RESEARCH + RESOURCES
Different studies have tracked the levels of endorphins in the blood during acupuncture treatments and found increased levels of beta-endorphins while patients are simultaneously reporting decreased pain levels. Interestingly enough, when you inject people with the anti-morphine drug Naloxone, the effects of acupuncture are significantly reduced.
A recent study recorded changes in brain activity for specific acupuncture points located on different channels or meridians. Overall, the data showed that acupuncture mainly influenced the brain activity of the somatosensory areas, motor areas, auditory areas, visual areas, cerebellum, the limbic system, and higher cognitive areas. The brain maps of each specific acupuncture point differ considerably from one another, however, the acupuncture points located on the same meridians showed similarities in the brain map. For example, the vision related points GB37 and UB60 showed deactivation in the visual areas such of the brain such as the cuneus.
Characterizing Acupuncture Stimuli Using Brain Imaging with fMRI
In a study of 70 patients suffering from tension and migraine headaches, the application of wet-cupping improved 95 percent of the cases reducing the severity of the headaches by an average of 66 percent, and the patients experienced the equivalent of 12.6 fewer days of headache per month.
This same group of researchers evaluated eight RCT’s involving 651 patients on wet-cupping therapy for the treatment of herpes zoster. The meta-analysis found that the wet-cupping therapy was superior to western medication, and also reduced the incidence of post-herpetic neuralgia.