Acupuncture works by deactivating the area of the brain governing pain, a TV show will claim. Tuesday’s programme – the first of three on complementary medicine – will show researchers carrying out brain scans on people having acupuncture. The BBC Two show will also feature heart surgery done using acupuncture instead of a general anaesthetic. The patient is conscious during the operation in China, but she was given sedatives and a local anaesthetic. In Alternative Medicine: The Evidence, volunteers are subjected to deep needling, which involves needles being inserted 1cm into the back of the hand at well-known acupuncture points. A control group undergoes superficial needling with needles placed only 1mm in. Sensation The needles are then twiddled until the participants feel a dull, achy or tingling sensation. For those in the deep needling group this stimulates the nervous system. During these two procedures, the volunteers underwent brain scans to see what, if any, effect there was in the brain. The team, including leading scientists from University College London, Southampton University and the University of York, found the superficial needling resulted in activation of the motor areas of the cortex, a […]

Read the Full Article