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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 703439, 8 pages
Review Article

A Modern Clinical Approach of the Traditional Korean Saam Acupuncture

1Wonkwang University Korean Medical Hospital, Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Gwangju, Republic of Korea
2ALS Center of Wonkwang University Korean Medical Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Received 19 March 2015; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Salih Mollahaliloglu

Copyright © 2015 Manyong Park and Sungchul Kim. 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.


Saam acupuncture is one of the original therapeutic modalities representing traditional Korean medicine. It was originally described in a manuscript that is estimated to be published at some point between 1644 and 1742, in the middle of the Cho Sun dynasty, by a Korean Buddhist monk whose name is unknown. The principle of combining five shu points is based on the theory of Nan-jing. The treatment and diagnosis concepts in Saam acupuncture were mainly influenced by Dongeuibogam and Chimgoogyeong-heombang. The basic characteristic of combining five shu points in Saam acupuncture is the selection of the tonification and sedation points along the self-meridian and other meridians based on creation and governor relationships. Saam acupuncture clinical studies have mainly focused on musculoskeletal pain and autonomic nervous system regulation. From a neurophysiological perspective, Saam acupuncture, which involves five shu points as the main treatment aspect, has the advantage of increasing parasympathetic nerve activation and adjusting the balance of the autonomic nervous system. Inserting a needle into the skin layer while considering the respiratory phase and stimulating the needle gently and lightly could maximize the effect of Saam acupuncture. The specific Saam acupuncture prescribed should be identified on the basis of the neurobiological perspective.