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2015 MUIH Faculty Research Roundup

Thu. January 07, 2016

2015 was a step forward for faculty research at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Every day, our faculty works to find better ways of understanding, implementing and sharing integrative health methods. Below are highlights of seven important MUIH research stories from 2015:

Deanna M. Minich, Ph.D., and her research partner reviewed the current science on the influence of whole foods on specific metabolic detoxification pathways. Based on this research, their paper offers clinical recommendations that may be personalized for patients at the discretion of a qualified health professional.

Hodges, R. E., & Minich, D. M. (2015). Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. J Nutr Metab, 2015, 760689. doi: 10.1155/2015/760689 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26167297

A team of researchers including MUIH faculty Pamela E. Jeter, PhD., and Steffany Haaz Moonaz, PhD., RYT 500, evaluated the Ashtanga-based Yoga Therapy program as an intervention to develop postural stability in people with visual impairment. The study found that those who followed the eight-week yoga program showed significant increase in stability and balance while the control group did not. Researchers conclude that Ashtanga-based Yoga Therapy may activate better use of the remaining sensory faculties, which result in greater postural stability in persons with visual impairments who are at risk for falls.

Jeter, P. E., Haaz Moonaz, S., Bittner, A. K., & Dagnelie, G. (2015). Ashtanga-Based Yoga Therapy Increases the Sensory Contribution to Postural Stability in Visually-Impaired Persons at Risk for Falls as Measured by the Wii Balance Board: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One, 10(6), e0129646. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129646. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129646

A team of researchers including MUIH faculty Pamela E. Jeter, Ph.D., performed a bibliographic analysis of yoga therapy research in clinical populations. They observed a 300 percent increase in number of publications seen in the last ten years. The authors concluded that “the use of yoga as a complementary therapy in clinical practice may lead to health benefits beyond traditional treatment alone; however, to effect changes in health care policy, more high-quality, evidence-based research is needed.”

Jeter, P. E., Slutsky, J., Singh, N., & Khalsa, S. B. (2015). Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention: A Bibliometric Analysis of Published Research Studies from 1967 to 2013. J Altern Complement Med, 21(10), 586-592. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0057. http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2015.0057

A team of researchers from McCormick Science Institute and MUIH faculty James Snow, M.A., RH(AHG), developed a questionnaire to measure consumer wellness associated with food. The instrument measured five dimensions of wellness: emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. The questionnaire and its subsequent analyses provide both an overall wellness score and insights into what drives the wellness response, including specific food or ingredient characteristics related to wellness.

King, S., Snow, J., Meiselman, H.L., Sainsbury, J., Thomas Carr, B., McCafferty, D., Serrano, D., Gillette, M., Millard, L., & Li, Q.  (2015) Development of a Questionnaire to Measure Consumer Wellness Associated with Foods:  The WellSense Profile. Food Qual Prefer, 39, 82-94.  doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.06.003 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329314001220

A team of researchers including MUIH faculty Steffany Haaz Moonaz, Ph.D., RYT 500, evaluated the effect of Integral-based hatha yoga in people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. After the eight-week trial in which poses were modified for each individual, the researchers found that yoga did no harm and that participants showed an average of 20 percent improvement in pain levels, as well as improved markers of physical fitness, mood, and physical health. Read more about the outcomes of the study in the Baltimore Sun, Time and from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Moonaz, S. H., Bingham, C. O., 3rd, Wissow, L., & Bartlett, S. J. (2015). Yoga in Sedentary Adults with Arthritis: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Trial. J Rheumatol, 42(7), 1194-1202. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.141129 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25834206

A team of researchers including MUIH faculty Thomas Nassif, Ph.D., investigated the correlation between the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) and validated self-report measures in U.S. veterans. The results show the DVPRS to be significantly correlated with other pain measures and suggest that I may be a “practical tool for use in primary care settings to assess the impact of pain on daily functioning and monitor chronic pain over time.”

Nassif, T. H., Hull, A., Holliday, S. B., Sullivan, P., & Sandbrink, F. (2015). Concurrent Validity of the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale in VA Outpatients. Pain Med. doi: 10.1111/pme.12866http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26257151

James Snow, M.A., RH(AHG), explored context effects (placebo effects) in Western Herbal Medicine (WHM) and how these effects relate to the overall effectiveness of herbal treatment. Snow found plausible arguments for increased context effects in WHM, which can be optimized for effective clinical care. Do to their significance, context effects should be accounted for and explored in research and trial studies.

Snow, J. (2015). Context effects in Western herbal medicine: Fundamental to effectiveness? Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2015.10.004)

See a full selection of journal articles from MUIH faculty (2011-2015) here.