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“CT Scans Capture Acupuncture Point Discovery”

This is a recent headline in the world of acupuncture research. In other words, researchers can see the points. This has been done before with the use of MRI, ultrasound, thermal photography and earlier methods of CT scans, which are basically tricked out x-rays. Images are taken from different angles and then combined to show bones and tissues, including blood vessels. The article, which can be found at http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1418-ct-scan-acupuncture-point-discovery, notes the following:

  • Acupuncture points are surrounded by small, unique vascular structures which are not found on non-acupuncture points
  • Acupuncture points vary in size
  • There is higher oxygen pressure in the acupuncture point locations
  • Both the immediate and long-term effects of acupuncture may be related to how treatment affects nerve bundles, which travel in a unique manner around acupuncture points

What does it all mean? Does it even matter? The answers to those questions depend on who you are. Research or no research, millions of people have received benefit from acupuncture treatment. Many of them were at the end of their rope regarding their health and activities of daily living and were consequently more interested in results than research. However, some of you may be on the fence about receiving acupuncture. “How can I know it works?” “Is it voodoo?” (It’s not voodoo.) In those cases, this research is for you.

I feel sometimes that the work that I do as an acupuncturist is similar to that of a meteorologist. Instead of measuring barometric pressure, I look at the tongue. Instead of measuring water vapor content or wind speed, I take your pulse. The body, like the earth, is a swirling mass of energy which follows predictable patterns. Interruption in these patterns leads to predictable and sometimes deadly results. The work of an acupuncturists is different, however, in that we can influence that energy. Imagine what could be salvaged if meteorologists were able to stand above the world and insert a little needle into a hurricane and smooth out the chaos!

So while the visual discovery of acupuncture points may not be crucial to your health, if it helps you (or someone you care about) decide to give it a chance, then this research is time well-spent.

You may also enjoy the following:
acupuncture’s effects on the brain (MRI, treatment related to migraines) http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/526-acupuncturemrimigrainepointspeci
Acupuncture’s effects on the body: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/505-mriacupunctureceuspoint
Interesting image of acupuncture’s effect on inflammation in the knee http://rivertownacupuncture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/knee.gif

 

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