Shaking Smokers Up
Reported February 2011
MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Every eight seconds someone dies from tobacco use, yet worldwide 1.3 billion people still smoke. We know that the longer you smoke, the more damage it can do to your body, but is quitting the only thing that helps? Maybe not!
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Artist and writer Linda Fisher-Kaletsky is one of those lifelong smokers who just isn’t ready to quit. So far, she says, lighting up hasn’t hurt her health.
“I eat well, I exercise regularly and I'm hedging my bets that if I want to have less than half a pack of Marlboros a day it’s going to be ok,” Linda Fisher-Kaletsky, a lifelong smoker, told Ivanhoe.
But, dozens of studies show the longer you smoke, the bigger the toll it takes on the body, especially the lungs. Now, University of Miami Pulmonologists, experts in lung disease, want to know if a novel therapy called whole body periodic acceleration could help.
“It feels like being rocked, but quickly,” Fisher-Kaletsky said.
This bed shakes the patient more than 100 times a minute. Studies show this can trigger the release of compounds that boost blood circulation, widen blood vessels in the lungs and reduce inflammation by helping the body expel nitric oxide.
"It actually has a beneficial effect on blood flow,” Adam Wanner, M.D., a pulmonologist at Umiami Miller School of Medicine, said.
Researchers believe a series of 45 minute treatments like this could help improve blood circulation compromised by smoking.
“I have hopes that something like this would have great benefit,” Fisher-Kaletsky said.
Even if this shaking bed can help, doctors say it’s no substitute for the most important thing any smoker can do for their health, that's quit smoking. Research with the shaking bed is continuing to investigate the potential benefits for conditions ranging from lung problems to muscle strains. The device, called “Exerrest” is currently in use in more than a dozen medical facilities around the U.S.
The Biophysical Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Dr. Adam Wanner
Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and
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