Research at UC Irvine, showed that needling an
acupuncture point on the foot, known as Bladder 67 which
is believed to help improve vision by Traditional
Chinese Medicine, does cause the visual cortex to
“light-up” on functional magnetic resonance imaging
Neuroscientist Seung-Schik Yoo at Brigham and Women's
Hospital has shown that when a needle is placed in a
point called Pericardium 6 on the wrist, known in
Chinese medicine as a sensitive point for nausea, the
part of the brain that controls the vestibular system
(which affects balance and nausea) lights-up on scans.
Research at HarvardMedicalSchool
by Dr. Bruce Rosen showed that needling an acupuncture
point on the hand, known as Large Intestine 4 and
believed to help ease pain, caused immediate blood flow
changes to the amygdala formation, hippocampal complex
and anterior cingulate cortex (rostral part and Brodmann
area 24) within seconds. This reduction in blood flow
correlated with calming down the very region of the
brain that controls pain, mood and cravings.
Researchers said that “the reduced blood flow could lead
to dopamine changes that trigger a cascade effect,
releasing endorphins, the brain’s natural pain-relieving
and comforting chemicals.”
·Dr. Kathleen K. S. Hui, a neuroscientist at the
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General
Hospital, has shown that acupuncture boosts levels of
serotonin, which is often deficient in people with
depression, and lowers levels of norepinephrine and
dopamine, which are often elevated in sufferers of
stress and pain.
·Research Dr. A. Paraskeva and
a team at theDepartment of Anesthesiology,
St Savas Hospital, Athens, Greece found that preoperative anxiety was significantly reduced with
acupuncture to Extra Point 1 (known for anxiety relief).
There was also significant reductions in values of the
Bispectral Index (BIS). The BIS is an EEG monitor
used by anesthesiologists in assessing degrees of
·Research has also shown acupressure to improve heart-rate
variability, which is a measure of calming within the
sympathetic nervous system that can indicate a reduction
in stress and attenuation of the “fight or flight”
oActivating specific acupressure points correlates with enhanced
oNorepinephrine came down to normal values in generalized anxiety
oBrain mapping showed that acupressure treatment resulted in a
pattern of wave normalization throughout the brain.
oParallel electrical and biochemical improvements were NOT found in
the group receiving cognitive-behavioral/medication.
What this may be suggesting includes the following:
·Activating specific acupuncture points produces specific results in
specific areas of the brain.
·The ability to calm the deep brain region known as the limbic
system could explain acupressure’s effectiveness with
trauma, anxiety and phobias.
·Acupressure-based treatment “reconditions disturbed emotional
responses to thoughts, memories and events.”
·Acupressure provides a mechanism to enhance Systematic
Desensitization protocols by producing a profound
relaxation response deep within the limbic system rather
than just at the level of peripheral muscles.
·Acupressure could be used to calm the limbic system (amygdala,
hippocampus, etc.) and prevent it from high-jacking the
frontal cortex (executive functions) so that cognitive
therapy could be more effective with trauma survivors.
Other Research findings:
·Research by psychologist Steve Wells that was published in the
September 2003 issue of the Journal of Clinical
Psychology showed that a form of acupressure-enhanced
psychotherapy was effective in treating phobias getting
results in as little as 30 minutes.
·This study has recently been replicated by Dr. Harvey Baker of
Queens College and is due to be published.
REMAP Research Pilot Study
found that Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measures greatly
improved after REMAP treatment and correlated with
client self-reports that presenting symptoms were
significantly reduced after an average of 77.5 minutes
·A small study by Dr. Charles Figley, a traumatologist with Florida
State University, was reported in the Psychotherapy
Networker and compared four of the newer treatments
thought to be effective with trauma. An
acupressure-based form of psychotherapy out performed
the other three treatments which included EMDR, NLP and
TIR (Traumatic Incident Reduction therapy). The
acupressure-based treatment provided:
More reduction in distress, as measured by a Subjective
Units of Disturbance Scale,
More time efficient treatment (less time required) and
Less likelihood for abreaction than the other methods.
·This may suggest that acupressure can enhance exposure types of
therapy by reducing the intensity of treatment and
speeding the desensitization effect.
Municipal Drive, Suite 230, Richardson, TX 75080
Steve Reed is available for
an office appointment for your counseling and
psychotherapy needs in the Dallas, Fort Worth, DFW
metroplex, including Addison, Allen, Arlington, Bedford,
Carrollton, Colleyville, Denton, Euless, Flower Mound,
Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Highland Park,
Hurst, Irving, Keller, Lake Highlands, Lewisville,
McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Richardson, Rockwall, Rowlett,
and University Park. He also offers phone appointments from
anywhere in the world. Steve is a
creator of self
for the public, and
professional training classes on new
such as REMAP,
Emotional Freedom Technique,
Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, TFT Thought Field Therapy,