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Apr 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ACUPUNCTURE FOR ATHLETIC INJURIES

Specialists say acupuncture can help athletes prevent serious injuries and treat the ones they do acquire. Matt Callison, sports medicine specialist at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, says: "There is much that acupuncture can do for sports injuries, especially combined with Western therapy. Acupuncture can quickly relieve pain and inflammation and move blood stagnation away from the injury. This, in turn, creates a more efficient healing environment." He says acupuncture can both heal and help prevent future injuries. Athletes are less likely to suffer serious injuries by incorporating acupuncture into their sports therapy, he says.


For some of the 50 million allergy sufferers, Chinese medicine may offer an option, researchers say. The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases reports allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the healthcare system $18 billion annually. Chronic sinusitis alone affects nearly 35 million Americans. Researchers at the institute say acupuncture and Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Treatment may provide a drug-free solution. NAET allows the body to rid itself of its allergic response by rebalancing the body, they explain. The system involves a combination of chiropractic techniques, kinesiology and acupuncture. It aims to balance and strengthen the immune system to cease the body's over-reactions to pollen and other allergens, they say.


The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology has published a tell-all brochure on radiation therapy as a cancer treatment. The informational pamphlet, "The Radiation Oncology Treatment Team: Your Partners in Cancer Treatment," should prove useful to some of the more than 1.3 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, researchers say. An estimated two-thirds of these patients will be treated with radiation therapy at some point during their illness. Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying the cells' ability to reproduce. When the cells die, the body eliminates them. Healthy cells also are affected by radiation, but they can repair themselves in a way cancer cells cannot, researchers say. The brochure explains the role of each member of a team that treats a cancer patient.


Early treatment can take much of the misery out of allergies, say doctors who recommend taking action at least two weeks before allergy season hits. Once the allergic reaction begins, it takes more medication and is much more difficult to stop, says Dr. Andrew Singer, allergist at the University of Michigan Health System. Depending on where you live, the sniffly, watery-eye season begins around March or April and continues through fall's first frost. The earliest allergens to pop up include tree pollens, followed by grass and weed pollens, Singer says. Ragweed, one of the most common allergens, usually kicks up around late August or early September. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy nose, throat, ear canals or eyes, ear congestion, postnasal drainage, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Singer advises those with allergies to: avoid going outdoors during peak pollen times; use air conditioning and keep the windows closed; wear a mask when doing garden work; shower or bathe to remove allergens; vacuum the carpets, curtains and soft furniture often; and remove all mold.

(Editors: For more information about FIT, contact Carrie Sklar at (800) 729-0941. For CHINESE, Rebecca Wilkowski at (800) 729-0941. For RADIATION, Beth Bukata at (800) 962-7876 or For ALLERGIES, Andi McDonnell at (734) 764-2220 or

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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