Acupuncture: An Anatomical Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover


An Anatomical Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Houchi Dung


256 pages | 107 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-10-24
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Practiced for more than 2,000 years, acupuncture was once restricted to the realm of alternative medicine. It was thought to be based on mythical elements and not easily understood by those in the scientific community. Acupuncture: An Anatomical Approach, Second Edition dispels these notions and brings this once backroom therapy into the forefront—explaining it in terms that can be easily comprehended by all medical professionals.

Presenting a scientific, anatomical approach to acupuncture, this volume discusses:

  • The basics of the nervous system
  • Acupuncture points located in the head and face, formed by the cranial nerves
  • The cervical plexus, which forms acupuncture points in the neck region
  • Acupuncture points formed by the brachial plexus in the upper limbs, spinal nerves in the body trunk, and the lumbar–sacral plexuses in the lower limbs
  • The anesthesia effect of biochemical substances in the nervous system
  • The measurement and quantification of pain
  • Applications of acupuncture in clinical practice, from cases easy to treat to those more challenging
  • Theories on the future of acupuncture

The treatment of pain, in general, is controversial, as many therapies have unintended consequences and side effects. Acupuncture provides a therapy that is quick, easy to perform, and requires no medications. This volume enables physicians, osteopaths, pain specialists, chiropractors, and other health professionals to perform this effective treatment for their patients who experience both chronic and acute pain.


" … a key reference for any medicine collection or practitioner concerned with the therapy and applications of acupuncture. It presents a scientific, anatomically-based approach to acupuncture and discusses acupuncture points, pain measurement and management, and clinical applications from easy cases to challenging. Health professionals will find here all the basics needed to understand how acupuncture works and its possibilities, especially for relieving chronic and acute pain."

The Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

"…a top recommendation for any health collection."

—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, The Bookwatch

Table of Contents


Anatomy in Acupuncture

General Consideration

Identity of Acupoints

All in the Sensory Nerves

Efferent Fibers

Afferent Fibers

Muscular Nerve Branches

Cutaneous Nerve Branches

Anatomical Features Contributing to the Formation of Acupoints

Acupoints of the Cranial Nerves

Cranial Nerves Without Acupoints

Cranial Nerves with Acupoints

Trigeminal Nerve

Facial Nerve

Glossopharyngeal Nerve

Vagus Nerve

Spinal Accessory Nerve

Acupoints in the Neck Region

Boundaries of the Neck

Formation of the Cervical Plexus

Acupoints of the Cutaneous Branches

Acupoints of Muscular Branches

Acupoints in the Upper Limb

Topography of the Upper Limb

Organization of the Brachial Plexus

Acupoints on the Pectoral Region

Acupoints Over the Scapular Region

Arm and Forearm

Wrist and Hand

Acupoints in the Body Trunk

Defining a Typical Spinal Nerve

Composition of Fibers in the Typical Spinal Nerves

Distributions of Acupoints

Acupoints On Back Of The Neck

Acupoints on the Dorsal Surface of the Chest

Acupoints on the Lumbar and Sacrum

Acupoints in the Front

Lateral Side of the Chest Cage

Acupoints in the Lower Limb

Regional Anatomy

Lumbar Plexus

Sacral Plexus

Acupoints of the Lumbar Plexus

Acupoints of the Sacral Plexus

Distributions to the Thigh

Distributions in the Popliteal Fossa

Acupoints on the Posterior Compartment of the Leg and Ankle

Acupoints on the Lateral Compartment of the Leg

Acupoints on the Anterior Compartment of the Leg

Acupoints on the Foot

Physiology in Acupuncture

Electrical Phenomena of the Body

Electrical Activity in Acupoints

Dynamic Nature of Acupoints

Three Phases of Acupoints

Physical Properties of Acupoints

Biochemistry in Acupuncture

Biochemistry in Relation to Acupuncture

Terminologies in Neurotransmitters

Relevance of Neurotransmitters

Importance of Endorphin

Other Neurotransmitters

Immediate Acupuncture Reactions

Reactions After Acupuncture

Pathology in Acupuncture

Conventional Wisdom in Pathology

Pathological Origins

Endogenous Origins

Exogenous Origins

Modes for Trigger Points to Appear

Combination of Systemic and Regional Appearances

A Special Case

Psychology in Acupuncture

Psychology of Pain

True or False

Historical Prospect of Pain Perception

Mental Attitude Toward Pain

The Vicious Cycle of Pain

Rebutting Acupuncture as Placebo

Pain and Measurement

A Challenge and A Puzzle

Measurements of Pain

Subjective Pain Versus Objective Pain

Ranking the Trigger Points

Trigger Points in Four Groups

Trigger Points on the Spinous Processes

Results of Pain Measurement

Acute Versus Chronic Pain

Good to Excellent Applications

General Guidelines

Samples of Pain for Demonstration

Defining Good to Excellent Results

Pain in the Face and Head

Pain in the Neck and Shoulders

Pain in the Upper Limbs

Pain in the Body Trunk

Pain in the Lower Limbs

Applications with Mixed and Limited Results

Defining Mixed and Limited

Irrelevant to Pain

Subjective Pain Perceived

Pain in the Face and Head

Pain in the Neck and Shoulder

Pain in the Upper Limb

Pain in the Body Trunk

Pain in the Lower Limb

Diffuse Pain

Difficult Patients with Poor Results

Connecting Difficult and Poor

Profiles of Difficult Patients

Pain in the Face and Head

Difficult Pain from the Neck to the Fingers

Pain After Surgery

Phantom Limb Pain

Spondylitic Abnormalities

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Tailbone Fracture

Difficult Patients with Different Results


About the Author

Houchi Dung earned a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Louisville in 1970. Soon after, he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which he held until his retirement in 2002. His main responsibilities were teaching gross human anatomy to medical and dental students and conducting research on a number of neurological mutations in mice.

During his 31-year academic career, he published 24 papers on the field of acupuncture from his clinical experience. He has published several books on acupuncture and pain—three in English and three in Chinese.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Herbal Medications
HEALTH & FITNESS / Pain Management
MEDICAL / Alternative Medicine
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery