Acupuncture and myofascial lines for the neck, back and shoulders

The posterior myofascial arm lines

Hand points for back pain

This picture shows how the points are numbered in the Tung system of acupuncture.  It is useful for acupuncture research and helps integrate neurological and myofascial responses to needling.

Acupuncture renumbered in the Tung system

Translation of traditional concepts into a biomedical understanding

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, Sep 30, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in a variety of painful conditions and various neurological mechanisms for managing pain are well known. However, a neurological model does not explain all of the benefits of acupuncture. Musculoskeletal and connective tissue reactions are also involved and act on different levels through biomechanics, power transmission and cellular proteins.

The remainder of this article will examine how traditional methods of using non-local and distal points relate to the anatomy of the myofascial system.

Fasciae surround the muscles and converge as tendons to connect the muscles to the bones. Tendons play a key role in movement and have both structural and functional roles in the musculoskeletal system. Anatomical studies have also shown that myofascial lines such as nerves converge in the regions of the hands, feet, neck, spine, and head. Because tendons play an influential role in the transmission of musculoskeletal forces, they are prone to stress, strain and injury. When there is tension in the neck and shoulder areas due to injury, misalignment, inflammation, or spinal and neurological pathologies, that tension moves in paths that follow both the neural pathways and the myofascial lines. By needling non-local acupuncture points in the limbs, muscle tension in the neck can be released.

In traditional theories of acupuncture, many meridians begin and end in the head, hands, and feet. In addition, clinical practice shows that many points around the hands, wrists, feet and ankles are highly effective for neck, back and shoulder pain. While some of this can be explained by neurological mechanisms, biomechanical processes are also involved and fill the gaps for biomedical explanations. Muscle contraction and strain transfer forces through connecting muscle groups that share synergistic and antagonistic functions. From this perspective, the traditional meridians can be equated with myofascial lines that are involved in biomechanics and movement. An anatomical foundation for the meridians is in the myofascial lines, and as muscles shorten and lengthen, physical forces are transmitted that follow the meridian lines.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, points such as SI 3, LU 7, UB 60 and GB 39 are known to be effective for head, neck and shoulder complaints. In each of these regions, myofascial lines converge in the limbs and also connect to the neck and back. In the Tung acupuncture system, many of the most effective points for treating the neck, back, and shoulders are located in areas of dense connective tissue. Points in the Achilles tendon, IT ligament, calf head, and along the radius are all in areas where neuromuscular convergence occurs in areas of high connective tissue density. By reviewing the traditional point functions in these areas, we determine that they match the anatomical maps of the fascia lines.

For more information, see Acupuncture for Neck, Back and Shoulder Pain

James Spears
Integrative Healing Society
415-367-3610
email us here

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September 30, 2021, 11:00 GMT


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