The effects of acupuncture on the brain

brainHere is an interesting article from Science Daily –
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2010) — Important new research about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms of acupuncture and could lead to a wider acceptability of the treatment.

The study, by researchers at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School published inBrain Research, indicates that acupuncture has a significant effect on specific neural structures. 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.

Dr Hugh MacPherson, of the Complementary Medicine Research Group in the University’s Department of Health Sciences, says: “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.”

Neuroscientist Dr Aziz Asghar, of the York Neuroimaging Centre and the Hull York Medical School, adds: “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.”

Last summer, following research conducted in York, acupuncture was recommended for the first time by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a treatment option for NHS patients with lower back pain. NICE guidelines now state that GPs should ‘consider offering a course of acupuncture comprising a maximum of 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks’ for patients with this common condition.

Current clinical trials at the University of York are investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and for depression. Recent studies in the US have also shown that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for migraines and osteoarthritis of the knee.

The York team believe that the new research could help to clear the way for acupuncture to be more broadly accepted as a treatment option on the NHS for a number of medical conditions.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Call (650) 344-8499 or Contact Us Online Today

  • A few years ago I was diagnosed with acute tendonitis in my wrist. After multiple cortisone injections, I was told I would need surgery in order to have the use of my wrist again. I decided to look into Chinese Medicine. To my relief, Stephanie was able to alleviate the pain in my wrist fairly quickly and with continued treatments, my wrist was good as new. Although I’ve seen Stephanie for many other aches and pains over the years, my wrist isn’t one of them… I continue to have a pain-free wrist without surgery!


    – R.S

  • I have been going to Laureen for a massage since I was pregnant with my first child 8 years ago. She is wonderful. Very accommodating, and does a great job at listening to your body and making the massage relaxing and restorative. Stephanie has treated my children for asthma 4 years, my daughter started when she was 5 and my son started when he was 4. The results have been amazing. My daughter no longer needs treatments because her lungs have healed and have become strong, I believe as a result of acupuncture.


    – Gwendolyn Holden

  • BayTree people are amazing! They know women’s bodies and how to help us heal and maintain our health. Coming into BayTree Wellness Center is always wonderful — from the warm way you are greeted upon entering to the time out of the “real” world in order to focus on yourself. I highly recommend coming here for issues related to fertility, immune system issues and over all well-being


    – Melissa Hessekiel

  • Dr. Stephanie is great. Very caring and intuitive. She creates a relaxing environment and each time I have felt better. As she gets to know me and my needs, she is able to hone in on the acupuncture points I need for healing.


    – Brien S.

  • I have been a long term “wellness patient” of BayTree Wellness Center – working a very hectic and stressful job. I believe that my preventive treatments at BayTree contribute significantly to my high energy output.


    – Derene