Opioid and Antiopioid Peptides: A Model of Yin-Yang Balance in Acupuncture Mechanisms of Pain Modulation

  • J.-S. Han


At first glance, sharp differences exist between medicinal practices originating in the east and in the west. While Western medicine is more technological, relies on quantitative measurements, and is increasingly evidence-based, Eastern medicine is minimally invasive, relies on qualitative assessments, and remains largely experience-based. However, one concept shared by both medical systems is that most if not all physiological functions are regulated by activities posessing opposite effects. To consider only a few examples, blood sugar is decreased by insulin and increased by glucagon, calcitonin and parathyroid hormone act in opposing directions to regulate calcium levels in blood and tissues, and, generally speaking, the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems have contrasting functions in regulating many aspects of our internal environment. These phenomena can be regarded as reflections of the yin-yang balance described in traditional Chinese medicine. Thus, the “homeostasis” of Western medicine has long been recognized as “dynamic balance” in the classical texts of Chinese medicine.


Opioid Receptor Opioid Peptide Opiate Receptor Morphine Tolerance Morphine Analgesia 
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  • J.-S. Han

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