Kos, Greece 2013



Lazana M., Tchagoshvili K., Stroggyloudis K., Polychroni-Giannino P., Kokkori M., Konstantinidou E.

Pain and Palliative Care Center – Aretaieion Hospital – National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Background: Shiatsu, one of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) methods, is being applied to patients with chronic pain in the Outpatient Pain Centre of Aretaieion University Hospital of Athens since 2008, with good results. The aim of this study is to investigate the outcomes of the application of Shiatsu to patients who are not given standard medication.

Methods: We studied retrospectively the results of the application of Shiatsu in 22 patients (age: 22-76 years old, 2 male and 20 female) who were treated in our Pain Centre because of several non- malignant chronic pain conditions. All patients were not given or discontinued the standard medication for their pain condition because of pregnancy planning, poor therapeutic outcome or intolerable side effects of the first line treatment, although most of them were using painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs when the pain was unbearable. All of them had co-morbid conditions such as sleep disorders, mood disorders or depression, asthma, endocrinological and autoimmune diseases.

We examined the pain charts of the patients and we recorded: 1. the pain score (using the VAS scale 0-10) before the initial session and at the end of the course of treatment 2. the total number of Shiatsu sessions 3. how many patients had at least 50% reduction or no pain at the end of the course of treatment and 4. the percentage of patients reporting a beneficial effect on sleep quality and other co-morbidities.

Results: The mean VAS score before the initial session was 5,8±1,7 and 3,4±2,6 at the end of treatment. The total number of sessions was 10-53 sessions. Five patients reported no pain and 12 patients had 50% reduction of pain at the end of treatment. 90% of patients had a beneficial effect on sleep quality and 65% reported improvement of their co-morbidities.

Conclusion: Shiatsu seems to be a CAM method with positive effect on patients with chronic pain of several aetiologies who are not able to use medication. Moreover, it improves many other co-morbidities