When Tina Fey played real-life war correspondent Kim Barker in the movie "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," some reviewers thought the script was off-balance. The usually sure-footed Fey seemed to stumble in this offering.
That's a shame since it's been proven that a good tango (and probably a foxtrot, too) can do a lot for your balance.
Researchers at Wexner Medical Center's Neurological Institute in Columbus, Ohio, have released preliminary findings on the benefits of tango lessons for folks suffering with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
This nerve condition afflicts 70 percent of chemo recipients, and can cause numbness and sharp pain in fingers, arms, toes, and feet that interfere with mobility and stability. Thirty-three percent of people still have nerve problems six months after treatment.
The researchers offered a 10-week, 20-lesson tango intervention to 30 patients. At the end of five weeks, some participants decreased their lateral and medial sway (that's rocking back and forth or side to side because of foot or toe neuropathy) by 56 percent, improving their balance and reducing the risk of falls.
So if you have chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, work with your doctor to find a combination of treatments that will get and keep you dancing again.
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