ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Add your Article

Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work

Fear of the dentist keeps many people from getting the dental care they need, but new research suggests that an ancient Chinese treatment -- acupuncture -- may provide quick relief.

One in 20 people suffer from odontophobia -- severe anxiety about dentistry -- and a third of all people say they have moderate anxiety when seeing the dentist, the researchers said.

"We can offer patients a safe, fast and cheap treatment for their odontophobia," said lead researcher Dr. Palle Rosted, from the department of oncology at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, England.

Other available treatments, such as distraction, relaxation techniques, tranquilizers and sedation, can be time-consuming or have side effects, Rosted said. "Moreover, in some patients, the more traditional treatments are not sufficient. By offering acupuncture, the dentist has an extra tool in his bag," he said.

The report is published in the March 29 issue of Acupuncture in Medicine.

For the study, Rosted's group tested acupuncture on 20 patients who had suffered from dental phobia for two to 30 years. Their average age was 40, and their anxiety was considered moderate to severe.

Their anxiety was checked before and after five minutes of acupuncture and rated, using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) questionnaire. The acupuncture treatment, which involves inserting thin needles into specific body points, targeted two points on the top of the head.

The researchers found the average BAI score of 26.5 dropped to 11.5 after the acupuncture session. And all the patients were able to have their dental treatment.

Before trying acupuncture, only six patients could withstand any treatment at all, and even at that, just a partial visit that required a great deal of effort by both dentist and patient, Rosted noted.

"From a scientific point of view, we demonstrated that 70 percent of patients had an effect of the treatment," Rosted said. "From a practical point of view, and that is the important thing, we demonstrated that it was possible to carry out the planned dental treatment in all patients."

Acupuncture, practiced in China for more than 2,000 years, is not a miracle treatment, Rosted said. "However, it has some advantages over other treatments. The treatment is safe, fast and cheap. In this study, the dentist could commence the dental treatment five minutes after insertion of the five needles."

Dr. Marshall H. Sager, a past president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and an acupuncturist in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., was optimistic about the findings. "I believe the results of this preliminary study are wide-ranging and should encompass investigation into the use of acupuncture for all preoperative anxiety," he said.

Working with dental surgery patients, Sager said the effects of acupuncture are dramatic and beneficial to health. "My experience emphatically demonstrates that, when I administer acupuncture to patients prior to surgery, I am able to decrease their preoperative stress levels, causing them to be more relaxed so that they require less anesthesia during the surgical procedure."

Evidence shows that acupuncture helps release endorphins, which act not only as painkillers, but as sedatives, he added. "These opiate-like hormones, manufactured in the body, contribute to natural feelings of well-being and modulate anxiety," he said.

SOURCES: Palle Rosted, M.D., department of oncology, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, England; Marshall H. Sager, D.O., past president, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, acupuncturist, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.; March 29, 2010, Acupuncture in Medicine Published on: March 30, 2010