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Acupoint therapy



Acupoint Therapy is an extension of Willy Penzel's modern APM system (Akupunkt Massage), and it involves the stimulation of acupuncture points or meridians with a therapy stick. This differs from acupuncture which uses needles, acupressure or shiatsu which uses massage. Under the scientific standards of evidence-based medicine, there is insufficient evidence as to whether acupoint therapy is effective.

Sweden is one of the foremost countries using and developing this therapy.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Physiology

The starting point is traditional Chinese Medicine, which teaches that along the body runs a series of meridians. Each meridian is said to have a specific function, and each of the points along that meridian is claimed to have a different effect on that meridian and indeed on other parts of the body and the energy system.

Half the meridians are said by Acupoint therapists to be yin, which they say seems to correspond to the parasympathetic nervous system. In this theory stimulating these meridians leads to relaxation, a slower heart, reduced blood pressure, muscular release, etc. The other half of the meridians are therefore yang, which is said to produce increased sympathetic nervous system activity - tension, a faster heart beat, higher blood pressure, and more contraction in the muscles.

Acupoint Therapy focuses on bringing the yin and yang (parasympathetic and sympathetic) back into balance.

Treatment

The therapy stick looks a bit like something a dentist would put into your mouth, but at the end it has a small ball with a diameter of just a couple of millimeters.

One form of treatment involves the stimulation with the therapy stick along a meridian. This causes vasodilation, thereby stimulating the meridian. (You can see this on yourself by running a pointy blunt object (like a match stick) along your inner forearm. After a few minutes, you'll see a red line appearing where you traced the line. Sometimes you'll see a line - which is vasoconstriction.)

Another treatment method involves stimulating individual points, rather than a length of the meridian.

Science and acupoint therapy

There is scientific agreement that health outcomes should be assessed via an evidence based medicine framework and that systematic reviews with strict protocols are needed.

Sixty-four patients in two trials have been studied to assess possible scientific support for acupoint therapy [1]. As of July 2006, acupoint therapy has not been the subject of any peer-reviewed EBM review. Under EBM, there is insufficient evidence as to whether acupoint therapy is effective.

See also

References

  • Clinical Journal of Pain, Vol. 12; (1996) 326-239; Felhendler
  • "Relationship of Acupuncture Points and Meridians to Connective Tissue Planes"; The Anatomical Record (New Anat.) 2002 269:257-265; Langevin & Yandow
  • "Akupunktmassage nach Penzel versus klassische Teilmassage und Einzel- versus Gruppenkrankengymnastik bei chronischen Rückenschmerzen -- eine randomisierte, kontrollierte klinische Studie in 2 × 2-faktoriellem Design" (rough translation:Acupuncture-massage after Penzel versus Classic Swedish massage in chronic low back pain. A randomized, controlled clinical study in a 2x2 factorial design) Research in Complementary Medicine 2000 7(6)286-293 Franke, A., Gebauer, S., Franke, K.,Brockow, T.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Acupoint_therapy". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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