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TCM Modalities
Acupuncture Anesthesia

When acupuncture is applied for surgical purpose instead of anesthetics, it is called acupuncture anesthesia (AA). Commonly used AA methods are applying electrical stimulation on certain points of the earlobe or somewhere of the body surface with several filiform needles before and during surgical operation so that the patient will not feel surgical pain without anesthetics. Sometimes, manual acupuncture or even acupressure can be applied to attain similar anesthesia effects. For example, pressing or puncturing LI4 (Hegu) of the hand has been used for tooth extractions or other dental surgeries effectively. To date, hundreds of thousands of surgeries such as lung resections, thyroidectomy, and cesarean sections have been successfully completed under acupuncture anesthesia in China. Although acupuncture anesthesia was not as popular as back in the 1970’s, it is still applied selectively. In fact, most common cases of acupuncture anesthesia are done in neurosurgeries, because patients are operated under a conscious state, they can cooperate to surgeons’ neurological check-ups during the surgical procedures to raise the successful rate of surgeries.