Special Issue "10th Anniversary of JCM—Evidence-Based Medicine, Research and Education in Integrative and Personalized Medicine for Cardiovascular Medicine Section"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 21751
Interests: cardiovascular system; heart rate variability; gravitational adaptation
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Introduction—Changing demands in Global Health
Created in 1948, the WHO laid an emphasis on treatment and cure of diseases. However, it was not until the Alma Ata declaration in 1978 that a health promotion and disease prevention narrative and primary health care were emphasized. The recently concluded Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan (25–26 October) saw a coming together of health leaders from around the world to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the declaration and to renew a commitment to primary healthcare and to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Alma Ata declaration is particularly significant for the future of global healthcare at a time when attempts to contain chronic diseases of epidemic proportions are failing. Many of these conditions are preventable—for instance, up to 70% of cardiovascular diseases and similar proportions of food-, diet-, and lifestyle-related conditions.
Evidence for China’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and India’s AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unaani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Systems and Further Needs to Address Global Health Challenges:
TCM and AYUSH practices such as acupuncture, Yoga, and meditation are health-promoting practices which have a centuries-long history in China and India, not just in the places where they were conceived, where they evolved and where they were systematized, but throughout both countries. Well-established institutions for higher education are now in place in almost all parts of both these countries. Large nation-wide programs for diabetes management and prevention and research programs for management for mental health issues are now running in China and India, and hospitals and practitioners for all these modalities can be found even in the most rural locations. Many other large programs for health promotion and disease prevention are now being managed by the respective governments in China and India. The beneficial effects of these programs mean that many more of their facets for improving public health are also being implemented.
While TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation are part of daily life in China and India, they are not particularly positively perceived and, therefore, still not well-received in the western world. There are many pre-conceptions and much skepticism in the minds of western medical practitioners, and this makes it difficult for them to even consider “alternative” forms of medical therapy that differ from the standard allopathic approaches to which they were exposed in medical school for regular treatment of patients. To convince medical practitioners and health workers to accept other forms of healthcare, there is a need to present solid evidence-based research, using western state-of-the-art research tools, to critically examine TCM and ayurvedic products/ supplements, Yoga, and meditation. Similarly, the medical community is mostly skeptical about the beneficial effects of TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation and would benefit from insights developed from such a critical examination.
Meditation and Cardiovascular Diseases—An example:
A number of studies on the beneficial effects of meditation provide important examples of how alternative approaches to medical treatment can be integrated into contemporary western medicine. Conventional drug therapies do not always address the causes of cardiovascular disease, which are often rooted in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Furthermore, conventional pharmacological and surgical therapies for cardiovascular disease often lead to serious adverse effects, including adverse drug effects, impairments in quality of life, and increased mortality. For these reasons, national practice guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other professional associations recommend non-drug lifestyle modifications as the first line of therapy for individuals with hypertension and as part of a comprehensive package of lifestyle modifications and drug therapy for individuals with diagnoses of CHD. It is also well established that stress causes, contributes to, and/or exacerbates cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease, and a large body of evidence shows that meditation is the most effective stress-reduction technique available for cardiovascular disease patients. Thus, stress reduction limits the physiological and pathological consequences of chronic stress, and alternative medical applications of meditation can provide both a treatment and preventive healthcare solution. 1-7
Scope of the Special Issue:
The Special Issue we propose will provide a platform to enlighten the scientific community, health practitioners, and policy makers about TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation. By presenting in-depth and critical analyses and also incorporating an evidenced-based perspective (using randomized cross over clinical trials, where available), the beneficial effects of TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation will be objectively considered. The Special Issue will encompass a series of reviews, including meta-analyses and systematic reviews and some original representative research papers that examine research of very high quality that has been carried out in these areas. Additionally, such analysis and new approaches based on TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation hold much promise for leading the medical community to develop new approaches in both the curative and preventative arenas. Such a detailed exploration and detailed discussion will be a crucial step to remove the biases held by western medical practitioners and educators and shine light on the benefits.
Finally, this Special Issue also underlines the need for a shift in the educational paradigm of medical training so that aspects related to prevention of disease and promotion of a healthy lifestyle are included in the curriculum. This need was echoed recently by Harvard Medical School, which since September 2018 is reassessing its mission statement away from a purely disease focus toward improving health and wellness for everyone: “To create and nurture a diverse community dedicated to teaching and learning, discovery and scholarship, service and leadership to improve health and wellness for everyone.”, https://todayspractitioner.com/john-weeks/paradigm-shift-harvard-medical-school-considering-mission-reframe-from-sickness-model-to-health/#.W83zNlJRdsM). This review series will provide concrete examples of how the preventative care dimension of TCM, Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation can be integrated into western medical school curricula and also how research should be carried out in a typical western medical school setting regarding preventative care and healthy living.
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Prof. Dr. Nandu Goswami
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- cardiovascular health