ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
The Raw Food Diet
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Maximize Your Run
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
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Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- If you struggle with aches and pains that refuse to go away, you just might find relief from a long-practiced but relatively obscure alternative therapy called naprapathy.

Naprapathic medicine treats connective-tissue pain by using hands-on manipulation, nutritional counseling and, sometimes, therapeutic "modalities," such as heat, ultrasound, or cold laser therapy. Connective tissue, which includes ligaments, tendons and muscle, is the material inside the body that supports many of its parts.

"Naprapathy is hands-on connective tissue manipulation therapy, plus nutritional counseling," said Dr. Paul Maguire, president of the National College of Naprapathic Medicine in Chicago.

"It's noninvasive, so there's no downside to it, and it's a feel-good type of treatment that gets results," he said. Plus, it's a treatment that's been around for a long time, he added, noting that his school is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

"Naprapathy is a gentle system of manipulation that can relieve the pinching of areas causing restriction to nerves," Maguire explained.

Conditions that may be helped by naprapathy include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, headaches, neck pain, knee strain, sciatica, shoulder pain and tennis elbow, according to Maguire.

A recent study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain that included more than 400 people with back or neck pain found that those treated with naprapathic medicine were more likely to have symptom relief and less disability. Compared to standard medical advice, including recommendations for coping with pain and staying active, treatment with naprapathic medicine was 27 percent more likely to cause a reduction in pain and 18 percent more likely to cause a reduction in the risk of disability, the study found.

Overall, those who underwent naprapathic treatments were 44 percent more likely to perceive that they were recovered than those in the standard group, according to the study.

Naprapathic practitioners are currently licensed in just two states -- Illinois and New Mexico. Maguire said many practitioners become licensed in those states and then practice in others, sometimes obtaining other licenses, such as massage-therapy licenses, in their own states.

"This therapy is on the fringe of medical treatment and seems to be picking up pieces that other modalities have left behind," said Dr. Gerard Varlotta, director of sports rehabilitation at New York University Langone Medical Center's Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/Hospital for Joint Disease in New York City.

Manual manipulation of connective tissue could be useful for conditions such as fibromyalgia, some rheumatological disorders, and in sports medicine, he said.

But Varlotta offered certain cautions.

"Make sure the practitioner is educated, and that what they say makes sense," he said. "If they promise to cure cancer, that's not what they're going to be doing. But, if you have realistic expectations, that they'll try to free up areas that have become restricted over time, that's reasonable."

Maguire said many preferred provider organizations (PPOs) will pay for naprapathy, although Medicare/Medicaid does not, unless it's specifically prescribed by a doctor.

-Serena Gordon

More information

To learn more about naprapathic medicine, visit the National College of Naprapathic Medicine.



SOURCES: Paul Maguire, D.N., president, National College of Naprapathic Medicine, Chicago; Gerard Varlotta, D.O., director, sports rehabilitation, New York University Langone Medical Centers Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/Hospital for Joint Disease, and clinical associate professor, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; June 2007, The Clinical Journal of Pain

Last Updated: Dec. 31, 2008

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