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The pain was so bad that Donna Elliot couldn't stand the sheet touching her toes at night. Her muscles were twisted in knots, and it felt as if sharp needles were piercing her feet.

For Duane Axelton, burning pain was part of his life, 24 hours a day. He couldn't sleep, eat or walk without being reminded of his debilitating disease.

Both Elliot and Axelton had been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. In diabetics, high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, causing decreased blood flow to the extremities. The resulting nerve damage, called neuropathy, can leave its victims with little or no sensation in their feet -- and sometimes, as for Elliot and Axelton, with burning, constant pain.

Doctors prescribed medication for Axelton, which did little to help his sleepless nights. But in 2003, a diabetes educator told Axelton about an innovative new form of technology called monochromatic infrared energy (MIRE), which causes a release of nitric oxide from the bodies red blood cells, and in turn creates better blood flow and circulation.

Infrared had been used to help heal the legs of injured racehorses, and it was believed it could have the same effect on humans. Axelton was the first person in Coos County to receive the infrared treatment for his neuropathy -- a disease that doctors once told him would plague him for the rest of his life.

'Within one week the pain was a little less intense," he said. 'After two weeks I noticed a little less pain. After a couple months there was a big difference, and today I am pain-free."

Elliot is also pain-free today because of infrared.

'The first time I went in for treatment, I came out pain-free for over a day," she said. 'It was amazing to me the difference it made. After a couple of months, nothing bothered my feet."
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