Stickin’ It Tue You: Scientists One Step Closer to Understanding The Analgesic Effects of Acupuncture

Acupuncture analgesia (AA) is defined as acupuncture used to relieve pain and regulate the physiologic status of the body.  It is one of the most widely researched topics in complementary and alternative medicine.

Scientists applied a Positron emission tomography (PET) scan with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain signals and pain receptors during an acupuncture analgesia treatment.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a type of specialized MRI scan. It measures the haemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals.  Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body.  PET scans are increasingly read alongside fMRI scans, to collect both anatomic and metabolic information.

Using this integrative imaging approach during acupuncture point stimulation, scientists found functional magnetic resonance imaging signal changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and pons and diprenorphine PET signal changes in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, insula, thalamus, and anterior cingulated cortex.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity — up to 70 percent. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments.In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.
The basis of acupuncture is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong” which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.” In other words, any kind of pain or illness represents an obstruction in the normal flow of Qi or life force. Simply put, acupuncture moves Qi, restoring free flow.The modern medicine world is one step closer to proving the existence of Qi and meridians, defined by traditional Chinese medicine and used by acupuncturists for thousands of years.

 

Are you ready to see how acupuncture could change your life for the better? To learn more about acupuncture or to schedule an appointment for treatment, please call our office at (304) 263-4927 today.  Dr. Terry Chambers is a Board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist, licensed in WV, and trained to perform functional medicine.

Source: https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Scientists+One+Step+Closer+to+Understanding+The+Analgesic+Effects+of+Acupuncture

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