Acupuncture Analgesia: I. The Scientific Basis

  title={Acupuncture Analgesia: I. The Scientific Basis},
  author={Shu‐Ming Wang and Zeev N. Kain and Paul F. White},
  journal={Anesthesia \& Analgesia},
Acupuncture has been used in China and other Asian countries for the past 3000 yr. Recently, this technique has been gaining increased popularity among physicians and patients in the United States. Even though acupuncture-induced analgesia is being used in many pain management programs in the United States, the mechanism of action remains unclear. Studies suggest that acupuncture and related techniques trigger a sequence of events that include the release of neurotransmitters, endogenous opioid… 

Figures from this paper

Acupuncture in the Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases
The latest evidence on the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, and knee pain with traditional Chinese acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and the use of moxibustion is summarized.
Acupuncture in modern society.
Acupuncture therapy for psychiatric illness.
  • K. Pilkington
  • Psychology, Medicine
    International review of neurobiology
  • 2013
From East to West and Return : a Western Interpretation of Acupuncture
It can be concluded that there are common denominators between acupuncture and western medicine.
The Holistic Effects of Acupuncture Treatment
It is believed that having a better understand of acupuncture will greatly promote acupuncture research and be beneficial to scientization and modernization of acupuncture.
History of acupuncture research.
Mechanisms of Action for Acupuncture in the Oncology Setting
A biomedical database search for articles in the English-language literature revealed studies examining the effect of acupuncture on fibroblast cells, a decrease of inflammatory cytokines, an increase of T-lymphocytes, and increasing adenosine, neuropeptides, opioid peptides, peptide hormones, and stem cells.
Filling in the Acupuncture Jigsaw Puzzle.
An expanding body of evidence has supported claims for a physiological basis for an effect of acupuncture on stress responses and anxiety, and there remains a need for improved methodologies, larger studies, better standardization of treatments, and more rigorous control processes.


Neurochemical basis of acupuncture analgesia.
A review on acupuncture and its neurochemical basis and much of the work in this field has been published in periodicals not easily accessible to the general scientific community for linguistic or other reasons, it is found it necessary to limit this review to studies of acupuncture for the relief of pain.
Perioperative Acupuncture and Related Techniques
Acupuncture may be effective for postoperative pain relief but requires a high level of expertise by the acupuncture practitioner, and preoperative sedation seems to be a promising application of acupuncture in perioperative settings.
Electroacupuncture: mechanisms and clinical application
Acupuncture and endorphins
Neuroimaging of Acupuncture in Patients with Chronic Pain
The potential use of various functional brain imaging techniques in the study of the effects of acupuncture is described and marked increases in the brainstem uptake and a tendency for normalization of the asymmetric thalamic and basal ganglia uptake are revealed.
Acupuncture Produces Central Activations in Pain Regions
Classic acupuncture appears to act by activating areas also involved in pain, indicating that acupuncture could relief pain by unbalancing the equilibrium of distributed pain-related central networks.
Neurobiological correlates of acupuncture: November 17-18, 2005.
Several findings from acupuncture neuroimaging experiments were presented and discussed at the conference on topics related to possible signaling networks, sham acupuncture controls, acupoint specificity, acupuncture analgesia, acupuncture-associated brain response, and the potential for using neuroim imaging in conjunction with translational and clinical acupuncture research.
Acupuncture modulates the limbic system and subcortical gray structures of the human brain: Evidence from fMRI studies in normal subjects
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the effects of acupuncture in normal subjects and to provide a foundation for future studies on mechanisms of acupuncture action in therapeutic interventions, suggesting that acupuncture needle manipulation modulates the activity of the limbic system and subcortical structures.
Acupuncture--effect on normal subjects.
Evidence is presented that sensory nerve fibre stimulation may be the basic primary requirement of successful acupuncture analgesia and this effect was seen bilaterally with unilateral acupuncture stimulation.