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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 430851, 8 pages
Research Article

An Exploratory Survey of Deqi Sensation from the Views and Experiences of Chinese Patients and Acupuncturists

1School of Acupuncture Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
3The Key Unit of Evaluation of Characteristic Acupuncture Therapy, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
4Beijing Electric Power Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100073, China
5Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, Beijing 100700, China

Received 12 May 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013

Academic Editor: Cun-Zhi Liu

Copyright © 2013 Hong-Wen Yuan et al. 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.


Deqi sensation is believed to be important in clinical efficacy according to TCM theory. The measuring method of Deqi sensation has significant implications for the result of research trials. This study makes an investigation on acupuncture-experienced patients and expert acupuncturists in China and aims to find out the patient’s needling sensations and acupuncturist’s sensations which can be acceptable as descriptors of Deqi sensation, so as to provide foundation for more systematic and sensitive quantitative evaluation method of Deqi sensation. Results of this survey indicated that the Deqi sensation noted by both patient and acupuncturist is equally important to the treatment efficacy. It is found that there are some differences between the patients’ real-life experience and the acupuncturists’ expectations on patients’ Deqi sensation. The “dull pain,” “aching,” “sore,” “numb,” “distended,” “heavy,” “electric,” “throbbing,” “warmness,” “coolness,” “spreading,” and “radiating” can be considered as the main manifestations of Deqi sensations. The acupuncturists believed that Deqi sensations were mainly “pulling,” “tight,” and “throbbing.” We suggest developing a questionnaire measuring the Deqi sensations which includes both the sensations of the patient and acupuncturist, and this would be very important and necessary for a better understanding of the relationship between Deqi sensation and acupuncture effects in future studies.