Background: Beginning with the concepts of stress developed by Selye, an approach to stress and pain management, known as neuro-emotional technique (NET), has been developed. It is a treatment approach based on the principle that the stressor effects of dormant and/or current unresolved issues or trauma are what determine one's bodily responses. These responses are relatively personalized to the conditioned, experiential and emotional reality of the individual.
Objective: To determine the effect of NET on patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) over time.
Design, setting, participants, and interventions: In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study conducted in a single clinic, NET or control treatments were given twice weekly for 4 weeks in a population of 112 patients.
Main outcome measures: Outcome measures, including Oswestry Disability Index, Quadruple Visual Analogue Scale, the psychoneuroimmunology markers of blood serum levels of C-reactive protein, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, and IL-10, and 10 dimensions of the Short Form Health Survey scale, were assessed at baseline and at 1, 3 and 6 months following the intervention period.
Results: Compared to placebo, NET produced clinical and statistical significance (P < 0.001) via declines of virtually all physiological, pain and disability markers, accompanied by gains in quality-of-life indicators at 0 (baseline), 1, 3 and 6 months. Reductions of the percentages of patients whose 5 biomarkers lay outside the normative range were achieved at 1, 3 and 6 months by NET but not control interventions.
Conclusion: A randomized, controlled trial of CLBP patients indicated that 8 NET interventions, compared to placebo, produced clinically and statistically significant reductions in pain, disability and inflammatory biomarkers, and improvements in quality-of-life measures.
Trial registration: The trial was registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (No. ACTRN12608000002381).
Keywords: Biomarker; Biopsychosocial model; Emotion; Inflammation; Mind-body therapies; Neuro-emotional technique.
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