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Colon cleansing: Not so healthy, analysis says
August 1st, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Colon cleansing: Not so healthy, analysis says

It has been touted as a natural way to improve your heath and cleanse the soul. But doctors are now finding the procedure known as colon cleansing can cause dangerous side effects.

Colon cleansing, technically known as colonic hydrotherapy or colonic irrigation, is a popular treatment, usually performed at spas. It often involves the use of chemicals in the body and in hydrotherapy, the colon is flushed with water through a tube inserted in the rectum.

But oral home remedies are also available and have become popular, especially over the Internet. Now researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. say there's no evidence any of these colon cleansing treatments work and, in fact, when used improperly can cause cramping, kidney failure and in some extreme cases, death.

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July 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Got lower back pain? Massage may help!

Americans spend at least $50 billion each year to treat lower back pain, the second most common neurological problem in the U.S. after headaches, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that massage may be an effective therapy for treating lower back pain, when compared with conventional medical treatment.

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Needles trump patches in treating kids' eye problem
December 13th, 2010
04:12 PM ET

Needles trump patches in treating kids' eye problem

Acupuncture is helping to improve vision in children with lazy eye, according to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

In the randomized trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of two hours of daily patching therapy with acupuncture for treating lazy eye in 88 children aged 7 to 12. All children had already worn glasses for at least 16 weeks. 43 of the children were randomly assigned to the acupuncture treatment group, receiving five treatments per week that targeted five needle insertion sites. 45 children in the patch group had their stronger eye patched for two hours per day and were instructed to do activities such as reading and typing, which helps to strengthen near vision in the weaker eye.

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December 6th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Mindfulness as good as antidepressant drugs, study says

Mindfulness therapy is gaining headway in many areas of psychology, and now there's more evidence to back up its effectiveness.

A new study published the Archives of General Psychiatry finds that depression patients in remission who underwent mindfulness therapy did as well as those who took an antidepressant, and better than those who took a placebo. That means that mindfulness therapy was as effective as antidepressants in protecting against a relapse of depression.

Mindfulness generally refers to the concept of being present and in the moment, and comes from the Buddhist meditation tradition. In the context of this study, mindfulness therapy incorporates meditation and focuses on helping patients watch their feelings and thoughts in a way that lets them work with them differently, said Zindel Segal of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in Toronto, Ontario.

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Tai chi helps arthritis pain, stiffness
November 7th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Tai chi helps arthritis pain, stiffness

The ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi may be  an effective  way to help alleviate problems associated with arthritis, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine report.

An estimated 50 million adults in the U.S. have  some form of arthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although many of these people turn to medication to help them deal with the pain, the medical community continues to look for ways to help these patients.

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Dalai Lama: Larger than life, profoundly human
October 20th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Dalai Lama: Larger than life, profoundly human

I try to make it a practice not to name drop, but on Monday I spent a half-hour talking to the Dalai Lama. It wasn’t exactly a private affair—2,000 people more or less were in the audience listening, but one of the remarkable things about big meetings with the Dalai Lama is that once you start talking with him you get this eerie feeling that he and his translator are the only people in the auditorium.

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August 26th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

TEDMED: Donna Karan designs for healing

You may recognize Donna Karan from her fashion lines, but she's also got a project going that aims to redesign patient care.

Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation, an organization that aims to promote patient advocacy and well-being in health care, integrating alternative approaches such as yoga.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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