The May issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia acknowledges acupuncture as a viable method of treating pain. Acupuncture has been performed for thousands of years but science hasn't trusted it. Now these test results have given some data that scientists think they can use.
Dr. Philip Lang and his colleagues at the University of Munich measured the changes in pain sensitivity after performing acupuncture on volunteers. Each volunteer was given acupuncture in one leg. Findings were that pain thresholds went up by as much as 50 percent, in both the treated and untreated leg.
"The results pointed to two nerve fibers-the 'A delta' pain fibers and the 'C' pain fibers-as being specifically affected by acupuncture. Although the effects were modest, the researchers believe they provide the basis for future studies in individuals with chronic pain, where the effects might be more dramatic."
The study dealt with three forms of acupuncture. Manual acupuncture needling, acupuncture with high-frequency electrical stimulation, and acupuncture with low-frequency electrical stimulation.