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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Impact factor: 2.385

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2014008284
pages 249-253

Acupuncture, Connective Tissue, and Peripheral Sensory Modulation

Helene M. Langevin
Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

ABSTRACT

Although considerable controversy surrounds the legitimacy of acupuncture as a treatment, a growing literature on the physiological effects of acupuncture needling in animals and humans is providing new insights into basic cellular mechanisms including connective tissue mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling. This review summarizes these findings and proposes a model combining connective tissue plasticity and peripheral sensory modulation in response to the sustained stretching of tissue that results from acupuncture needle manipulation.