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Medical Acupuncture: When Acupuncture meet Science

Medical Acupuncture: When Acupuncture meet Science
Medical Acupuncture Introduction

From the classic acupuncture that was originally coming from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), now, let’s move to the next subject, which is the medical acupuncture. The most important question is what medical acupuncture really is.

In the simplest term, medical acupuncture is the traditional acupuncture that has been integrated into modern science. Using biomedical principal, scientifically clinical test, as well as Evidence-Based Medicine in its theory and clinical practice, this integration can be done perfectly.

The medical acupuncture learns and studies the mechanism of the inserting method of the acupuncture needle on the local, segmental, and central spot that is located in the brain. So, this process can stimulate the hormone and other substance production that has a healing effect.

The Story Behind Medical Acupuncture

Medical Faculty of Indonesia University (FKUI)
Medical Faculty of Indonesia University (FKUI)

The medical acupuncture study started in 1996. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remove the status of acupuncture needle as the experimental medical tool and acknowledge it as the official tool that has similar use ,like a scalpel or hypodermic syringe.

Then a year after that (1997), National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that there are scientific proofs about acupuncture effectiveness for several critical medical situations. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) in their consensus also accepted acupuncture as one of the treatment methods.

There are also many big medical institutions in the USA, like Harvard, Stanford, John Hopkins, and Columbia, offered the chance to learn acupuncture. They provide the acupuncture as one of the programs in their medical curriculum. In Indonesia itself, a student can learn more about medical acupuncture and become a specialist in this field in the Medical Faculty of Indonesia University (FKUI). The graduated will be able to get Sp.Ak as their degree.

Research of Medical Acupuncture


Many kinds of research and studies also support acupuncture. Many of them explain the mechanism of acupuncture is actually based on neuroscience. Below, we have several explanations that will give you a clear image of the acupuncture.

First of all, Niboyet, in the 1940s – 1950s, also found the relation between acupoint and lowered skin electrical resistance. The location of the point uses the traditional Chinese pattern, which is symmetrical location, except the spot in the body’s midline.

In 1975, Rabischong and Bossy found the different part, where the lowered electrical resistance affected by the moisture and electrolytes and doesn’t’ related to the nervous system. They do it by using fresh cadavers as the research subject.

The other researchers, Darras, injected technitium99 to the acupoint and non-acupuncture points. This researcher found that the acupoint makes the substance spread just like traditional channel paths. While the non-acupuncture points shape centrifugal pattern.

Neurohormonal Mechanism

Neurohormonal Mechanisme of Medical Acupuncture
Neurohormonal Mechanisme of Medical Acupuncture

Many studies also has been found the acupuncture central nervous system effect mechanism . Moreover, it has a connection to the neurohormonal mechanism. Here is the evidence:

  1. The acupuncture analgesia doesn’t work on the opiate antagonist
  2. There is no effect of acupuncture analgesia on lab animal that has fewer opiate receptors or endorphic production
  3. Short-period acupuncture analgesia on the subject with lack of central endorphins
  4. The effect increase by increasing the enzyme degradation of the endorphin molecules
  5. The recipient of cerebrospinal fluid from an animal that got acupuncture can evoke acupuncture analgesia, which blocked by opiate antagonists in recipient animal

Since the 1970s, the Western researchers find out that acupuncture can stimulate the endorphins. Dr. Kathleen K. S. Hui, a neuroscientist at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, supported this finding.

The University of California’s researchers also found the effect of acupuncture by using acupoint on the side of the foot. This practice makes the visual cortex in the brain affected that was seen through MRI. Seung-Schik Yoo, a neuroscientist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital also show the effect in the brain when a needle is inserted in the pericardium 6 acupoints which are located on the wrist.


So, after you read the explanation above, you will realize that the medical acupuncture explanation can’t be separated from the researches, which is the basis of scientific acupuncture.

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