Acupuncture Research Shows It Works

According to an article released in Technorati toAcupuncture CEUs Onlineday, 30 May 2012, a collaborative investigation between researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore) and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine concludes that, “Recent clinical trial and systematic review results clearly show acupuncture to be more beneficial than conventional standard care for many pain conditions….”

Published in Medical Acupuncture, the review notes that basic science research has identified several mechanisms by which acupuncture exerts its effectiveness in the treatment of pathological conditions. The authors note that “an extensive body of acupuncture research has been published, much of it with important clinical implications.” In addition, the authors note that there is a trend towards acupuncture becoming accepted by the mainstream in the United States, citing a national survey showing a growth in acupuncture utilization.

Recent Research Topics
The modern research continues to pour in. Below is a short list of some of the research that has sparked recent interest. The list is by no means exhaustive and new research continues to map the neurophysiological mechanisms of acupuncture.

Liver Fibrosis
A recent sham-controlled study measured the mechanisms by which acupuncture prevents liver fibrosis. Acupuncture demonstrated changes to hepatocyte arrangement and relief from necrosis and hepatic pseudo-lobular formation. Also, MMP-9 protein expression levels of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) were “upregulated remarkably” by the use of acupuncture.

Brain Waves
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) demonstrated that acupuncture induces specific responses to brain waves. Researchers discovered that, “Significantly increased delta power and decreased alpha as well as beta power in bilateral frontal ROIs (brain Regions of Interest) were observed following stimulation at ST36.”

Fertility
A recent study measured the biochemical mechanisms by which acupuncture increases IVF success rates. In a randomized controlled study, it was concluded that, “Acupuncture could improve the poor receptive state of (the) endometrium due to mifepristone by promoting Th2 cytokines secretion and inhibiting Th1 cytokines to improve blastocyst implantation.”

Oxygen at Points
New research has discovered that oxygen levels are higher at acupuncture points. The researchers note that their investigation may “verify the physical existence of acupuncture points….”

Osteoporosis
New research demonstrates that acupuncture improves bone metabolism for the prevention of osteoporosis. Blood analysis measured increases in levels of BGP (bone gla protein) from acupuncture treatment.

MRI Investigation
Researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) utilized MRI research to demonstrate that autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses to acupuncture emanate from “distinct subregions” of “brain circuitry.” True acupuncture activated the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), insula and the mid-cingulate cortex. The heart rate (HR) deceleration and skin conductance response (SCR) “magnitude of response was greater following real acupuncture” than with sham acupuncture.

Pain Relief
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York stated, “acupuncture releases a natural pain-relieving molecule into the body…. Adenosine is a key to reducing pain during acupuncture treatment.”

Source of Article: Healthcmi.com

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