MRI and CT scans demonstrate acupuncture points.
Australian-first research conducted at the University of NSW in 2010 showed that acupuncture prompts changes in brain activity, with different parts of the brain being activated by different acupuncture points. The “mood regulation” areas of the brain were also activated, pointing to a possible and potent treatment for depression.
This research indicates by what mechanism acupuncture possibly works. This demonstrated effect on the brain, which is the control centre for human physiological functions, could well explain the broad range of effect on human physiology. Whilst there is already extensive documentation of observed clinical phenomena, this research is possibly the first to provide graphic evidence in the form of MRI scans. Added to that evidence is the fact that acupuncture has the potential for both stimulatory and calming effects – a fact well understood by those who practice acupuncture.
Details about the research can be found in this link: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0032960 (includes images)
The article includes a Magnetic Resonance Image of commonly used acupuncture points before, during and after stimulation. The red spots indicate the portion of the brain which was activated, and the blue spots indicate the portion of the brain which has been calmed.
An article on the research, “Acupuncture Shown to Stimulate the Brain”, written by medical writer Danny Rose appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and can be found in this link: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/acupuncture-shown-to-stimulate-the-brain-20100914-15aou.html
More recent research has used CT scans to demonstrate the existence of acupuncture points. The scans revealed that the anatomical structure of acupuncture points differs from that of normal tissue. This was published in January 2014 by the Healthcare Medicine Institute in article titled: “New CT Scans Reveal Acupuncture Points”:
A CT (computerized tomography) scan is a series of X-rays used to create cross-sectional images. In this study published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used in-line phase contrast CT imaging with synchrotron radiation on both non-acupuncture points and acupuncture points. The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures.
Acupuncture points have a higher density of micro-vessels and contain a large amount of involuted microvascular structures. The non-acupuncture points did not exhibit these properties.
The researchers note that the state-of-the-art CT imaging techniques used in this study allow for improved three-dimensional (3D) imaging of a large field of view without artifacts. This greatly improves imaging of soft tissue and allowed the researchers to make this important discovery.
To read the entire article, please follow this link: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1230-new-ct-scans-reveal-acupuncture-points