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PERSONAL HEALTH : HEALTH WATCH : Relax! Give Your Toes a Workout

June 29, 1993| This weekly health roundup, compiled from staff and wire-service reports, appears in View on Tuesdays.

At last, an exercise that even workout-haters will love. Step into the world of toe-finger weaves and other sweat-free exercises designed to help your achin' feet.

The goal is foot relaxation. To determine if your feet are candidates, look at the toe knuckles while standing barefoot. If they have pressure marks from shoes or are stuck in an abnormal shape, try the exercises.

Stand barefoot on an uncarpeted floor. Distribute your weight evenly between your right foot and your left, neither forward nor back, says Dr. Donald E. Baxter, a Houston orthopedic surgeon. Then raise your toes off the floor without lifting the ball of the foot.

Or try the toe-finger weave: Sit on the floor. Place your hand over the foot and insert a finger in each of the spaces between toes, then stretch the fingers to help move the toes apart. Next, slide the fingers up and down, keeping them positioned between the toes.

Flotation Tanks Are Back

You have $6,000 to $9,500 just itching to be spent. Two words: Flotation tank . Once considered the sole territory of crazy Californians, tanks are back and they're "more inviting and user-friendly," according to Peter Shepherd, president of Rest Technologies Corp. of Huntington Station, N.Y., makers of Floatarium. The new model is a smooth, elliptical, light green clamshell made of Fiberglas.

Magnetic Smiles

Having a problem getting your children to wear their orthodontic appliances--the same appliances that cost you that trip to Tahiti? Think magnets.

During the 1993 Annual Sessions of the American Assn. of Orthodontists held last month, Dr. T.M. Graber of Evanston, Ill., talked about surgically implanting magnets.

The tiny magnets pull down eye teeth impacted in the roof of children's mouths. Using conventional orthodontic methods, it can take up to two years. Magnets, however, can be used to accomplish the same goal in one-third the time, Graber said.

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