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Arthritis

  1. Tai Chi, Imagery and Water Aerobics - a Winning Combo for Arthritis

    A water aerobics instructor reports that guided imagery with a distinctly Christian flavor is a helpful element in the cool-down phase of her water aerobics and with water tai chi classes, designed for people suffering from arthritis.  Here are her own words:

    Dear Health Journeys,

    I am a water aerobics instructor, who also teaches tai chi in the water to people suffering from arthritis.  I discovered imagery in the library on the internet.  Now that we have a nice, new, warm, 30-person, hydrotherapy pool, I now use my own guided imagery for the cool-down part of my classes.

    I use sayings and visualizations that I have written and say quietly to my classes, as they move their arms and legs slowly to keep warm during this time.  I encourage them to close their eyes and imagine.
       
    Because this is a Bible-based faith community, I use images of Jesus, and I close with prayer.  This seems to be a very effective, soothing and a much-appreciated way to conclude my classes.
     
    Blessings to all of you,

    Vicky B.

    [Ed. Note: For excellent, Bible-based guided imagery, the Rev. Donna Shenk and Dr. Robert Miller have created the Tranquilities Series, which can be found here.]

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  2. Guided Imagery from Kaiser Permanente Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

    We just found this recent posting under a Hot Research study on imagery and pain. It’s about how guided imagery helped someone with a lot of pain. We thought it was worth a second posting.  Here goes:

    Well, I don't know how it works but it has for me.  I have Chronic JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) since age 5, in several large joints on the right side, and have only used stretching exercise and walking, as my father had done every morning for years.

    I also used injections in my teens, a hot H20 bottle, and Ace bandages on my hand and knees, and once had the Emergency Room orthopedic doctor put a cast on my right hand (it worked, so far as the awful pain).

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  3. Study Shows Yoga & Meditation Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms

    Researchers from Bright Path Yoga in Plano, Texas looked at the efficacy of an 8-week strategy of using yoga and meditation to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, which typically consist of widespread pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, fatigue, headache, and mood disorders.

    The small pilot study looked at the impact of this program on 11 participants.
     
    Results revealed significant improvement in the overall health status of the participants and in symptoms of stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Significant improvements were also seen in the reported number of days "felt good" and number of days "missed work" because of fibromyalgia.

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  4. UK Review: Guided Imagery Shows Promise for Musculoskeletal Pain

    Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, Devon, UK, performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the efficacy of guided imagery as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain (MSP).

    Six databases were searched from inception up through May 2010. All controlled clinical trials were considered, if they investigated GI in patients with any MSP in any anatomic location, and if they assessed pain as an outcome measure. Trials of motor imagery were excluded. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by 2 reviewers.

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  5. Tai Chi + Imagery in the Pool = Help with Arthritis

    Dear Health Journeys,

    I am a water aerobics instructor, who also teaches tai chi in the water to people suffering from arthritis. I discovered imagery in the library on the internet. Now that we have a nice, new, warm, 30-person, hydrotherapy pool, I now use my own guided imagery for the cool-down part of my classes.

    I use sayings and visualizations that I have written and say quietly to my classes, as they move their arms and legs slowly to keep warm during this time. I encourage them to close their eyes and imagine. Because this is a Bible-based faith community, I use images of Jesus, and I close with prayer. This seems to be a very effective, soothing and a much-appreciated way to conclude my classes.

    Blessings to all of you,

    Vicky B.

    Read more »
  6. Guided Imagery: A Winning Strategy for Osteoarthritis

    Researchers from Indiana University School of Nursing in Indianapolis looked at whether guided imagery and relaxation was a useful self-management strategy for osteoarthritis, and whether it could help control symptoms and decrease the use of medication. Specifically, they tested whether it could reduce pain, improve mobility and reduce medication use.
     
    Thirty older adults were randomly assigned to participate in the 4-month trial by using either GIR or a sham intervention, planned relaxation.

    Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed that, compared with those who used the sham intervention, participants who used GIR had a significant reduction in pain from baseline to month 4 and significant improvement in mobility from baseline to month 2. 

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  7. Amazing Sombra Goop Saves Yet Another Set of Achey Joints!

    We got a big kick out of this posting, which, as luck would have it, is from the one and only M.A. Bjarkman, one of the founding goddesses and leading lights of The ConferenceWorks!, the generous hosts of so many of my weekend trainings.  (They’re currently featuring the awesome likes of Greg Braden, Donna Eden and David Feinstein, Joseph Chilton Pearce and Geneen Roth.) 

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  8. Electrical Acupuncture Stimulators & Relaxation Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology of the Pain Clinic, in Hannover, Germany, compared the efficacy of auricular electrio-acupuncture (EA) to autogenic training (AT) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Forty-four patients with RA were randomized to either EA or AT groups which met once a week for 6 weeks. 

    Primary outcome measures were the mean weekly pain intensity and the disease activity score (DAS 28). Secondary outcome measures were the use of pain medication, the pain disability index (PDI), the clinical global impression (CGI) and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, which were assessed during the study period and 3 months after the end of treatment.

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  9. Cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset arthritis.

    A randomized, controlled British study examined the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for patients with recent onset (less than 2 years), seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Fifty-three participants with a diagnosis of classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis received routine medical management during the study, but half were randomly allocated to the CBT intervention. All pre- and post-treatment assessments were conducted blind to the allocation. Significant differences were found between the groups at both post-treatment and 6-month follow-up in depressive symptoms. While the CBT group showed a reduction in depressive symptoms, the same symptoms increased in the Standard group. Immediately after treatment (but not at follow-up), the CBT group also showed reduction in C-reactive protein levels. However, the CBT group did show significant improvement in joint involvement at 6-month follow-up, as compared with the Standard group, showing physical improvements above those achieved with standard care. These results indicate that cognitive-behavioral intervention offered as an adjunct to standard clinical management early in the course of RA is efficacious in producing reductions in both psychological and physical morbidity.

    Citation: Sharpe L, Sensky T, Timberlake N, Ryan B, Brewin CR, Allard S. A blind, randomized, controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis: preventing psychological and physical morbidity. Pain 2001 Jan;89(2-3):275-83.

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  10. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

    Gordon, Merenstein, D’Amico and Hudgens studied the effects of therapeutic touch on 25 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in this single-blinded randomized control trial. Patients got either therapeutic touch, mock therapeutic touch or standard care. The TT treatment group had significantly decreased pain and improved function when compared with the placebo and control groups. (Journal of Family Practice, 1998; 47:pp.271-277.)

    Citation: Gordon A, Merenstein JH, D'Amico F, Hudgens D. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Journal of Family Practice 1998 Oct; 47(4):271-7.
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