Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2010

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news notes COMPILED BY SEAN EADS TAI CHI AND PERIPHERAL Findings indicate that CAM use increases with age and has a tie-in with both income and education levels. NEUROPATHY Researchers at Louisiana State University have found tai chi exercises positively impact patients with peripheral neuropathy. The nerve condition interferes with communication between the brain and spinal column, causing pain, imbalance, and loss of sensation. Researchers conducted a 24-week study on 25 men and women with the condition to test tai chi's ability to improve motor functions. The patients significantly increased leg strength performance and improved plantar sensation from the sixth week onward. The study was published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture at the Dentist Results of a small study indicate an intriguing new use for acupuncture at the dentist's office. Research conducted on a group of 20 patients with severe odontophobia, or fear of dentists, found that five minutes of acupuncture treatment targeting two specific points on the head lowered stress and anxiety levels significantly, allowing all the patients to proceed with their appointments. The patients, all in their 40s, had been dealing with long-term odontophobia, a condition estimated to affect one in 20 people. The acupuncture sessions were conducted by dentists who were also members of the British Dental Acupuncture Society. Their report was published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. New Study on CAM Use A report from the University of Michigan reveals new demographic trends in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in the United States. A six-year survey of nearly 6,000 adults examined ethnic and racial differences in the approach to pain treatment. Their findings indicate that CAM use increases with age and has a tie-in with both income and education levels. The elderly were found to be more willing to try CAM therapy than younger adults, and whites with a college degree were more likely to approach CAM than were African-Americans who were less financially stable. The most common CAM modalities sought were manual therapies like massage and chiropractic, biofeedback, and acupuncture. The findings were published in the journal Pain Management. 16 massage & bodywork september/october 2010

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