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acupuncture, pain management, traditional Chinese medicine



  1. Eshkevari, Ladan MS, CRNA, Dipl Ac
  2. Heath, Janie RN, ANP, ACNP


Increasingly, individuals are turning to complementary therapies to reduce or cope with chronic pain. Acupuncture, one of the oldest complementary therapies, originated from China more than 2500 years ago. It has steadily gained popularity in the United States over the last few decades as a modality for pain relief among both practitioners and patients. A 1997 National Institutes of Health consensus conference concluded that acupuncture needling releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters in the brain and should be considered as an appropriate pain treatment option. This article will provide an overview about acupuncture principles, discuss current clinical evidence, and identify acupuncture resources to optimize practice for chronic pain management.