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Study Shows Kidney 3 Acupuncture Point Improves Brain Function

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Researchers discovered that the application of an acupuncture needle at the point called Kidney 3 can directly improve specific areas of brain function.

The trial included 30 healthy participants. Half of them had acupuncture applied at Kidney 3. They were categorized as the true acupuncture group. The other half, designated as the sham acupuncture group, received acupuncture at a different location on the body.

To understand how the brain reacted to the acupuncture, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology on all of the study participants. These tests occurred before and after each acupuncture treatment.

After analyzing the results with medical software programs, researchers concluded that acupuncture at the site of Kidney 3 does directly impact certain areas of the brain relating to physical movement, perception, emotions, sight, and hearing.

Due to the nature of the affected regions of the brain, clinical applications for Kidney 3 may include treatment for certain types of neurological disorders. Symptoms that can be treated include auditory issues, cognitive dysfunctions, and the inability to mentally focus and learn.

The study entitled "Acupuncture at Kidney 3 in healthy volunteers induces specific cortical functional activity" appeared in the publication BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine in October of 2015.

Source: Zhu, B., Wang, Y., Zhang, G., Ouyang, H., Zhang, J., Zheng, Y., . . . Tang, C. (2015). Acupuncture at KI3 in healthy volunteers induces specific cortical functional activity: An fMRI study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0881-3

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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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