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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Acupuncture as an anesthetic and the Limbic System

Even though acupuncture has still not been approved as a medical procedure in the US and remains a ‘complimentary’ medicine and ‘alternative’ healing method, an article on BBC reports that acupuncture deactivates parts of the brain that register pain. The article, which highlights a study done on television, points out the findings of the study: with deep needling, the limbic system is deactivated.

The study was part of three-part series on complimentary medicine and showed brain scans for people having acupuncture. A control group was given superficial needling of only 1mm in the skin. Other volunteers were subjected to the normal 1cm needling of acupuncture points.

The group with deep needling showed that part of the pain matrix, the limbic system, was deactivated. Those with shallow needling showed a normal reaction to pain.

While the researchers were surprised, they still do not recommend it for anesthetic, although it is used in China. They do, however, admit that acupuncture has a huge effect on the human brain and that it can act as pain relief.

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