Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2007 , Vol 53 , Num 2

Acupuncture Therapy

Tunç Alp Kalyon 1
1 T.C. Sağlık Bakanlığı Akupunktur Bilim Komisyonu Üyesi, Ankara

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of therapeutic modalities; its history goes back 2 to 3 thousand years. The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese text that included the first description of acupuncture, describes 365 classical acupuncture points, and these points lie along specific pathways, called meridians, that extend in a network throughout the body.  The mode of action of acupuncture is explained by several ways. Acupuncture most likely produces its effects through activation of sensory receptors in the skin, the muscle, or other innervated structures. The stimulation of the afferent fibers activates the pain modulatory systems in a similar way as explained by the gate-control mechanism and/or physical neuromatrix mechanisms. The second probable mechanism is the neuropharmacologic effect. It has been shown that acupuncture increases the endorphin level in various parts of the central nervous system. There is ample literature supporting the clinical efficacy of acupuncture as an analgesic modality. However there is no standard definition or clinical approach to acupuncture. Needling techniques and forms of stimulation vary widely across patients and practitioners. More recently the efficacy of acupuncture on various clinical syndromes have been extensively assessed by NIH and suggested to be used in the management of some painful clinical conditions such as low back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis and fibromyalgia. 

Keywords : Acupuncture, analgesia, pai