CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Research validates (duh) that massage therapy works

The profession of massage therapy still has practitioner and facility licensure but has come a long way from the day when it was outlawed as prostitution or peep holes were required.

I had read the massage in the workplace enhances creativity and productivity, but does it really work?

Does a good massage do more than just relax your muscles? To find out, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recruited 53 healthy adults and randomly assigned 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage and the other 24 to a session of light massage.

All of the subjects were fitted with intravenous catheters so blood samples could be taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward.

To their surprise, the researchers, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, found that a single session of massage caused biological changes.

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

The study was published online in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Holistic / integrative medicine education gets advertised:

In Western culture, integrative or alternative “medicine” is any healing practice “that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine”, or “that which has not been shown consistently to be effective.” It is often opposed to evidence based medicine and encompasses therapies with an historical or cultural, rather than a scientific, basis. The American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) cites examples including naturopathy, chiropractic medicine, herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, and nutritional-based therapies, in addition to a range of other practices.

It is frequently grouped with complementary medicine, which generally refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream techniques, under the umbrella term complementary and integrative medicine.

Integrative medicine practices are as varied in their basics as in their methodologies. You will find that the practices may include or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs, or newly conceived approaches to healing. The authority where alternative medical practices are sufficiently widespread may license and regulate them. The claims made by alternative medicine practitioners are generally not accepted by the medical community because evidence-based assessment of safety and efficacy is either not available or has not been performed for these practices.

Did you know that many Americans have never heard of integrative medicine but this holistic movement has left its imprint on many of the nation’s hospitals, universities, and medical schools?

You will find several online integrative medical schools that have training for a career as an integrative health practitioner. Natural Healing College is by far the finest. It is a distance learning college and the Natural Healing College has a self paced curriculum.

You never have to be burdened with mailing in tests and quizzes. All class assignments are submitted from the school’s high tech website, allowing you to be able to view your class grades faster. Natural Healing College offers internships to graduates and post graduate employment guidance. Natural Healing College prides itself on providing its students with the best education and training in Holistic Health.

Natural Healing College offers the best training and opportunities available to anyone wanting a career in integrative medicine. Give Natural Healing College a chance today.

If you want to find out more about Integrated Medicine then the Natural Healing College is the best place to learn. For further info please visit them at

Integrative medicine sponsors Pride Fest:

The Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine (, the Triangle’s leading provider of integrative medical treatments and therapies, is pleased to announce their sponsorship of this year’s NC PrideFest 2010.  More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the family-friendly event to be held on Saturday, September 25th from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

The Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine has been offering innovative approaches to health and healing since 1994, making it the oldest integrative medicine clinic in the Triangle area.  The Carolina Center combines complementary, alternative, and conventional therapies in order to reverse disease processes, bolster the body’s self-healing ability, and create lasting wellness.  John Pittman, MD, founding medical director of The Carolina Center, is planning on providing several “mini” presentations at his practice’s booth and says that he is looking forward to the opportunity of increasing the community’s awareness about his practice and the benefits of integrative medical therapies.

“Over the last several years, we’ve been quite successful in reaching out to the public and educating them on the benefits of complementary and alternative therapies through our free wellness presentations,” says Dr. Pittman.  “NC PrideFest provides us with another valuable opportunity to meet with members of our community and answer any questions they may have about integrative medicine.  I’m proud of our continuing sponsorship of NC PrideFest and look forward to an enjoyable event.”

NC PrideFest offers something for everyone—food drinks, singers, and many vendors representing local businesses, non-profits, and health organizations.  The festival will culminate in a parade that will begin at 1:00pm on Campus Drive.  For more information about NC PrideFest 2010, visit

About the Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine
The Carolina Center utilizes a combination of advanced complementary and alternative therapies, along with dietary and lifestyle modifications, to treat a wide variety of chronic illnesses and immune system dysfunctions. The primary goal is first and foremost to support the body’s ability to heal itself, while also addressing the underlying causes and changing the unique conditions that drive many diseases forward.  Along with individually tailored nutritional and botanical regimens, the Center utilizes a number of innovative approaches, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, IV Glutathione, Cellular and Bioenergetic Testing, and various strategies for Biological Detoxification to help patients with chronic exposures to heavy metals, mold, parasites, and multiple chemicals.   For more information, call (919) 571-4391 or visit

Media Contact:
Louise Cottrell
FireBrand Marketing, Inc.
(919) 848-1025

Kuala Lampur hosts CAM conference:

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- The 1st Asia-Pacific Congress on Indian Systems of Medicine (APCISM) and Expo was launched at a hotel here Friday.

The three-day event showcases Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga and Naturopathy treatments.

APCISM patron Dr Chee Pheng when met at the launching today said the papers presented at the congress would help students further their studies in the field of Traditional Complementary Medicine (TCM).

He said all the presentations delivered would be compiled into a conference proceedings book which would be a scientific documentation of the entire congress available for future reference.

My cup runneth over -- but don't put in on the back!  CAM is hotly scrutinized here:

A Victoria University professor has issued a warning to the increasing number of people turning to alternative medicine.

More and more New Zealanders have ditched traditional and conventional medicine, opting to spend their time and money on complementary therapy.

