Many nonpharmacologic (behavioral) techniques are being proposed for the therapy of essential hypertension. The research in this area is reviewed and divided roughly into two categories: the biofeedback and relaxation methodologies. While feedback can be used to lower pressures during laboratory training sessions, studies designed to alter basal blood pressure levels with biofeedback have not yet been reported. The absence of evidence for such changes through biofeedback limits the usefulness of this technique in hypertension control.
Hand and computer searches located studies on the effects of relaxation techniques on trait anxiety. Effect sizes for the different treatments (e.g., Progressive Relaxation, EMG Biofeedback, various forms of meditation, etc.) were calculated. Most of the treatments produced similar effect sizes except that Transcendental Meditation had significantly larger effect size (p less than .005), and meditation that involved concentration had significantly smaller effect.
In 1977 the American Psychiatric Association called for a critical examination of the clinical effectiveness of meditation. The author provides a review of the literature bearing on clinical and physiological comparisons of meditation with other self-control strategies. He begins by providing a definition of mediation and then cites the literature comparing mediation with such self-regulation strategies as biofeedback, hypnosis, and progressive relaxation.
PURPOSE: To review critically the research literature on the health effects of worksite stress-management interventions. SEARCH METHODS: Stress-management interventions were defined as techniques that are designed to help employees modify their appraisal of stressful situations or deal more effectively with the symptoms of stress. Stress-management studies that were worksite based, assessed a health outcome, and were published in the peer-reviewed literature were included in this review.
The use of herbal medicine is widespread and growing, with as many as 3 in 10 Americans using botanical remedies in a given year. Because many herbal medicines have significant pharmacological activity, and thus potential adverse effects and drug interactions, healthcare professionals must be familiar with this therapeutic modality. This article summarizes the history and current use of plant-based medicine and highlights the evidence of the risks and benefits associated with 6 plants: echinacea, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, St John's wort, and valerian.
BACKGROUND: A comprehensive, but not systematic, review of the research on complementary and alternative treatments, specifically mind/body techniques, on musculoskeletal disease was conducted at Stanford University. The goals of the review were to establish a comprehensive literature review and provide a rationale for future research carrying the theme of "successful aging." METHODS: Computerized searches were conducted using MEDLINE, PsychInfo, Stanford Library, Dissertation Abstracts, Lexus-Nexus, the Internet as well as interviews conducted with practitioners and the elderly.
BACKGROUND: While many general practitioners perceive meditation as an acceptable, even mainstream, health care strategy, it is paradoxically a poorly understood discipline. OBJECTIVE: To define meditation, outline the broad types of meditation and give an overview of the extent and validity of available evidence for its efficacy. DISCUSSION: The basic question of what constitutes meditation and what separates it from relaxation therapy has been an impediment to formulating quality studies in order to research meditation techniques.
A previous review of alternative treatments (Tx) of ADHD--those other than psychoactive medication and behavioral/psychosocial Tx--was supplemented with an additional literature search focused on adults with ADHD. Twenty-four alternative Tx were identified, ranging in scientific documentation from discrediting controlled studies through mere hypotheses to positive controlled double-blind clinical trials. Many of them are applicable only to a specific subgroup.
The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of nurses toward the effectiveness and safety, as well as their recommendations for and personal use of complementary and alternative medical therapies. A, random sample of 1000 nurses throughout the United States were surveyed using a three-wave mailing. About half of the respondents perceived there was conclusive evidence or preponderance of evidence that five therapies were effective: biofeedback, chiropractic, meditation/relaxation, multi-vitamins, and massage therapy.
Complementary therapies and healing practices have been found to reduce stress, anxiety, and lifestyle patterns known to contribute to cardiovascular disease. Promising therapies include imagery and hypnosis, meditation, yoga, tai chi, prayer, music, exercise, diet, and use of dietary supplements. Many of these complementary approaches to healing have been within the domain of nursing for centuries and can readily be integrated into the care of patients with cardiovascular disease.