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David Spiegel To Deliver NCCAM Lecture, May 6 in Masur

How does the mind affect the body's ability to manage illness? Does hypnosis have a place in medical care? How does group support affect survival of life-threatening illness? These and other questions will be explored when the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine hosts the first of the 2003 Distinguished Lectures in the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. David Spiegel, a world-renowned authority on mind-body interactions and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, will present "Hypnosis and Group Support in Medical Care: Altering Perception and Reality." The lecture will take place at noon on Tuesday, May 6, in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Dr. David Spiegel
Author of more than 280 research publications, Spiegel is a leader in the field of psychosomatic or mind-body research. He is internationally known for his long-term studies of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of support groups for women with metastatic breast cancer. His landmark study — Effect of Psychosocial Treatment on Survival of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer (Lancet; Oct. 14, 1989; p. 881-891) — demonstrated for the first time that group support not only significantly enhanced quality of life, but also increased survival time for cancer patients. This research generated a new line of inquiry on the health effects of psychosocial support, and was featured in Bill Moyers' Emmy award-winning PBS series, Healing and the Mind. Spiegel's book, Living Beyond Limits: New Hope and Help for Facing Life-Threatening Illness, reflects 15 years of experience in helping patients cope with advanced cancer and offers guidance for patients, family, friends and physicians in managing the physical and psychological effects of living with a life-threatening illness.

In addition to studying psychotherapeutic interventions, Spiegel has investigated the use of hypnosis in treating medical symptoms and side effects. Using PET imaging, he has been able to demonstrate that hypnosis can change the electrical activity and blood flow in those parts of the brain involved in sensory perception, resulting in pain reduction for patients. This research has helped patients to manage pain and made it possible to reduce the dose and duration of medications involved with certain surgical procedures.

Spiegel will explain the phenomenon of hypnosis and its application in managing illness. He will also describe the major components of group psychotherapy for cancer patients and will discuss the research behind his findings about the efficacy of group therapy and hypnosis in management of stress, pain, medical treatments and life-threatening disease.

Spiegel is the Willson professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and founder and director of the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Yale College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He has received numerous honors and awards including the Edward A. Strecker, M.D. Award in 1995, given annually by the University of Pennsylvania Hospital System to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of clinical psychiatry in the United States. He has also received the Treya Killam Wilber Award in 1993 from the Cancer Support Community, and the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1986.

NCCAM invites members of the NIH community and the public to attend the lecture. It will also be webcast on For reasonable accommodation, call Valeria West at 402-9686.

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