The physiological effects of acupuncture warrant its application for the treatment of pain; Critical discussion.
Pain defined in 1996 by international association for the study for pain (IASP) as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that is associated with actual or potential tissue damage(Steeds C 2009). It is a complex sensation requiring integration of nociceptive and other sensory information at the cortical level (Lemke 2004) ; see Figure 1..
Effective treatment of pain has been one of the great challenges in medicine and acupuncture itself has been practiced worldwide for pain treatment, since it has been developed in china around 2000 BC, however it has been looked at with considerable scepticism by western medicine(Culliton 1972;NIH 1998)
The attitude of the West started to change in 1971 as a member of the US press corps was given acupuncture during his recovery from an emergency appendectomy during President Nixon’s visit to China. He described his experience in the New York Times (Reston 1971) Subsequently teams of US doctors made fact-finding tours of China to assess acupuncture, particularly its use for surgical analgesia(Dimond 1971). This was followed by an outbreak of interest and research into its possible mode of action.
Since then, acupuncture became a widely used in various clinical conditions, especially pain management but the debate has been happening as whether acupuncture in comparison to the respective control is an effective treatment option or the accounted acupuncture effects reflect merely a placebo response(Enck, Klosterhalfen, & Zipfel 2010). In other words whether acupuncture analgesia has a physiological basis or is simply attributable to hypnosis or other psychological effects. Several reasons other than the prejudice have been in support for latter assumptions. For example, there is a resistance to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The paradigm of TCM with its balancing of...