Neurophysiologic control of energy
What could be the connection between the information of the nerves and
the regulation of the transport of fuel and oxygen source at the organ's
and entrail's level?
The control of the vasodilatation and the arterial and venous vasoconstriction seems to be the only link which could unify these two functions of enriching and impoverishing the supply of blood, accordingly energy, to an organ or an entrails.
Of all organs of the vegetative variety, those of the circulating system contribute most to create the conditions which reassure a rapid adjustment of tissue activities, depending on the varying conditions of the organism's existence in the surrounding environment.
- All local fluctuations of the tissue's metabolism emanates necessarily from a modification occurring in their blood supply. (C. Bykov).
Thus, our knowledge increases regarding this notion of energy vacuum or
energy excess, which must be invigorated or dissipated according the
tradition of acupuncture.
Admitting this logical argumentation, it is necessary to take a closer look at the above described information about the anomalies of the epicritic cutaneous reflex.
Two types of perception
We have described two types of perception (sting and burn) and two types of reaction (being vasodilatation, lacking of reaction or even vasoconstriction).
A regular cutaneous zone receives and transmits fine mechanical information and normal exogenous thermal information at the same time. Under the influence of the cerebral membrane, this zone normally modulates its vasoconstrictive and vasodilative reflexes, which reassure the endogenous thermal regulation.
- One can say that the cerebral membrane governs the periphery: it regulates the functional activity of the peripheral devices. The membrane does not only record, it directs and commands the cutaneous receptivity. The relationship of the cutaneous sensitivity with the membrane is no simple centripetal unilateral connection, it is an interrelation of all senses. (C. Bykov)
It appears logical to proceed with the cortical reactions being falsified to a certain degree or the received cutaneous information being inaccurate. An irregular cutaneous zone neither receives nor transmits the fine mechanical information, but integrates it to the information as a whole, which is exclusively information of the thermal type. This zone doesn't vary it's vasodilatation system any longer, it is inert in the majority of cases (sometimes vasoconstricted and visible without aid of a particular excitement in connection with zones delimiting the zone).
Simple friction using a "horsehair glove" reveals the zone immediately, but the use of the "plum flower" (a Chinese acupuncture tool consisting of a hammer with seven fine needles) is more interesting in giving the burning sensation which reveals the irregular zone accurately.
Two main actions
It should be noted that in acupuncture two main actions are anticipated
for remedy of the given problems: needling and moxas. There are varieties
concerning the needles, which can be cold or heated, manipulated or not,
and sometimes they are left staying resident.
We remember well the notion of mechanical information and the notion of thermal information in the treatment, as in observation of abnormalities of the cutaneous epicritic reflex.
- The physiology of the organism must be considered as a whole, there can be no principal separation of the processes caused by irritation of the receptors detecting the effect, which comes from the interior milieu of the organism, and the irritation of the receptors, which are sensitive towards the environmental milieu. (according to Pavlov in his Unitarian theory of the analytical activity).
Opinion of C. Bykov
He believes the question should be asked in the following way:
- Does one have to consider that the irritation of interoceptors is only the cause of absolute elemental reflexes and primarily of reflexes which modify the activity of the same system of organs or are situated at the given interoceptors ?
- Should one continue to set the interoceptors against the exteroceptors, which are the main area for reception of conditional reflexes, the latter of which form the base of the propulsive reactions of the organism in the exterior milieu ?
The current clinical understanding requires that there are distant receptors, whose influence determines the behavior of the organism in the exterior milieu, and those, whose influence determines the responses of the organism to fluctuations of its interior milieu.
- The cerebral membrane, which controls all behavior of the organism in the ambient milieu, acts on the internal economy at the same time. Therefore, it is improbable that the connection vice versa doesn't exist. (Bykov).
The raised Information
For a thesis being correct, one should be able to invert the terms:
There is an analogy between sympathetical visceral fibers and sympathetical cutaneous fibers (conductors of the thermal information): they are amylonated, their diameter is small and the conduction slowly. Logically, there could also be a relation of similarity between both types of information, which therefore could also be origins of errors for interpretation of the central system's part.
Admitting that the information from a cutaneous zone which can't transmit
the fine mechanical information any longer, but only the permanent
information of the thermal type, was received by a system (central,
medullar or ganglionic) as if it were information derived from a
- What has happened ?
