By measuring for lower electrical resistance, Dr. Jia-Xu Chen and Sheng-Xing Ma were able to find the exact positions of acupuncture points. Inspired by the idea that the Chinese character for Qi 气 literatally means gas, they decided to test whether gasses were in fact escaping these points. They discovered one gas in particular that serves as a neurotransmitter. These  gaseous  neurotransmitters such as carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide are a vital part of human physiology.


Gasotransmitters pass through membranes, communicate with other nerves and actdirectly on cells. It tells them to start producing energy and turn fat into heat. Jia-Xu Chen and Sheng-Xing Ma found nitric oxide at levels 2-3 times higher on acupuncture points than at other places on the skin’s surface. By controlling the flow of a gasotransmitter called nitric oxide, acupuncturists can influence the body’s rate of metabolism and inflammation. They use needling techniques to control the flow of energy production by releasing or containing gas at strategic exits. This is similar to an off ramp.


If you have a traffic jam, you have a lot of power available in those cars. Each car can go faster than 100 miles per hour and pull a great deal of weight. Unfortunately, within the context of a traffic jam, each car might as well be donkey because the cars can’t travel at their optimum speed. The problem isn’t a lack of energy, it’s a problem of distribution. The key to unlocking all that power is to reduce the number of cars on the road. This optimizes the number of cars that can work efficiently for transportation. In the same way, your body requires an even flow gasotransmitters in order to do its best work. Inserting a needle creates an “off ramp” for the extra gasotransmitters to escape and improve the ergonomics of its flow throughout the body.


Photo credits:


empty 007 “Champagne pool”

Terence T.S. Tam “Night Shot

Creative Commons License Gasotransmitters and Acupuncture by Andrew Miles & Xuelan Qiu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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