ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lose Nutritional Luster Over Time
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
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Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works

(HealthDay News) -- Traditional Chinese acupuncture, increasingly popular in the West for a variety of ills, eases pain by regulating key receptors in the brain, according to a new study.

The study showed that acupuncture increases the binding availability of mu-opioid receptors in regions of the brain that process and weaken pain signals -- specifically the cingulate, insula, caudate, thalamus and amygdala. By directly stimulating these chemicals, acupuncture can affect the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain, the study found.

A report on the findings is in the September issue of NeuroImage.

Using positron emission tomography scans of the brain, the researchers examined 20 women with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. The women took no new medications for their pain during the study period.

"The increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with reductions in pain," Richard Harris, a researcher at the University of Michigan's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a news release from the university.

What's more, Harris said, the findings could prompt doctors to use morphine and other opioid drugs with greater pain-killing effectiveness after treatment with acupuncture because those drugs bind to the same receptors.

Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 2,000 years. Practitioners insert sharp, thin needles into the body at specific points. Today, people worldwide turn to acupuncture for relief from pain, allergies, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders and gynecological problems.

Chinese healers claim that acupuncture and traditional remedies work by altering the flow of the body's energy. Practitioners of Western medicine, which follows a more scientific approach, have been investigating exactly how acupuncture works -- or may not work -- for a number of years.

SOURCES: University of Michigan Medical School, news release, August 2009