By Audrey Quinn
Posting in Technology
Scientists at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have co-opted traditional acupuncture techniques to provide longer term pain relief.
Mark J. Zylka, a neuroscience researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, admits he had never thought much of Chinese medicine. But when he needed a better delivery method for pain relief drugs, he came across some acupuncture research that caught his eye.
Traditional acupuncture needles can stimulate the release of nucleotides in our body that convert into adenosine, which makes us less sensitive to pain. Unfortunately, that break from hurt typically lasts just a few hours.
Zylka had been working with prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), which also makes adenosine in the body. When injected into the spine, it can provide up to three days of relief from pain. But, spinal injections are invasive and have to happen in a hospital setting, making them impractical for anyone but those in excruciating pain.
Noticing the adenosine connection between acupuncture and PAP, Zylka wondered if he might be able to co-opt the ancient practice to deliver the protein. Zylka explains in a press release:
"We knew that PAP makes adenosine and lasts for days following spinal injection, so we wondered what would happen if we injected PAP into an acupuncture point? Can we mimic the pain relief that occurs with acupuncture, but have it last longer?"
His team injected PAP in typical acupuncture fashion behind the knee. Zylka found the method so successful it outlasts the pain relief of traditional acupuncture one hundred times over, providing up to six days of relief. It also lasts longer than a dose of anesthetic. He published his results today in the journal Molecular Pain.
So far Zylka's studies of PAP and acupuncture have all been in mice, so he needs to refine the technique for humans. He calls the it "PAPupuncture", and hopes it can one day provide a less invasive way, longer-lasting treatment to replace traditional anesthesia.
Photo: Gemma Vittoria/Flickr
Apr 23, 2012
Perhaps we should also look at our dietary intake of these wonderful pain dulling nutrients, namely nucleotides. This could be a way of making acupuncture even more effective at pain relief for IBS sufferers. Some foods naturally contain high levels of nucleotides, offal, meat, fish, and yeast extracts hold the greatest content. Unfortunately, the Western diet generally does not include much offal, such as liver, kidneys and tripe. Such foods are predominant in the diet of the countries, such as China, where acupuncture is used as a front-line treatment. Could the higher content of nucleotides in the diet of people in the Far East be one of the main reasons why acupuncture is so effective and therefore so predominent in the Far East?
She writes, "Unfortunately, that break from hurt typically lasts just a few hours." I've been getting acupuncture treatments for my knee for 9 months now and have experienced not only long-lasting pain relief, but also no more fluid accumulation on my knee. Typically, I don't experience improvement until a day or two after the treatment. Sometimes it seems to get worse for a day or two before a marked improvement. I don't see how using acupuncture needles to deliver drugs would be an advantage to those of us who turned to acupuncture to stop pumping drugs into our bodies.
Aloha, Acupuncture is part of a complete system of health and healing that has worked for thousands of years.While this new procedure intrigues me, I am wary of a use for acupuncture that in all of these years, the Chinese have not used.Since the Chinese Revolution, Eastern and Western medicine have been embraced. I would think that someone would have tried this before now.Moxa would be the closest thing to injecting a substance in an acupuncture point. www.newjumpwing.com
Many people have a misconception on how acupuncture works. Why do you insert a sharp needle for what reason? If you can answer this question scientifically then a whole new world opens up for the treatment with acupuncture not necessarily with a sharp needle. The whole issue turns around the increase in blood flow. Factors to be taken into account, Blood type and pH balance. Remember Dr Andrew Stanway from the U K states in his book "Alternative medicine" on acupuncture that nobody knows how it works not even the people in the East, but work it certainly does. Further he states that acupuncture works for only 80% of patients. Knowing why and how acupuncture works you can, with additional treatment, secure a 100% treatment. Santapiet
Most of people on earth do not know much about Chinese medicine. Accupuncture is a small extension of Chinese medicine. Theory is existing but subject to interpretation becuse most practicioners do not have enough background. For example why accupuncture would work for 80% is because the "shift of quie" not accupture joint. I bet