The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Transcendental meditation and the response to acute pain

    WebMD and CBS News (which uses WebMD news releases) used a little common sense when summarizing the results of a new study on transcendental meditation (T M). The article appears in the August issue of NeuroReport.

    Other medical news sources opted for more hype than substance. The offenders include EurekAlert,, MedlinePlus,,, Science Blog, and

    I could make the list longer, but it’s getting late.

    Here is what everyone reported.

    • Experienced TM practitioners had a 40% to 50% lower brain response to pain than people in a control group who did not practice TM.
    • After the control group learned and practiced TM for five months, their brains’ responses to pain also decreased by 40% to 50%.

    But wait, there’s more to the study that only WebMD and CBS News reported.

    • Pain ratings, when measured on a scale ranging from “no pain” to “worst possible pain” were similar for all participants (TMs and non TM practitioners).

    The bottom line: TM may change how your brain waves respond to pain, but it still hurts.

    Logo: Transcendental Meditation

    8/14/06 13:58 JR

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