Acupuncture May Reduce Chronic Pain, Says New Study

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Check out this post about the health benefits of cupuncture by Deborah Huso on AOL Health.

While plenty of people who receive acupuncture for the relief of chronic pain swear by its effectiveness, the western medical community has long remained skeptical of this increasingly popular alternative treatment. More and more research studies, however, are confirming the idea that acupuncture has its place in western medicine. The latest, a study out of the University Hospital in Essen, Germany, suggests that acupuncture transforms the way the brain processes pain.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers led by Dr. Nina Theysohn from the University Hospital’s department of diagnostic and interventional radiology and neuroradiology were able to observe the areas of the brain that typically deal with pain perception and response. By studying 18 healthy volunteers who received an electronic pain stimulus to their left ankles, radiologists discovered that when acupuncture needles were placed on the right side of the subjects’ bodies, the activation of the brain’s pain processing areas was substantially reduced.

Theysohn’s findings were presented at the Radiological Society of North America‘s annual meeting Tuesday in Chicago.

The results of this latest study, though small, are no surprise to Dr. Daniel Hsu, a doctor of acupuncture and herbal medicine at New York AcuHealth. “This is just one more in a growing number of studies that confirm acupuncture helps with chronic pain,” he told AOL Health Wednesday morning.

Keep reading on AOL Health.

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