Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified health care professional before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Uses based on scientific evidence
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional.
In situations that cause anxiety, focusing on body-state has been shown to reduce certain features of anxiety in healthy people. More research is needed to show that focusing may be used as an effective therapeutic treatment for clinical anxiety.
Early evidence suggests focusing may improve the mood and body attitude in cancer patients. Firm recommendations cannot be made until well-designed clinical trials are available.
Early evidence suggests focusing may improve medical symptoms and activity in individuals with chronic pain. More research is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Early research showed that increased experiential involvement (an indication of focusing taking place) had no effect on antibody titers to Epstein-Barr virus. More studies in the area of immune function and antibody production are required before a recommendation can be made in this area.
HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy
There is some evidence that certain forms of focusing can help HIV-positive patients to adhere to complicated antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, other forms of therapy may worsen compliance with ART. More research is needed to show what types of focusing may best assist HIV-positive patients in adhering to ART.
Behavioral intervention may improve sleep, especially in those who chronically use medication to treat insomnia. More research is needed to determine whether focusing can effectively treat insomnia, and whether it can ease withdrawal symptoms when chronic users stop medication.
There is some evidence that supports using problem-focused interpersonal psychotherapy as a treatment for women with depression after giving birth. Although more research is needed, the principles of focusing may be integrated easily into standard treatments.
Reducing risk of falls in the elderly
It has been suggested that psychomotor intervention may help reduce the risk of falling in elderly individuals. Focusing strategies have not yet been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of falling in healthy, physically active older adults. More studies need to examine various focusing strategies in older adults with different levels of physical activity.
Focusing strategies may help restore motor function in patients recovering from stroke. However, scientific evidence is currently lacking. More research is needed to demonstrate if focusing can affect motor function. Further research may also determine which focusing strategies are most effective to use during stroke recovery.
When recovering from surgery, breast cancer patients may benefit emotionally and physically from attentional focus. Although there is evidence that focusing may improve general well-being in breast cancer patients, further study is needed to design optimal treatments for different individuals.
*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
For full grading rationale, click here.
Uses based on tradition or theory
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional
Aging, immunomodulation, physical illness, psychological disorders, psychosis, quality of life, rehabilitation (prison inmate patients), schizophrenia, stress, weight loss.
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
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