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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported June 24, 1999

Corn Cob Therapy

Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs
©Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. 1997

The aroma of popcorn fills the air in a Maryvale Samaritan Hospital therapy room, but no one is eating. The smell comes from heating finely ground corn cobs in a dry whirlpool. Fluidotherapy has been around for decades, but few people know about it. Occupational therapist Connie Greiser calls it a well kept secret.

Connie Greiser, Occupational Therapist, Maryvale Samaritan Hospital:
"The corn cob just gives input through the skin and it actually simulates nerve fibers to help regenerate the damaged nerve fibers to make them grow faster."

Unlike sand or sawdust, also used for hand injury patients, corn cobs don't retain heat so temperatures stay constant and a patient can keep his hand in longer. The massaging effect of the corn cob relieves pain, improves circulation and allows hand injury patients like Richard Casarez to get stronger. Five months ago, his left arm sat limp and useless.

Richard Casarez, Hand Injury Patient:
"Now, I can touch my shoulder. I can extend my arm. I can extend my fingers. I can raise my arm."

Fluidotherapy can also help stroke victims, arthritis sufferers and even those afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Connie Greiser:
"The nerves in there are so fine they're being crushed and it just stimulates them back."

Greiser says the corn cobs are an effective stepping stone on the road back to rehabilitation. The use of fluidotherapy is well known in the sports world. It was used to rehabilitate professional football player Joe Montana's shoulder.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Connie Greiser
Occupational Therapist
Maryvale Samaritan Hospital
5102 West Campbell Avenue
Phoenix, AZ

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