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.
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/Hospi
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