Nowadays there is an increasing interest in using non pharmaco- logical ('alternative') modes of treatment for ailments which are known to be caused by stress induced changes in the mental state. However. though there is a growing awareness and interest in these treatments, they are not yet accepted by the medical community. in India or elsewhere. For this reason the clinical progress has to be systematically monitored, using methods which are acceptable the world over,
Research into the therapeutic efficacy of alternative medical treat-
ments is a very new field. This means that there is a great deal to
be done. Broadly, the there are three types of research projects -
a} Understanding the physiological effects of a treatment' by car- rying out tests on normal, healthy volunteers.
b) Monitoring the clinical progress of two matched groups of patients, where one group would be given a conventional treat- ment and the other group would receive the unconventional treatment under investigation.
c) Understanding the way in which the treatment acts. again by carrying out tests on normal. healthy volunteers.
1. PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON NORMAL VOLUNTEERS
This is an important step to further the understanding about what effects non conventional treatments may have. Many treatments have been systematically described in ancient texts. This is spe- cially true for yoga practices. However, many of the reported ef- fects have not been verified by present day scientific methods.lt would be ideal to know how these techniques modify normal physi- ology, before using any of these techniques for therapeutic benefit.
2. MONITORING THE CUNICAL PROGRESS
All patients receiving non conventional treatment have to be carefully monitored. The assessments should also be done on a parallel group of patients receiving conventional treatment. The parameters should be recorded using standard methods and under controlled conditions. It is also important to remember that the treatments should also be standardized so that all patients receive exactly the same of treatment. This can be understood with an example •. ..If a specific pranayama is 'prescribed' for a particular disease, all patients should practice the pranayama with the same counts, for the same amount of time.
3. UNDERSTANDING "HOW" A PARTICULAR
For any unconventional treatment to be accepted by the medical community the world over, the exact change brought about. by the treatment has to be known. In this report the way in which a research project is planned, and the parameters which are conventionally employed to assess psy- chosomatic ailments are discussed.
* = here, 'treatment' is used to convey unconventional or
|Planning a research project||3|
|Design of the study||7|
|Parameters to be recorded for specific diseases||19|
|Low back pain||33|
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Item Code: IDF622 Author: Shirley Telles Cover: Paperback Edition: 1999 Publisher: Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Prakashana ISBN: 8187313110 Language: English Size: 8.4" X 5.7" Pages: 45 (With B & W Figures) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 72 gms