Integrative and Complementary Research

acuppressure on hand with text reading integrative and complementary 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 SL, Plegue 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.

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.

 Media and Infographics

Research video preview for Dr. Suzanna Zick's Fatigue Reduction Diet for breast cancer survivors. Results from the first piloted randomized controlled trial available in the December issue of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 

Recent Publications

  1. Djuric Z, Turgeon DK, Sen A, et al. The Anti-inflammatory Effect of Personalized Omega-3 Fatty Acid Dosing for Reducing Prostaglandin E 2 in the Colonic Mucosa Is Attenuated in Obesity. Cancer Prevention Research. 2017;10(12):729-737. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.capr-17-0091.
  2. Harris RE, Ichesco E, Cummiford C, Hampson JP, Chenevert TL, Basu N, Zick SM. Brain Connectivity Patterns Dissociate Action of Specific Acupressure Treatments in Fatigued Breast Cancer Survivors. Front Neurol. 2017 Jun 23;8:298. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00298
  3. Djuric Z, Aslam MN, Simon BR, Sen A, et al. Fatty Acid and Lipodomic Data in Normal and Tumor Colon Tissue of Rats Fed Diets with and without Fish Oils. Data in Brief. DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2017.06.032. [Article in-press]
  4. Schneiderhan J, Clauw D, Schwenk TL. Primary Care of Patients With Chronic
    Pain. JAMA. 2017 May 18. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.5787. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Djuric Z, Aslam MN, Simon BR, et al. Fatty acid and lipidomic data in normal and tumor colon tissues of rats fed diets with and without fish oil. Data in Brief. 2017;13:661-666. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2017.06.032.
  6. Djuric Z, Aslam MN, Simon BR, Sen A, Jiang Y, Ren J, Chan R, Soni T,
    Rajendiran TM, Smith WL, Brenner DE. Effects of fish oil supplementation on
    prostaglandins in normal and tumor colon tissue: modulation by the lipogenic
    phenotype of colon tumors. J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Apr 25;46:90-99. doi:
    10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.04.013. [Epub ahead of print]

  7. Kang Y, O’Donnell MB, Strecher VJ et al. Dispositional Mindfulness Predicts Adaptive Affective Responses to Health Messages and Increased Exercise Motivation. Mindfulness (2017) 8: 387. doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0608-7

See more

  1. Greenlee H, Melissa J. DuPont-Reyes MJ, Balneaves LG, Carlson LE, Cohen MR, Deng G, Johnson JA, Mumber M, Seely D, Zick SM, Boyce LM, Tripathy D. Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2017; DOI: 10.3322/caac.21397
  2. Wang P, Sun M, Ren J, Djuric Z et al. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of effects of dietary fish oil on total fatty acid composition in mouse skin. Scientific Reports. 2017 Feb 14;7:42641. doi: 10.1038/srep42641
  3. Zick SM, Colacino J, Cornellier M, Khabir T, Surnow K, Djuric Z. Fatigue reduction diet in breast cancer survivors: a pilot randomized clinical trial. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016 Dec 2. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-016-4070-y
  4. Langevin HM, Keely P, Mao J, Hodge LM, Schleip R, Deng G, Hinz B, Swartz MA, de Valois BA, Zick S, Findley, T. Connecting (T)issues: How Research in Fascia Biology Can Impact Integrative Oncology. Cancer Res. 2016;76(21):6159-6162. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0753
  5. Kato I, Vasquez A, Moyerbrailean G, Land S, Djuric Z, Sun J, Lin HS, Ram JL. Nutritional Correlates of Human Oral Microbiome. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;:1-11. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2016.1185386 
  6. Matovina C, Birkeland AC, Zick S, Shuman AG. Integrative Medicine in Head and Neck Cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Oct 11 pii: 0194599816671885. DOI: 10.1177/0194599816671885
  7. Djuric Z. Obesity-associated cancer risk: the role of intestinal microbiota in the etiology of the host proinflammatory state. Transl Res. 2016 Jul 28. DOI: 10.1016/j.trsl.2016.07.017
  8. Zick SM, Sen A, Wyatt GK, Murphy SL, Arnedt JT, Harris RE. Investigation of 2 Types of Self-administered Acupressure for Persistent Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Jul 7. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1867
  9. Baxter NT, Ruffin MT, Rogers MA, Schloss PD. Microbiota-based model improves the sensitivity of fecal immunochemical test for detecting colonic lesions. Genome Med. 2016;8(1):37. DOI: 10.1186/s13073-016-0290-3
  10. Warber SL, Bruyere RL, Weintrub K, Dieppe P. A Consideration of the Perspectives of Healing Practitioners on Research Into Energy Healing. Glob Adv Health Med. 2015;4(Suppl):72-8. DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2015.014.suppl
  11. Wells EV, Benn RK, Warber SL. Public Health and Preventive Medicine Meet Integrative Health: Applications of Competency Mapping to Curriculum Education at the University of Michigan. Am J Prev Med. 2015;49(5 Suppl 3):S270-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.009

Collaborative Partners & External Affiliates


In the News 

image of mri scan

August 22, 2017:  Brain Imaging Study Shows How Acupressure Fights Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study, co-authored by Suzanna Zick, N.D., M.P.H., analyzes how the brain reacts to different types of the acupressure, in the treatment of fatigue.

image of person sitting outside meditating at sunset

April 24, 2017:  Growing Body of Evidence Supports Use of Mind-Body Therapies During Breast Cancer Treatment

A new meta-analysis, co-authored by Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., finds that meditation and yoga get highest grades for improving quality of life.

image of award ribbon with text New Research Awards

 April 17, 2017: Recent Grants Awarded in 2017

Recent NIH awards will support family medicine faculty as they lead two exciting new ventures: Training 100 oncology professionals in integrative medicine and developing a web-based contraceptive decision aid for women with chronic conditions and their health care providers

Fatigue Reduction Diet - food

January 6, 2017: Diet Could Help Breast Cancer Survivors Beat Fatigue Configure

A study by Dr. Zick finds that eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3-rich foods improved fatigue and sleep quality in breast cancer survivors.

The atlantic

October 30, 2016: Can Ginger Ale Really Soothe Nausea?

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Dr. Suzanna Zick weighs in on a popular folk remedy. 


Principal Investigators