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Researchers: Acupuncture Does Something Good

December 19, 2011

This is rare. You’ve probably heard, like we have, dozens of times, how scientists have proven that acupuncture is a bunch of hokum. (And heard dozens more times from friends, aunts, wandering musicians, etc., that “No, it really works! I quit smoking, became psychic, and had my piles cured—all from acupuncture!”)

Well, score one for Team B above, as for one of the first times we’re ever seen, a medical research team has just recently found that acupuncture does something quite good:

Acupuncture significantly reduces levels of a protein in rats linked to chronic stress, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found. They say their animal study may help explain the sense of well-being that many people receive from this ancient Chinese therapy.

Now, that’s not a complete vidication for acupuncture supporters, of course, but it is something.

And how they conducted he experiment is pretty cool, too:

Eshevari allowed the rats to become familiar with her, and encouraged them to rest by crawling into a small sock that exposed their legs. She very gently conditioned them to become comfortable with the kind of stimulation used in electroacupuncture — an acupuncture needle that delivers a painless small electrical charge. This form of acupuncture is a little more intense than manual acupuncture and is often used for pain management, she says, adding “I used electroacupuncture because I could make sure that every rat was getting the same treatment dose.”

[…]

The study utilized four groups of rats for a 14-day experiment: a control group that was not stressed and received no acupuncture; a group that was stressed for an hour a day and did not receive acupuncture; a group that was stressed and received “sham” acupuncture near the tail; and the experimental group that were stressed and received acupuncture to the Zuslanli spot on the leg.

She found NPY [the stress-linked protein] levels in the experimental group came down almost to the level of the control group, while the rats that were stressed and not treated with Zuslanli acupuncture had high levels of the .

Very interesting. (Now I need to find a really cool graphic of a stressed out rat and this post will be awesome…)

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The UJBR HOLIDAY SALE! – 30% off all books – goes until the end of December.

And Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader eBooks and new and improved mobile app just became available.

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