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A review by authors from the UK, New Zealand and China suggests that acupoint sensitisation is based on neurogenic inflammation, and that stimulation of sensitised acupoints results in better clinical effects. The review summarises evidence from a variety of different types of studies, including those using animal models, as well as clinical trials. Study findings have provided preliminary evidence regarding mechanisms of sensitisation and potential effectiveness for clinical applications, and basic experimental studies have confirmed the objective existence of acupoint sensitisation as an external manifestation of dysfunction in internal organs. Mechanistic studies have suggested acupoint sensitisation might be caused by neurogenic inflammation associated with modulation of peripheral substances involved in pain signalling and dysfunction of neural activity. However, while generally in support of the phenomenon of acupoint sensitisation, the authors conclude that the evidence is currently mixed.

Understanding Acupoint Sensitization: A Narrative Review on Phenomena, Potential Mechanism, and Clinical Application. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Aug 14;2019:6064358.