Study maps acupuncture's effects on the brain

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Washington, Feb 5 (ANI): A new study about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may shed light on the complex mechanisms of this Eastern healing technique.

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

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School, 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.

"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," Dr Hugh MacPherson, of the Complementary Medicine Research Group in the University's Department of Health Sciences, said.

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 study has been published in Brain Research. (ANI)

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