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Summary of Mind-Body Research

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Updated August 15, 2013

Clinical Trial of Meditation for Cardiovascular Disease in Older Black Women
Older African American women suffer from disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular (CVD) morbidity and mortality compared to white Americans. Numerous controlled studies suggest that this disparity is associated with chronic psychosocial and environmental stress. The NIH Office for Research on Women's Health has mandated addressing the specific needs of women of color as a national research priority. This clinical study will look at whether active stress reduction with meditation vs. health education control will affect carotid artery atherosclerosis, risk factors (blood pressure, serum glucose and insulin levels, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle), stress-related neurohormones, psychosocial stress, and quality of life.

Qigong therapy for Heart Device Patients
The goal of this study is to improve the overall physical health and quality of life of patients attached to mechanical heart devices while awaiting heart transplantation. Qigong, an ancient Chinese exercise that involves active participation of the individual in the form of meditation, breathing exercises and simple physical movements, is used in combination with a structured exercise program.

This study will measure cardiovascular function and quality of life parameters in patients attached to mechanical heart devices who have participated in the exercise program and have practiced Qigong, and comparing these measures to patients who participated in the exercise program, but did not practice Qigong.

Healing Touch and Immunity in Advanced Cervical Cancer Patients
The effects of Healing Touch are proposed to be the result of manipulation of “energy fields” around the body of a patient. Although HT is frequently used as a complementary treatment by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation to reduce toxic side effects of treatment and to maintain immunocompetence, effects of this treatment during cancer chemotherapy and radiation have not been investigated. This study is designed to examine effects of HT on cellular immune function and short-term side effects of treatment among women with advanced cervical cancer who are receiving a standard 5-week course of external radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy. Severe immune compromise has also been reported following intensive radiation. Identification of interventions that could reduce side effects and help maintain immunocompetence in advanced cervical cancer patients undergoing treatment is a critical health problem.

Efficacy of Healing Touch in Stressed Neonates
The purpose of this project is to evaluate whether or not Healing Touch therapy (HT) helps to treat the stress of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Healing Touch is a gentle use of human touch – a light, soft placement without moving of the HT therapist’s hand on a baby’s body - and energy to create balance and relaxation. The goal of HT treatment is to help babies rest better, have less pain and discomfort and to heal more quickly. Healing Touch works along with all the treatments and medicines babies receive as part of ordinary care in the Neonatal Intensive care Unit.

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