This Newly Discovered Organ May Help Explain Acupuncture

One would think that, by now, scientists would have long ago defined every single organ in the human body. From the times of DaVinci, we’ve studied every nook and cranny of our insides. There can’t be anything new in there, right? Well, apparently there is. Scientists may have recently discovered a new organ in our bodies—and it is fascinating. 

In 2015, two researchers were using new technology to examine a cancer patient’s bile duct on a microscopic level when they were shocked to see a group of interconnected cavities in the tissue that they couldn’t identify. Upon research, they couldn’t find them in medical reference books either. So the researchers took a piece of this tissue out of the body and made a slide to view it more closely—but the cavities had disappeared.

What they had caught a glimpse of is known as the interstitium. For years, the scientific practice of viewing dead tissue on microscopic slides is exactly what kept this network hidden from us. This organ, known as the interstitium, is a fluid-filled network that flows through our connective tissues. It’s pretty vast. In fact, it may even be a larger organ than our skin. But when it is taken out of the body, the fluid drains out and the tissue simply appears to be full of inconsequential cavernous collagen bundles.

So we have another fluid network inside our bodies besides our circulatory and defined lymph systems. Why is this so cool? Not only are these spaces filled with fluid, but they are interwoven throughout every inch of connective tissue in our bodies. Digestive system, face, bile duct, biceps muscle—everywhere. And while researchers have long known about the interstitium, this is the first time scientists are able to comprehend the magnitude of what these spaces are… and could be.

One very interesting theory about the interstitium is that it may have a lot to do with the previously unexplainable success of acupuncture treatments. With a fluid network so vast, placing needles upon certain meridian lines could support the energetic flow of the fluids and promote healing and health to associated areas. Many researchers believe this is entirely possible. But this is all entirely theoretical at this point.

This organ may also play a role in spreading diseases like cancer, since the fluid in this area is part of the body’s vast lymphatic system. By better understanding the interstitium as an organ, we may begin to have a better understanding of how to prevent cancers from spreading to other parts of the body.

While not everyone in the scientific community and media is excited about this potential discovery, it does bring us a greater understanding of how the body miraculously functions. Whether it is the secret to explaining acupuncture, the secret to curing cancer, or just turns out to be a shock-absorbing pathway through which fluids flow, more information about how our bodies work is always a good thing.

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91 comments

hELEN h
hELEN h3 months ago

Fascinating - thank you

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Carole R
Carole R3 months ago

Very interesting and it does make a lot of sence.

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Angela K
Angela K3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Hannah K
Hannah K4 months ago

Thank you

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Tania N
Tania N4 months ago

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N4 months ago

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N4 months ago

Thank you.

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Aldana W
Aldana W4 months ago

thanks

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Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer4 months ago

Hmmmm. Very interesting

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

I'm presuming acupuncture presses on a nerve.

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