Effects of acupuncture on the brain’s limbic system

A few years ago a BBC researcher made a programme that summarizes the objective scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture. During the research the programme team undertook a study to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the brain using MRI scans. To their surprise they discovered that acupuncture has a profound effect on the inner limbic system of the brain which may account for its effectiveness in reducing stress and help control pain. The effect on the brain was brought about through the use of a single acupuncture point in the hand. This point is called ‘Hegu’, ‘Joining Valley’ in English, and it is a commonly used point for all manner of ailments, including facial pain, colds and flu, stress, anxiety and IBS.

The research team made a film of their work which was broadcast. The film also explored two major research projects that had recently been carried out showing the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating migranes and osteoarthritis.

BBC Documentary “The Science of Acupuncture” follows Professor Kathy Sykes from Bristol University as she investigates how and why science is beginning to respond to centuries old remedies.

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