Acu-reflex points appear in the human body according to two models: systemic or symptomatic.
All physically and physiologically healthy persons have fewer acu-reflex points than do persons who are not healthy. If an initially healthy person starts to develop chronic problems such as chronic diseases, degenerative problems related to age, poor diet, bad posture, or lack of exercise, then more passive points will appear symmetrically all over the body. This phenomenon—the formation of passive acu-reflex points appear all over the body in particular locations when homeostasis declines— is referred to as the systemic pattern or model of acu-reflex point formation. Of most importance is that in the systemic model, all passive acu-reflex points are formed in predictable locations and in a predictable sequence. The predictable sequence determines which acu-reflex point becomes sensitive first and which point is sensitized next. This predictability in all people, healthy or sick, provides a quantitative basis for evaluation of a patient's health and allows the development of a standardized treatment protocol for acupuncture therapy, whose purpose is to restore homeostasis. These predictable acu-reflex points are called homeostatic acu-reflex points, inasmuch as they are related to homeostatic decline. Once homeostasis is restored, homeostatic acu-reflex points are gradually desensitized and eventually disappear, although some may stay for the rest of the patient's life.
If a healthy person sustains an acute injury, as in vehicle accidents or sports, or is afflicted with an acute disease, such as a cold or muscle sprain, sensitive points appear around the injured area or in related skin or muscle segments. These local sensitive points are termed symptomatic acu-reflex points. An acute injury is an example of the symptomatic model of acu-reflex point formation. The local appearance of symptomatic acu-reflex points reflects the individual features of the specific acute injury or disease. Each patient may exhibit a particular sensitization pattern of symptomatic acu-reflex points.
In physically healthy bodies, homeostatic acu-reflex points transform from latent phase to passive phase according to a highly predictable pattern. For example, the H1 deep radial point (located on the deep radial nerve where the nerve enters the lateral side of the forearm to innervate the extensor muscles of the wrist and fingers) is always the first one to become sensitive, and this is true for everybody.
The number of sensitive homeostatic acu-reflex points in the body serves as a quantitative indicator of the patient's health. Usually, a healthy person has few sensitive homeostatic acu-reflex points. If a healthy person has acute pain, a few sessions of treatment relieve the pain. Less healthy people have more sensitive acu-reflex points and, therefore, need more sessions to achieve relief of even minor acute pain. Thus the number of sensitive homeo-static acu-reflex points in the body is the quantitative indicator of (1) health status, (2) self-healing capacity (healthy persons heal better and faster), and (3) the number of treatments needed to achieve symptom relief. This quantitative indicator provides clinicians with a reasonably objective method for evaluating patients and predicting the outcome of the treatment.
Suppose that two patients complain about similar symptoms of low back pain, but patient A has 20 passive homeostatic acu-reflex points, whereas patient B has more than 40. To achieve pain relief, patient A is likely to need two treatments, whereas patient B may need eight. Moreover, patient A is likely to enjoy long-term or permanent relief from pain after two treatments, whereas it is highly possible that patient B will experience a relapse of the symptoms a few months after the initial eight treatments. Because patient A is healthier than patient B, patient A will (1) experience faster therapeutic results with fewer needling treatments, (2) enjoy longer and complete pain relief, and (3) be less likely to experience a relapse of the same pain symptom.
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