Acupuncture and homeostasis: physiological, physical (postural) and psychological.

  • John P. Plummer
  • Published 1981 in The American journal of Chinese medicine


When the subject of homeostasis is discussed, one automatically thinks of physiological homeostasis, in particular such things as fluid and electrolyte balance, and the maintenance of body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, etc. In fact, two other concepts of homeostasis exist in the literature, namely physical or postural homeostasis, and also psychological homeostasis. The former applies to the situation where the line of gravity of the body in the erect posture passes in the frontal or coronal plane directly through the center of the axis of the atlanto-occipital, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints. Only a very small proportion of people attain this ideal balanced posture. Psychological homeostasis refers to emotional control or tranquility. It has been stated that the biological function of human emotion is primarily homeostatic. Repression is a homeostatic mechanism. Evidence is presented to show that a feedback type of relationship probably exists between these forms of homeostasis, and any of the body-mind type of therapies (including acupuncture and T'ai chi ch'uan) thus have a three-fold effect on man, i.e. on his physiology, his posture and his mind.


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