Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Introduction: Studies in canines of the effects of lymphatic pump techniques (LPT) have shown that LPT mobilizes leukocytes, and in post-operative cholecystectomy patients that received LPT, an “earlier recovery and quicker return to preoperative values" in regard to forced vital capacity has been demonstrated, thereby providing rationale that LPT may enhance immunity. However, longitudinal evaluations of the effects of utilizing regular LPT to ameliorate disease outcome has not been investigated in humans. We hypothesized that administration of regular LPT to non-immunocompromised human participants would reduce frequency and/or duration of upper respiratory infections (URIs). Objective: To perform an investigator-blinded, randomized, controlled trial, feasibility study in which participants were recruited from among Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) student, staff, and faculty, as well as students from New Mexico State University (NMSU), to look at the effects of LPT administrations in these populations on reducing frequency and/or duration of URIs. Method: During twelve weeks of the cold and flu season, LPT was administered three times per week to the treatment group while the control participants received sham treatments three times per week. Data was gathered during each visit through self-report surveys given to the participants. Seventy-six participants completed the study out of 86 who enrolled. Results: Although there was no difference in disease frequency between the two groups among the 76 participants who completed the study, there was a statistically significant difference in duration of illness with 6.96 days duration of illness in the experimental group and 9.81 days duration of illness in the control group (p=0.0463). Conclusion: Results obtained between the two control groups strongly suggests that regular application of LPT is an effective means for reducing duration of URIs. This study provides strong scientific rationale for performing a larger scale study with greater statistical power.