Main Menu

Georgetown Studies Seek to Further Legitimize Acupuncture Against Stress


Acupuncture is used to treat a number of different chronic illnesses, including stress, and some doctors actually specialize in medical acupuncture. Despite this, the exact mechanism of action behind acupuncture remains unknown, leaving the practice relegated to complimentary or alternative medicine.

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) thus set about carrying out studies attempting to verify acupuncture's efficacy in reducing stress hormone response in an animal model, with a view towards further legitimizing the three thousand year old practice.

According to the study's lead author, Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, an associate professor of nursing at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies:

Many practitioners of acupuncture have observed that this ancient practice can reduce stress in their patients, but there is a lack of biological proof of how or why this happens. We're starting to understand what's going on at the molecular level that helps explain acupuncture's benefit.

Eshkevari herself is a physiologist, nurse anesthetist and certified acupuncturist. She designed these rat studies to test the effect of electronic acupuncture on levels of proteins and hormones secreted by biologic pathways involved in stress response. She used electroacupuncture to ensure that each animal would receive the same treatment dose.

The spot used for the acupuncture needle is called "Zusanli," which is reported to help relieve a variety of conditions that include stress. The spot is the same on the rats as it is on humans.

Says Eshkevari,

We found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway … Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture's protective effect against the stress response.

The NPY pathway is part of the fight or flight response to stress.

Their most recent study appears in the April issue of the Journal of Endocrinology.

Source: MNT

Those who liked this article also liked...

  • addiction news thumbnailAcupuncture is an alternative medicine originating with the Chinese thousands of years ago. Now, acupuncturists have expanded their practice in a big way. Gaining popularity in the West as a holistic …
  • addiction news thumbnailColitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease within the digestive tract, usually in the colon and rectum. While there is no known cure for colitis, there are natural remedies which can help suffere…
  • addiction news thumbnailSome of us use yoga to get fit, toned bodies. Others use it as an opportunity to relax and meditate. But it turns out that yoga could be even better for our health than we thought. According to a n…
  • addiction news thumbnailIt's common knowledge to those suffering from headaches that certain scents can trigger a painful onset. However, studies have shown several scents can also bring relief when needed. Although essentia…


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

Daily Videos

In order to view the content on this page, you will need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Click here to download it. Social


Do You Take Supplements To Stay Healthy?
Yes, I take a multivitamin
Yes, I take individual vitamins
Yes, I take herbal supplements
Yes, I take various supplements
No, but I should
No, I don't believe in them
Total votes: 7086