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The patient-healer relationship has an increasing area of interest for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers. This focus on the interpersonal context of treatment is not surprising as dismantling studies, clinical trials and other linear research designs continually point toward the critical role of context and the broadband biopsychosocial nature of therapeutic responses to CAM. Unfortunately, the same traditional research models and methods that fail to find simple and specific treatment-outcome relations are similarly failing to find simple and specific mechanisms to explain how interpersonal processes influence patient outcomes. This paper presents an overview of some of the key models and methods from nonlinear dynamical systems that are better equipped for empirical testing of CAM outcomes on broadband biopsychosocial processes. Suggestions are made for CAM researchers to assist in modeling the interactions among key process dynamics interacting across biopsychosocial scales: empathy, intra-psychic conflict, physiological arousal, and leukocyte telomerase activity. Finally, some speculations are made regarding the possibility for deeper cross-scale information exchange involving quantum temporal nonlocality.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Forschende Komplementärmedizin/Research in Complementary Medicine, volume 19, supplement 1, in 2012 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at DOI:10.1159/000335186.





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