CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

CAM for epilepsy, Reiki in the military, CAM groups band

Complementary medicine remains in the news with greater utilization in the military, and greater cohesion among fragmented CAM groups.

CAM groups bands together, according to Massage mag.com:

2. "Alleviate the physician shortage that leaves some people without ready access to health care through greater utilization in primary care of naturopathic and chiropractic physicians, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants."

"Members of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium know that we are more powerful and more effective when we work together than when we go it alone," wrote IHPC Executive Director Janet Kahn in the IHPC's Aug. 22 newsletter.

"IHPC was launched, in part, because legislators shared with us their challenge in being approached by so many complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) organizations," Kahn continued. "They urged us to find a way to speak with a strong consensual voice to move integrated health care forward. We believe IHPC is that powerful, representative voice."

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Cell phones can cause cancer, writes the medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, and headsets may help alleviate some concerns:

Recent news that the head of a leading cancer institute warned his staff to limit their cell phone use has raised questions again about the possible cancer risk.

While many studies haven't shown a link, Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, saw some as-yet unpublished data that alarmed him enough to issue the warning.

Over the past few years, there has been a growing body of evidence that electromagnetic radiation, like that produced by cell phones, does increase the risk of some cancers, especially brain cancer. Some have theorized children may be at even greater risk because of the thinner skull bones - and Herberman advises that children use cell phones only for emergencies.

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A new article looks at CAM for epilepsy:

This article reviews the literature available on the potentially harmful effects of herbal remedies and herb-drug interactions in patients with epilepsy.

The authors note that the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing, and yearly use in the UK is estimated at 20%. Many patients with epilepsy turn to CAM to supplement their medical regimen; one study in Ohio found that 24% of epileptics were using CAM, with only around one third saying that their neurologist knew about it.

The article looks at the following:

• Herbs associated with seizures (e.g. neurotoxic components, heavy metal contamination, etc)
• Herbs altering disposition of antiepileptics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and/or excretion)
• Predicting herb-drug interactions

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Here's some news about Reiki use in the military:

he Department of Veterans Affairs uses reiki in their Hepatitis C treatment program. Fort Bliss' Warrior Resilience program -- the same one Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey believes should be replicated throughout the military -- uses it as one tool to help soldiers strengthen and recover following combat.

Military OneSource's Health Library says it can increase wellness and "treat diseases of all types."

And it's the reason given by New Zealand's champ cyclist Hayden Roulston for bouncing back from a serious heart condition to claim both Olympic silver and bronze medals this past week in Beijing.

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