Perspectives on Yoga Inputs in the Management of Chronic Pain

This article, by Nandini Vallath, was published in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, and is available for free through PubMed.

Chronic pain is multi-dimensional. At the physical level itself, beyond the nociceptive pathway, there is hyper arousal state of the components of the nervous system, which negatively influences tension component of the muscles, patterns of breathing, energy levels and mindset, all of which exacerbate the distress and affect the quality of life of the individual and family. Beginning with the physical body, Yoga eventually influences all aspects of the person:

Acupuncture for refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder: initial experiences establishing a community clinic

This article, by Pease, M., R. Sollom, and P. Wayne, was published in Explore (NY), 2009. 5(1): p. 51-4 and is available for FREE through Tree of Life TaiChi.

This article describes the establishment of an acupuncture clinic to provide free treatments to Boston-based refugees suffering from PTSD. We provide a brief overview of PTSD as viewed from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and summarize the literature evaluating the use of acupuncture for PTSD. We discuss the treatment strategies employed in treating refugees and summarize a few case reports from the clinic.

Treating Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: A Preliminary Case Series Using Qigong and T'ai Chi

This article, by Michael A. Grodin, Linda Piwowarczyk, and Robert B. Saper, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, is available for free through PubMed.

This paper seeks to explore the potential value of qigong and t'ai chi practice as a therapeutic intervention to aid in the treatment of survivors of torture and refugee trauma.

The common effects of torture and refugee trauma are surveyed with a focus on post-traumatic stress disorder. An alternative theoretical framework for conceptualizing and healing trauma is presented.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: A Descriptive Report

This article, by  Ellen Silver Highfield, Puja Lama, Michael A. Grodin, Ted J. Kaptchuk, and Sondra S. Crosby, was published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, and is available for a fee through SpringerLink.

Refugees with trauma histories are a difficult medical population to treat. Acupuncture care has gained acceptance in many mainstream hospitals in the United States, but research on acupuncture and refugee populations is limited. Herein, we report our experiences with 50 refugees (total acupuncture treatments = 425) at a major tertiary teaching hospital.

Primary Care Management of Non–English-Speaking Refugees Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Clinical Review

This article, by Sandra Crosby, MD, is attached, or available for subscribers through JAMA.

Importance  Refugees are a vulnerable class of immigrants who have fled their countries, typically following war, violence, or natural disaster, and who have frequently experienced trauma. In primary care, engaging refugees to develop a positive therapeutic relationship is challenging. Relative to care of other primary care patients, there are important differences in symptom evaluation and developing treatment plans.

Objectives  To discuss the importance of and methods for obtaining refugee trauma

Access to care

Asylum seekers in many states are not eligible for public insurance, thus making it difficult or impossible to access the medical care that they need.  As the regulations under the Affordable Care Act go into effect, it is possible that immigrants’ access to care may become even more difficult.

Full Disclosure: Out of pocket costs as side effects

This article, in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a useful perspective related to the costs of medical treatments, especially for patients that have limited income, as many torture survivors do after arriving in the U.S.  Many torture survivors arrive in the U.S. with injuries they incurred during torture and were unable to obtain medical care for in their home countries.  Most torture survivors who are seeking asylum in the U.S. are not eligible for health insurance as they go through the asylum process in an attempt to obtain legal immigration status and safety.

Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD: Diagnosis and Treatment Issues

This Medscape webinar is by Lisa Brenner, PhD, a TBI researcher in Denver.  The presentation is about Iraqi/Afghani war veterans, but may well be applicable to torture survivors.  You can download the slides and the transcript of the lecture.  It includes screening and assessment recommendations. 

This lecture was originally presented on July 9, 2011, in Boston, as part of the Third Annual Conference on Complexities and Challenges of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). This conference was developed by the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy in

Advocacy for Refugees

Katz, Chloe. NC Medical Journal, March/April 2009, Volume 70, No. 2. pp 153-154

In order to appropriately address the acute and long-term health issues of refugees arriving in North Carolina, physicians will be required to augment their current understanding of cultural competency to include topics of conflict-related violence and psychological evaluation.

The Value of Integrating Primary Medical Care into the Treatment of Survivors of Torture


In this webinar Dr. Kate Sugarman will present on the collaborative healing relationship between torture rehabilitation staff and primary care physicians and the value of integrating psychological and medical care into a torture survivor’s treatment plan.  Dr. Sugarman and Laurel Smith-Raut, MSW, a social worker at ASTT, will present on their unique approach to this model.


After attending this webinar participants will be able to:

  1. Describe one medical approach to treating  survivors with comorbid conditions
  2. Recognize the importance of documenting a survivor’s comprehensive


Subscribe to RSS - Medical