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Jaw-Dropping News from UT-Southwestern

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And you thought University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center docs were only into medicine. A study that appears in the latest issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, which is required reading at Unfair Park, suggests otherwise: Three researchers there have discovered that you don't need medication to treat some common painful jaw disorders. Nope, sometimes you just need a pretty picture of a meadow.

Seriously. Reports the subscription-only MD Week, that's precisely how Dallas pre-kindergarten teacher Harriet Velevis deals with her pain -- thanks to UT-Southwestern's discovery of a "new supplemental therapy that teaches pain coping and biofeedback skills can reduce pain, the potential for chronic pain and healthcare costs for millions of Americans suffering from a common jaw disorder." Says Velevis, whose jaw used to hurt to much she couldn't eat or teach:

"Eventually I had no pain symptoms thanks to these techniques. I still use them today. For instance, I have a picture of a countryside scene in my classroom, and I focus on it if I begin to grit my teeth or clench my jaw. Focusing on something that makes you happy helps your body relax."

Yes, but what if I just like taking Vicodin? --Robert Wilonsky

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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