Longtime critics of eastern medicine may have to eat their words as a new study from the Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine at University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany has found. If the study is reproduced and found to have the same results, it means that all the years people have been performing acupuncture, they have definitely been making chemical and biological changes to the body on top of any inherent psychological ones.
The study took several participants and divided them into two groups. Those in the acupuncture group received a normal acupuncture therapy session administered by a trained practitioner. The control group took no acupuncture, and was simply laying on a table. As each participant was put under an MRI scan, mild electric shocks were applied to both groups. The findings astounded scientists.
Those who had undergone the acupuncture treatment were showing signs of vastly reduced pain while those who had received no acupuncture treatment showed no change. The control group was still feeling the mild electric shocks, and the brain’s chemistry was reflecting the temporary discomfort. Those with the acupuncture, however, were barely registering any pain at all. Since acupuncture is a multimillion dollar industry with thousands of practitioners in the United States and vastly more working throughout the world, the results came as much sought vindication for advocates of the ancient practice.
And so yet another aspect of homeopathic medicine has been vindicated. The project, which was funded in Germany where homeopathic medicine is widely practiced to an extent even more so than in the United States gives us a clear picture into just what exactly the ancient art does to the brain. Now, the only question remaining is why it does anything at all. Of course acupuncture has been practiced in Asia for centuries and is still considered a mainstream treatment of pain there, suggesting that by channeling energy between different points of the body it can not only reduce pain, but also promote healing. If the method is discovered to work on both levels, could we soon see it practiced more widely in hospitals in the United States?
Interestingly, one of the appeals of Acupuncture is that it allows patients to reduce the amount of pain they feel without the use of addictive drugs. Additionally it allows patients the ability to seek treatment as needed, even with women who may be pregnant. As the process does not seem to be chemical in nature, it doesn’t actually adversely affect pregnant women in any way or harm their children. It has, in fact, been used in this capacity for over two and a half thousand years. Additionally, some advocated of acupuncture have suggested that the technique not only works in conjunction with traditional medications well, it actually compounds the positive effects of pain reducing medication significantly.
And so if acupuncture is given vindication, it may be possible to discover other homeopathic methods for healing that work perfectly without the need for often dangerous and detrimental chemical consumption.