Five research studies that demonstrate the link
between body and mind

Several studies over the last  two decades have demonstrated how strong the link can be between the body and the mind. In 61 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee, Italian researchers writing in the Journal of Rheumatology found that depression levels better predicted the patients' disability and pain than did the extent of their knee damage.

In 198 patients with heart disease, University of Washington researchers found that measures of anxiety and depression better predicted the patients' health status one year after cardiac catheterization than did the severity of narrowing in the coronary arteries.

A Duke University study of 107 heart  disease patients found that relaxation, cognitive therapy, and a lowering of hostility reduced the  risk of further heart problems by7 5 percent  compared with people given the usual medical  care and medications.

In a University of California, Davis, study, 335 patients about to undergo surgery were randomly assigned to listen to one of four different audiotapes before and after surgery. The group that listened to a tape with guided imagery, music, and specific suggestions of diminished blood loss and rapid healing had 43 percent less blood loss and spent one fewer day in the hospital compared with people who listened to other kinds of tapes.

A landmark 1991 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who were assisted by a trained support person (a doula) during childbirth had greatly reduced rates of Caesarean section and anesthesia use.

— Shari Roan Los Angeles Times

Printed in The Record of Hackensack, Monday, March 24, 2003