Two New Studies Show Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Depression

For decades, pills have been the staple medication prescribed by physicians to lessen pain and depression.

Online PR News – 20-February-2010 – – For decades, pills have been the staple medication prescribed by physicians to lessen pain and depression.

That, however, may change with two recent and promising studies.

In separate experiments, experts have discovered that acupuncture, the ancient Chinese form of therapy, can effectively reduce pain and depression.

Researchers at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School found out that acupuncture can suppress functions of certain neural structures in the brain to relieve pain. This in turn leads the brain to nullify the experience of pain.

Dr. Aziz Asghar, the study’s head, said that the results are really amazing. “Whether such brain deactivations constitute a mechanism which underlies or contributes to the therapeutic effect of acupuncture is an intriguing possibility which requires further research,” he added.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been practiced by the Chinese for 2,000 years to cure flatulence, sinusitis, migraine, muscle spasms, and other diseases.

It is now gaining recognition as an efficacious treatment for several ailments. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the zealous UK medicine watchdog, has recently recommended acupuncture as a treatment option for patients experiencing lower back pain.

Meanwhile, a study that was included in the 30th annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Chicago revealed that depression among pregnant women can be effectively treated with acupuncture.

Depression during pregnancy poses a tough dilemma for would-be mothers because anti-depression drugs can disrupt normal development of the fetus.

Experts at the acupuncture New York center suggest that the risk of miscarriage may increase upon intake of anti-depressants, especially Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Mothers who take anti-depression medication during pregnancy are also prone to give birth prematurely to underweight and sickly infants.

“The results of our study show that the acupuncture protocol we tested could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy,” Dr. Rosa Schyner, one of the authors of the study, said.

Previous studies providing scientific evidence validating the efficacy of acupuncture are plentiful.

Dr. Mike Cummings, Medical Director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, pointed that decades of brain imaging data have already shown results like those of Dr. Asghar and Schyner’s studies.

He said that activity of primitive brain parts linked with pain and suffering decrease with acupuncture.

Dr. Cummings also said that acupuncture “appears to be particularly effective at treating pain and the suffering related to pain, but it may also have some effects on mood disorders, such as depression, through its general effects on the brain.”

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