The central pathways of acupuncture were mapped by the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques. Interestingly, scientists discovered that the areas of brain affected by acupuncture stimulations include the hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, rostral part of the anterior cingulate cortex, the amygdale formation, and the hippocampal complex. Most of the activated areas are shared with areas activated in acute and chronic pain states (Besson 1999, Anderson et al. 1997, Casey et al. 1996, Parienet et al. 2005). This indicates that acupuncture could relieve pain by unbalancing the equilibrium of distributed pain-related central networks.
At present, acupuncture stimulation may affect peripheral tissue organization and interfere with pain signal processing along the central nervous system, either through direct signal interference or by the release of chemical substrates.
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Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.