• William E. Leigh III

Acupuncture, connective tissue, and peripheral sensory modulation.

Langevin HM. Acupuncture, connective tissue, and peripheral sensory modulation. Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2014;24(3):249-253. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25072149. Accessed March 27, 2019.

This article proposes that manipulating acupuncture needles results in sustained stretching of fascia tissue and this sustained stretching has a cascading effect upon mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling from within the fascia. Furthermore it discusses the effect upon fibroblasts, fibrosis and inflammation. A couple of interesting points about this article. 1) It emphasizes prolonged stretching techniques including needle manipulation for at least five minutes and static stretching of ten minutes. This is important because acupuncturists rarely practice manipulation for that length of time. 2) All of the effects described in this article are not dependent upon needle insertion at acupuncture points; and that needling at almost any point along a muscle would give the same results. It is also stated that these techniques may be more effective at acupuncture points located at fascia junctions because of the increased availability of fascia at these locations. This article describes many effects of needling that would be applicable to other types of fascia manipulation including structural integration techniques.

ABSTRACT: Although considerable controversy surrounds the legitimacy of acupuncture as a treatment, a growing literature on the physiological effects of acupuncture needling in animals and humans is providing new insights into basic cellular mechanisms including connective tissue mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling. This review summarizes these findings and proposes a model combining connective tissue plasticity and peripheral sensory modulation in response to the sustained stretching of tissue that results from acupuncture needle manipulation.

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