Friday, March 30, 2007

Intergrative Medicine serves patients well.

The Intergrative Medicine conference was fascinating. I was very pleased I managed to understand most of what was said.
Firstly, Dr Russell Vickers spoke and he really knew his business. I went there with preconcieved ideas that they would be talking about supplements. Dr Vickers gave an excellent presentation explaining first about pain and the different kinds of pain and quite a bit about neuropathic pain syndrome mentioning Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

He then went on to explain pain in relation to face, mouth nerve pain and outlined alternative treatments for neuropathic pain. We were provided with information and notes which had explanations of terms in chronic pain pathophysiology and CRPS was one of the terms listed. It was described as

"Chronic pain syndrome spreading beyond injured peripheral nerve field, often with burning pain, neuralgic shooting pain, allodynia, hyperalagesia."

He talked about how pain is described providing printouts of pain questionaires. He mentioned physical signs eg dry mouth and other descriptions eg stabbing, burning etc and then how pain makes you feel eg disturbed sleep etc.

Then Dr Vickers went on to outline how he does research into herbs for biopsychosocial pain management. He showed the instruments he uses to accurately measure and guarantee quality of liquid extract which is used in research. His work is science based and measurable. I feel good about that as I'm more inclided to trust scientific outcomes. We were given a handout listing specific herbal liquid extracts that he uses, with indications for use, warnings and general information.

Basically he explained very well what he does and why he does it and followed that up with examples of case studies with treatment and outcomes. A really excellent presentation.

Professor Cohen then spoke giving a general overview of various alternative therapies and how they can be used in an intergrative approach. He went on to explain his current research telling us about money available for research into intergrative medicine and that he and his collegues have been busy putting together proposals for research.

The evening then went on to a networking session for therapists and ended with a panel discussion.

All in all I was very pleased I went this evening as I really learnt something.

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