I am Dr Rebecca Dabscheck (Chinese Medicine Practitioner - Northwood Clinic of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Lane Cove, Sydney). This is my very first Blog (so bear with me). I am very excited and delighted to be able to share this article with you all! In short, this article and video aims to express what happens in the brain when acupuncture needles are inserted DEEPLY and 'DE QI' is felt by the patient when needles are inserted and given gentle manipulation.
Scientific evidence supporting Chinese Medicine is always very much welcomed, it is great when Western Science and Chinese Medicine combine to help educate other people about TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Keep in mind, more scientific studies and research is needed and some suggest the effects of acupuncture are due to the 'placebo effect'. By no means am I suggesting this article provides concrete/finite evidence of acupuncture having an effect in the brain. However, this article and video provides strong evidence towards the possibility. I hope this video helps open your mind a little more, whether being a 'first timer' to acupuncture, 'sceptic of acupuncture' or a 'convert of acupuncture'. It is great to have a discussion about this amazing discovery, or re- discovery or lets say a scientific evaluation of the human brain on acupuncture by providing measurable and quantifiable scientific evidence. Enjoy!
I stumbled upon this video a few days ago and wanted to share my enthusiasm with you all. This video provides current MRI Evidence of the 'Human Brain on Acupuncture'. The Scientific Evidence provided in this study concluded that acupuncture does in fact cause activation and most importantly de activation in certain areas of the brain. Of course, further research is needed. Never the less, this is very exciting news.
This video provides patient examples or 'case studies' such as a man suffering from shoulder pain for 6 months which had not been properly alleviated by steroid medication and turned to acupuncture and reaped its benefits. Another lady reported into the clinic with high cholesterol and wanted to stop smoking as she feared having a heart attack or stroke and was surprised by the instant results. So much so, when she lit up a cigarette after the acupuncture treatment and it made her feel ill. This is great for someone who was wanting to stop smoking. Lastly, a War Veteran sought Ear Acupuncture after complaining of a constant headache for many months as a result of a head trauma. The result "in 80% of the patients pain is dramatically reduced" and "5 needles placed in each ear for 20-25 minutes, that's required only once a month in an effort to keep his headaches away for life". These are only some examples, even though, diagnosis is individual, confidential and personal and each patients results from Chinese Medicine treatments may vary accordingly.
Now the most important part, the MRI results! I will break down the important little bits of information for you all. The study starts with a base line test and then acupuncture needles are inserted deeply into a nominated acu-point and then slightly manipulated to induce 'de qi' a slight dull ache like sensation which can be felt by the patient.
The results concluded, through deep needling and manipulation of an acupuncture needle until 'de qi' is felt, different parts of the brain light up, causing deactivation of certain parts of the brain known as (the limbic system 'pain matrix'- a deep structure of the brain), this part(s) responsible for pain in the body. Meaning, deactivation/decreasing neural activity in this area of the brain which may be associated with pain, as the Limbic System is responsible for how we experience pain. Meaning the sub cortex, deep within the brain (which is a very difficult thing to achieve, even with some medication) is deactivated. This can also help people suffering from stroke or fear related anxiety through deactivating this region of the brain.
Do not be alarmed however, It is important to note, Superficial Needling is also very beneficial for patient, which this article and video does not discuss. Many Japanese styles of acupuncture practice this theory and sometimes no needle is inserted. This does not mean superficial needling has little or no effects. The video makes a small reference to areas of the brain which are activated when acupuncture needles are inserted superficially. Hopefully, in the future this will also be addressed, as this is just the beginning of something big.
I will leave it there, as there is a lot to digest for you, but it is very exciting none the less that modern day Scientists are discovering measurable and quantifiable scientific evidence for how acupuncture does work in the brain. However, more scientific research and evidence is needed in this area and many more areas of Chinese Medicine.
Thank you! Talk Again Soon :)
Dr Rebecca Dabscheck
(Chinese Medicine Practitioner)
** Please note, if you are experiencing any medical conditions or concerns please seek Medical Care or consult your Doctor immediately.
This article and more information can be found in the article link below: