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January 2022

CONDITIONED HEALING WITH ELECTROACUPUNCTURE

Abstract: Increasing interest in mind-body medicine has spawned numerous methods that demonstrate the power of imagery and belief to favorably influence the course of disease. Few methods, however, link the occurrence of a healing response with a demonstrated, specific, targeted body chemical. Even hypnosis and biofeedback, which direct their effects at targeted body systems, have been hypothesized to work by means of general relaxation. Research from China has demonstrated that neuroelectric acupuncture with stimulation at specific frequencies releases neuropeptides in human cerebrospinal fluid. Combining such stimulation with imagery as the conditional stimulus opens up the possibility for a conditioning paradigm of mind-body, patient-participant healing using specific healing neurohormones. This article discusses developments leading to the scientization of traditional acupuncture and its possible mechanism as a means for such conditioned healing. The demonstrated usefulness of this technique is based on patientsÂ’ reports of symptom relief. Many variables should he considered, though ultimate verification will depend on serial sampling of cerebrospinal fluid.


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