(Compiled from the internet by Fred Gallo, PhD)
In 1950 Yoshio Nakatani demonstrated that in specific organ disease a number of acupuncture points along that organ's acupuncture meridian had a markedly decreased electrical resistance compared with the surrounding skin. (e.g. in Kidney disease several of the kidney points had a lowered skin resistance). He found the resistance values for these points varied with the time of the day, ambient temperature Acupuncture, activity and emotional state of the subject.
In the late 1970's Dr. Robert Becker and associates similarly identified lowered resistance values for over 50% of acupoints along the Large Intestine meridian. Becker suggested that the acupoints acted as amplifiers of a semi conducting Direct Current traveling along the perineural cells which wrap around each and every nerve in the body.
This D C system became more negative as it traveled to the ends of fingers and toes and more positive as it returned to the trunk and head (i.e. a Yin - Yang flow). It was known that the skin acted as a battery (outside of skin is negative and inside was positive) and Becker found the acupuncture point was more positive than the surrounding skin.
The insertion of a needle would short circuit this battery and generate a current of injury lasting for several days. Further electrical activity occurred because of: (1) ionic reactivity between the metal needle and body fluids (2) low frequency pulses of electricity from twirling the needle.
This generated electrical energy would flow along this DC system to the brain and would be analogous to the Qi described by classical acupuncture.
In 1978 Luciani produced Kirlean photographs of the LED (light emission diode) effect of acupoints along the small intestine meridian and the large intestine meridian. The existence of the meridian system was further established by French researcher Pierre de Vernejoul, who injected radioactive isotopes into the acupoints of humans and tracked their movement with a special gamma imaging camera. The isotopes traveled thirty centimeters along acupuncture meridians within four to six minutes. Vernejoul then challenged his work by injecting isotopes into the blood vessels at random areas of the body rather than into acupoints. The isotopes did not travel in the same manner at all, further indicating that the meridians do indeed comprise a system of separate pathways within the body.
Although reports of acupuncture have been recorded in the west since the 1800's, it wasn't until the 1970's that this method of therapy became well publicized. A reporter for the "New York Times" became ill with appendicitis while traveling in China and had an appendectomy without anesthesia, but with the use of acupuncture. This was widely reported in the western press. Doctors tried to explain the technique by saying it was the "placebo affect". This is the phenomenon in which 30% of people will be shown to be able to self heal in experiments when given a sugar pill instead of the "real medicine". However, this was shown to be a false belief because animals (who couldn't possibly respond to suggestion) also responded to the analgesic properties of acupuncture. In the 1960s, western scientists developed a special tissue-staining technique that allowed him to identify these meridians in rabbits.
Western scientist ignored this research until the 1980s when two French researchers, Drs. Claude Darras and Pierre De Vernejoul repeated Dr. Hans experiment using radioactive tracers on human beings. They injected and then twirled radioactive technetium into the acupoints of patients and used nuclear scanning equipment to follow the flow of technetium. They also injected non-acupoints. At non-acupoints, the radioactive tracer diffused outward from the injection site into circular patterns. When the true acupoints were injected, the radioactive technetium followed the exact pathways as the acupuncture meridians in the ancient charts of the human body! They also found that when acupuncture needles were inserted into distant acupoints along the same tracer-labeled meridians and the twirled, a change was produced in the rate of flow of the technetium through the meridians.
Thank you for the above article by to Fred Galo Phd
Footnote by Ruth Howard. "What I understand is meridians are a part of our Tan Tien (known as our Hara in Shiatsu or Chakra in Ayurvedic Medicine), our DNA, our nervous systems & our mind."