Studies and Progress Notes (April 2008)
* * SPIRITUAL AWARENESS AND WHOLISTIC HEALING * *
Intuition is one of the best validated subjects in scientific studies
Intuition has been validated in meticulously performed studies, amply replicated and confirmed in meta-analyses. Surprisingly, many in Western medicine and science remain ignorant of these studies. One suspects that they find these so outside their usual frames of reference that they cannot believe this could be true, or are so uncomfortable that it exceeds their 'boggle threshold' and they refuse to consider or accept the evidence. I will review the meta analyses on parapsychology research here and in the next few issues of this eZine, as this information is published in parapsychology journals that suffer from publication and referencing biases that give them limited distribution.
The first meta-analysis examines telepathic and clairsentient perceptions in studies that allowed the subjects to respond freely to the questions asked (rather than being forced to choose between a limited series of options).
This paper reports a meta-analysis of free-response studies in which participants were in a normal, waking state of consciousness
Seventy-eight studies, reported in 55 papers by 35 different senior authors, were included in the database. Some 2,682 individual trials were conducted overall (median 16 trials per study, range 5-240), involving 1,158 percipients (median of 10 per study, range 1-74). The number of studies per senior author ranged from one to 11, with a medican of two. Most studies (68%) used unselected subjects.
The mean effect size of the 78 studies was 0.160 (SD = 0.288) which is statistically significant (p < 10-7, one-tailed). [In everyday language, this means that the results could have occurred by chance only once in a million.]
Source: Milton, Julie. A meta-analysis of waking state of consciousness, free-response ESP studies. In Zingrone, NL/ Schlitz, MJ, eds. Research in Parapsychology 1993, 31-34, Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press 1994.
IJHC - WHR Observations
The parapsychology research database has been built over the past century into a massively convincing support for the existence of telepathy, clairsentience, precognition and psychokinesis (mind influencing matter). These are components of spiritual healing and of many other CAM modalities, generally identified clinically as 'intuition.'
Skeptics, seeking every possible way to discount such studies, have suggested that only studies with positive results have been reported by parapsychologists. (This is nicknamed the 'file drawer effect,' on the assumption that researchers file away studies with negative findings without publishing them, so that their beliefs will be supported by the remaining studies with positive findings, which are published.) This is not only an insult to the integrity of these researchers, but patently unlikely. Statistical analyses show that 866 negative studies would have had to be performed in order to achieve this level of significance by chance. Because there is limited funding available for parapsychology studies, this is, clearly, an impossibility.
** FUTURE RESEARCH IN WHOLISTIC HEALING * *
The IJHC/WHR E-Zine features monthly suggestions for future research in healing.
READERS ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT SUGGESTIONS FOR TOPICS TO STUDY
If your topic is chosen, you ill receive free access to the IJHC for a month, including the current issue and all back issues.
Studies of clinical intuition
Many doctors, nurses, psychotherapists and CAM practitioners have told me of times when they simply knew intuitively that they needed to go immediately to see a person under their care who turned out to be in urgent need of care; that a person had a particular problem; that a particular treatment would be of benefit; and so on. Sadly, nearly all of the conventional practitioners have not shared their intuitive experiences with colleagues or students. They are rightly fearful of severe criticisms from their peers or professional organizations, who would most likely criticize, censure or even discipline or fire them for expressing beliefs that are outside the range of conventional norms for clinical practice.
Studies of intuition would not be difficult to initiate. I am available for consultation if any readers are interested and have a clinical setting in which this could be done.
* * WHOLISTIC APPROACHES * *
"Cortisol reactivity is a marker of vulnerability for a variety of stress-related diseases that likely arise from the contributions of both genetic and environmental sources of influence." Cortisol is a stress hormone that the body produces in new, unpredictable or uncontrollable contexts that are stressful to the individual. The cortisol level in saliva is frequently used as a marker for stress in research. This study explored the genetic and environmental components contributing to responses to stress.
The researchers hypothesized that cortisol levels in children exposed to the same stressful conditions would be influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To tease out which factor was controlling children's responses at the age of 19 months, they studied 130 identical twins (with 100% shared genes) and 216 fraternal twins (with approximately 50% shared genes). Each child (with her or his mother), was presented with a clown and a noisy robot, both stimuli that excite but do not usually traumatize children at those ages.
