Integrative and Complementary Research

integrative and alternative medicine

Current Studies

Integrative Oncology (IO) Scholars Program

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., Principal Investigator

Funded by The National Cancer Institute

Suzanna M Zick, N.D., M.P.H. leads in the development and implementation of a five-year, NCI-funded training program for oncology professionals. The Integrative Oncology (IO) Scholars program trains oncology specialists across the health care field in evidence-informed alternative and complementary therapies for cancer care. The program began in Summer 2017 and will train 100 professionals over the course of five years. CME credit is offered for completion of the course.

Find out how to apply to the Integrative Oncology Scholars program and get news updates at their website

Acupressure for Fatigue in Lupus Patients

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H.Co-Investigator

Richard Harris, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

Funding from a Pilot Grant Program award from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) at the University of Michigan

Neural Mechanisms of Acupuncture for Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H.Co-investigator

Richard Harris, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan

Vitaly Napadow, PhD, LicAc, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the NIH

Acupuncture is a heterogeneous family of therapeutic interventions, and one important variable that differs substantially across different forms of acupuncture is the somatosensory afference or input to the central nervous system.  Our study investigates different neuroimaging markers that assay clinical pain, as outcome measures in a longitudinal trial of different forms of real and sham acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia, a functional chronic pain disorder. Understanding the role that somatosensation plays in acupuncture analgesia will allow us to optimize which acupuncture therapy will most benefit which fibromyalgia patients.  We also are assessing dietary intake as an outcome that may influence brain function and neurochemistry.

Neuroimaging study linking nutrients and chronic pain patients with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H.Co-investigator

Daniel Harper, Ph.D. Principal Investigator and Research Investigator in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan

Funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the NIH

In a study funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), we are utilizing the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire to examine dietary factors in individuals with chronic painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and pain-free controls. The results from this questionnaire will be compared with a variety of other outcomes including structural, functional, and metabolic brain neuroimaging, inflammatory mediators in the blood, and quantitative sensory testing. We hope to learn more about whether diet contributes to TMD pain and, if so, how alterations in diet could help treat individuals who suffer from this condition.

Use of complementary and integrative use in primary care and rural practices in Japan

Michael D. Fetters, M.D., M.P.H.Co-Investigator

Gregory D. Schumer, M.D.Co-Investigator

Below are two key papers from this research collaboration. Drs. Fetters, Schumer, and Horii, of the Shizuoka Family Medicine Training Program, in Shizuoka, Japan, are currently investigating use of complementary alternative medicine and integrative medicine practices for homebound terminal patients. 

Shumer G, Warber S, Motohara S, Yajima A, Plegue M, Bialko M, Iida T, Sano k, Amenomori M, Tsuda T, Fetters MD. Complementary and alternative medicine use by visitors to rural Japanese family medicine clinics: results from the international complementary and alternative medicine survey. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Sep 25;14:360. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-360.

Shumer G, Warber SLPlegue M, Amenomori M, Inoue M, and Fetters MD. Acupuncture Use in Rural Japanese Family Medicine Populations: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study. Medical Acupuncture. February 2016, 28(1): 49-55. https://doi.org/10.1089/acu.2015.1162

Integrative Medicine Program in the U-M School of Public Health Preventive Medicine Residency

Sara L. Warber, M.D., Co-Investigator

Funded by the University of Michigan School of Public Health

We plan to develop a required primary care and public health rotation in integrative medicine that utilizes community based integrative medicine practice sites. We will incorporate evidence-based content and experiential practice of complementary approaches into the required core residency seminars. We plan to provide a comprehensive program for faculty development in integrative medicine that will enhance faculty’s knowledge, skills and abilities.

Investigating "Nature-Deficit Disorders" as a Medical Matter

Sara L. Warber, M.D., Principal Investigator

Funded by The Fulbright Scholar Program

This is to open dialogue among medical clinicians about nature-deficit disorder and its remedies. I will define 'nature-deficit disorder,' identify vulnerable populations, evaluate nature interventions, propose a model of influences, covariates, and outcomes relevant to the effects of nature on human health, and describe gaps in the research and outcome measures to inform future studies.