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Qigang Myelin Sheath Acupuncture is a controversial subject in Western medicine although the concept of acupuncture points and meridians in Qigong has been explored in China for two thousand years (see a collection of modern researches on the subjects). While the Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes the treatment of the ailing functions in the body; Western medicine tends to concentrate on the healing of the affected body part(s). Figure 22 depicts the 12 meridians and the acupuncture points along the pathways (see "The Meridians of Acupuncture" for details). The physical base has not been identified until some measurements were conducted in the 1970s. It indicates that current is carried in the myelin sheath laid down by specialized cells called Schwann cells (see Figure 23). The cells that biologists had considered merely as insulation turned out to be the real wires to conduct DC current. It is thought that the acupuncture points along the meridians may act as amplifiers to maintain the

Figure 22 Meridians
[view large image]

Figure 23 Myelin Sheath [view large image]

strength of the current, similar to the booster amplifiers along a transmission line used to keep the signal from getting weaker with distance. Unfortunately, further study ceased abruptly when NIH canceled the research grant (see research in 21st century on glial cells' electric property).
Dog Acupuncture Since then Western medical experts have used high-tech tools to unravel the ancient mysteries. Neuroimaging studies show that it seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside. Scientists are also finding parallels between the ancient concepts and modern anatomy. Many of the 365 acupuncture points correspond to nerve bundles or muscle trigger points. Several meridians track major arteries and nerves. Many medical experts remain deeply skeptical about acupuncture. The fact that many patients get some relief and register some brain changes from fake acupuncture has caused controversy in the effectiveness of acupuncture. Some critics say that proves the benefit from acupuncture is mainly a placebo effect. While acupuncture proponents have some explanation

Figure 24 Dog Acupuncture [view large image]

to do on this kind of clinical trials. There should not be any placebo effect on healing the dog with acupuncture (Figure 24).

Electroceuticals In 2013, GlaxoSmithKline (a multinational pharmaceutical at Brentford, UK) initiated a research project on using electrical impulses to modulate the body's neural circuits in treating ailments such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, ... They envision a day when clinician will administer electroceuticals that target individual nerve fibers or specific brain circuits to treat an array of conditions. These treatments will modulate the neural impulses - action potential - to repair lost function and restore health (Figure 25). Such approach requires the mapping of neural circuits associated with disease and identifying the points of intervention for the electrical

Figure 25 Electroceuticals vs Qigong [view large image]

delivery. This methodology is strikingly similar to Qigong's use of meridians (~ GSK's neural circuit map) and acupuncture points (~ GSK's intervention points) except that it will acquire a physical base while the substance associated with Qigong had evaded detection for two thousand years.

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