They measured the children's cortisol levels in their saliva prior to and following these stimuli, and then compared the results according to each child's family situation. "Familial adversity was defined as the presence of 7 risk factors during perinatal and postnatal development (eg, at 6 and 19 months of age): maternal smoking during pregnancy, low birth weight, low family income, low maternal educational level, single parenthood, young motherhood, and maternal hostile or reactive behaviors. Twins exposed to 4 or more risk factors at either time were considered as having been exposed to high (vs low) familial adversity (23.4% of the sample)."
They found that children raised in a favorable family environment showed cortisol responses suggesting that genetics account for 40% of the individual differences in cortisol response to unfamiliar situations. In contrast, those children raised in stressful family circumstances had responses showing that their environment completely dominates their stress responses and the genetic influence is minimal.
It remains to be seen whether these differences in childhood persist into adulthood. They suggest, however, that early interventions may be advisable, to reduce the likelihood that high reactivity to stress will become habitual.
Source: Ouellet-Morin, Isabelle; Boivin, Michel; et al. Variations in heritability of cortisol reactivity to stress as a function of early familial adversity among 19-month-old twins, Archives of General Psychiatry 2008;65(2):211-218.
IJHC - WHR Observations
There has been controversy for decades about whether 'nature' or 'nurture' dominates human behavior, with general acknowledgments that both factors probably contribute to the diversity of people's responses to similar circumstances. This is an exciting study that begins to tease out evidence that 'nurture' is probably of enormous importance in setting up habits of response to stress in early life.
This is more than just an issue of academic interest. It suggests that early intervention programs to help children learn to deal with stress may provide a vital head-start in their lives. The cumulative effects of high stress responses are known contributors to physical dysfunctions and illnesses and to and psychological disorders of all sorts.
* * COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES * *
JOURNAL OF ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE NOW ONLINE
The archives of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine are now posted online. Past issues from 1967 through 2002 are available for downloading, at no charge, at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/index.shtml
"36 years of important material is now freely available to everyone," said Steven J. Carter, Executive Director of the Toronto-based International Schizophrenia Foundation, which publishes the Journal.
The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine has led the way in presenting, in advance of other medical journals, new health concerns and treatments including niacin therapy for schizophrenia and coronary disease; vitamin C for cancer; and the nutritional treatment of behavioral disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse. The JOM was also the first medical journal to publish papers on the nutritional treatment of allergies, autism, and AIDS. JOM published pioneering research on candiasis in 1978, mercury amalgam toxicity in 1982, and chronic fatigue syndrome in 1988. The Journal has published over 100 papers on nutritional medicine and cancer, and over 400 articles on schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses. JOM is peer-reviewed.
The Journal was founded in 1967 as the Journal of Schizophrenia, and subsequently titled the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry until 1986. Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling authored 9 papers in the Journal from 1970-1992. It was Pauling that gave nutritional medicine the name "orthomolecular." Says JOM Editor-in Chief Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD: "In 1968, Dr. Pauling proposed the term orthomolecular (1,2) which we recognized as the correct word to define the total interest in nutrition, clinical ecology, and the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. All the pioneers in orthomolecular medicine have reported their findings in this journal. It thus represents a unique source for these earlier and current studies which provide a basis for the increasing growth of nutritional medicine."
IJHC - WHR Observations
Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine is a valuable resource for anyone seeking nutritional approaches and supplements that can help in the treatment of psychological disorders.
Beware of Lyrica, the newly approved fibromyalgia medication of Pfizer
The drug company Pfizer obtained approval for its product, Lyrica, for treatment of fibromyalgia. Lyrica is a drug originally designed to treat diabetic nerve pain. It was rejected because its results were very limited and it also had numerous side effects, such as edema, weight gain, dizziness and sleepiness. It is highly suspect that the recommendation to use Lyrica for fibromyalgia is an attempted Pfizer rescue job for a medication that is ineffective.
