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Physiological effect of acupuncture

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Acupuncture, as currently recognized by most researchers and practitioners, is a peculiar method of manual therapy.

Acupuncture differs from methods of treatment by external irritants, including from methods of physical therapy, by the fact that the irritation is applied on an extremely small area of ​​the skin surface (point irritation). Moreover, a needle penetrating into superficial and deeper tissues becomes, in various ways, stimuli sensitive to sensitive nerve endings embedded in the skin, muscles, tendons, perivascular plexuses, and nerve shells. At the same time, reflex reactions that change the functional state of the central, peripheral and vegetative nervous system with a pronounced effect on tissue trophism develop with varying complexity.

At the base acupuncture As a therapeutic method lies the centuries-old practical experience of Oriental medicine (China, Korea, Japan). Lately acupuncture begins to be applied on the basis of modern physiological and therapeutic achievements, including those adopted in physiotherapy.

Bio-points magnetic acupuncture applicator developed on the basis of the acupuncture theory of ancient Chinese medicine in combination with the theory of modern electric pulse therapy and magnetic therapy. The combination of these three components provides a powerful healing effect by the injection of bio points with a concentrated biomagnetic beam, an electrical pulse. At the same time, you activate energy channels, regulate and improve blood circulation, accelerate microcirculation at the source of the disease, eliminate disturbances in the electric and magnetic field, ensuring disease prevention and recovery. The effectiveness of the device exceeds other types of therapy of this kind.

Application of methods acupuncture associated with the knowledge of the so-called active points (impact points, “life points”), which are like a projection on the skin of nerve and vascular formations in the depths that reflect the pathology of certain organs and even to some extent the dynamics of the pathological process in these organs.

The active points of the surface tissues in various diseases have received a certain interpretation in modern clinical medicine, for example, in assessing the so-called pain points for diseases of the internal organs, the peripheral nervous system, and certain diseases. Physiology studies the biophysical properties of active points, their electrical resistivity, potentials, the relationship of their electrical properties with the biopotentials of internal organs, the bioelectric processes of different parts of the nervous, neuromuscular, and neurovascular systems.

The mechanism of therapeutic action when stimulating acupuncture points (acupuncture), taking into account the complex channels of stimulation in the body, seems to be very complex, multi-component, affecting many aspects of the intimate processes that underlie pathogenic and sanogenic influences.

The authors are trying to explain the essence of the therapeutic effect when acupuncture, adhere to various theories. Some scientists operate with one-sided and narrow arguments that do not sufficiently reveal the essence of the mechanism of action. Among such views can be called, for example, the homeopathic theory (the impact of weak pain stimulation on severe pain, treatment like this), the notion that needles are peculiar antennas that receive waves of a certain frequency, in turn, affect various tissues, theories that consider the possibility of “restoring ionic equilibrium in the human body by changing skin charges (the stimulating effect of gold needles, the calming effect of silver, etc.). Other scientists point to more specific phenomena, for example, the authors of the theory of improving capillary blood circulation, improving tissue metabolism, diminishing or disappearing in connection with this pathological processes.
In the works of many authors put forward predominantly neurogenic theory of acupuncture.

Acupuncture, leading to a state of excitement of the tissue, promotes their removal from the parabiotic state, increases the lability (functional mobility), improves the contractile function of the muscles, the functional state of the neuromuscular apparatus.

With acupuncture Sensitive endings embedded in the skin (exteroceptors) are irritated, and mainly the nerve endings embedded in the muscles, tendons, perivascular plexuses and nerve shells occurring along the needle canal, which has a reflex effect on the central nervous system.

Most foreign authors, especially French, consider acupuncture as a method of manual therapy, in the mechanism of which a large role is played by the nervous system and, in particular, its vegetative divisions.

According to the teachings of I. P. Pavlov, the nervous system of the body in relation to all tissues is one, and the central nervous system (the cortex and the subcortex in their interaction) is the highest controlling and controlling part of it.

In accordance with the doctrine of nervism can be considered that when acupuncture, by acting on a certain small receptor zone (on the receptors of the skin and deep-lying tissues), it is possible to induce directed reflex reactions arising from the initial point of irritation. In physiotherapy, these provisions have been recognized in the works of well-known physiotherapists – A. E. Shcherbak, A. R. Kirichinsky, A. P. Speransky, and others. The separation of the receptor zone affects reflexively the regulation of the processes of arousal and inhibition, contributing to their balancing. On this basis, the therapeutic effect of acupuncture can be explained not only by the direct effect on the affected organ or tissue, but also by the fact that it stimulates the activity of the nervous system, exerting a regulating influence on the dynamics of the main nervous processes.

Painful stagnation of energy and blood circulation manifests itself in different ways. Sensations of aches throughout the body, numbness, bloating – this is just a small part of the huge list of symptoms associated with stagnant circulation of energy and blood. The greatest wisdom possessed the inhabitants of ancient China, applying the method acupuncture bio points for opening and activating energy channels. There are cases when acupuncture athletes who were injured were restoring speech and hearing in deaf-and-dumb people; after just a few minutes of using acupuncture, they returned to the competition field. An immediate analgesic effect can be obtained through acupuncture anesthesia. Acupuncture It is rightly called the magic Chinese needle.

A characteristic feature of the work of Western scientists is their clinical and physiological direction.
With the help of electroencephalography, through studies of skin sensitivity, by laboratory it was established that under the influence of acupuncture more or less, not only central, but also peripheral autonomic tone is normalized, and to a greater extent this concerns, apparently, the tone of that part of the autonomic nervous system, which is most disturbed.

