Abstract Title:

Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of refugees and survivors of torture: a review and proposal for action.

Abstract Source:

Torture. 2012 ;22(1):38-57. PMID: 23086004

Abstract Author(s):

McKenna Longacre, Ellen Silver-Highfield, Puja Lama, Michael Grodin

Article Affiliation:

Department of Health Law, Bioethics&Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. longacre@bu.edu.


Survivors of torture and refugee trauma often have increased needs for mental and physical healthcare. This is due in part to the complex sequelae of trauma, including chronic pain, major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and somatization. This article reviews the scientific medical literature for the efficacy and feasibility of some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities including meditation, Ayurveda, pranayama/yogic breathing, massage/body-work, dance/movement, spirituality, yoga, music, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, qigong, t'ai chi, chiropractic, homeopathy, aromatherapy and Reiki specifically with respect to survivors of torture and refugee trauma. We report that preliminary research suggests that the certain CAM modalities may prove effective as part of an integrated treatment plan for survivors of torture and refugee trauma. Further research is warranted.

Study Type : Review

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