CT scans reveal anatomical
structures of acupuncture points. A CT (computerized tomography) scan is a
series of X-rays used to create cross-sectional images. In this study published
in the Journal of Electron
Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used in-line phase
contrast CT imaging with synchrotron radiation on both non-acupuncture points
and acupuncture points. The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the
non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures.
Acupuncture points have a higher density of micro-vesselsand contain
a large amount of involuted microvascular structures. The non-acupuncture
points did not exhibit these properties.
The researchers note that the
state-of-the-art CT imaging techniques used in this study allow for improved
three-dimensional (3D) imaging of a large field of view without artifacts. This
greatly improves imaging of soft tissue and allowed the researchers to make
this important discovery.
The acupuncture points ST36
(Zusanli) and ST37 (Shangjuxu) were shown to have very distinct structural
differences than surrounding areas. At the acupuncture points, microvascular
densities with bifurcations “can be clearly seen
around thick blood vessels” but non-acupuncture point areas showed
few thick blood vessels and none showed fine, high density structures. The
acupuncture points contained fine structures with more large blood vessels that
are several dozen micrometers in size plus beds of high density vascularization
of vessels 15-50 micrometers in size. This structure was not found in
non-acupuncture point areas.
note that the size of an acupuncture point “can be estimated by the diameter of
microvascular aggregations….” They also commented that other research has found
unique structures of acupuncture points and acupuncture meridians using MRI
(magnetic resonance imaging), infrared imaging, LCD thermal photography,
ultrasound and other CT imaging methods. The researchers commented that many studies
using these technological approaches have already shown that acupuncture points
exist. They note that “the high brightness, wide spectrum, high collimation,
polarization and pulsed structure of synchrotron radiation” facilitated their
discovery. They concluded, “Our results demonstrated again the existence of
acupoints, and also show that the acupoints are special points in mammals.”
Partial Oxygen Pressure Variations
In another interesting study,
researchers used an amperometric oxygen microsensor to detect partial oxygen
pressure variations at different locations on the anterior aspect of the wrist.
The researchers concluded that partial oxygen
pressure is significantly higher at acupuncture points. Below are
images from the study measuring the increase of partial oxygen pressure combined
with an overlay of the local acupuncture point locations. The images map the
Lung, Pericardium and Heart channels and their associated local points.
Acupuncture points P7 and P6 clearly show high oxygen pressure levels as do the
other acupuncture points in the region.
These measurements are not needled
points but are natural resting states of acupuncture points absent stimulation.
A truly unique finding, acupuncture points exhibit special oxygen
characteristics. Acupuncture points and acupuncture channels are scientifically
measurable phenomena in repeated experiments.
Liu, Wang Xiaohu, Xu Hua, Liu Fang, Dang Ruishan, Zhang Dongming, Zhang Xinyi,
Xie Honglan, and Xiao Tiqiao. "X-ray phase-contrast CT imaging of the
acupoints based on synchrotron radiation." Journal of Electron
Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena (2013). WebPage:
Chenglin, Wang Xiaohua, Xu Hua; Physics Department of Yancheng Teachers’
College, Yancheng, China.
2. Liu Fang,
Dang Ruishan; Anatomy Department of Second Military Medical University,
Dongming, Zhang Xinyi; Synchrotron Radiation Research Center of Fudan
University, Shanghai, China.
Honglan, Xiao Tiqiao; Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility of Shanghai
Institute of Applied Physics, Shanghai, China.
Hong, Sarah S. Park, Yejin Ha, et al., “Heterogeneity of Skin Surface Oxygen
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and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 106762, 7 pages, 2012.
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