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Current Research Findings

Acupuncture stimulates the body's signaling systems. Signaling systems release biochemicals (proteins, hormones and other chemicals that the body produces) at various sites in the body. These biochemicals travel to other sites via the bloodstream, across cell membranes and within cells to stimulate a physiological activity such as growth, metabolism, or tissue repair.

Acupuncture stimulates and balances the nervous system, as well as every other system of the body (endocrine, circulatory, digestive, immune, respiratory, musculoskeletal, etc.) But it's a misnomer that acupuncture just treats the nerves.

                                                          needles in

(Click on image for larger view)

For example, the external ear, which has no important nerves or blood vessels, has the highest density of acupuncture points on the body. Here's why...

Acupoints are high electrical conductance points on the body surface. They have a higher concentration of certain proteins, which trigger intercellular communication. They have a higher temperature and metabolic rate that can be detected and mapped using high-resolution microscopes and other instruments that map electric currents and magnetic fields.

Early in an embryo's development, the cells are less differentiated, and the acupoints are evenly distributed throughout the organism. As the fetus develops, the acupoints cluster at boundary areas of the body such as limb buds (sites where the arms and legs begin to form). This clustering of the acupoints precedes the development of the nervous and other systems.

Electrical changes in the acupoints and meridians stimulate the embryo to grow and the systems and structures of the body to develop & differentiate Thus, the acupoint and meridian system appears very early in the embryo's development and serves as a template for all the subsequent systems.

Boundary areas of the body are areas where the body is divided into different domains. For example, the midline of the body, various folds, concavities, convexities, the boundary line where two different muscles come together, etc. Most acupuncture points are located in these areas, as their traditional names (for example, "bountiful bulge", "sunken valley", "back ravine" and "ravine divide") describe. These boundary areas are major pathways of bioelectric currents. They often correspond with acupuncture meridians.

The external ear, with its numerous concavities and convexities, has the most complex surface morphology (form and shape) of all the anatomical landmarks. As such, it contains many acupuncture points. Interestingly, the external ear's morphology is one of the most accurate indicators of hereditary disorders (for example: Turner syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Potter syndrome, maternal diabetes & atherosclerosis). Pediatrics textbooks recommend that any anomaly of the external ear should initiate a search for malformations in other parts of the body. According to Chinese medicine, the ears pertain to the kidneys and store the "congenital essence", which if insufficient, would manifest as congenital weaknesses or birth defects.

In the fully formed human, acupoints nourish the tissues, maintain the various systems of the body and integrate them so they work together in a harmonious whole. For example, nervous, circulatory and immune processes, wound healing and stress response are all regulated through the acupoints and meridian system. Since change in the electric field precedes physiological and structural change in the body, assessment and treatment of the acupoints and meridians is an effective way to diagnose and treat many illnesses, disorders and injuries, and can also be used preventatively to identify and resolve subtle imbalances that can later manifest as disease.


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Current Research Findings

Home > Services > Current Research Findings