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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Healing touch: 31 unsuccessful studies and counting

    A few years ago, a review of 30 studies of healing touch concluded, “no generalizable results were found.” In plain English that means there was no disease nor any group of patients with a disease where healing touch was a reliable treatment alternative.

    A new study of healing touch in 12 veterans with neuropathic pain and the associated psychological distress from post spinal cord injury comes to the same conclusion.

    • No significant difference in pain with HT compared to progressive relaxation
    • Changes in pain were short-lived and did not last until the next treatment session
    • No reduction in distress between treatments
    • No change in depression before and after treatment

    Despite this, the researchers conclude that in a future study, the use of multiple treatment methods might provide more pain relief, decrease participant disappointment, and prevent participants from focusing on HT as the “failed” method of pain relief.

    Say what??

    In a welcome moment of clarity, Dr. Katherine Bowman from the University of Texas asks rhetorically, “why examine HT as a pain-relief method in a future study if other methods must be used to provide the pain relief?”


    More about the challenges facing researchers of HT (aka: therapeutic touch) is available here.

    11/12/06 12:43 JR

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