Acupuncture boosts memory and reduces stress in students

By Sheryl Kay • Published: July 1st, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Acupuncture has been linked to improving several health issues, from seasonal allergies to back pain. Now new research shows the traditional Chinese therapy also may help boost memory and relieve anxiety and tension.

The investigation, described in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, involved an experiment with 90 undergraduate students. Half underwent at least one acupuncture session, while the others received no treatments. Then all the students took a digital version of a standardized exam that assesses how well a person can remember things while performing aptitude-based tasks like reading or solving math problems at the same time.

Researchers found that students who underwent acupuncture were 10 percent better at remembering things than their peers who didn’t get poked with needles. They also committed 36 percent fewer processing errors.

Both groups also took a test measuring anxiety. Individuals who underwent acupuncture reported significantly less stress than those in the control group who received no treatments. The researchers noted that while the findings show that acupuncture may be especially beneficial for students who suffer from test-induced anxiety, even those who reported little stress still showed improved memory performance if they had received treatment.

Another interesting note is that while past studies have shown some correlation between a series of acupuncture treatments and improved memory, this was the first to reveal that just one treatment enhanced recall ability.

Tests still need to measure a more general population, but for now it looks like there may just be some serious memory-packed power in those little needles.