Ever wonder how an acupuncture treatment works? A team of researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the natural compound adenosine may be crucial for the healing effects of acupuncture.
Adenosine helps to regulate sleep, is good for the heart, and is anti-inflammatory. It also has a natural pain-killing function. After an injury, the natural compound adenosine inhibits nerve signals and reduces pain levels.
"In the current study, scientists found that the chemical is also very active in deeper tissues affected by acupuncture. The Rochester researchers looked at the effects of acupuncture on the peripheral nervous system -- the nerves in our body that aren't part of the brain and spinal cord. The research complements a rich, established body of work showing that in the central nervous system, acupuncture creates signals that cause the brain to churn out natural pain-killing endorphins."
The level of adenosine in tissues near the acupuncture needles was 24 times higher during and after the acupuncture treatment than it had been before.