Drug Approved. Is Disease Real? By ALEX BERENSON
New York Times January 14, 2008
IJHC - WHR Observations
Not only does Lyrica have a poor track record with pain, it mimics symptoms of fibromyalgia, particularly weight gain, dizziness and sleepiness. People with fibromyalgia have difficulty sleeping and are chronically tired. They often complain of 'brain fog.' They are at risk for having these side effects of Lyrica mistaken for symptoms of fibromyalgia, for which higher doses of Lyrica would naturally be recommended.
Much better choices for fibromyalgia:
Acupuncture for fibromyalgia
Berman BM, Ezzo J, Hadhazy V, et al. Is acupuncture effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia. J Family Practice 1999, 48(3), 213-218.
Deluze C et al. Electroacupuncture in fibromyalgia: results of a controlled trial, British Medical J 1992, 305:1249-1252.
Homeopathy for fibromyalgia
Bell, IR. 1Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo, Rheumatology 2004, 43, 577-582.
Flower essences for fibromyalgia
Particularly for various facets of depression
Nutrition counseling for fibromyalgia
Individualized counseling by a nutritionist familiar with fibromyalgia is recommended
Spiritual healing for fibromyalgia
Council for Healing - Research abstracts and summaries
Massage/ aromatherapy for fibromyalgia
Massage therapy improved sleep patterns and decreased pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and cortisol levels in adults with fibromyalgia.
Sunshine, W., Field, T., Schanberg, S., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., Kuhn, C., Burman, I., and Schanberg, S. (1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation, J Clinical Rheumatology, 2, 18-22.
Field, T., Diego, M., Cullen, C., Hernandez-Reif, M., Sunshine, W., & Douglas, S. (2002). Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decrease and sleep improves after massage therapy. J Clinical Rheumatology, 8, 72-76.
Field, T., Delage, J. and Hernandez-Reif, M. (2003). Movement and massage therapy reduces fibromyalgia pain. J Bodywork and Movement Therapies,7, 49-52.
Counseling for fibromyalgia
Current evidence suggests efficacy of low-dose tricyclic antidepressants, cardiovascular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and patient education.
Goldenberg, Don L; Burckhardt, Carol; Crofford, Leslie. Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome, JAMA. 2004;292:2388-2395.
Larun, L. and Malterud, K. Identity and coping experiences in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A synthesis of qualitative studies, Patient Education and Counseling 2007, 69(1-3), 20-8.
Carefully graded physical exercises
Australian government health site
Busch AJ, et al., Exercise for treating fibromyalgia syndrome
More CAM reviews at
* * TECHNOLOGY * *
TEXT "WATER" AND CLICK ONLINE TO HELP SIERRA LEONE SLUM
"An Internet campaign by Save the Children is setting out to raise money to cut phenomenally high rates of infant death and disease in Sierra Leone's Kroo Bay slum, and at the same time allow donors to watch how their money is being distributed. The aid agency has two people living in Kroo Bay compiling footage and stories for this website http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/kroobay/ which allows you to become a virtual neighbour to the residents there. Donors can text one of seven short words NUT, NET, WATER, BLANKET, JAB, THERM, SALTS to 81819 - and a preset sum of money ranging from $2 to $10 will be sent to pay for items such as mosquito nets, peanut butter, rehydration salts and vaccinations http://members.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L17731545.htm .
The campaign coincides with a report by the agency called Saving Children's Lives http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/docs/saving-childrens-lives.pdf which compares countries' child mortality rates to national income per person. Bangladesh comes out as a success story while oil-rich Angola comes bottom in failing to make a real difference to the number of child deaths. Contact the Save the Children Media Unit mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org in London on +44 (0)20 7012 6841 or 07831 650409."
IJHC - WHR Observations
This is of interest as much for its technology of linking communities globally as for the specifics of the proposed aid.
* * ENVIRONMENT (HEALING OUR PLANET) * *
Federal appeals court strikes down EPA's plan on mercury
A federal appeals court unanimously declared that the Bush administration ignored the law when it reduced requirements on coal burning power plants (the greatest source of mercury pollution) to limit their mercury pollution. The increased levels of mercury could cause neurological problems in 60,000 newborns annually. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made the decision three years ago, allowing some power plants to not install improved mercury control technology through the purchase of pollution credits. These changes would decrease the effectiveness of mercury pollution control from 90 percent down to 70 percent.
