Entries in Alternative Therapy (4)
From FOX NEWS:
Three months of acupuncture improved breathing problems in people with chronic lung disease, in a new study from Japan.
According to one researcher, the benefits seen with the alternative treatment were on par with, or better than, what's been shown for conventional drugs and exercises used to treat the disease. But the study was small, he added, and more research will be needed to convince doctors and policymakers of acupuncture's usefulness.
"We don't know if this is going to extend life, but the study suggests it improves quality of life," said Dr. George Lewith, from the University of Southampton in England.
"If I had enough money and I was the patient, I would give acupuncture a try."
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is irreversible impairment of lung function, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, often caused by smoking. One large national health survey suggested 24 million Americans have the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shortness of breath is one of the main symptoms of COPD. Typical treatment includes steroids and bronchodilators, as well as breathing exercises.
Because of that, it's not totally surprising that an alternative therapy known to promote relaxation would help patients with breathing problems, according to Lewith.
"What acupuncture does is it seems to relax all the muscles around the chest wall," said Lewith, who wrote a commentary published with the new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"It's absolutely consistent with what we're trying to do conventionally, which is help with their breathing exercises and their relaxation techniques."
To help young cancer patients deal with the painful and grueling side effects of treatment, some hospitals are offering alternative therapies as a way to cope.
"Hospitals have long known that what they do to treat and heal involves more than just medications and procedures," Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety at the American Hospital Association, told the LA Times. "It is about using all of the art and science of medicine to restore the patient as fully as possible."
With new technology, including Skype and Video Chat / Conferencing, getting professional therapy and help has gone from something that had to be meticulously scheduled along with often travelling long distances to see a specialist, to something that you can acheive in the comfort of your own home.
From the New York Times:
Since telepsychiatry was introduced decades ago, video conferencing has been an increasingly accepted way to reach patients in hospitals, prisons, veterans' health care facilities and rural clinics - all supervised sites.
But today Skype, and encrypted digital software through third-party sites like CaliforniaLiveVisit.com, have made online private practice accessible for a broader swath of patients, including those who shun office treatment or who simply like the convenience of therapy on the fly.
"In three years, this will take off like a rocket," said Eric A. Harris, a lawyer and psychologist who consults with the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust. "Everyone will have real-time audiovisual availability. There will be a group of true believers who will think that being in a room with a client is special and you can't replicate that by remote involvement. But a lot of people, especially younger clinicians, will feel there is no basis for thinking this. Still, appropriate professional standards will have to be followed."
The pragmatic benefits are obvious. "No parking necessary!" touts one online therapist. Some therapists charge less for sessions since they, too, can do it from home, saving on gas and office rent. Blizzards, broken legs and business trips no longer cancel appointments. The anxiety of shrink-less August could be, dare one say ... curable?
Ms. Weinblatt came to the approach through geographical necessity. When her therapist moved, she was apprehensive about transferring to the other psychologist in her small town, who would certainly know her prominent ex-boyfriend. So her therapist referred her to another doctor, whose practice was a day's drive away. But he was willing to use Skype with long-distance patients. She was game.
Now she prefers these sessions to the old-fashioned kind.
Read the Original Story Here: http://mobile.nytimes.com/article;jsessionid=482B91B57CA7FE8619892CD3E87F24AB.w5?a=845424&f=35&p=1