• Shu-Ming Wang


The word acupuncture is derived from Latin acus “with a needle” and pungere “puncture through the skin (Kaptchuk 2000).” Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 3000 years as a therapeutic procedure for pain relief, but only recently (1970s) a greater understanding of the underlying mechanism of acupuncture analgesia developed (NIH consensus developmental panel on acupuncture 1998). Similar to many ancient healing traditions, acupuncture has accumulated a wealth of anecdotal experiences documenting its clinical effectiveness in a variety of pain conditions. In 1997, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) conference released the consensus statement that acupuncture is effective in treating migraine headache, back pain, and dysmenorrhea (NIH consensus developmental panel on acupuncture 1998, Patel et al. 1989, Ter Riet and Keipachild 1990, Ezzo et al. 2000). The main focus of this chapter is to review the philosophy and history of acupuncture, to uncover the physiology of pain perception, to understand the underlying physiologic mechanisms of acupuncture analgesia, and to review current use of acupuncture in pain management for selected acute and chronic pain conditions.


Acupuncture Treatment Neck Disability Index Acupuncture Group Acupuncture Point Sham Acupuncture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu-Ming Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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