Acupuncture no placebo, does relieve pain

December 1st, 2010 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 1 (IANS) Scans show that sticking needles into a body calms brain cells that process and perceive pain.

The finding will vindicate those who have spent hundreds of pounds on acupuncture for bad backs, sprained ankles and other aches and pains.

The research team from the University Hospital in Essen, Germany, studied whether acupuncture affected how the brain reacted to electric shocks, reports the Daily Mail.

A group of volunteers underwent sophisticated brain scans at the same time as an electric shock was applied to their left ankle, according to a University Hospital statement.

Acupuncture needles were then placed at three places on the right side - between the toes, below the knee and near the thumb - and the electric current switched back on.

A second set of brain scans showed noticeably less activity in the brain’s pain regions.

Researcher Nina Theysohn said: “Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception was significantly reduced or modulated under acupuncture.”

Other research released earlier this year revealed that the physical act of sticking in acupuncture needles and twisting them releases a flood of natural painkillers.

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