A viscera is usually regulated
We can already remember that a viscera is usually regulated with phases of maximal activity and other phases of minimal activity which correspond to the rhythms imposed by the society (meals, rest, work). Therefore, we mean biological rhythms or more subtle chronobiological rhythms.
Thus, this viscera suffers from phases of blood flow, its production of work, heat and waste is at a maximum. Outside of these periods of superactivity, the blood flow is regulated to a minimum to assure keeping up with the state of wakefulness. It's production of work, heat and waste are therefore at a minimum.
If it receives a lot of blood, thus a lot of energy, it produces a lot of heat in addition...
This seems to be logical, if the thermal information is of the "cold" type (which provokes a local cutaneous vasoconstriction) and is detected as being derived from the viscera, which produces via reflex ways a visceral identical vasoconstriction, thus a reduction of the quantity of its own blood flow (energy vacuum, which is invigorated by the moxas).
In the case of thermal information of the "hot" type, it produces the opposite mechanism and we see an increment of the blood flow at viscera level (thus a plenitude or excess of energy, which has to be dissipated by the needles).
The acupuncture points therefore can possess a function stimulating a
vasodilatation or vasoconstriction reflex at a level of alimentation of a
viscera, whereby its blood flow is increased or decreased and
consequently its energy vacuum is replenished or its energy excess is
dissipated. There we find the principles according to the tradition of
acupuncture and to the physiologic and neurophysiologic mechanism of the
Our logical link is supported by the excess of energy, the heat and the dissipation by the needle on one side and the energy vacuum, the cold and the invigoration by moxas at the other side.
The mechanism of cold
Taking the example of a "cold snap" on the chest. What kind of a reflex mechanism emanates from the invoked principle:
- cutaneous vasoconstriction with or without chill
- induced visceral vasoconstriction
- reduction of the blood flow in the visceral capillaries
- diminishment of the rate of leukocytes, thus diminishing of the defenses
- possibility of bacterial infection
The mechanism of heat
We will envisage the principle started by utilization of a mustard plaster (next page), a local revulsion well known by our ancestors:
- cutaneous revulsion localized at the chest with strong erythematous reaction
- induced strong visceral vasodilatation
- increment of the blood flow in the visceral capillaries
- increment of the leukocytes, thus rise of the defenses
- possibility of destruction of bacteria
- The ice bag on the belly to slow down the inflammatory phenomenon of the appendices
- The hot water bottle on the stomach in cases of digestive problems
It is a matter of cutaneous-visceral reflexes, and not of cold or heat passing through the skin, sometimes passing through a relative thick layer of subcutaneous fat.
The generation of hyperthermia, generally by a hot bath (38°C), is a technique already used by the Romans.
A hyperthermal bath provokes an artificial fever and therefore launches all defense mechanisms before their natural activation by the infection.
This procedure, which is rarely used nowadays, yields excellent results with the flu, but should be avoided in cases of circulatory problems.
Our ancestors knew well the use of grog consisting of rum, honey, lemon juice and boiling water, which provoked a heat reaction and transpiration in cases of symptoms of flu (its usage is not completely lost and gone!)
One could also get a distant action by injection of anesthetic substances into a cutaneous zone to relieve a visceral pain.
- The artery or the arteriole deliver the blood charged with energy.
- The nervous peripheral system modulates the productiveness of the artery or the arteriole.
- The articular restrictions of the backbone disturb the sympathetic function and favor the parasympathetic dominance. - This dominance diminishes the diameter of the artery, thus reducing the flow of blood and consequently energy.
- The manipulation elevates the inflammatory barrier, originating from the restriction of the articular mobility, which compresses the sympathetical fibers originating from the backbone. Therefore the manipulation liberates sympathetical action (dilatation) which enables the regulation of waste in the artery or the arteriole, and thus the regulation of the energy of the corresponding viscera is affected.
- Acupuncture and the osteopathy have this in common: they act on the regulation of the diameter of the visceral artery of the treated segment. One acts by stimulation of the cutaneous-visceral reflex arc, which is disturbed by the raised information (phantoms), the other acts by pure and simple elimination of the same pertubative information.