In the St. Petersburg laboratory, as a result of observations, a clear difference was revealed in the direction of the response of the blood, vascular-vegetative and nervous system to the effects acupuncture depending on the localization of the effects of the applied method and the functional state of the central nervous system.

Based on numerous studies conducted in various laboratories, it was found that the reaction of the nervous system to acupuncture It occurs first in time and is of major importance. Under its influence, local changes are detected in the zone of impact, as well as the zonal response of the integument of the body, internal organs, and then there is a general reaction, which generalizes mainly through the vegetative nervous system and the endocrine gland. All other reactions of the body appear already on the background of the regulation of the nervous system.

The local reaction to acupuncture develops, as VG Vogolik writes, mainly according to the axon-reflex mechanism, deepens by humoral shifts in the place of impact and then the body’s total response (reflected) returns to the periphery.

The segmental reaction is manifested due to the introduction of centripetal impulses from certain places of exposure (acupuncture) to certain centers of the spinal cord or cell of sympathetic chain nodes, from which a response arises – impulses propagate along centrifugal pathways to internal organs, endocrine glands, muscles, vessels and other organs.

General reaction to acupuncture active points include specific and nonspecific changes in the body, characteristic of certain active points.
If conditionally dismember the physiological reactions at acupuncture for individual components, writes M. K. Usov, it can be imagined that the introduction of a needle into the tissue first causes a local reaction. This is, above all, a mechanical irritation of the skin’s exteroreceptors. The deeper the needle sinks, the less differentiated receptors are included in this complex of stimulation. Deep tissues contribute to a more diffuse character of sensation, which, apparently, is associated with irritation of proprioceptors. Irritation of the vegetative fibers of the perivascular nerve plexus and other vegetative formations causes the vegetative component of the reaction. Irritation of vegetative fibers leads to the formation of histamine-type substances. Depending on the state of the capillary tone, their lumen and blood supply, skin color, temperature, electrical resistance change. A potential difference arises between the tissues and the needle, the needles contribute to the removal of electropositive ions.

The needle causes mechanical damage to a large mass of cells. Cell death leads to the release of necrohormones that stimulate biological processes (biological stimulants).

The next component of the reactions is the interaction of the integuments of the body with the internal organs through the corresponding segmental apparatus of the spinal cord (segmental reactions). These reactions occur predominantly in the organs and tissues of the visceral-segmental zone to which the irritation relates.

The general reaction (the reaction of the whole organism), notes MK Usov, is carried out in three main ways: neurogenic, humoral and hormonal.
Thus, the essence of the neurohumoral reaction, which is manifested when acting on an active point, in principle, is as follows. Occurred at the active point under the influence acupuncture irritation causes an axon reflex and, spreading through the afferent nerves, reaches the spinal cord.

From the excited segments of the spinal cord, the effector impulses go to the internal organs, blood vessels and muscles on the other hand through the autonomic ganglia; hypothalamus (IV).

The resulting effector response (12) of the excited hypothalamus through the pituitary gland – the adrenal cortex causes changes in the content of biologically active blood substances (steroids). The vegetative centers of the subcortex (12a) correspond in the same way, and, in addition, they act through the afferent pathways (11) and the corresponding vegetative ganglia on the internal organs and blood vessels, changing their functional state.

At the same time or somewhat earlier, the excited hypothalamus stimulates the production of pituitary hormones and, through them, affects other endocrine glands that alter the function through the neurohormone produced in it under the influence of afferent impulses of the neurohormone (13). Biologically active substances (15) and hormones of the endocrine glands (14) affect the relevant parts of the body, including internal organs, blood vessels and muscles, complementing or enhancing the effect on them from the spinal cord and subcortical centers. It is known that under the influence of acupuncture, the production of the anterior pituitary gland hormone, ACTH, is enhanced, which stimulates the activity of the cortical layer of the adrenal glands and thereby activates the secretion of steroids with anti-inflammatory and desensitizing effects. At the same time, the cerebral cortex (V) receives afferent impulses (6) from excitation of the hypothalamus and other subcortical regions, as a result of which the processes of excitation and inhibition are normalized. Almost simultaneously with this, tonic generalizing afferent impulsation (9) comes from the reticular formation into the cerebral cortex.

The cerebral cortex, in turn, affects the subcortex (7). The latter sends back to the spinal cord via efferent pathways (10) a response to acupuncture. This reverse response causes corresponding changes at the periphery, which favorably affect the course of the pathological process.

E. D. Tykochinskaya stresses that numerous studies carried out in various laboratories suggest that the main role in the mechanism acupuncture belongs to the unconditioned reflexes, closing in the spinal, medulla, brain stem, subcortical region and in the cerebral cortex.

Thus, in the mechanisms of action acupuncture the main regularities of complex reflex reactions, leading to the balancing of the main nervous processes, neuro-autonomic correlations with the improvement of the adaptive, protective and compensatory reactions of the body, lie. This therapy, affecting the mechanisms of the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases, contributes to the reduction or elimination of the manifestations of the disease, especially in the stage of functional disorders with an increase in resistance (resistance) of the organism as a whole. Apparently, the not yet fully disclosed specificity of the impact on the active points of the surface tissues of the body harbors innumerable possibilities of influencing various pathological processes, possibly connected in the primary mechanisms with electrical and electromagnetic phenomena of individual organs and cellular associations of the complex system of the human body. The specificity of the methods acupuncture associated with the methods and techniques of their application. In this are various and not entirely simple variants of therapeutic effects, requiring both continuously improved medical knowledge, and a certain skill (accumulated individual experience) in mastering not all the simple techniques of the methods described.

Traditional needles can only be used by specialists, and everyone can use a magic pencil for healing and preventing diseases.

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