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HOPKINS’ CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OFFERS NEW ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR PATIENTS

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: Gary Stephenson
410-955-5384; gstephenson@jhmi.edu
August 4, 2005

HOPKINS’ CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OFFERS NEW ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR PATIENTS

Johns Hopkins will now offer selected, evidence-based alternative medicine services, including acupuncture, a mind-body program and a consultation service, through the Johns Hopkins Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM). The program is designed to fill a void for those who wish to explore proven alternative therapies not offered by conventional health care providers.

 “There is a high degree of interest in alternative and integrative medicine among Americans, who alone spend more than $27 billion a year on this type of health care,” says Adrian Dobs, M.D., director of CIM and the Hopkins Clinical Trials Unit. “We developed CIM to scientifically test and review alternative approaches to medicine in order to ascertain what is beneficial, effective and safe and what is not. This is why we can now enthusiastically offer acupuncture and mind-body programs, which have been found effective for many patients.”

CIM was established five years ago with a $7.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and a mandate to study alternative therapies for cancer with the same scientific rigor Hopkins employs in its other clinical trials. A grant from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research is funding a new, complementary and integrative medicine program for oncology patients.  For example, increasingly, research is showing that acupuncture is beneficial for relieving certain types of pain and side effects of some cancer treatments. The 1997 NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture supports its use for combating nausea, vomiting and fatigue from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The World Health Organization recognizes that acupuncture may help more than 140 different medical problems.

Mind-body courses of varying lengths are designed to help patients cope with their emotional responses to cancer, as well the symptoms of the disease. Patients are taught how to use guided imagery, relaxation, breathing techniques and meditation to enhance treatment and control pain.

“Our programs focus on improving coping skills and developing a personal plan to enhance the effectiveness of these patients’ chemotherapy and radiation treatments while minimizing the side effects,” says Dobs.

Also offered is a consulting service to give patients and their providers help in sorting through various complementary therapies to determine which approaches work best for them as well as to ensure that any herbal or nontraditional drugs being taken are compatible with other medical drugs.

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