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Acupuncture and Fascia: Discoveries that Lend Clues into How Acupuncture Works

For acupuncturists looking to increase their clinical skills and efficiency, a new acupuncture course on the anatomy of fascial lines offers many insights.


The nature of meridians has been a long standing mystery. However, the work of Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains, offers an anatomical basis for meridians based on fascial connections between muscles. For instance, many of the muscles on the back of the body including the calves, hamstrings, paraspinals, and sub-occipital muscles are all interconnected through the fascia. Additionally, these muscles share structural and functional similarities in the way they support the spine and allow for forward bending movements.

A new online acupuncture course approved by the NCCAOM explores these relationships between the meridians and the fascia. When the traditional meridians are compared to the fascial lines there is a lot of overlap, and this gives many insights about how acupuncturists can get better clinical results. For instance, there are many points on the hands that treat back pain. The fascial line model shows how the points on the hands are able to influence the latissimus dorsi and trapezius, which are major muscles of the back.   

Researcher Dr. Helene Langevin M.D. has also found that acupuncture has the ability to stretch the fascia when acupuncturists apply a special twirling technique to the needles. This stretch that occurs through the fascia may also account for how points in the hand can benefit distant regions of the body like the low back. Acupuncture may also produce mechanical signals that alter proteins like collagen, and this may be a part of how acupuncture gets therapeutic results.  

The current course on acupuncture and fascia focuses on a special group of points known as Tung’s acupuncture points. However, the principles taught in the course also apply to TCM acupuncture, and explain many facets of all styles of acupuncture therapy. 

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