The Connective Tissue Hypothesis for Acupuncture Mechanisms
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This article examines whether there is evidence to support the idea that acupuncture channels have an anatomical reality as fascia or connective tissue planes. An examination of what is meant by ‘acupuncture channel’ and to what the terms ‘fascia’ and ‘connective tissue plane’ refer is followed by an analysis of evidence published over the last ten years; the article concludes with a summary of what can be said to be proven, and the implications of such proof for acupuncture research and practice. The paper finds that there is little good quality conclusive evidence available; what little there is, however, is compelling and suggests that there is much more to find out - information that could potentially explain more about acupuncture’s physiological mechanisms. Two case studies are included to illustrate how knowledge of connective tissue planes can be integrated into acupuncture practice.
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