We frequently hear news about the returning military troops and the health issues that they face following service in Iraq and Afghanistan. A large number of veterans experience pain on a regular basis and post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, and substance use tend to co-occur. Many nonmilitary people in the United States also struggle with these issues and there is an urgent need for research to identify strategies that are helpful, as well as identify strategies that may be in use that do not help with these problems.
NCCIH Research Blog
NCCIH blogs about research developments related to complementary health practices. Check in regularly to keep up with the latest findings.
Catherine Bushnell, Ph.D., an internationally recognized pain and neuroscience researcher, has been appointed scientific director of a new research program focusing on the role of the brain in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. In this video, she discusses the new collaborative pain research effort at NIH.
This past month my daughter gave me a set of meditation CDs for mother’s day, and I have begun to put them to good use—but I have to admit that it has not been all that easy to quiet my brain and be in “a state of mind cultivated by paying attention on purpose, deeply, and without judgment to whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us.” Not one to give up easily, I have continued my 20 minutes of meditation practice daily but as a neuroscientist, I would really love to better understand what goes on in my brain during these sessions&he
During the many years I have been with NCCAM, I have seen an exponential increase in both the quantity and quality of research investigating the efficacy and biological basis of many types of complementary health practices. For many reasons there has been less research on the real-world effectiveness of these therapies. However, promising analytic methods from other fields and emerging technologies such as electronic medical records can be used to take advantage of actual patient experiences so we can learn more about outcomes and effectiveness in real-world settings.
Two weeks ago was the occasion of the NIH Pain Consortium 7th Annual Symposium on Advances in Pain Research. It was a great meeting, and we heard some terrific science presented. Modern neuroscience is clearly opening up our understanding of how the brain processes painful stimuli, and is yielding insights about how emotional states (or even placebo pills) modify the processing of pain in the brain.
Having just returned from the 2012 International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health, the term “integrative” and its various meanings are very much on my mind.
The legislation that created NCCAM puts a clear emphasis on integration. Here is what the law says:
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