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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 260510, 6 pages
Review Article

Review of Evidence Suggesting That the Fascia Network Could Be the Anatomical Basis for Acupoints and Meridians in the Human Body

1Department of Anatomy, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
2Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
3Department of Anatomy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

Received 4 August 2010; Revised 4 February 2011; Accepted 28 February 2011

Copyright © 2011 Yu Bai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The anatomical basis for the concept of meridians in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has not been resolved. This paper reviews the evidence supporting a relationship between acupuncture points/meridians and fascia. The reviewed evidence supports the view that the human body's fascia network may be the physical substrate represented by the meridians of TCM. Specifically, this hypothesis is supported by anatomical observations of body scan data demonstrating that the fascia network resembles the theoretical meridian system in salient ways, as well as physiological, histological, and clinical observations. This view represents a theoretical basis and means for applying modern biomedical research to examining TCM principles and therapies, and it favors a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment.