Saturday, October 24, 2009

Children Can Greatly Reduce Abdominal Pain by Using Their Imagination

I read somewhere that lots of powerful pharma drugs (esp. SSRIs/antidepressants) work largely on the placebo effect, but their side effects are unfortunately quite biologically real. Maybe physicians should start with sugar pills, first. The mind is a powerful thing. This study was conducted at UNC Chapel Hill, published in the journal Pediatrics, and comes to us via Newswise, the journalists'-only site:

Newswise — Children with functional abdominal pain who used audio recordings of guided imagery at home in addition to standard medical treatment were almost three times as likely to improve their pain problem, compared to children who received standard treatment alone.

And those benefits were maintained six months after treatment ended, a new study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center researchers has found.

The study is published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics. The lead author is Miranda van Tilburg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders.

“What is especially exciting about our study is that children can clearly reduce their abdominal pain a lot on their own with guidance from audio recordings, and they get much better results that way than from medical care alone,” said van Tilburg. “Such self-administered treatment is, of course, very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other treatments, which potentially opens the door for easily enhancing treatment outcomes for a lot of children suffering from frequent stomach aches.”

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