Pain pp 135-145 | Cite as

Pain: Past, Present, and Future

  • Ronald Melzack


The recent descriptions of major surgery carried out in China with “acupuncture analgesia” have evoked enormous excitement in Western countries. There are frequent descriptions and evaluations of the phenomenon in the popular press. Many Western governments--particularly the United States, Canada, and Britain--have received large quantities of mail demanding close examination and evaluation of this method of pain control. Administrative officials who never gave pain research a moment’s thought are now in the position of having to make decisions about it. “Acupuncture analgesia,” whatever the underlying mechanisms turn out to be, may have the same catalytic impact on pain research in the United States that the Russian Sputnik had on the U.S. space program. Certainly it means that pain has become a major research problem that involves widespread segments of the medical and biological research community. It will undoubtedly receive increasing attention and, therefore, will generate increasing demands for financial support.


Specificity Theory Pain Mechanism Pain Research Phantom Limb Pain Pattern Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Melzack
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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