A recent study conducted by Indiana University School of Medicine has demonstrated that electroacupuncture can trigger a neural mechanism that promotes tissue repair and relieves injury-induced pain. The researchers conducted a series of laboratory tests using human, equine, and rodent subjects, to track the effects of electroacupuncture. They found that the stimulation of fine needles in electroacupuncture promotes the release of restorative mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the bloodstream.
The study showed that after 9 to 22 minutes of electroacupuncture, depending on the species tested, the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls neurological and unconscious bodily functions, is activated. This activation directs signals to the stem cell microenvironment, leading to the release of MSCs into the bloodstream within 2 hours.
According to Fletcher A. White, PhD, co-author of the paper and chief of the Department of Anesthesiology at Indiana University, “The pinprick stimulation we administered to these animals rapidly affected the neural pathways that associate stimulation sites in the arm with reactive neurons in the spinal cord and hypothalamic regions in the brain. The hypothalamus then directs the emitted signals to the stem cell microenvironment, which leads to MSC release.”
The researchers found that electroacupuncture treatment increases the levels of a collagen protein, which promotes tendon repair and anti-inflammatory cell production. This collagen, in turn, leads to higher injury-induced pain thresholds. The presence of anti-inflammatory cells is known to predict faster healing.
The findings of this study, published in the journal Stem Cells on March 16, 2017, provide new insights into the healing properties of stem cells and a comprehensive picture of how electroacupuncture stimulates the brain to promote stem cell release.
In OTCM, we mainly apply electroacupuncture in muscle pain, cervical deformation, Stroke, and many other acute conditions, such Diarrhea.