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Auricular Acupuncture and Vagal Regulation
Wei He,Xiaoyu Wang,Hong Shi,Hongyan Shang,Liang Li,Xianghong Jing,Bing Zhu
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/786839
Abstract: Auricular acupuncture has been utilized in the treatment of diseases for thousands of years. Dr. Paul Nogier firstly originated the concept of an inverted fetus map on the external ear. In the present study, the relationship between the auricular acupuncture and the vagal regulation has been reviewed. It has been shown that auricular acupuncture plays a role in vagal activity of autonomic functions of cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. Mechanism studies suggested that afferent projections from especially the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN) to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) form the anatomical basis for the vagal regulation of auricular acupuncture. Therefore, we proposed the “auriculovagal afferent pathway” (AVAP): both the autonomic and the central nervous system could be modified by auricular vagal stimulation via projections from the ABVN to the NTS. Auricular acupuncture is also proposed to prevent neurodegenerative diseases via vagal regulation. There is a controversy on the specificity and the efficacy of auricular acupoints for treating diseases. More clinical RCT trials on auricular acupuncture and experimental studies on the mechanism of auricular acupuncture should be further investigated.
Reflectance of a quantum mirror  [PDF]
Pablo L. Saldanha
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: The problem of the reflectance of a photon by a metallic mirror whose position is treated quantum mechanically is considered. The interaction between the metallic surface and the light is treated classically. It is shown that the reflectance depends on the spread of the wavefunction describing the reflecting surface along its normal. Considering this decrease on the mirror reflectance, it is shown by first principles that it is impossible to achieve a highly entangled state between a photon and a mirror when the photon can be reflected only once.
Biophysical Characteristics of Meridians and Acupoints: A Systematic Review  [PDF]
Juan Li,Qing Wang,Huiling Liang,Haoxu Dong,Yan Li,Ernest Hung Yu Ng,Xiaoke Wu
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/793841
Abstract: As an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is a convenient and effective therapy with fewer adverse effects. Recently, researches on meridian essence have become core issues of modern TCM. Numerous experiments have demonstrated the objective existence of meridians by different technologies since 1950s, such as biophysics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. In this paper, we review biophysical studies on electric, acoustic, thermal, optical, magnetic, isotopic, and myoelectric aspects of meridians and acupoints. These studies suggest that meridians/acupoints have biophysical characteristics which are different from nonacupuncture points. Owing to the limitations of previous studies, future research using high-throughput technologies such as omics and multicenter randomized controlled trials should be performed to explore the acupuncture’s mechanisms of action and demonstration of efficacy. 1. Introduction Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which dates back about 3,000 years [1]. It is increasingly being accepted as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy in the United States [2]. The practice of acupuncture is based on the meridian system [3], and along the meridians lie acupuncture points or acupoints, which may have therapeutic effects for certain medical conditions when stimulated by needling, pressure, or heat [3]. The meridian theory is a fundamental part of TCM and has guided acupuncture for thousands of years [4]. While the clinical effects of acupuncture have drawn extensive attentions from researchers of science and medicine, lots of questions arise: Do meridians exist? What are the mechanisms of their actions? What is the physiological basis of meridians? What are the differences between acupoints and nonacupuncture points? So far, these questions have not been completely answered, but a large number of experiments and clinical trials have been conducted using advanced biophysical, biochemical, and molecular biological methods [5–8]. In order to have a better understanding of the biophysical basis of meridians/acupoints and their mechanisms of action, we review the biophysical studies of meridians/acupoints after searching the electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, EMBR, CNKI, Wanfang, and Vip from the beginning to June 2012. 2. Biophysical Characteristics of Meridians and Acupoints 2.1. Electrical Characteristics Low resistance and high capacitance are generally accepted as electrical characteristics of meridians and acupoints [9–11]. Currently, researchers
Peripheral muscarinic receptors mediate the anti-inflammatory effects of auricular acupuncture
Wai Chung, Hong Zhang, Shi Zhang
Chinese Medicine , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1749-8546-6-3
Abstract: Rats were anesthetized with chloral hydrate and inflammation was induced by intraplantar injection of carrageenan. Electroacupuncture was performed at auricular points bilaterally. The severity of inflammation was assessed using changes in paw volume and thermal and mechanical pain thresholds of the rats during recovery from anesthesia.Electroacupuncture at selected auricular acupoints significantly reduced paw edema and mechanical hyperalgesia, with no significant effect on thermal hyperalgesia. The anti-edematous and analgesic effects of AA were abolished by blockade of peripheral cholinergic muscarinic receptors with methyl atropine. Blockade of local muscarinic receptors at the inflamed site with a small dose of atropine also antagonized the anti-edematous effect of AA. By contrast, systemic opioid receptor blockade with naloxone did not antagonize the anti-inflammatory effects of AA.This study discovers a role of peripheral muscarinic receptors in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of AA. The cholinergic muscarinic mechanism appears to be more important than the opioid mechanism in the anti-inflammatory action of AA.Auricular acupuncture (AA) has been used for a wide varieties of pain conditions, such as cancer pain [1], chronic spinal pain [2,3], phantom limb pain [4], post-operative pain [5] and wound care in patients with burns [6]. Unlike body acupuncture, which has been widely studied for its analgesic mechanisms [7], the mechanism of AA in pain relief remains largely uninvestigated. Since the auricle is innervated by a mix of V, VII, IX and X cranial sensory nerves as well as cervical spinal afferents [8-10] and has central connections distinct from those of body acupoints, the afferent signaling (hence the physiological responses) produced by AA may be substantially different from those produced by body acupuncture.The anti-inflammatory action of AA is of particular interest as inflammation is a major cause of pain. A cholinergic anti-inflammatory p
Predictive Value of Auricular Diagnosis on Coronary Heart Disease  [PDF]
Lorna Kwai-Ping Suen,Yuk-kong Lau,Hok-cheung Ma,Kam-wai Lai,Eleanor Holroyd
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/706249
Abstract: The ear has a reflexive property; therefore, various physical attributes may appear on the auricle when disorders of the internal organs or other parts of the body exist. Auricular diagnostics is an objective, painless, and noninvasive method that provides rapid access to information. Thus, the association between auricular signals and coronary heart disease (CHD) should be further investigated. A case control study was conducted to determine the predictive value of auricular signals on 100 cases of CHD (CHD+ve = 50; CHD?ve = 50) via visual inspection, electrical skin resistance measurement, and tenderness testing. The results showed that the presence of an ear lobe crease (ELC) was significantly associated with coronary heart disease. The “heart” zone of the CHD+ve group significantly exhibited higher conductivity on both ears than that of the controls. The CHD+ve group experienced significant tenderness in the “heart” region compared with those in the CHD?ve group in both acute and chronic conditions. Further studies that take into consideration the impact of age, race, and earlobe shape on ELC prevalence in a larger sample should be done. 1. Introduction The ear was first mentioned in the earliest Chinese medical book, Yellow Emperor’s Classics of Internal Medicine, which was published more than 2,000 years ago. The book states that the ear is related to all parts of the human body and internal organs and that all meridians converge at the ear. The Chinese Association of Acupuncture and Moxibustion was tasked by the World Health Organization to standardize acupoint locations to have a common language in the study and exchange of ideas. In May 1993, the “Chinese Standard Ear-Acupoint the Chinese Chart,” which consists of 91 acupoints, was established [1]. The ear has a reflexive property; therefore, various physical attributes may appear on the auricle when body disorders exist. Such attributes include variations in shape, color, size, and sensation; appearance of papules, creases, and edema; and increased tenderness or decreased electrical conductivity [2, 3]. The association between the presence of an ear lobe crease (ELC) and coronary heart disease (CHD) was first reported by Frank [4] who identified diagonal creases on the ear lobes that run either unilaterally or bilaterally from the lower probe of the external auditory meatus diagonally backwards to the edge of the lobe [5]. Subsequently, several studies have demonstrated similar associations, either in patients with CHD [6–8] or in forensic autopsy cases [9, 10]. Other auricular signs
Impedance characteristics of ear acupoints in identifying excess or deficiency syndrome of stroke
Pin WANG
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao , 2010,
Abstract: Objective: To explore the impedance characteristics of ear acupoints in stroke patients with excess or deficiency syndrome, and to provide basis data for objective study of the syndromes of stroke.Methods: The data of electrical characteristics of ear acupoints in stroke patients and healthy people were collected, and excess syndrome and deficiency syndrome of stroke were identified by quantifying the syndromes of stroke using scales. The differences in impedance characteristics of ear acupoints between stroke patients and healthy people were analyzed, and the differences in impedance characteristics of ear acupoints between stroke patients with excess syndrome and stroke patients with deficiency syndrome were analyzed too. The correlation among impedance characteristics of ear acupoints, stroke and the syndromes was also analyzed.Results: There were significant differences in impedance characteristics of ear acupoints between stroke patients and healthy people (P<0.05,P<0.01). The ear acupoints CO12 (Gan) and CO13 (Pi) had a significant role in diagnosing stroke as compared with CO18 (Neifenmi), AT3.4.AH12i (Naogan), CO10 (Shen), TG2p (Shenshangxian), AH6a (Jiaogan), AT4 (Pizhixia), and CO15 (Xin). There were significant differences in impedance characteristics of ear acupoints between stroke patients with excess syndrome and stroke patients with deficiency syndrome (P<0.05, P<0.01). The ear acupoints AH6a (Jiaogan) and CO10 (Shen) played an important role in differentiation diagnosis of excess syndrome and deficiency syndrome of stroke, followed by CO18 (Neifenmi), TF4 (Shenmen) and TG2p (Shenshangxian).Conclusion: Some ear acupoints with diagnostic value for stroke may provide basis of objective research for stroke diagnosis as well as identifying excess syndrome and deficiency syndrome of stroke.
