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Extensive research demonstrates the positive results of integrative medicine strategies in   managing pain. Here is a brief sampling of the evidence:

 

  • Integrating mind-body techniques—including meditation, hypnosis, guided imagery, and cognitive-behavioral therapy—can effectively reduce chronic pain and insomnia. (1)

  • Massage therapy can decrease the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances, and distress symptoms and increase serotonin levels in adults with migraine headaches.(2)

  • Research has demonstrated that the combination of yoga and meditation is more effective than standard medical treatment alone for the management of chronic pain. (5)

  • The use of dietary supplements containing specific essential fatty acids may have favorable effects on pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory disorders, enabling them to reduce their use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. (3)

  • Studies of imagery for pain--postoperative pain, cancer pain, chronic low back pain, burns, and migraine headache--report significant relief. (4)

  • Yoga has been shown to improve function and relieve pain in adults with chronic low back pain. (6)

 

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The Evidence