, PhD, Director of Research at Cleveland Chiropractic College–Los Angeles, whose research on chiropractic extremity care has grown deeper and broader since he joined the CCCLA faculty in 2004. Dr. Brantingham has established himself and his department at the cutting edge of chiropractic research on the extremities.
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(R)Evolution in Resolutions
A new year’s resolution to start a yoga class (or other healthy activity) is admirable, but far too many such resolutions fall prey to what were long ago described as the six destroyers of yoga practices: over-eating, over-exertion, talking too much, becoming too rule-bound, choosing unwise company, and wavering in our dedication. Understanding these pitfalls and working out ways to avoid them is essential if our resolutions are to amount to more than mere good intentions. Read article »
Research Roundup
A major randomized controlled trial on chronic low back pain compared results from spinal manipulation, physiotherapy and back school. Manipulation was associated with higher functional improvement and long-term pain relief than back school or individual physiotherapy. Read article »

For many years, those of us seeking alternatives to conventional medicine identified ourselves as proponents of holistic health care to convey the importance of seeing ourselves and our patients as whole persons—body, mind and spirit. But phrases fall out of fashion. Eventually, holistic became alternative, then complementary and alternative, and finally (for now) integrative. We all understand that the map is not the territory but changes in language signal changes in outlook and emphasis. Subtly and gradually, we have lost something in the process. Read article »
The Great SOYBEAN CONTROVERSY: Part III – Ways to Enjoy Soy (with Recipes)
Unless a food is enjoyable, most people will not consume it on a long-term basis no matter what health benefits it promises. Because soybeans are quite nutritious but have a bland taste, finding appealing soy recipes is a necessity. Fortunately, over the past several centuries Asian (and now Western) cooks have solved this problem. Combining soy products such as tofu or tempeh with a variety of vegetables and grains, and adding spices including worldwide favorites like garlic and ginger, we have readily available answers to soy’s taste challenges.
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Nutrition Update
In new nutrition research, we find that high levels of vitamin D in the blood correspond to decreased risk of colon cancer; diets high in animal (but not plant) protein are linked to increased diabetes risk; and low calorie diets help sleep apnea, especially in severe cases.
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