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U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
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CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
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Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
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Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
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To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
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Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
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Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
EYE CARE, VISION
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Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
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GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
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Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
HEAD & NECK
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Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
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HEARING
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HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
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INFERTILITY
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MEN'S HEALTH
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MENTAL HEALTH
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PAIN
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PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
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Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
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SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
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Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain

(HealthDay News) -- Children who experience frequent stomach aches can use their imagination to reduce their pain, new study findings suggest.

The study included 34 participants, aged 6 to 15 years, with functional abdominal pain, which is a persistent pain with no identifiable underlying disease. All the children received standard medical care, but 19 also received eight weeks of guided imagery therapy, which is similar to self-hypnosis.

The audio recordings for the guided imagery therapy consisted of four bi-weekly, 20-minute sessions and 10-minute daily sessions. The therapy offered the children suggestions and imagery for reducing abdominal discomfort. For example, in one session they were told to imagine a special shiny object melting in their hand. They then placed the hand on their abdomen, spreading warmth and light from the hand into the belly in order to create a protective barrier that prevents anything from irritating the belly.

The children in the guided imagery group were almost three times more likely to experience improvement in their abdominal pain than those who received standard treatment alone, the researchers found. The benefits of the guided imagery lasted for six months after the end of the sessions.

"What is especially exciting about our study is that children can clearly reduce their abdominal pain a lot on their own with guidance from audio recordings, and they get much better results that way than from medical care," study lead author Miranda van Tilburg, an assistant professor in the gastroenterology and hepatology division of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and a member of the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, said in a university news release.

"Such self-administered treatment is, of course, very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other treatments, which potentially opens the door for easily enhancing treatment outcomes for a lot of children suffering from frequent stomach aches," she added.

The study appears in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

SOURCES: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, news release, Oct. 12, 2009 Published on: October 13, 2009