The Wonderful World of Acupuncture

It’s not always good to be afraid of needles. A recent study’s findings have discovered new benefits from this thousand year old remedy. The ambitious study points at evidence that acupuncture may alleviate chronic pains. Much has been said about acupuncture in the past; some mention that it is one of the best remedies to quit smoking, while others assure that it has helped them lose weight. However, no other previous study had registered acupuncture’s benefits regarding chronic pains.


PHOTO CREDITS: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/3275938612/

A study financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and published by the medical journal “Archives of Internal Medicine”, mentions that acupuncture may help greatly reduce arthritis symptoms, migraine, and even chronic back problems. Andrew Vickers, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York, made a series of random, controlled tests in 17.922 patients from the U.S., Spain, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. More than half of the patients who received acupuncture therapy reported having felt much better afterwards.

During the research, Vickers collected previous findings regarding acupuncture and its benefits. Many different techniques were used on the therapies for this research, extending the investigation to a total of 6 years. On some of the tests, Dr. Vickers ordered “false” acupuncture (needles that are inserted superficially); on others she was certain to use the real ancient methods (on which needles are fully inserted on the patient’s body). “We found that real acupuncture was vastly superior to its false counterpart for chronic pain problems”, Dr. Vickers published on the journal. Vickers also mentioned that some of the patients experienced certain placebo effects, but there still was robust evidence that shows true acupuncture’s benefits. Some scientists have previously called acupuncture a joke or pseudo science.  Others mention that the therapy’s benefits are due to the body’s release of endorphins, after being stuck by needles. Endorphins are pleasure inducing, painkilling chemicals that saturate our brains and numb pain signals.

One of the reasons for this new research’s success was the fact that Dr. Vickers wasn’t satisfied with just reading and gathering previous discoveries on the subject. Along with her team of scientists, she selected 29 random studies about acupuncture’s benefits. They proceeded to contact the authors of such studies. The team then had access to raw data that was analyzed alongside their own research’s findings. Their conclusions were much more precise and reliable with this method.

If acupuncture works and doesn’t seem to lead to any adverse effects, needle therapy may not be such a weird idea after all.

Hello, My name is Amy Koh, a web designer based out of Singapore. I work with VirtualPersonalAssistants.org, a Virtual Assistant company in Atlanta and I come from a long line of acupuncturist in my family. If you’re interested, drop me a line on our website, or just click here.

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