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From the Global to the Local: Possible Pathways for the Transduction of Indo-Sino-Tibetan Cognitive-Behavioral Practices into Site-Specific, Tissue-Regenerative Effects

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While skepticism regarding the possibilities for a productive meeting (metaphorically or actual) between Western medicine and biology and older healing and health practices of traditional cultures may be prevalent, there are many theoretical points of meeting and much experimental data to suggest that cognitive-behavioral practices (C-Bp) of the latter may induce testable and reproducible phenomena for the former. Such modulation or modification of tissue regeneration by C-Bp presumably must work through systemic signaling of some kind. Several possible mechanisms for such signaling are recognized and will be reviewed here: humoral, neurological, cell trafficking, and bioelectromagnetic/energy mediated. Nonetheless, while cultures and techniques may be varied, human bodies are more alike than dissimilar. We indicate that great profit may be had for all participating cultures in establishing a common language, shared criteria for designing experiments and interpreting data, and cooperative goals for the promotion of tissue integrity and regeneration.
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Keywords: acupuncture; bioelectromagnetic; innervation; meditation; melatonin; pranayama; regeneration; stem cells; yoga

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Anthropology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA 2: American Institute of Neuroimmunomodulation Research, Carlsbad, California, USA 3: Departments of Pathology and of Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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