The Relationship between Stress and Acupuncture Analgesia

  • Zhang Chong-Li
  • Feng Bei-Yuan
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


Although it is known from clinical practice and animal experiments that the nervous system could be involved in acupuncture analgesia (Chang, 1978), the facts indicate that the acupuncture anaesthesia requires an induction period of about 20–30 minutes and its analgesic effect can be retained for a certain period of time. Furthermore, under acupuncture, the patients’ physiological condition is not affected and the anti-inflammatory effect is also not detected or observed. It is, therefore, suggested that there might be a factor or factors other than the nervous system being involved. It is well known that some corticosteroids have analgesic and sedative effects (Lee and Pfeffer, 1951; Winter and Flataker, 1951; Woodbury, 1958). People are familiar with the fact that under stress human beings or animals show great pain endurance. Acupuncture anaesthesia, therefore, might implicate a kind of stress and if so, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal system would likely be involved. The researches reported here were undertaken to investigate the role of corticosteroids in acupuncture analgesia with an established animal model in order to elicite the underlying mechanism of acupuncture analgesia.


Analgesic Effect Pain Threshold Plasma Corticosterone Bilateral Adrenalectomy Stable Type 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Chong-Li
    • 1
  • Feng Bei-Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology, Institute of ZoologyAcademia SinicaBeijingChina

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