A Center Without Walls

We are dedicated to fostering collaboration within the field of Integrative Medicine (IM)

Connect to others with our interactive IM Research Network Map. This virtual tool is designed to help Harvard professionals connect and learn from each other.

Test drive the interactive map here.

Learn from leaders in integrative medicine through our free Integrative Medicine Research Seminar Series. (Monthly)

Dr. Peter Wayne , July, 9th, 2015
'Minding' Our Balance: How tai chi research is informing the interdependence of cognitive and motor skills in aging."

Watch Videos of the 2014/2015 Series here.

Watch monthly Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds.
Next Clinical Case Presentation: Tuesday, August 4th.
By: The Cheng-Tsui Integrated Health Center, BIDMC.
Chronic Stress and Insomnia: An Integrative Approach Using Relaxation Techniques and Acupuncture

2015 Featured Conference

News and Events

Qigong: A Live Science Interview with Peter Wayne

Read this Live Science article excerpt below in which Osher Research Director, Dr. Peter Wayne discusses the similarities and differences between qigong and tai chi:

“While they share many characteristics, most people consider qigong and tai chi to be two distinct practices. However, Wayne said that he tends to focus more on the similarities between qigong and tai chi than on their differences.

“The chi in the word ‘tai chi’ is a different character and has a different meaning [than the ‘qi’ in qigong]. But the practice of tai chi, in my opinion, is equivalent to a form of qigong. You’re training to have more awareness and control over your ‘life force’ — your physiology or energy,” Wayne told Live Science. And some forms of qigong are almost indistinguishable from tai chi, he added.

While the movements of qigong may be different from those of tai chi in some cases, both practices incorporate strength and flexibility with breathing exercises, focused attention and imagery. The biggest difference between qigong and tai chi has more to do with the public’s perception of these mind-body practices than it does with the practices themselves, according to Wayne, who said that qigong carries a stigma in certain societies.”

Co-ordinated Cancer Care – IM Therapies Supporting RT/ADT Treatment

According to statistics presented at the July Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds, an estimated 848,200 men will be diagnosed with cancer in the US in 2015. Of these, 26% of cases are predicted to be prostate cancer. (source: The National Cancer Institute)

This month, our friends and colleagues from the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute presented a clinical case of a 63 year old man with high-risk prostate cancer.

The patient—who participated in the presentation—has undergone radiation therapy (RT) and hormone therapy (Androgen Deprivation Therapy or ADT), accompanied by acupuncture, and nutritional, physical, and sexual health support and counselling. This presentation gives some valuable insight into the success of a multi-disciplinary treatment model, and the patient’s experience of an integrated approach to cancer treatment and supportive care.

“How do we take this cancer experience and treatment experience and turn it on it’s head – and make it into something where we’re promoting well being while knocking out the cancer as best we can?” Dr Brandoff, Co-Director, Palliative Care Clinic, DFCI


Watch the full presentation here.

Learn More about the Joint Conference on Acupuncture, Oncology and Fascia, November 14th, 2015

The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care

Weidong Lu, Lead Oncology Acupuncturist at the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute will be speaking on July 7th, 2015, along with his colleagues, at the Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds that we host at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Read this PMC article “The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care” co-authored by Lu. This article was first published in Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America.

“In the United States, acupuncture is used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions associated with cancer and the side effects of cancer treatments. A number of cancer centers in the U.S., including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are integrating acupuncture into cancer care. This trend parallels a broader trend of increasing use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among cancer patients, estimated in some surveys to range between 48% and 83%.

Specific use of acupuncture by cancer patients is estimated to range between 1.7% and 31%. Despite interest by conventional care providers and the public in the integration of acupuncture into cancer care, the full extent to which acupuncture can be applied to oncology care is limited by research evidence regarding its efficacy and safety in treating and preventing cancer-related symptoms.

There are a few conditions for which sound research has demonstrated acupuncture to be an effective and safe adjunct therapy for cancer care. Randomized clinical trials (RCT) have demonstrated that acupuncture is effective for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Research studies also suggest acupuncture may be helpful in managing cancer-related pain, chemotherapy-related neutropenia, cancer fatigue, and radiation-induced xerostomia.

Acupuncture, an ancient medical treatment originating in China, is gaining momentum and acceptance as a valid intervention in medical practice. In the past decade acupuncture and other integrative medicine programs have been established in many major medical centers in the United States.

For example in November 2000, the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies (Zakim Center) was established at DFCI, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, to provide complementary therapies to patients of DFCI. The Zakim Center is named in memory of Lenny Zakim, a cancer patient and advocate for an integrative approach to cancer treatment. The mission of the Center is to educate and empower patients and staff by integrating the practice of complementary therapies into traditional cancer treatments.”

Read the full author manuscript here.

This November 14th, the Osher Center will be bringing together three different societies to investigate the intersection between Oncology, Acupuncture and Fascia research.

Learn more about the Joint Conference on Acupuncture, Oncology and Fascia here.

ABC News hosts NCCIH Twitter Chat

Earlier this week, Dr. Peter Wayne, Research Director of the Osher Center, shared his expert knowledge in bite size pieces on a live Twitter Chat hosted by ABC News: Complimentary and Integrative Health: What does the Science Say?

Dr. Wayne tweeted using the @BrighamWomens handle.

The following themes were discussed:

T1: “What do we mean by complementary, alternative and integrative health care?”
T2: “Who uses complementary and Integrative Health approaches? How has it changed over time?”
T3: “Should complementary medicine approaches be held to the same scientific standards as conventional medicine? Why or why not?”

Read the Full Chat Transcript Here.

View Chat by Slide Show below

Notable tweeters included Director, Dr. Josephine Briggs, and Branch Chief of Basic and Mechanistic Research, John Williamson, of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the leading Federal agency for research on integrative and complementary health practices.

Other  institutions taking part included our sister Osher Center at the University of California in San Francisco, The Cleveland Clinic, Stanford Medical School, The National Cancer Institute, and many others.