Mind-body medicine. An introduction and review of the literature

Author: Barrows KA//Jacobs BP
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. kb1@onebox.com
Conference/Journal: Med Clin North Am
Date published: 2002
Other: Volume ID: 86 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 11-31 , Word Count: 187

MBM is a well-established phenomenon in modern medicine. If one accepts a model of mind/body that is truly nondualistic, it could be said that the MBM phenomenon is inherent to medicine. Because of its popularity and efficacy for common chronic conditions, MBM may have its greatest presence in primary care medicine. The flourishing of MBM techniques resulting from the public's enthusiastic embrace of these therapies has created a great need for rigorous scientific examination. The MBM literature may be said to be in its adolescence, having grown out of its early years of enthusiastic case reports and small studies, but not yet fully grown into a broad catalogue of large controlled experimental trials. Nevertheless, clinical trials suggest that certain MBM therapies are effective in improving quality of life, anxiety, and pain intensity for a variety of conditions. There is moderate evidence to suggest these techniques improve chronic pain, headache, insomnia, and other common conditions. There is preliminary evidence to suggest these techniques may affect coronary artery disease and cancer. MBM techniques ultimately may prove to be most effective in combinations or in conjunction with traditional treatment.