The mention of Linwood acupuncture brings to mind a Chinese old man poking and twisting needles at some well-thought-of point in his clients body. It’s a Chinese concept. The prick is believed to release a vital energy. They call that energy ‘qi’.
Although acupuncture is reported to benefit a myriad of diseases, it’s most popular action is that of pain relief. How it works? Researchers say they don’t know it’s mechanism of action. When I hunted for studies carried out on acupuncture, I felt that scientists were busier researching whether it works rather than how it works. So the question of how it works remains unsolved.
Many a question has been raised regarding if it works or not. One scientist points out that he thinks it’s a psychological manipulation technique, a distraction. Another says it’s a placebo.
In one study, as reported in 2006 ,one group of volunteers were subjected to deep-needling,1 cm deep, at well known acupuncture point from the back of the hand. The control group had the needle inserted just 1 mm deep. A brain scan was carried out during the procedure. 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 normal reaction to pain while deep-needling deactivated the limbic system, the seat of pain and emotions. It is to this study that scientists questioned themselves, could this just be a psychological effect?
Back in 1999 another interesting study was reported. It attempted to answer an important questions raised by scientists.” German scientists tested the therapy by treating one group of patients with acupuncture and another with a fake procedure designed to simulate its feel.” The fake procedure consisted of a needle that drew back into its handle when pressed onto the skin. This study made some say that it helped rule out the psychological effects of the needle.
In recent times, another type of fake therapy is being compared to the real acupuncture as practiced by the Chinese. This fake therapy consisted of superficial needling.
Another study as reported in March 2006, “After six weeks of treatment 47 per cent of the real acupuncture group said their treatment had reduced their attacks (migraine) by half. Some 40 per cent of those patients given drugs said the same, and the fake acupuncture treatment was effective in 39 per cent of cases.
And today BBC reports “After six months 47% of patients in the acupuncture group reported a significant improvement in pain symptoms (back pain), compared to 44% in the fake group, and just 27% in the group who received conventional therapy”.