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By Ying Xia, Xiaoding Cao, Gencheng Wu, Jieshi Cheng

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Additional resources for Acupuncture Therapy for Neurological Diseases: A Neurobiological View

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3 Neuroanatomic Structure of Acupoints From the perspective of neuroscience, we may regard acupoints as both signal receptor and effector apparatus. However, there are many questions regarding its nature. Are there any special structures at the acupoints when compared with that at the non-acupoints? If yes, what are the tissues/cells that form the special structure of the acupoint? What is the component(s) that is stimulated by needling at the acupoints? What structure mediates the afferent and efferent signals of the acupuncture to induce the biological effects?

The theory of meridians and collaterals has been formed and developed accumulatively based on ancient doctors’ long-term practice, and has guided the diagnosis and treatment in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), especially for acupuncture, moxibustion, and Tuina (massage). Acupuncture therapy and the theory of meridians and collaterals are the greatest inventions in the ancient Chinese medical history. In the theories of TCM, meridians and acupoints are two important concepts. Although there have been hundreds of theories concerning meridians and acupoints, there is no theory with convincing evidence to demonstrate the physical structures of the meridians and acupoints.

At another acupoint, Chize (LU-5), located on the cubital crease and in the depression of the radial side of the tendon of the biceps muscle of arm, we could observe the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve in the superficial layer and radial nerve in the deep layer. Furthermore, at the acupoint Kongzui (LU-6), located on the palmar aspect of the forearm and the line joining Taiyuan (LU-9) and Chize (LU-5), 7 cun above the transverse crease of the wrist, we could locate the same subcutaneous nerve of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve, similar to Chize (LU-5), with another deep-layer nerve of the superficial branch of the radial nerve.

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