Exploring The Science Behind Medical Acupuncture
"Understanding acupuncture in the same manner that we understand the mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics of a particular drug will, similarly, enable us to match treatments better with conditions," states Guest Editor Richard F. Hobbs, III, MD. "The net effect will be improved outcomes," he writes in his editorial "Basic Science Matters."
In the editorial "Basic Science: Mysteries and Mechanisms of Acupuncture," Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Acupuncture, a retired Air Force Colonel and current Director of the USAF Acupuncture Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, suggests that natural events have scientific explanations and that "the two explanations - one scientific, the other environmental - might both elucidate how acupuncture works."
The issue includes a Review article by John Longhurst, MD, PhD, University of California, Irvine, entitled "Acupuncture's Cardiovascular Actions: A Mechanistic Perspective." The article describes how acupuncture's effects on cardiovascular function can decrease elevated blood pressure, improve blood flow, and relieve pain.
Steven Harte, PhD and colleagues from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) report the results of a study aimed at understanding the differences in patient responses to traditional vs. sham acupuncture. They used pressure-pain testing to identify patients who may be less likely to respond to sham acupuncture based on levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. The study is described in the article "Pressure Pain Sensitivity and Insular Combined Glutamate and Glutamine (Glx) Are Associated with Subsequent Clinical Response to Sham But Not Traditional Acupuncture in Patients Who Have Chronic Pain." *
Keith Spaulding, ND, MAc and coauthors assessed the electrophysiological differences between actual and nearby (or sham) acupuncture points in the article "Acupuncture Needle Stimulation Induces Changes in Bioelectric Potential."
Visit our Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Liebert, Mary Ann. "Exploring The Science Behind Medical Acupuncture." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Apr. 2013. Web.
5 Feb. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/259226.php>
Liebert, M. (2013, April 18). "Exploring The Science Behind Medical Acupuncture." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.