Sunday, September 18, 2011

Acupuncture point

Acupuncture points are locations on the body that are the focus of acupuncture, acupressure, sonopuncture and laser acupuncture treatment. Several hundred acupuncture points are considered to be located along meridians (connected points across the anatomy which affect a specific organ or other part of the body). There are also numerous "extra points" not associated with a particular meridian.

They are different from Japanese shiatsu points,[citation needed] although Japanese acupuncture uses TCM acupuncture points.

Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the "acupuncture points", the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Research has been published suggesting acupuncture points may be associated activation of specific brain areas using functional magnetic resonance imaging or areas of low electrical impedance in the body but overall evidence for the anatomical existence of acupuncture points is not compelling.

Theory 

Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi (also spelled "chi" or "ki"). This theory is based on the paradigm of TCM and has no analogue in western medicine.

Body acupoints are generally located using a measurement unit, called the cun, that is calibrated according to their proportional distances from various landmark points on the body. Acupoint location usually depends on specific anatomical landmarks that can be palpated. Many of these basic points are rarely used. Some points are considered more therapeutically valuable than others, and are used very frequently for a wide array of health conditions.

Points tend to be located where peripheral nerves enter a muscle, the midpoint of the muscle, or at the enthesis where the muscle joins with the bone.

Location by palpation for tenderness is also a common way of locating acupoints (see also trigger point). Points may also be located by feeling for subtle differences in temperature on the skin surface or over the skin surface, as well as changes in the tension or "stickiness" of the skin and tissue. There is no scientific proof that this method works and some practitioners disagree with the method.

Body acupoints are referred to either by their traditional name, or by the name of the meridian on which they are located, followed by a number to indicate what order the point is in on the meridian. A common point on the hand, for example, is named Hegu, and referred to as LI 4 which means that it is the fourth point on the Large Intestine meridian.

Acupuncture points often have allusive, poetic names that developed over the course of centuries, often involving synonyms to ensure similar points are located on the appropriate limb. A total of 360 points are generally recognized, but the number of points has changed over the centuries. Roughly 2/3 of the points are considered "yang", while the remaining 1/3 are considered "yin"

Acupoints tubuh disebut baik oleh nama tradisional mereka, atau dengan nama meridian di mana mereka berada, diikuti oleh sejumlah untuk menunjukkan urutan apa intinya adalah dalam pada meridian. Sebuah titik yang sama di tangan, misalnya, bernama Hegu, dan disebut sebagai LI 4 yang berarti bahwa itu adalah titik keempat pada meridian Usus Besar.
Titik akupunktur sering memiliki kiasan, nama puitis yang dikembangkan selama berabad-abad, sering melibatkan sinonim untuk memastikan poin serupa terletak pada anggota tubuh yang sesuai. Sebanyak 360 poin umumnya diakui, namun jumlah titik telah berubah selama berabad-abad. Sekitar 2 / 3 dari titik-titik yang dianggap "Yang", sedangkan sisanya 1 / 3 dianggap "yin"

Scientific research

Overall there is only preliminary evidence to suggest acupuncture points exist. There are no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points. Acupuncturist Felix Mann stated that "...acupuncture points are no more real than the black spots that a drunkard sees in front of his eyes." A 1997 NIH consensus statement has observed that "Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the 'acupuncture points', the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture."

There are several plausible theories for how acupuncture works or what acupuncture points are, but for now none of these theories have been conclusively proven. Acupuncture points may exhibit low electrical resistance and impedance but this evidence is mixed, and limited by poor-quality studies with small sample sizes and multiple confounds. Research using functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography have suggested certain traditional acupuncture points may be linked to the activation of specific centers in the brain, and may present an explanation for their association with specific medical conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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