Systems Biology of Meridians, Acupoints, and Chinese Herbs in Disease
Li-Ling Lin,Ya-Hui Wang,Chi-Yu Lai,Chan-Lao Chau,Guan-Chin Su,Chun-Yi Yang,Shu-Ying Lou,Szu-Kai Chen,Kuan-Hao Hsu,Yen-Ling Lai,Wei-Ming Wu,Jian-Long Huang,Chih-Hsin Liao,Hsueh-Fen Juan
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/372670
Abstract: Meridians, acupoints, and Chinese herbs are important components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). They have been used for disease treatment and prevention and as alternative and complementary therapies. Systems biology integrates omics data, such as transcriptional, proteomic, and metabolomics data, in order to obtain a more global and complete picture of biological activity. To further understand the existence and functions of the three components above, we reviewed relevant research in the systems biology literature and found many recent studies that indicate the value of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Acupuncture is useful in pain moderation and relieves various symptoms arising from acute spinal cord injury and acute ischemic stroke. Moreover, Chinese herbal extracts have been linked to wound repair, the alleviation of postmenopausal osteoporosis severity, and anti-tumor effects, among others. Different acupoints, variations in treatment duration, and herbal extracts can be used to alleviate various symptoms and conditions and to regulate biological pathways by altering gene and protein expression. Our paper demonstrates how systems biology has helped to establish a platform for investigating the efficacy of TCM in treating different diseases and improving treatment strategies.
Reflectance Hashing for Material Recognition  [PDF]
Hang Zhang,Kristin Dana,Ko Nishino
Computer Science , 2015,
Abstract: We introduce a novel method for using reflectance to identify materials. Reflectance offers a unique signature of the material but is challenging to measure and use for recognizing materials due to its high-dimensionality. In this work, one-shot reflectance is captured using a unique optical camera measuring {\it reflectance disks} where the pixel coordinates correspond to surface viewing angles. The reflectance has class-specific stucture and angular gradients computed in this reflectance space reveal the material class. These reflectance disks encode discriminative information for efficient and accurate material recognition. We introduce a framework called reflectance hashing that models the reflectance disks with dictionary learning and binary hashing. We demonstrate the effectiveness of reflectance hashing for material recognition with a number of real-world materials.
Effect of self-administered auricular acupressure on smoking cessation --a pilot study
Lawrence Leung, Troy Neufeld, Scott Marin
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-11
Abstract: Sixty consenting participants with confirmed habit of tobacco smoking will be recruited and randomized into three arms to receive either auricular acupressure at five true acupoints (NADA protocol), auricular acupressure at five sham points, or no auricular acupressure at all. Participants having auricular acupressure will exert firm pressure to each acupoint bilaterally via the bead in the attached plasters whenever they feel the urge to smoke. The treatment phase will last for six weeks during which all participants will be assessed weekly to review their smoking log, state of abstinence, end-exhalation carbon monoxide levels and possible adverse effects including withdrawal reactions and stress levels. At any time, a successful quit date will be defined with continuous abstinence for the following consecutive 7 days. From then on, participants will be evaluated individually for continuous abstinence rate (CAR), end-exhalation carbon monoxide levels and adverse effects of stress and withdrawal at specified intervals up to 26 weeks. Expectancy of treatment will be assessed with a four-item Borkovec and Nau self-assessment credibility scale during and after intervention.We incorporate validated outcome measures of smoking cessation into our randomised controlled trial design with the objectives to evaluate the feasibility and possible benefits of self-administered auricular acupressure as a non-invasive alternative to pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01389622 (registered Jul 7 2011)Despite a decreasing trend in some countries, tobacco smoking is still prevalent in about one third of our world's population [1] and it remains a major modifiable health hazard with causative links to increased cardiovascular and pulmonary morbidity. It is also associated with lung cancer, oral cancer, laryngeal carcinoma, esophageal carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, bladder cancer and cervical carcinoma[2,3]. In Southeast Asia region,
Cromoblastomicose auricular: relato de um caso
Bittencourt, Achiléa Lisboa;Londero, Alberto T.;Andrade, Jacy A. F.;
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de S?o Paulo , 1994, DOI: 10.1590/S0036-46651994000400014
Abstract: it is presented a case of auricular chromoblastomycosis mimicking an eczematous lesion. the authors refer the rarity of this localization. all reported cases of auricular chromoblastomycosis have been caused by fonsecaea pedrosoi but in the present case the etiologic agent was phialophora verrucosa.
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