This system would create areas where toxic levels of mercury would develop around these power plants, which are the greatest sources of mercury pollution. A variety of health and environmental and groups, along with 17 states combined forces to block this legislation.
This Federal action was initiated in a lawsuit by the state of New Jersey (filing the suit), joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. 17 health organizations, including The American Public Health Association
and The American Academy of Pediatrics supported the suit.
The EPA indicated it was reviewing the decision, and was not giving up on its proposals.
In the meantime, there is no regulation in effect on reducing mercury emissions from any plants.
IJHC - WHR Observations
The callousness of the Bush administration about health issues or any other concerns about health and human welfare is well known. The EPA, however, is supposed to be an agency that protects the health of US citizens. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the EPA is serving the interests of industries, including those of the power companies and pharmaceutical companies.
* * HUMAN ECOLOGY* *
"Inactive lifestyles and poor diets are driving the obesity problem. Professor Philip James said the challenge of obesity was so great that action was needed now, even without clear evidence of the best options. He also called for stricter rules on marketing and food labelling.
Professor James, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, was speaking in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)"
Contributing to obesity are the sedentary lifestyles that are becoming more prevalent. There is "a collapse in the need for physical activity, and now a targeting of children to make profits by big industry in food and drink."
Prof. James recommends concerted governmental plans and comprehensive, coherent programs to deal with obesity. One helpful suggestion is labeling with "traffic lights" that alert consumers to the fat, sugar and salt content of packaged foods. These have been adopted by som UK supermarkets. However, the EU commissioners have apparently succumbed to intensive lobbying from the food industry and are not going along with this initiative.
"Ten percent of the world's children are either overweight or obese, twice as many as the malnourished, said Professor James." This impairs their school performance and their earning capacities and shortens their lives. A Scandinavian study shows that obesity in children 7-12 years old predicts early death from heart disease and other health issues.
A study of 5,000 people of both sexes who took off an average of 70lbs and maintained their lower weights over a period of six years, revealed that major lifestyle changes were required, e.g. exercising 60 to 90 minutes daily.
"The obesity epidemic won't go away simply because people switch to skimmed milk from whole milk," said Professor Rena Wing, at the same conference.
"They need to substantially cut their calories and boost their physical activity to get to a healthy weight - and keep minding the scale once they do."
IJHC - WHR Observations
That obesity is a problem is well known. That children are beginning to show problems is a growing concern. This is part of the reason for the rapid increases in diabetes in children.
Children will copy their parents' behaviors. If parents are spending lots of time on the couch in front of the TV, children will do the same.
Education and public lobbying to get government to raise public awareness is important. The sad thing is that we are faced with a vast food industry lobby that has lots of money to spend to promote its own interests - that are not necessarily in your best interests or mine.
APA supports psychologist's program for veterans and their families
The lead article in the new issue of the American Psychiatric Association's *Psychiatric News*
"The creator of the program was moved by the great need of U.S. soldiers, veterans, and their families for mental health services.
Retired psychiatrist Daniel Benor, MD, stands ready to donate an hour a week to American troops and their families who need help with the psychological reverberations of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Benor is just one of a thousand mental health professionals who have signed up with Give an Hour, an organization founded to fill the gaps in mental health care for military personnel and their loved ones.
Although the U.S. armed services offer a variety of mental health services, some troops have difficulty accessing them, especially those in the National Guard or Reserve who live far from military bases, founder Barbara Romberg, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Washington, D.C., told Psychiatric News. Others may prefer discussing their concerns with someone
outside the military system, fearing adverse effects on their careers. Still others may not live near providers authorized by TRICARE, the Pentagon's contract health system; may not be covered for some services; or can't get care when they need it.
For instance, TRICARE does not cover marital counseling even if the primary patient receives individual therapy under its plan, said Romberg."
Levin, Aaron. 'Give an Hour' program gets APA support, Psychiatric News March 7, 2008, 43(5), 1.
- 2008 American Psychiatric Association
IJHC - WHR Observations
It is a travesty that the US is not providing support for soldiers who have returned from the war zones with psychological trauma. It is a credit to the psychotherapy community that people are coming forth to offer help not only to the Vets but also to their families, who often suffer from secondary emotional trauma.