Point-Foramen-Zone-Microzone-Area? (Theoretical-practical account)

L. Malinovsky1, R. Umlauf2, C. Cavallotti1, V. Malinovska3, V. Andrea1
1Univ."La Sapienza" ,Rome ,2,3Med.Acad.of Acup. , Med. Fac. Univ. Brno, Czech Renublic

In acupuncture the active places are called "points", "zones" or "microzones" till now. They are usually understood as superficial parts of the skin or mucous membranes. SCHNORRENBERGER (1996) has shown that the term "point" is only a wrong translation from the Chinese. According to the old Chinese authors, the active place is a three-dimensional space; the needle stimulates not only the surface of the active place, but also different sensors and other cells in the depth .Schnorrenberger proposed, for this reason, a new term for acupuncture points - the foramen.

This term is already used in another sense - as a preformed opening usually in bones or fascia. The suitable term would be "area" introduced by BRODMANN for cortex cerebri. Area is not only a superficial part of the brain, but includes also the underlying structures, i.e. it represents a certain space. At present, of course, the generally used term is "point". We recommend therefore to understand the "point" as a three dimensional space extending from the surface to the depth and involving different sensors and modulative cells in the epidermis, dermis as well as in the tela subcutanea. The "active point" represents in this way the relatively greatest accumulation of sensors in the place given. We can imagine this space as a cylinder demonstrated on Fig.1-glabrous human skin. In the hairy skin-Fig.2-another important role has the sensory innervation of hairs besides other sensors and modulative cells. Fig.3 demonstrates all basic kinds of sensors in the skin, mucous membranes and other tissues and organs.

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