Date of Award

5-1974

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Doney

Second Advisor

Dr. Spence

Abstract

The ultimate goal of this thesis is to investigate possible neurological involvement of acupuncture. In order to present a broad background of acupuncture, a thorough investigation into both its philosophical and practical aspects precedes any relationship to structures and pathways within the central and autonomic nervous systems.

The neurological involvement of acupuncture is approached by the author in two different ways: 1) From existing theories and experimentation; and 2) By hypothetical conclusions (reached by the author) based upon both previous investigation by "experts" in the field and interpretation of various interrelated structures and pathways within the central and autonomic nervous systems. In order to achieve a "broad based" conclusion as to neurological involvement, the most recent experimentation and investigation is coupled with both personal interviews and mailed responses from some of the leading authorities on acupuncture in the world.

By incorporating the above approaches, the author concludes the investigating by proposing a "total mechanism" theory, encompassing a neurological pathway from the acupuncture insertion point to the "target" area or organ which is affected (usually anesthetised). It is emphasized that acupuncture is an "explainable" method of treatment despite its unscientific philosophy.

In addition, practical applications (exemplified by case histories) emphasize the importance of acupuncture as an adjunct to "Western Medicine" and recent (1974) experimentation is cited as proof that knowledge of neurological involvement is essential for the expansion of "clinical acupuncture".

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