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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 2, Pages 153-158

Acupuncture Anesthesia and Analgesia for Clinical Acute Pain in Japan

Department of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion II, Meiji University of Oriental Medicine, Hiyoshi-cho, Nantan-city, Kyoto 629-0392, Japan

Received 21 June 2006; Accepted 22 March 2007

Copyright © 2008 Reina Taguchi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acupuncture anesthesia has been practiced in China since about 1960. In Japan, Hyodo reported 30 cases of acupuncture anesthesia in 1972. However, from around 1980, the direction of acupuncture investigations turned from anesthesia to analgesia. Acupuncture analgesia is presently considered a way to activate the body's endogenous analgesic system. Recently, with the rise of acupuncture as one of the most well known CAM therapies, acupuncture or moxibustion treatment has been reported for both acute and chronic pain. Even so, few clinical reports and original articles have been reported in Japan. This review illustrates how acupuncture is being used in Japan for acute pain such as surgical operations, post- operative pain (POP), neuropathic pain, pain associated with teeth extractions and after the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth.