For the last 30 years, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology has been publishing experimental and ground-breaking medical research. The most recent publication, Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXVII, has a chapter looking at acupuncture and anxiety.
The research focuses on oxidative-hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration of the pre-frontal cortex. This section of the brain in near the forehead and responsible for decision making, social behavior, personality, and cognitive actions. Changes in oxidative-hemoglobin indicate metabolic activity in this brain region. Using imaging (near-infrared spectroscopy) researchers observed changes in this area of the brain on those during and after acupuncture sessions.
The research is summarized in the abstract: Effects of Acupuncture on Anxiety Levels and Prefrontal Cortex Activity Measured by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: A Pilot Study
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