Re: Poetry in motion (acupuncture)

Robert G. Grimes (
Thu, 15 Oct 1998 15:51:01 -0400

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 15:51:01 -0400
From: "Robert G. Grimes" <>
Subject: Re: Poetry in motion (acupuncture)


> Snipped for brevity

> Acupuncture is now more or less sorted out scientifically. The
> acupuncture effect is due to endorphin release. The needle is a
> sub-pain-threshold noxious stimulus which doesn't produce conscious
> pain but is enough to kick the endorphin centres into action.
> Acupuncture therefore produces much the same effect as a stiff dose of
> intramuscular pethidine.
> The supporting evidence for this is quite strong:
> a) local anaesthesia of the needle target area abolishes the analgesic
> effect (because there is then no stimulus from the needle)
> b) administration of naloxane, an endorphin antagonist, abolishes the
> analgesic effect (because there is a stimulus but it can't work)
> c) acupunctured rabbits have massively elevated endorphin levels
> relative to controls (no placebo effect here)
> So acupuncture works, but not by 'meridians' or 'chi energy' etc.
> Pethidine is cheaper, and produces more or less the same effect.
> Ulett et al (1998) Electroacupunture: mechanisms and clinical
> applications. Biological Psychiatry 44, 129-138.
> Derek

Thanks very much, Derek, I had read this quoted previously but never seen the citation prior
to your note and it is appreciated. The part about the Pet Scan lighting up the visual
areas whenever words related to light and vision were mentioned (at least some of them) was
the interesting part of my quote as it is apparently a phenomena that we have further
incorrect reports about.

May I refer you to a paper that you may find of interest by an acquaintance of mine...

This fellow is brilliant and the team he was on in Japan may just get a Nobel for that work
on the neutrino... There are some other very interesting papers available at that same
place if you will get to the Home page at:

Thanks again for the data...



Bob Grimes Jacksonville, Florida

Man is not in control, but the man who knows he is not in control is more in control...

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore....."

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