National Institute of Health Database
Allows for an easy search of relevant studies. Clinical trials are studies that employ an ‘experimental design’ and are mostly quantitative in approach and seek to measure symptom change in a group that receives the treatment compared to one that does not receive the treatment. There are some ongoing clinical trials in the field of Shiatsu practice that, once published would help add to the evidence of our therapy.
Measuring the impact of Ki projection
In 2008 Michael Boyd, a shiatsu practitioner and osteopath, completed a research dissertation measuring changes in brain activity during a cranial osteopathy technique. Measuring equipment was provided by Elizabeth Davies, former Shiatsu Society director. The research is considered of interest as a pathway for measuring the effects of a shiatsu treatment, providing quantitative (numerical) data on neurological changes in the body.
Attendance at conferences is an excellent way of keeping up-to-date with what is happening in your area of research interest. The Shiatsu Society has been represented at two such, the Alternative and Complementary Health Research Network conference and Cambrella.
In 2009 and 2011, the Shiatsu Society was represented at the ACHRN (Alternative and Complementary Health Research Network) Conference. ACHRN was established in 1996 by a group of academic social scientists and health researchers in the United Kingdom. ACHRN aims to provide a forum for members to present their research, and to stimulate debate and dialogue on critical research issues in the wider alternative medicine community.
National and European Organisations with Strong Research Links
CAMbrella is the EU funded research consortium set up to report on the prevalence of CAM use in Europe and to devise a roadmap for future research into CAM in Europe. There are sixteen universities from twelve countries in the consortium, coordinated by Professor Wolfgang Wiedenhammer of the Technical University of Munich. An advisory board of representatives including CAM users, CAM providers, CAM product manufacturers give the consortium assistance.
The work is divided into eight work packages covering: definition and description of CAM, the legal situation in Europe, citizens needs, the patients perspective, the providers perspective, the global perspective, the research roadmap and communications.
This is a three year project which will finish with a Final Conference at the end of November 2012.
It is expected that CAMbrella's findings will be very influential in determining how the EU and National Governments will approach the recognition and regulation of CAM practices. It may also determine whether or not and how the EU may make funds available for research into CAM.
The RCCM, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine is a charitable organisation dedicated to developing high quality research into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It began nearly 30 years ago to facilitate the development of the evidence base for CAM and is run by a board of Trustees. It works with CAM professional bodies such as the Shiatsu Society to facilitate information sharing and provides research and audit focused activities which can benefit CAM research.
It is helpful for us to be involved with the RCCM so that we can benefit from the collective thought of so many who are dedicated to developing the evidence base for CAM. It is also important for us to participate in research activities that will highlight how, for whom and with what outcome shiatsu, as well as other therapies, can be used.
The RCCM's mandate and strategy is documented on its website at www.rccm.org.uk. The RCCM have recently been working on a project with CAM professions to look at how practitioners may gather data on which conditions present in practice, and patient outcomes for these conditions. At the present time (March 2012) work is in progress to develop ideas for creating a repository of this information to demonstrate the focus of CAM practice, and where to focus relevant research into CAM therapies.
The RCCM is free to join and provides a lot of useful information. It would welcome new members so do please look at the website if you are interested in finding out more.