Acupuncture's painkilling secret
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Acupuncture's painkilling secret

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Acupuncture's painkilling secret Acupuncture's painkilling secret Document Transcript

  • Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist actionLevel 3 Advanced 1 WarmerIn one minute, write down as many words as you can that are related to acupuncture.Then quickly skim the text to find out how many of your words are mentioned. 2 Key wordsFind the key words in the text and write them next to their meanings. The paragraph numbers are given tohelp you.1. animal feet that are painful or uncomfortable _______________________ (two words, para 3)2. made something happen _______________________ (para 4)3. something that reduces inflammation _______________________ (para 4)4. having doubts about something that other people think is true or right _______________________ (para 6)5. to make something less painful, severe or serious _______________________ (para 7)6. to make a problem become worse _______________________ (para 7)7. a substance that is not medicine but that a patient who is taking it believes is medicine, and so gets better _______________________ (para 7)8. prevented something from happening or progressing normally _______________________ (para 8)9. nerves, for example in your skin, that send messages to your central nervous system _______________________ (para 10)10. moved in a circle around a fixed central point _______________________ (para 11) D • TE DE E SI A L EB LO B W N IA© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010 M W P O DO O FR BE C N T ONEWS LESSONS / Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist action / Advanced O H •P CA
  • Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist actionLevel 3 Advanced Acupuncture’s painkilling secret 8 “The view that acupuncture has little benefit revealed: it’s all in the twist action beyond the placebo effect has really hampered research into the technique,” said Maiken Ian Sample, science correspondent Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University 31 May, 2010 of Rochester medical centre in New York state,1 Ever since Chinese doctors first poked their who led the study. patients with sharp objects 4,000 years ago and 9 “Some people think any work in this area is charged them for the pleasure, acupuncture has junk research, but I think that’s wrong. I was been shrouded in mystery. really surprised at the arrogance of some of2 Tradition has it that the procedure works by my colleagues. We can benefit from what has improving the flow of qi along invisible energy been learned over many thousands of years,” channels called meridians, but research published Nedergaard said. “I believe we’ve found the main today points to a less mystical explanation for the mechanism by which acupuncture relieves pain. painkilling claims of acupuncture. Adenosine is a very potent anti-inflammatory compound and most chronic pain is caused3 The answer, according to a team of scientists by inflammation.” in New York, follows an extraordinary study in which researchers gave regular acupuncture 10 The scientists gave each mouse a sore paw by sessions to mice with sore paws. injecting it with an inflammatory chemical. Half of the mice lacked a gene that is needed to4 After each half-hour session the mice felt less make adenosine receptors, which are found on discomfort in their paws because the needles major nerves. triggered the release of a natural painkiller, the researchers say. The needles caused 11 The therapy session involved inserting a fine tissue damage that stimulated cells to produce needle into an acupuncture point in the knee adenosine, an anti-inflammatory chemical, that above each mouse’s sore foot. In keeping with was effective for up to an hour after the therapy traditional practice, the needles were rotated was over. periodically throughout the half-hour session.5 Modern acupuncture involves inserting fine 12 To measure how effective the acupuncture was, needles into the skin at specific points around the the researchers recorded how quickly each body. The needles are pushed in a few millimetres mouse pulled its sore paw away from a small, and then heated, twisted or even electrified to bristly brush. The more pain the mice were in, produce their claimed medical effects. the faster they pulled away.6 Acupuncture has spread around the world since 13 Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, originating in China, but conventional western Nedergaard’s team describes how acupuncture medicine has remained steadfastly sceptical. reduced pain by two-thirds in normal mice, but Although there is now good evidence that had no effect on the discomfort of mice that acupuncture can relieve pain, many of the other lacked the adenosine receptor gene. Without health benefits acupuncturists claim are on adenosine receptors, the mice were unable to shakier ground. respond to the adenosine released when cells were damaged by acupuncture needles.7 The latest research gives doctors a sound explanation of how sticking needles into the skin 14 Acupuncture had no effect in either group of can alleviate, rather than exacerbate, pain. The mice if the needles were not rotated, suggesting discovery will challenge the view, widely held that the tissues had to be physically damaged to among scientists, that any benefits a patient release adenosine. Nedergaard said that twisting feels after acupuncture are due purely to the the needles seems to cause enough damage to placebo effect. make cells release the painkilling chemical. D • TE DE E SI A L EB LO B W N IA© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010 M W P O DO O FR BE C N T ONEWS LESSONS / Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist action / Advanced O H •P CA
  • Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist actionLevel 3 Advanced This is then picked up by adenosine receptors it has not been understood completely, many on nearby nerves, which react by damping people have remained sceptical.” down pain. Further tests on the mice revealed 17 Although the study explains how acupuncture that levels of adenosine increased 24-times in can alleviate pain, it does not explain the the tissues around the acupuncture needles other health benefits that some practitioners during and immediately after each session. believe the procedure can achieve. Josephine15 One of the longstanding mysteries surrounding Briggs, the director of the national centre for acupuncture is why the technique only seems to complementary and alternative medicine at alleviate pain if needles are inserted at specific the US National Institutes of Health, said, “It’s points. Nedergaard believes that most of these clear that acupuncture may activate a number acupuncture points are along major nerve tracks of different mechanisms … It’s an interesting and, as such, are parts of the body that have contribution to our growing understanding of plenty of adenosine receptors. acupuncture.”16 “There is an attitude among some researchers © Guardian News & Media 2010 that studying alternative medicine is First published in The Guardian, 31/05/2010 unfashionable,” said Nedergaard. “Because 3 Comprehension check: Describing a processMake notes about the experiment described in the article. Use the passive form in your notes aboutthe stages. The experiment: Purpose of the experiment: Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Conclusions of the experiment: 1. 2. D • TE DE E SI A L EB LO B W N IA© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010 M W P O DO O FR BE C N T ONEWS LESSONS / Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist action / Advanced O H •P CA View slide
  • Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist actionLevel 3 Advanced 4 Language: Therapies and practitionersComplete the table with the names of the practitioners trained in each therapy. You may use a dictionary orthe internet. name of therapy name of practitioner 1. acupuncture 2. phytotherapy (herbalism) 3. homeopathy 4. massage 5. reflexology 6. aromatherapy 7. hypnosis 8. naturopathy 9. chiropractic 5 DiscussionWhich of the therapies and treatments above are available in your country/area?Does your health insurance cover the cost of any of them?Which of the above practitioners would you consider going to? 6 WebquestLook on the internet for acupuncturists in your area/country. What services do they offer? What aretheir fees?Watch a video and read more about acupuncture on these websites:The British Acupuncture Councilhttp://www.acupuncture.org.uk/index.php(This website includes an excellent short video introduction to acupuncture.)The American Academy of Medical Acupuncturehttp://www.medicalacupuncture.org/ D • TE DE E SI A L EB LO B W N IA© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010 M W P O DO O FR BE C N T ONEWS LESSONS / Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist action / Advanced O H •P CA View slide
  • Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist actionLevel 3 AdvancedKEY2 Key words on the discomfort of mice that lacked the adenosine receptor gene.1. sore paws 2. Acupuncture had no effect in either group of mice2. triggered if the needles were not rotated. This suggested that3. anti-inflammatory the tissues had to be physically damaged to4. sceptical release adenosine.5. alleviate6. exacerbate7. placebo 4 Language: Therapies and practitioners8. hampered9. receptors name of therapy name of practitioner10. rotated 1. acupuncture acupuncturist 2. phytotherapy phytotherapist / (herbalism) herbalistTeacher’s notes 3. homeopathy homeopath / homeopathicAdenosine practitionerAdenosine plays an important role in biochemical 4. massage masseurprocesses, such as energy transfer, as well as in signal 5. reflexology reflexologisttransduction. It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter.(www.wikipedia.com) 6. aromatherapy aromatherapist 7. hypnosis hypnotist 8. naturopathy naturopath /3 Comprehension check: Describing naturopathic a process practitionerer 9. chiropractic chiropractorPurpose of the experiment: to check the painkillingclaims of acupunctureStage 1: Mice were given sore paws by scientistswho injected them with an inflammatory chemical.Half the mice lacked a gene that is needed to makeadenosine receptors.Stage 2: Fine needles were then inserted into anacupuncture point above each mouse’s sore paw. Theneedles were rotated periodically.Stage 3: To measure how effective the acupuncturewas, the researchers recorded how quickly each mousepulled its sore paw away from a small, bristly brush.Conclusions of the experiment:1. The scientists discovered that acupuncture reducedpain by two-thirds in normal mice, but had no effect D • TE DE E SI A L EB LO B W N IA© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010 M W P O DO O FR BE C N T ONEWS LESSONS / Acupuncture’s painkilling secret: it’s all in the twist action / Advanced CA O H •P