Archive for December, 2010


The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has a site up now that provides qualified ‘facts’ on using acupuncture for pain, with a real focus on the evidence to support it.  If you’re interested in using acupuncture for pain relief, check out the NIH’s site at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm.


Very cool new development in free online technology for those of us who are in the healing arts, or are simply interested in the beauty and complexity of the human body.  Good has made BodyBrowser, a sort of 3-D mapping of the human body.  Check out http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/ (you may need the latest version of a Firefox or Google Chrome browser for it to work properly).  Use the bar on the left side of the screen to move  through the different systems of the body, and click anywhere (or even search) to get more info.  Quite cool, for a medical nerd like me.


A new study in the Archives of Opthamology proves that acupuncture is effective on children with a ‘lazy eye’ (also called amblyopia).  Amblyopia affects an estimated  .3 to 5 percent of people worldwide, according to the study. It occurs when one eye is weaker than the other and the vision signals from the weaker eye are improperly processed by the brain.  Amblyopia happens when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood, according the National Institutes of Health (NIH).   This leads to the abnormal eye sends a blurred image or the wrong image to the brain. This confuses the brain and the brain may learn to ignore the image from the weaker eye  according to the NIH. Characteristics of the condition include eyes that do not appear to work together, including one eye turning in or out.  The patient may have poor vision in one eye and have difficulty with depth perception.

For more on this study, from CNN, click here


People who engage in Zen meditation do feel pain, new research reveals, but they don’t think about it as much.The observation could have a bearing on the treatment of chronic pain among patients struggling with the impact of conditions such as arthritis and back pain.

The findings are from a recent study in the medical journal Pain. Compared with an equal number of non-meditating study participants, the researchers found that highly experienced meditators reported lower pain responses, as well as less activity in those parts of the brain (the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus) that are linked to cognitive processes, emotion and memory.

For a more complete summary of this article, click here.

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