Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Current Development and Research in Traditional Chinese Nonpharmacologic Therapy for Pain


1Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

2University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

3University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

4University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

5King's College London, London, UK

Current Development and Research in Traditional Chinese Nonpharmacologic Therapy for Pain


With the wide-spread development of health care knowledge, more and more people are turning to nonpharmacologic therapy for pain treatment. Generally, nonpharmacologic therapy (NPT) in China covers a wide range of interventions, including acupuncture, moxibustion, Taichi, massage, qigong, auricular acupuncture, cupping methods, and other techniques.

These Chinese medicinal therapies, also termed complementary and alternative medicine, have good effectiveness in dealing with pain conditions both domestically and internationally. NPTs have already been verified by dozens of clinical trials for managing pain conditions which include both chronic and acute types. Basic studies also reveal the potential mechanisms of Traditional Chinese NPTs, while from the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the theoretical core for treatment lies in the belief of the harmony between energy Qi and blood within human body, as well as between mankind and the nature. These medicinal approaches are promising based on their nontoxic, secure, cost-effective, convenient, and effective benefits, and they are receiving greater attention by the research and clinical community. Moreover, greater efforts are also being made by many countries to promote the development and modernization of Traditional Chinese NPT.

Globally, researchers integrate different techniques in a multidisciplinary manner to verify the effect and explore its mechanism of NPTs for pain. Clinically, several RCT or non-RCT trials were carried out in an attempt to validate the effectiveness and efficacy of NPTs for pain, such as chronic migraine, headache, osteoarthritis, neck pain, and low back pain. However, there is a lack of high quality evidence and as a result there is still no consensus that is reached. Thus, clinical trials with sound and rigid methodology design are of great significance to facilitate NPT development. Meanwhile, studies utilizing neuroimaging, metabolomics, electroneurophysiology, proteomics, and other methods also have been performed to uncover the mechanism of NPT for managing pain.

We invite investigators to contribute original research papers and review articles, which are relevant to research and development of TCM NPTs for pain.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical trials assessing effectiveness and efficacy of TCM NPTs for pain
  • Mechanism study of TCM NPTs for pain
  • Safety and adverse events of TCM NPTs for pain


  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2016
  • - Article ID 4657572
  • - Editorial

Current Development and Research in Traditional Chinese Nonpharmacologic Therapy for Pain

Fan-Rong Liang | Jianping Chen | ... | Bai-Yun Zeng
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 861849
  • - Review Article

Acupuncture for Lateral Epicondylitis: A Systematic Review

Hongzhi Tang | Huaying Fan | ... | Fanrong Liang
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 312309
  • - Research Article

Sharp-Hook Acupuncture (Feng Gou Zhen) for Patients with Periarthritis of Shoulder: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Laixi Ji | Haijun Wang | ... | Jie Yang
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 808425
  • - Research Article

Short-Term Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Lower Back Pain: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial

Jae-Young Shin | Boncho Ku | ... | Jun-Hwan Lee
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 694973
  • - Research Article

Warm Needling Therapy and Acupuncture at Meridian-Sinew Sites Based on the Meridian-Sinew Theory: Hemiplegic Shoulder Pain

Hong Zhao | Wenbin Nie | ... | Shixi Huang
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 385136
  • - Research Article

Pain-Induced Pulsograph Changes in Patients with Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Pilot Study

Wan-hong Chen | Yan Zhao | ... | Tian-fang Wang
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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