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Press releases

Brain scanning techniques were used to demonstrate acupuncture's impact is more than just a placebo by researchers at the University of Southampton and UCL.

The results showed that real acupuncture elicits a demonstrable physiological response in the brain distinctly different from that occurring when the patient has an expectation or belief in the treatment.

Thursday, 31 March 2005 15:04

Acupuncture lowers blood pressure

U.S. researchers at the University of California have found that acupuncture treatment lowers raised blood pressure in rats by as much as 50%.
The researchers inserted needles into specific points on the forelimbs of rats with artificially elevated blood pressure and applied a small, low frequency electrical current. The blood pressure of the rats decreased by between 40 and 50%.
They are now testing to see whether the technique will have the same effect in humans with high blood pressure.

A research team from Gothenburg, Sweden, has found that acupuncture is effective at relieving pelvic pain during pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain is common among pregnant women with one in three affected suffering severe pain.

A recent clinical trial from Stanford University in the U.S. has found that 70% of women studied responded positively to treatment with acupuncture for depression during pregnancy.

Sixty-one pregnant women with major depressive disorder were studied in this double blinded controlled trial, with the researchers concluding that "acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy"

Acupuncture, used as a complementary therapy to drugs, is a more effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis than medication alone, says a Spanish study in the latest British Medical Journal.

The research team treated 88 knee osteoarthritis patients with diclofenac - a standard anti-inflammatory painkiller. Half the patients received 12 weekly acupuncture treatments as well, selecting acupuncture points on the basis of traditional treatment methods, while the other half had sham acupuncture that did not penetrate their skin.
At the end of treatment, it was found that those who received real acupuncture had taken less of their pain medication than those who had fake acupuncture. Yet they had less pain, less stiffness, and better physical function.

(BMJ 2004;329:1216 20 November)

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