Acupuncture lessens pain in brain not body?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at selected spots to treat various ailments.

Acupuncture works by making the brain, rather than the body, no longer experience pain, according to new research.

Scientists who scanned the brains of volunteers as they were given the Chinese therapy found it deactivated pathways that govern pain.

Complementary medicine expert Dr Hugh MacPherson, of the University of York, said: "These results provide objective scientific evidence that acupuncture has specific effects within the brain which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of how acupuncture works."

When a patient receives acupuncture treatment, a sensation called deqi can be obtained, scientific analysis shows that this deactivates areas within the brain that are associated with the processing of pain.

Neuroscientist Dr Aziz Asghar, of the York Neuroimaging Centre and the Hull York Medical School, said: “The results are fascinating. Whether such brain deactivations constitute a mechanism which underlies or contributes to the therapeutic effect of acupuncture is an intriguing possibility which requires further research.”

"The Chinese have been using acupuncture for 2,000 years for wide ranging illnesses but we have only touched the surface at the moment.

"We believe it can help relieve a number of conditions, including depression which we have recruited 640 people for another study where half will receive acupuncture and the others counselling."

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School and has been published in Brain Research.

Via - ANI , Telegraph

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