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B. Illustration of multiple neural pathways NAU’s stimulate
C. Further illustration of neuro-physiology of acupuncture
Zhang-Jin Zhang, Xiao-Min Wang, and Grainne M. McAlonan
School of Chinese Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 10 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
Received 24 September 2011; Revised 30 November 2011; Accepted 1 December
(NAU) was the name proposed by Dr Zhang and his colleagues in 2011 to more accurately convey the properties and function of traditional acupuncture points. According to Dr. Zhang, the traditional acupuncture points represent an anatomical landmark system that indicates the external locations of relatively dense and concentrated neural tissue units that when stimulated enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater than normal rate to exquisitely internally complicated systems -the human nervous system, the immune system and the endocrine system.
Below is a Schmatic illustration of multiple central neural pathways transmitting NAU afferent impluses from different parts of the body. The brain areas commonly observed in neuroimaging response to acupuncture stimulation are indicated with a gray shadow. DCEAS: dense crainial electroacupuncture stimulation.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM LEVEL
Possible effects on higher brain functions (mood,
Depression anxiety). Feedback/descending regulation
Of pain, autonomic activity and hormonal milieu.
NERVOUS SYSTEM LEVEL
Action on autonomic activity and pain descending
Control of sympatho-adrenal and hypothalamus-
pituitary adrenal/gonadal axis.
Mediators: Endorphins, ACTH, MSH, Lh, FSH, etc
Neurotransmitters (5-HT, NE), Neuropeptides
(Oxitocyn, Vasopressin PACAP, etc.) Growth Factors
Reflexive modulation of visceral organ function
Mediated by autonomic nervous system.
Afferent nerve activation. Local reaction mediated by:
Neuropeptides, Prostaglandins, histamine Growth
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