SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — A joint research team of South Korean and American researchers has scientifically proven the effects of acupuncture by observing changes to brain structure.
Researchers from the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine and the Harvard Medical School announced Thursday that they had verified the hypothesis that acupuncture heals the senses in the waist by stimulating the brain’s primary sensory cortex in a patient with chronic lower back pain.
Patients with lower back pain suffer from deteriorating senses in the waist, which can be seen as a gauge of how much a patient’s lower back pain has healed.
The research team first confirmed through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan that deteriorating senses in the waist leads to an increasing mass of grey matter in the part of the primary sensory cortex that deals with the waist.
Then, the team gave a four-week acupuncture treatment to 78 patients with lower back pain, and observed the changes in brain structure.
The team observed a patient group that received authentic acupuncture treatment (18 people), those that received a placebo acupuncture treatment (37 people), and those who did not receive any acupuncture treatment (23 people), to discover that only the group that received authentic acupuncture treatment saw improvement in the primary sensory cortex.
By stimulating two designated waist areas, the research team measured the sensitivity in each patient’s waist, which showed that the patient group that received authentic acupuncture treatment saw an 18.5 percent improvement in sensitivity in the waist.
On the other hand, those that received a placebo acupuncture treatment and those who did not receive any acupuncture treatment saw a 4.9 percent drop in sensitivity in the waist.
In a study to measure the patient’s everyday discomfort caused by lower back pain, the group that received authentic acupuncture treatment felt 11 percent less discomfort than others (4.6 percent).
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)