The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is 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.

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  • Recent Comments

    Qigong therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee

    The benefit depends on the therapist, according to this study from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey.

    First, the details.

    • 112 adults with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to external qigong therapy or sham treatment (control).
    • 2 therapists performed external qigong therapy individually for 5 to 6 sessions in 3 weeks.
    • The results achieved by the 2 healers were analyzed separately.
    • A sham healer mimicked external qigong therapy for the same number of sessions and duration.
    • Patients and examining physician were unaware of the treatment given — double-blinded.

    And, the results.

    • Both qigong therapy groups reported a significant reduction in pain and improved function based on the Western Ontario MacMaster (WOMAC) scores.
    • Patients treated by healer 2 reported a significantly greater reduction in pain and more improvement in functionality than those in sham qigong therapy (control) group.
    • They also had a reduction in negative mood but not in anxiety or depression.
    • Patients treated by healer 1 experienced improvement similar to the sham control group.
    • The results of therapy persisted for 3 months in all groups.

    The bottom line?
    Movement benefits people with osteoarthritis of the knee. But getting the most from qigong depends — to a significant degree — on finding the best therapist.

    8/27/08 09:29 JR

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