br Methods br Results br Discussion
Discussion For the first time, we report the characteristics of meridian acupoint temperatures in healthy medical college students, from which we can construct a meridian acupoint temperature map. The map vividly shows that the acupoint temperature is consistent within a narrow range to maintain the body warmness; the acupoint temperature is symmetric with bilateral correlation for the left and right sides. The acupoint temperature of the governor vessel is symmetric to that of the conception vessel (Fig. S2). A single temperature reading is not sufficient to exactly reflect the temperature difference over the entire body, whereas meridian acupoint temperature could overcome this problem. The human body temperature keeps its core temperature constant at about 37°C by physiological regulation, which is controlled by the hypothalamus and associated with the balance between blood flow and metabolism according to the “heat removal” theory. Only the “dead body” temperature varies with environmental temperature, a reading that is always cold. In our study, we measured 135 acupoint skin temperatures and found that they remained consistently within a range of 34.88–36.14°C, but had a difference among them with concentricity distribution. Skin temperatures of acupoints located in the head, chest, and belly were higher (Table 4). The governor vessel and conception vessel distribute along the head and trunk axis line. The human mct2 pathway weight represents 4–5% of body weight, but its blood flow volume covers 15–20% of the cardiac output. Important organs, such as the heart, lung, liver, spleen, intestine, and kidney, are in the chest and belly. Blood flow volume of the heart and lung is responsible for about 15% of the cardiac output. Liver, spleen, and intestine reserve abundant blood; therefore, acupoint skin temperatures of these sections were correspondingly higher. In this study, the temperatures of three acupoints—LI11, SI8, and TE10—did not meet the trend of their whole meridian temperature. In fact, they were much lower than that of the adjacent acupoint temperature. This is the first study to report on this phenomenon. It is generally understood that LI11 names quchi, SI8 xiaohai, and TE2 tianjing. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the meanings of their names are all related to water. Indeed, water is an important mediator to transfer energy, as the heat always flows from a higher to a lower temperature. Water temperature can affect the metabolic rates and biological activity of human bodies by maintaining energy homeostasis. However, metabolic rates and biological activity of the holistic human body can change the water temperature. Transformation of the drinking water into circulating blood, where after the circulating blood transforms into sweat and urine is mutually associated with human metabolism and physiology. However, further studies are necessary to explore the mechanisms underlying this novel finding. It is well known that an important therapy in TCM is moxibustion. The principle of moxibustion is implemented by clinical applications of penetrating heat on specific meridian channels and acupuncture points of the body, with the intention of stimulating circulation and restoring energy homeostasis. In fact, moxibustion alone, or in combination with acupuncture, may be effective for impaired circulation, cold and damp conditions, and yang deficiency in the body. Indeed, moxibustion has widely been used for the treatment of pain, cancer, stroke, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and hypertension. Patients living with cancer often have a low body temperature. An animal experiment has shown that direct moxibustion at Ganshu (BL18) could inhibit precancerous lesion and delay the development of liver cancer in a rat model. Premenstrual syndrome symptom can reduce the quality of life of the individual. Both hand acupuncture therapy (HAT) and hand moxibustion therapy (HMT) might significantly reduce overall premenstrual syndrome symptom severity scores. The HMT, but not the HAT, could improve body temperature in the clavicles, chest, lower abdomen, and shoulder, with narrowing temperature discrepancies among their symmetrical locations. Acupoint heat-sensitive moxibustion over bilateral Weizhong (BL 40) might relieve acute knee pain by decreasing serum osteopontin and matrix metalloproteinase-3 levels.