Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Acupuncture The Evidence: Documentary film

This documentary is a good and entertaining examination of acupuncture from a scientific from a skeptics point of view who examines the evidence and walks away impressed.

the programme demonstrated an experiment being conducted by Hugh MacPherson, Senior Research Fellow at the University of York. This mapped the effect of acupuncture on brain structures with both MRI and MEG scanners at the newly opened York Neuroimaging Centre. kathysykes.jpg (2129 bytes) Kathy Sykes the presenter The team found that superficial needling resulted in activation of the motor areas of the cortex, a normal reaction to the sensation of touch. But with deep needling, the brain’s limbic system, which is part of the pain matrix, was deactivated, a result that could not have been predicted from what we know about neural pathways. This line of research suggests that the deactivation of the pain matrix may explain in part the mechanism by which acupuncture has an effect when used to treat chronic pain.

  • Open heart surgery with acupuncture and a local anasthetic. The patient is conscious for the whole operation.
  • Good explanation of an fMRI study of the effect of acupuncture on the brain about 50 minutes into the show.