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Neurobiological Mechanisms of Acupuncture

Call for Papers

Acupuncture is a Chinese healing modality that has been in use for more than 2500 years. Together with moxibustion, it is regarded as one of the two most pivotal medical skills in East Asia medicines. In the last decades, acupuncture has gained popularity as an alternative and complementary therapeutic intervention in the Western medicine. In this process, the boundaries between East Asian medicines and biomedicine/science are porous, negotiated to connect different medical traditions. The NIH consensus in 1998 has pointed out that acupuncture treatments for postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and for postoperative dental pain are promising, and acupuncture can also be a beneficial adjunct or alternative treatment for drug addiction, stroke rehabilitation, asthma, and chronic pain. In spite of its public acceptance and good efficacy in some disorders, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture treatment is limited. Basic and clinical acupuncture studies on neurobiological mechanisms of acupuncture are crucial for the development of acupuncture.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts in understanding and promoting the biological mechanisms of acupuncture from different research areas in both human and animals, in addition to both Chinese and Western medicine, including molecular biology, physiology, biophysics, bioinformatics, physics, and mathematics. We are particularly interested in manuscripts that report the results of acupuncture with emphasis on the effects of acupuncture on central neural system and how they contribute to its therapeutic effects. The topics on the latest innovative aspects that underline further enhancement of acupuncture are especially welcome. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The physiology of acupuncture
  • Acupuncture neuroimaging: functional basis for acupoints
  • Acupuncture neuroimaging: placebo and sham
  • Acupuncture neuroimaging: translational/clinical research
  • Modulation of physiological and biochemical processes by acupuncture stimuli
  • Methodological and technical researches to quantify the mechanism of acupuncture
  • The role of context and ritual in acupuncture treatment

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 22 February 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 17 May 2013
Publication DateFriday, 12 July 2013

Lead Guest Editor

  • Lijun Bai, Intelligent Medical Research Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Guest Editors

  • Richard E. Harris, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
  • Jian Kong, Psychiatry Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  • Lixing Lao, Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM), School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
  • Vitaly Napadow, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  • Baixiao Zhao, School of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China