Some researchers won a Nobel prize for figuring out how we experience hot and cold. The action of the body taking a mechanical input and converting it to electrical impulses. The articles indicate it will have wide ranging implications for treatments in pain.
There are two main points for me.
- Until very recently ‘Modern Medicine” did not know how we actually experienced the sensations of heat and cold. I find that really mind blowing.
The applications are mostly for pain and it’s just crazy how many doctors talk about pain. “There is nothing on the x-ray, so it must be in your head. Have some anti-depressants.” I have heard this from patients a thousand times or more.
Yet it appears from this discovery, we generally have a very poor understanding of how pain is generated or how it travels around the body.
I had some other thoughts about it and then it dawned on my how it really sheds some light on Acupuncture from the western science point of view.
2. The research proves you can put a substance on a person or push on them and it converts to an electrical signal. Yet many still wonder how acupuncture works. The needle goes in, it generates pressure and a small electrical signal and off it goes. We may call it Qi (chee) and in the article they call it, “a protein which forms a channel embedded in cell membranes that, when activated, allows ions to pass through” source https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01283-6#ref-CR1
From the same article, “This led to the discovery of another ion channel, called TRPM8, that is activated by cold” In Chinese Medicine we would call the “ion channel” the Acupuncture Meridian. The pathway for the Qi. A nice article on Ion channels can be found here.
In Asian Medicine (Traditional Chinese Medicine) there are 12 main channels, and a whole lot of other ones that are for advanced studies. How many Ion Channels are there? “for example, in the cells of inner ear alone, there are about 300 ion channels” Source: https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/63380
The different ion channels transport different signals to the receptors in the body (brain). From there an action happens. You can sense pain, heat, cold, a gentle touch and a host of other sensory inputs.
There is a great quote I don’t remember the author: No scientific discovery survives the next generation of scientists and their new machines.
I wonder what they will discover next.
Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies