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  Modern Acupuncture
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  More about Acupoints
The properties of acupuncture points and meridians have been investigated extensively over the past 50 years. Research has shown the acupuncture points to exhibit unique electrical, thermal and chemical properties:

Electrical Properties of acupuncture points:

- High electric capacity (0.1-1 micro-farad).

- High electric potential (up to 350mV).

- Low electric resistance, explored either by DC or AC current (20 to 250 kilo-ohms). Acupuncture points have lower skin electrical resistance versus other sites on the body, that is, they conduct electrical current better.

- The resistance changes with disease states, sleep, meals, physical exercise, and changes in the external environment, temperature, season, time of day, etc.

- This lowered skin resistance is measurable EVEN AFTER DEATH AND EMBALMING, suggesting some intrinsic electrophysiologic quality to the tissue comprising acupoints.

Biochemical / Physiological Properties of acupuncture points:

- There are measurable changes in the sodium/potassium concentration in an acupoint, at a depth under the skin, as compared to the tissue around the point.

- Increased "cutaneous respiration" (great uptake of CO2 at the level of the points).

- High local temperature.

- Low threshold of painful sensitivity.

Histological Properties of acupuncture points:

On biopsies, there is a structure described as a "neurovascular hemolymphatic complex":
- a plexus of arteriovenous capillaries;
- a rich lymphatic drainage;
- cutaneous nerves (myelinated and unmyelinated) emerging from deep fascia, from bone foramina, and motor points of neuromuscular attachments.

- Acupuncture points are rich in Ab neural fibres (thick, medullated and fast) which are responsible for transmitting the touch and tactile signals.

- They are poor in Ad (medullated), and c (non medullated) neural fibres (thinner, slower), which are responsible for transmitting the sensation of pain.

Specifically, Ad fibres are responsible for acute localised pain, while c fibres transmit diffused blunt pain.

This explains why acupuncture is generally painless; inactive acupuncture points do not have many neural fibre endings that transmit pain signals.

Anatomical Properties of acupuncture points:

- The acupuncture points and meridians lie along the fascial planes, the cleavage or dividing planes between muscle groups and tissues.

- Point maps correspond to motor points, neurovascular points, and trigger points.
 
  References:

- Darren Starwynn; Electrophysiology And The Acupuncture Systems; Medical Acupuncture, Volume 13 / Number 1 (read the article)

- Harry Lazoura, Irena Cosic; Low Level Laser Radiation as a Stimulant in Acupuncture; 2nd International Conference on Bioelectromagnetism. p171-172. 1998. (read the article)

- Thalia Kritidou; Modern Neurophysiological Theories on the Effects of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Dental Pain; The Web-Journal of Acupuncture (read the article)

 
  This page last updated: 14-Mar-2015 Back to Top
 
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