Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco have determined that acupuncture stimulation reduces pain. The acupuncture induced pain relief was determined to be the equivalent of a moderate dose of morphine. Dr. Goddard from the renown University of California, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department conducted a laboratory experiment to measure the effects of needling acupuncture point ST36, located on the lower leg.
In detail (Acupuncture "shop talk")
Acupuncture point ST36 (Zusanli, Leg Three Measures) has a function within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to activate the Stomach (Yangming) channel and relieve pain. Although more commonly known for its ability to tonify Qi, Blood and Yin, ST36 is indicated for the treatment of leg, back, chest, breast, abdominal, eye and knee pain. Headaches are also indicated. In general, ST36 is indicated for pernicious cold damp painful obstruction related disorders.
ST36 treats channel specific pain. The research of this study measured the analgesic effects of ST36 for electrically induced pain of the lower incisor. It is not surprising that ST36 was found effective given that the channel runs along the gums and jaw. The primary Stomach channel begins at acupuncture point LI20 beside the nose and ascends to the root of the nose where it intersects UB1. Next, the Stomach channel descends along the lateral aspect of the nose and enters the upper gum and joins with acupuncture point DU26. The channel then circles around the corner of the mouth and meets with CV24 at the mentolabial groove. Next, the Yangming channel follows the angle of the jaw and runs upward in front of the ear. At this point, the primary channel traverses other regions of the body.