is used to elicit and enhance de qi, and de qi is used as feedback to confirm that the proper amount of needle stimulation has been used.
De qi is widely viewed as essential to acupuncture's therapeutic effectiveness. Needle manipulation, de qi, and needle grasp, therefore, are potentially important components of acupuncture's therapeutic effect, yet the mechanisms underlying de qi and needle grasp are unknown. As a first step toward understanding the physiological and therapeutic significance of de qi, researchers quantified needle grasp by measuring the force necessary to pull an inserted acupuncture needle out of the tissues (pullout force). They also hypothesized that:
- Pullout force is greater with two different types of needle manipulation commonly used in acupuncture practice [bidirectional (BI) and unidirectional (UNI) needle rotation] than with needle insertion with no manipulation (NO). If proven true, this will demonstrate that needle manipulation has measurable biomechanical effects.
- These measurable effects could suggest that needle manipulation may indeed play an important role in acupuncture therapy as de qi is traditionally believed to be greater at "acupuncture points."
- Pullout force is greater at classically defined acupuncture points than at nonacupuncture control points.
To test these hypotheses, an experiment was performed in which normal human subjects received different types of acupuncture needle manipulation at eight acupuncture points and eight corresponding control points.
The authors of the research study, Biomechanical Response to Acupuncture Needling in Humans, are Helene M. Langevin, David L. Churchill, James R. Fox, Gary J. Badger, Brian S. Garra, and Martin H. Krag, all from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont. Their findings are published in the December 2001 edition of the Journal of Applied PhysiologPage: 1 2 3 4 5 Related biology news :1
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society
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