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14/06/2007 - From meridians and acupoints to self-supervision and control system: a hypothesis of the 10th functional system based on anatomical studies of digitized virtual human.

Country: China

Institute: Department of Anatomy, 2Department of Embryology and Histology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China. E-mail:

Author(s): Wang J, Dong WR, Wang CL, Yao DW, Zhao BL, Shen BL, Yang LL, Yuan L.

Journal: Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2007 May;27(5):573-9.


Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion has been widely accepted as a useful therapeutics all over the world, but its mechanism has not been fully defined. For this purpose, a reticular framework of whole-body fascia and connective tissues has been established by means of digitized virtual human technique.

The virtual acupoints represented three-dimensionally were compared with the sites for stimulation in practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture therapy. The results showed that the fascial network constituted by the connective tissues may be the anatomical basis for acupuncture therapy. We found that the acupoints were mainly located where thick connective tissues were present. In this fascial network, sensitive nerve endings, active cells and lymphatic vessels abounded in the sites with thick connective tissue, and needling at these sites induced definite biological effects.

In light of biological phylogeny and embryo development, we believe that the connective tissue network may constitute a new functional system in the human body, the Self-supervision and control system(Fasciology), which provides a theoretical base for acupuncture therapy.

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Pubmed ID: 17545059