Effects of restricted environmental stimulation therapy on cortisol, pain and indices of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritics .

Thomas H. Fine, MA, Betsy McCormick, BA, Dore Shefransky, DO, and J.W. Turner, PhD. Medical College of Ohio, Department of Psychiatry and Department of Physiology.

This proposal examines specific effects of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) and Autogenic Training (AT) on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic, painful and debilitating disease which effects millions worldwide. The proposed study examined the effects of AT or REST and AT on RA-related measures in rheumatoid arthritics. All sessions are 40 minutes. One group received AT while a second group received AT+REST. In this study individuals were monitored for changes in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), Plasma Cortisol, and reported pain. Measurements were made at baseline, during treatment and post treatment follow up. No significant differences were found between groups or across sessions for cortisol, CRP, or ESR. Pain measurements showed a significantly greater decrease across sessions in the REST + AT group than in the AT group. The study supports the use of REST as an intervention for RA related pain. The mechanism of this effect remains unclear.

Tags: research, REST, arthritis, therapy, pain, chronic