Acupuncture and medical marijuana have been around for thousands of years. However, they didn’t have a shared connection until a group of outside-the-box thinkers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China discovered one.
Their findings, published online by the National Institutes of Health, show how electro-acupuncture – an electrified version of traditional acupuncture used to treat pain – works by increasing activity of natural painkillers in the body called cannabinoids.
The researchers say they weren’t the first to discover that acupuncture causes an increase in the body’s cannabinoids:
According to the latest reports in the American journal of Nature Neuroscience, acupuncture has been found to cause the human body to release some natural painkillers.
They were, however, the first to explain why. Using rat models of arthritis pain, the researchers found that repeated treatment with electro-acupuncture resulted in an increase in cannabinoid receptors in a part of the brain called the striatum.
That’s where it gets complicated, because the striatum is also full of dopamine cells. Previous studies show that marijuana can increase dopamine as well, and the current study seemed to confirm this. The researchers found that electro-acupuncture also led to an increase in dopamine receptors, but whether dopamine played a part in pain relief was not clear.
Overall, the rats appeared to be in less pain after receiving acupuncture – a treatment that the authors say is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for over 40 disorders.
And if cannabinoids are the reason acupuncture works for pain, then perhaps it’s time the WHO endorsed marijuana as well.
The study was conducted by researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and funded by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China , Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project, Shanghai Municipal Natural Science Foundation, and Shanghai Famous TCM academic research project.
The Science of Acupuncture Documentary
This is an amazing BBC documentary about acupuncture, an ancient Chinese therapy.
Acupuncture is a collection of procedures which involves the stimulation of points on the body using a variety of techniques, such as penetrating the skin with needles that are then manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. It is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is among the oldest healing practices in the world.
As part of the documentary, you will see a young women having open heart surgery without any anesthetics, just acupuncture. You will also see how it helps to treat migraines and many other conditions. Millions of people have started to believe that acupuncture works better than conventional medicine . This documentary explains the astonishing healing power of acupuncture and its booming market in the western world.
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