OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine is an international peer-reviewed Open Access journal published quarterly online by LIDSEN Publishing Inc. It covers all evidence-based scientific studies on integrative, alternative and complementary approaches to improving health and wellness.

Topics contain but are not limited to:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Acupotomy
  • Bioelectromagnetics applications
  • Pharmacological and biological treatments including their efficacy and safety
  • Diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • Herbal medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Manual healing methods (e.g., massage, physical therapy)
  • Kinesiology
  • Mind/body interventions
  • Preventive medicine
  • Research in integrative medicine
  • Education in integrative medicine
  • Related policies

The journal publishes a variety of article types: Original Research, Review, Communication, Opinion, Comment, Conference Report, Technical Note, Book Review, etc.

There is no restriction on paper length, provided that the text is concise and comprehensive. Authors should present their results in as much detail as possible, as reviewers are encouraged to emphasize scientific rigor and reproducibility.

Publication Speed (median values for papers published in 2023): Submission to First Decision: 5.9 weeks; Submission to Acceptance: 14.7 weeks; Acceptance to Publication: 8 days (1-2 days of FREE language polishing included)

Special Issue

How Compassion Benefits in the Healing Process

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2019 (Closed) Submit Now

Guest Editor

Steven K. H. Aung, CM, AOE, MD, PhD, FAAFP

1. Director and Clinical Professor, Integrative Health Institute (IHI), Departments of Medicine and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8, Canada
2. Adjunct Professor, Faculties of Extension, Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine, and School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8, Canada

Website | E-Mail

Research Interests: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); acupuncture; integrative medicine

About This Topic

Compassion can be defined in many ways, but each definition has positive connotations. There is two ways of treating a patient; one is treating with a lack of compassion, a very mechanical and utilitarian approach. The other is with compassion and kindness, a way in which promotes trust and friendship between doctor and patient. When treating this way a doctor must have good intentions and not simply be treating a patient, but healing from the bottom of their heart.
This special issue focuses on the effects of patient – doctor relationships when compassion is involved in the healing process, and the benefits this may hold for the future success of acupuncture and medicine as a whole.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted through the LIDSEN Submission System. Detailed information on manuscript preparation and submission is available in the Instructions for Authors. All submitted articles will be thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process and will be processed following the Editorial Process and Quality Control policy. Upon acceptance, the article will be immediately published in a regular issue of the journal and will be listed together on the special issue website, with a label that the article belongs to the Special Issue. LIDSEN distributes articles under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) License in an open-access model. The authors own the copyright to the article, and the article can be free to access, distribute, and reuse provided that the original work is correctly cited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). Research articles and review articles are highly invited. Authors are encouraged to send the tentative title and abstract of the planned paper to the Editorial Office (icm@lidsen.com) for record. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Editorial Office.

Welcome your submission!


Open Access Research Article

Does a Brief Mindfulness Training Enhance Heartfulness in Students? Results of a Pilot Study

Received: 24 May 2019;  Published: 10 October 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1904059


(1) Background: There is robust evidence that mindfulness trainings enhance mindfulness as operationalized in Western psychology, but evidence about heartfulness is sparse. This study seeks to test whether a brief mindfulness training enhances heart qualities, including self-compassion, gratitude, and the generation of feelings of happiness [...]
Open Access Comment

Compassion in a Doctor-Patient Relationship: Objectively Measuring Compassionate Behavior Using the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales

Received: 13 March 2019;  Published: 25 July 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1903048


Most research on compassion utilizes self-report measures (Seppala, Simon-Thomas, Brown, Worline, Cameron, & Doty, in press). Indeed, when it comes to the measurement of self-compassion, the subjective report of the individual can provide an authentic window about compassion toward the self. How else can we understand another’s subjecti [...]
Open Access Opinion

How to Heal the Healer: Combating Burnout Using Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Interventions

Received: 13 June 2019;  Published: 24 July 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1903047


We explore how medical culture contributes to burnout. Highlighting specific programs aimed at developing compassion and mindfulness skills, we share our own perspectives and experiences implementing similarly focused programs. Promising results on the application of compassion-based programs show evidence of improvements to a number of measur [...]
Open Access Review

Breath Practices for Survivor and Caregiver Stress, Depression, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Connection, Co-regulation, Compassion

Received: 10 April 2019;  Published: 12 July 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1903045


Does compassion itself benefit the healing process or does the activation of neurophysiological processes, from which the experience of compassion arises, trigger a cascade of physical and psychological changes that support health and well-being? Exploration of the neurological substrates of compassion reveals multiple healing pathways that [...]
Open Access Commentary

Compassion in Medical Practice

Received: 25 April 2019;  Published: 08 July 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1903044


Compassion and kindness can be cultivated and enhanced. Over the years in medical practice I have witnessed many healthcare workers, after having worked with kind and caring practitioners, become progressively more humane. Those of us who are teachers need to be mindful of that. In educating new physicians, compassion should play a central [...]
Open Access Opinion

Doing Brief Work, Slowly: Compassion as Intervention in Behavioral Medicine

Received: 20 March 2019;  Published: 18 June 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1902037


Integration of behavioral health consultants and specialists into medical settings has accelerated the development of evidenced-based practices for an array of problems and concerns common to behavioral medicine. Though these treatments have shown to be beneficial for those that engage in protocols, attrition remains high. With an emphasis [...]
Open Access Perspective

Compassion in Preregistration Nurse Education: An Integrated Review

Received: 07 March 2019;  Published: 13 June 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1902036


The evolving, dynamic and challenging healthcare landscape requires that the art and science of nursing equip preregistration nursing students (PNS) with the knowledge and skills to positively respond to these changes. Central to PNS’ ability to demonstrate competence in the fundamentals of nursing care are core nursing attributes to meaning [...]
Open Access Review

The Role of Self-Compassion in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

Received: 04 March 2019;  Published: 24 April 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1902026


(1) Background: A large body of empirical evidence has supported the notion that individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have difficulty regulating their negative emotions and employing emotion-regulation strategies. The aim of this article is to (a) explore the role of self-compassion in providing an emotion-regulation strategy for [...]
Open Access Opinion

Compassion in Medicine – A Psychiatric Physician’s View

Received: 14 March 2019;  Published: 18 April 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1902025


There are several definitions of sympathy, empathy, and compassion on the internet. I have chosen the above definitions to emphasize their salient differences, for the following reason: In medical school, in the early 1960s, we were taught not to sympathize with patients, but to empathize: By empathizing, one can retain some professional [...]
Open Access Editorial

Compassion in Clinical Care

Received: 01 March 2019;  Published: 04 March 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1901016


Compassion in Clinical Care
Open Access Review

Is Self-Compassion Important for Health Care Practitioners?

Received: 25 November 2018;  Published: 31 January 2019;  doi: 10.21926/obm.icm.1901007


The cornerstone of health care practice is the provision of competent, compassionate care. Compassion is usually thought of when applied toward others; however, self-compassion promotes well-being, mental health, reduces fatigue and “burn-out” in health care practitioners. While most health care practitioners would agree with the importa [...]