I confess that when I began my acupuncture training in 2015, I had to suspend my anatomical knowledge of the body, specifically neurology. Energetic/electrical impulses, after all, are conducted along nerves, are they not? Acupuncture meridians, however have little to do with the peripheral nervous system and its plexuses. In theory, "meridians", which carry energy called "Qi" ("pronounced "chee") follow their own pathways throughout the body that seem to defy anatomy as we know it in the West. What to do ,what to do??
I have SINCE come to terms with this duality through further in-depth research, and posit that "Qi" is a more subtle energetic impulse than that which flows along our nerves, and these meridians DO INDEED have a physical location: IN THE FASCIA that surrounds and connects all the tissues of the body. (Please follow the first link below to learn more about this link!)
Much is still being mapped about the intriguing nature and function of our fascia. In essence, fascia facilitates how different parts of our body are interconnected and communicate with each other. Isn't the human body endlessly fascinating?!
One last comment/observation about acupuncture points: While I was learning the specific location of hundreds of these points, I couldn't help but observe that most of them are located in 'divots' or gaps in tissue, between tendons, and in locations such as the "anatomical snuffbox" at the base of the thumb. I wondered "WHY?" and have since, through practice, come to understand that this is because that's precisely where the overlying tissue is at its thinnest: over the underlying fascia!
And that is how, not just with needles, but with simple acupressure and even mild electrical impulse, the energetic pathways (meridians) coursing through the body can be influenced.
Doesn't that make sense?
(Each of the below links has a multitude of additional resources for further exploration)
"Research using medical imaging instruments such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging has led to the proposal that the fascial network distributed over the human body is the anatomical basis for the acupuncture points and meridians of traditional Chinese medicine." From THIS article from the National Library of Medicine
"Acupuncture is commonly used and well accepted in the clinic for the treatment of anxiety disorders. It remains an effective treatment for those suffering from anxiety without the side effects seen with various drugs. " From THIS article from the N.I.H.
"Complementary and alternative medicine has been widely accepted in many Western countries; more and more infertile women select CAM as an adjuvant treatment to promote the pregnancy rate of IVF-ET treatment; Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are the most commonly used as the main therapies of TCM. In addition to TCM, there are psychological therapies, temperature therapies, and other alternative therapies which were used for the treatment of IVF-ET. All of these therapies of CAM can contribute to improve the pregnancy rate of IVF-ET patients in different degrees." From THIS article from the National Library of Medicine
Dating all the way back to 2007: "This research, along with the growing body of rigorous Western-style RCTs, demonstrates that adding acupuncture to IVF protocols results in increased pregnancies, fewer ectopics, fewer miscarriages, a trend toward fewer multiples, as well as a marked increase in take-home babies. Couples benefit in three important ways:
As I described above, a many "acupoints" access the fascia and meridians through minimal overlying tissue. Thus it is possible to impact the meridians' energetic pathways without needles!
MOST patients whom I have treated with needle-less acupuncture report experiencing a profound level of relaxation very quickly.
...let's get YOU scheduled for acupuncture: traditional, or without needles!