Recent approaches on signal transduction and transmission in acupuncture: a biophysical overview for medical sciences.

Author: Gomes LR1, Leão P2
Author Information:
1LAQV, REQUIMTE, Universidade Do Porto, 4051-401 Porto, UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Rua Carlos da Maia, 296, P-4200-150 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:
2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Centro Hospitalar de Entre o Douro e Vouga, 4520-211 Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: J Acupunct Meridian Stud.
Date published: 2019 Nov 22
Other: Pages: S2005-2901(19)30199-2 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2019.11.003. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 262

Acupuncture is one of the areas among the alternative therapies that arouses high curiosity in the biomedical scientific community. It is particular popular for treatment of chronic diseases and addictions. However, contrasting with its evidence based effectiveness, the lack of a reasonable explanations for its mode of action divides that scientific community. Difficulties also arise to those responsible for providing information for clinicians and professionals who wish to acquire competencies leading to the acupuncture practice and have a background based on biochemistry and physiology. The classic theories of nerve conduction do not fully explain how information is read and transmitted during the acupuncture treatment. Other theories have been proposed but they are based on concepts like biophotonic waves and quantum biochemistry that are difficult to read and understand by those that do not have knowledge in physics. It is the main objective of this review to provide a survey of the main theories and explanatory approaches to the signal transduction and conduction in acupuncture and to describe them in in terms of their explanatory hypotheses, limitations and weaknesses. The most of the literature found supports theories for neural conduction, including gate control. They explain the effects of acupuncture in pain relieve; lesser amount of studies have been made concerning the conduction based on biophotons. The primo vascular system has been referred as a possible anatomic support for conduction of information during an acupuncture treatment, which could be connected to biophoton transmission.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

KEYWORDS: Acupuncture; Biophotons; Gate control; Neural conduction; Primo vascular system/ meridians

PMID: 31765838 DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2019.11.003