November 22, 2010

Acupuncture in London-Acupuncture Research Resources Vol.II

Acupuncture for pain - the evidence. And yes, you can see it!

I recently read this article in NCCAM site on acupuncture for treatment of pain with some fascinating research into the effects of acupuncture on the brain which I'd like to share with you.

Remember the notion, pain occurs in the brain. Not where you think it hurts...

By using the most sophisticated brain imaging tech top neuroscientists and radiologists can get their hands on (fMRI, PET, MEG) they are able to see changes that occur in the hypothalamus and the amygdala, these are areas in the brain which maintain pain. 

Even if these devices are not quite sophisticated enough to 'see the qi' yet, they are able to detect its effects in the brain.

The scientists involved are top researchers at the finest american institutions. What they are doing is very cool because it is these baby steps of true integrative medicine east and west that are paving the way torwards the 21st century medicine of the future. 

Check out the following quote from the article:
" Qi, meridians, yin, yang. How can researchers study acupuncture, a 2,000-year-old form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) based on foreign concepts that seem impossible to measure, let alone define?
To Richard Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., NCCAM's Senior Advisor for Scientific Coordination and Outreach, the answer is obvious: "We don't necessarily have to understand the concepts of qi or meridians to study the safety or efficacy of acupuncture."
Harvard Medical School neuroscientist (and practicing acupuncturist) Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D., L.Ac., agrees. "I firmly believe that everything can be studied with the scientific method. Unfortunately, we don't currently have a 'qi meter.' So, in my research, we don't focus on meridians or qi. We take a neuroscientific approach to study how acupuncture functions through the nervous system."
" Powerful imaging techniques—fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), PET (positron emission tomography), and MEG (magnetoencephalography)—are now available to reveal areas of the brain affected during pain and to map the impact of acupuncture in patients experiencing pain. "
Bruce Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of an NCCAM Center of Excellence on Acupuncture and Brain Activity at Harvard Medical School. "

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