Afferent Neural Branching at Human Acupuncture Points: Do Needles Stimulate or Inhibit?
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Acupuncture has previously been considered to be stimulatory to the nervous system; however, the specific mechanism for this remains unknown, with the few published studies of acupuncture-point histology showing reduced numbers of nerves and neural receptors at acupuncture-point sites. Objective: This study was undertaken to visualize the neuroanatomic features of acupuncture points in humans. Materials and Methods: Light microscopy was performed on silver-stained sections of a human cadaver at P 6, and confocal microscopy was performed on PgP9.5 and P2X3 immunostained sections of 2 points (GB 20 and SP 6) from a live human volunteer. Results: At each point, but not at control sites, a single nerve bundle extending to the dermal–epidermal junction was identified where it branched into two parts, with each branch running perpendicularly, parallel to the dermal–epidermal junction. Conclusions: Acupuncture may incise afferent unmyelinated axonal branch points, disrupting both neural transmission to the spinal cord and crosstalk along meridians, while simultaneously stimulating larger, myelinated afferents, thus explaining both the immediate and long-lasting effects of acupuncture.
This is a copy of an article published in Medical Acupuncture © 2012 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Medical Acupuncture is available online at: http://online.liebertpub.com.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Climate change impacts on the tree of life: Changes in phylogenetic diversity illustrated for Acropora coralsFaith, D.; Richards, Zoe (2012)The possible loss of whole branches from the tree of life is a dramatic, but under-studied, biological implication of climate change. The tree of life represents an evolutionary heritage providing both present and future ...
Haemodynamic evaluation of coronary artery plaques : prediction of coronary atherosclerosis and disease progressionChaichana, Thanapong (2012)Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in advanced countries. Coronary artery disease tends to develop at locations where disturbed flow patterns occur, such as the left coronary artery. Haemodynamic change ...
Baxter, Fiona O. (2001)This thesis reports structure-function assessments made using site-directed mutagenesis of the human enzyme 5alpha-reductase (5AR), an enzyme crucial for normal masculine development. These assessments utilised the ...