This months issues of The Burnham Review focus on decreasing signs and symptoms associated with Breast Cancer and with Low Back pain. There is also support for the idea that manual therapy approaches can improve tissue health and contribute to recovery and quality of life.
The use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by patients with breast cancer and survivors is on the rise. A recent study of 115 breast cancer survivors at least 1 year beyond active medical treatment found that 69% of participants reported use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). "Of CAM users, 73% reported initiating or changing CAM activity specifically because of their cancer diagnosis. Patients engaging in CAM for cancer-related reasons were younger and had been diagnosed with cancer at a younger age."
Manual Therapies are being used to decrease nausea and fatigue as well as support the immune system in people with cancer.
There were two particularly encouraging articles:
1.Hernandez-Reif, M., G. Ironson, et al. (2004). "Breast cancer patients have improved immune and neuroendocrine functions following massage therapy." J Psychosom Res 57(1): 45-52. [Abstract]
2. Potter, B. (2000). "Shrinkage of Ductal Carcinoma Tumor Prior to Operation." Center for Integrative Manual Therapy e-journal:
Fibromyalgia (FM) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Of the 304 patients invited to participate in The Mayo Fibromyalgia Program, 98% had used some type of CAM therapy during the previous 6 months. "The 10 most frequently used CAM treatments were exercise for a specific medical problem (48%), spiritual healing (45%), massage therapy (44%), chiropractic treatments (37%), vitamin C (35%), vitamin E (31%), magnesium (29%), vitamin B complex (25%), green tea (24%), and weight-loss programs (20%)." according to Wahner-Roedler, 2007.
This issue of The Burnham Review (TBR) focuses on evidence for the use of nutritional approaches; treatments that shift substance P plasma levels (acupuncture and massage therapy); modalities which affect the autonomic nervous system (Reiki, Integrative Manual Therapy, also see issue 6-16 of TBR); exercise, and more.
Leventhal, L. J. (1999). "Management of fibromyalgia." Ann Intern Med 131(11): 850-8 notes the effectiveness of exercise, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and a multidisciplinary approach in the management of fibromyalgia.
Another article highlights the use of manual therapy to improve autonomic nervous system function, which can help a variety of conditions including fibromyalgia...... Wheeler, L. (2004). Advanced Strain Counterstrain. Massage Therapy Journal, 43 Winter(4),