Professor Shaun Holt told TV ONE's Close Up that while some complementary therapies offer benefits, others are a complete waste of time and money, including three of the most common - cupping, reiki and reflexology.

But it appears that people are still more than willing to pay the price for a natural alternative.

Matt Chisholm took a close look at three of the most common forms of complementary therapy - with interesting results.

The LA Times has profiled spotty insurance coverage of CAM therapies:

here are few things more frustrating than finding a health care treatment that works for you — a chiropractic adjustment that relieves nagging lower back pain or a yoga class that helps reduce anxiety — only to find that your insurance won't pay for it.

But this is often the case when using products and services deemed "alternative" or "complementary medicine."

Most individuals with private insurance have little, if any, coverage for alternative medicine. Those with employer-based insurance often have some coverage, but it typically applies only to a few select treatments and comes with more stipulations — like higher deductibles and preauthorization — than traditional care.

This is in spite of the fact that alternative medicine is rapidly moving into the mainstream. Americans spend more than $33 billion annually on complementary treatments, amounting to just over 11% of the total out-of-pocket health care spending in the United States, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Much of this spending likely comes from people who are insured.

"Folks who have had really good insurance expect that all kinds of treatments will be covered," said Janet Shaffer, a licensed acupuncturist at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C., which is affiliated with Duke University. "People often end up disappointed."

What is covered varies according to a number of different factors, including the employer, the insurance provider and even geography.

At Blue Shield of California, most of the PPO plans include some chiropractic and acupuncture coverage, said Julie Lintz, the company's senior network management specialist in San Francisco. The company began offering chiropractic benefits about 25 years ago and has added coverage for other non-traditional services as demand has grown.

"Customers have increasingly asked for alternative benefits," she said. "Being proactive about staying healthy is important in keeping costs down."

Across the board, the alternative treatments insurers are most likely to cover are chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy, all of which have been validated by medical studies.

"The common factor for chiropractic, massage and acupuncture is that there is evidence that these have therapeutic value for certain conditions," says Mark Slitt, a spokesman for Cigna Corp. in Bloomfield, Conn.

The Cigna plans that cover chiropractic care do so for most conditions. Those with acupuncture coverage only provide it in some cases, such as to treat chronic pain and nausea related to chemotherapy or pregnancy. Cigna also covers massage therapy when used in conjunction with another approved treatment for chronic pain or physical therapy.

Other, lesser-known therapies are not covered because there is no "proven evidence of therapeutic value," Slitt says.

Insurance reimbursement laws can vary by state; the rule is buyer beware of claims by insurance companies that they offer broad coverage, since reimbursement rules can vary.

If you have legal questions concerning telemedicine and telehealth practices, HIPAA legal issues, health care reform questions, or other health law matters in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and other states, contact a lawyer who knows the rules.

Consult an experienced health care law attorney who knows complementary medicine and integrative medicine for legal advice pertaining to any project involving allied health or CAM professionals.


Our law office has attorneys with legal experience  in FDA matters, including guiding  clients involved in health care  delivery, group medical and private  medical practice, who are concerned  about issues at the interface of  federal and state law, concerned  about medical board discipline or  medical malpractice liability  issues.  We also review and draft informed  consent forms and guide  clients concerning a variety of health care law  issues.

If you  have legal questions concerning telemedicine and telehealth practices, HIPAA legal issues, health care reform questions, or        other health law matters in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and other states, contact a lawyer who     knows the rules.

Consult an experienced  health care law attorney who                  knows     complementary medicine and  integrative    medicine     for       legal     advice     pertaining to any project     involving     allied    health    or CAM     professionals.


Healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen is a thought leader in healthcare law & FDA law, pioneering legal strategies in healthcare. wellness, and lifestyle markets. As a corporate and transactional lawyer, FDA regulatory attorney who also handles healthcare litigation, healthcare mediation and healthcare arbitration, and international healthcare & wellness law speaker, Los Angeles / Bay Area healthcare & FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen represents conscious business leaders in a transformational era. Clients seek healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen's legal savvy on all aspects of business law, healthcare law, and FDA law, including:

Whether advising start-ups or established companies, Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen brings his entrepreneurial spirit and caring insight to cutting-edge legal and regulatory challenges.  The Michael H. Cohen Law Group counsels healthcare practices, entities, and companies, such as clinical laboratories, physicians, psychologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nurses, healers, medical spas, sleep centers, addiction treatment centers, surgery centers, anti-aging centers, integrative medicine clinics, anti-aging practices, mental and behavioral health counselors, medical service organizations, telemedicine and mobile (m-health) companies, online health ventures, stem cell and cord blood entities; and other health and wellness enterprises.  Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is admitted to practice in California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C. Our clientele is national and international, and we also counsel healthcare and FDA clients in Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Bernadino, Alameda, Contra Costa County, and other California cities and counties.  Contact our Los Angeles, Ventura County, & San Francisco Bay Area FDA & healthcare attorneys today if you need a telemedicine lawyer, concierge medicine lawyer, HIPAA lawyer, FDA lawyer or FDA regulatory consultant (dietary supplements, medical devices, cosmetics, OTC drugs), advertising compliance lawyer, healthcare mediator or arbitrator, concierge medicine attorney, management services organization attorney, or other specialized healthcare legal advice or FDA regulatory consulting.

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