The meridian system and mechanism of acupuncture-A comparative review. Part 1: The meridian system.

Author: Chang S.
Department of Electrical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol.
Date published: 2012 Dec
Other: Volume ID: 51 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 506-14 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.tjog.2012.09.004. , Word Count: 221

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture has been used to heal various diseases and physiologic malfunctions in clinical practice for more than 2500 years. Due to its efficacy, acupuncture has been recommended by the World Health Organization in 1980 as an effective alternative therapy for 43 different disorders. Over the past few decades, various theories of the meridian system and mechanisms have been proposed to explain how acupuncture might work. Most of these mechanisms, however, cannot yet explain conclusively why acupuncture is efficacious in treating so many different diseases. A plausible mechanism has been unavailable until recently. This is the first of a three-part series that aims to provide a comparative review of the aforementioned topics. Part 1 reviews the current indications for acupuncture, basic concepts of TCM, and the essence of the meridian system. To establish a mathematically rigorous framework of TCM, the chaotic wave theory of fractal continuum is proposed. This theory is then applied to characterize the essence of the meridian system. Parts 2 and 3 will review the possible mechanisms of acupuncture analgesia and acupuncture therapies, respectively, based on biochemical, bioelectromagnetic, chaotic wave, and neurophysiologic approaches. It is sincerely hoped that this series of review articles can promote an understanding of the meridian system and acupuncture mechanisms to help patients in a logical and passionate way.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 23276552