Young Osher Investigators at ICIMH, 2018

Posted On: April 26th, 2018

Aterah Nusrat

Young Osher Investigators at ICIMH, 2018

This year, along with speaker presentations by Osher directors, Drs. Langevin and Wayne, three young investigators will be presenting posters at this year’s International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (ICIMH) in Baltimore (May 8-11).


Kamila Osypiuk, MS, Senior Research Assistant to Dr. Peter Wayne and Lab Coordinator for the Mind/Body/Movement Lab at the Osher Center. Kamila received a Young Investigator Award to attend and present at the conference.

Abstract Title: Effects of Qigong on Interoceptive Awareness in Breast Cancer Survivors with Persistent Post-Surgical Pain

Persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP) is a prevalent and distressing side-effect of breast cancer treatment. A multifaceted mind-body intervention, such as Qigong, which incorporates physical activity and meditative and psychosocial components, may address underlying causes of the pain. Interoceptive awareness has been purported to contribute to the benefits of mind-body interventions. In this single-arm pilot study, in addition to evaluating the feasibility of a 12-week Qigong program for breast cancer survivors, the effects of this intervention on interoception are explored. Among subjects who completed the study (n=18), improvements were observed in six of eight domains of interoception (‘attention regulation’, ‘body listening’, ‘emotional awareness’,  ‘self-regulation’, ‘trusting’, and ‘not worrying’) measured by the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness scale (MAIA). The study suggests that delivery of Qigong for women with PPSP is feasible and shows promise in increasing interoceptive awareness, particularly impacting one’s ability to listen to and trust the body, and use awareness of body sensations to regulate emotion.


Audrey Hernandez, MS, Research Assistant to Dr. Peter Wayne, Mind/Body Movement Laboratory.

Abstract Title: Spinal Manipulation for Migraine Pain and Disability: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Thirty-six million adults in the U.S. are estimated to be migraine sufferers, and 91% experience migraine-associated disability. A few small studies have suggested that spinal manipulation may be an effective treatment for reducing migraine pain and disability. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the evidence regarding spinal manipulation as an alternative or integrative therapy in reducing migraine pain and disability. Our search identified 6 RCTs eligible for meta-analysis. Data indicated that spinal manipulation significantly reduced migraine days with overall large effect size as well as reduced migraine pain/intensity and migraine disability with moderate effect sizes. Our findings suggest that spinal manipulation may be an effective therapeutic technique to reduce migraine days and pain/intensity.


Garrett Conyers, fourth-year Harvard Medical School student, and Osher Scholarly Project student. Garrett received a Young Investigator Award to attend and present at the conference.

Abstract Title: Identifying Stress Landscapes in Boston Neighborhoods.
Chronic stress plays a role in the development of numerous health morbidities and, ultimately, contributes to health disparities. However, the relationship between neighborhood-level stress and stress-related health problems and behaviors is unknown. In the city of Boston MA, three neighborhoods, while within a three-mile radius, have widely divergent life expectancies. In this cross-sectional survey study, we compare perceived neighborhood-level stressors, stress-related negative behaviors, and stress-related health problems in the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and Back Bay. Among survey participants (n=326), there were statistically significant differences across neighborhoods in 19 of the 27 neighborhood stressors, 7 stress-related health problems, and 7 stress-related behaviors. Our work suggests that the health of communities could benefit from tailored, neighborhood-level interventions that aim to reduce the unique stress burden that is present in neighborhoods. Future policy work is needed to elucidate how the unique stress landscape of a neighborhood can influence the health outcomes and behavior of its residents.

Learn more and register for the Congress. Visit Kamila, Audrey and Garrett at their posters in Baltimore.

Photos from the ICIMH:

Left to right: Dr. Darshan Mehta, Associate Education Director of Osher Center; Garrett Conyers, 4th year Harvard Medical School student; and Dr. Helene Langevin, Director of Osher Center. Drs. Langevin and Mehta mentored Garrett through his research as part of the Osher Scholarly Project through Harvard Medical School.