The Science of Acupuncture

Research is uncovering connective tissue's role in the benefits of the ancient practice.

By Helene M. Langevin | May 1, 2013

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Various types of connective tissue join organ and muscle groups throughout the body. Our research showed that when connective tissue is stretched for at least 30 minutes, either by physical extension1 or by mechanical stimulation with an acupuncture needle2, the fibroblast cells that help produce and maintain the connective-tissue matrix become enlarged and flattened. A current cellular model that could explain this change in shape predicts that focal-adhesion complexes on the surface of the fibroblasts detect the stretching, and initiate a signaling pathway mediated by the protein Rho3. In response, the cell releases ATP into extracellular space. ATP participates in the change in cell shape, and also may be converted into breakdown products with analgesic effects4.

In addition, the Rho pathway instigates remodeling of the cell’s focal adhesions5, which mediate where and how the cell attaches to the extracellular matrix. Together these changes cause relaxation of connective tissue.

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Avatar of: MW


Posts: 2

June 7, 2013

It's pleased to FINALLY learn the myth of the arcupunture based on scientific evidence. 

Avatar of: Zom


Posts: 1

July 3, 2013

Delightfuly executed, elegant and immediately accessable prose.

exiting stuff .

more please.

Avatar of: SraDaniela


Posts: 1

December 18, 2013

Dear Doctor,

I have read with great interest the results of your research about the action of the acupuncture needle inserted.

Stimulation by a metal needle, remaining inserted for thirsty minutes, performs a mechanical stimulus with fibroblasts involvement for an analgesic effect and release of the connective tissue.

The fluid stimulus by a liquid drug injected or deposited in the acupuncture point is another form of mechanical stimulation by the injected volume or by the chemical structure of the liquid drug.

If the injected products can be of fast or slow resorption, there are products whose resorption is ultra-slow several months employed in other areas.

Let me, I pray you, this question:

Is it possible to consider that the effects due to mechanical stimulation, action on the pain or sagging tissue, can be extended as long as the mechanical stimulation will be maintained?

One finds in the literature: In auriculotherapy needles implanted permanently (Parkinson) or catgut implanted into the acupuncture point.

Thank you,

A nice day,

SraDaniela, Fr.

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