Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Anesthesiol. Mar 27, 2015; 4(1): 1-4
Published online Mar 27, 2015. doi: 10.5313/wja.v4.i1.1
Anesthesia and acupuncture
Gerhard Litscher, Holger Simonis, Wolfgang Kröll
Gerhard Litscher, Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine and TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
Holger Simonis, Wolfgang Kröll, Division of General Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
Author contributions: Litscher G as editorial board member was invited by the Editor-in-chief to write this editorial; he drafted the manuscript; all authors contributed substantially to the conception and design and approved the final version of the manuscript; Simonis H and Kröll W revised it critically for content.
Supported by The Austrian Federal Ministries of Science, Research and Economy and of Health and by Eurasia-Pacific Uninet (project “Evidence-based high-tech acupuncture and integrative laser medicine for prevention and early intervention of chronic diseases”).
Conflict-of-interest: None.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Gerhard Litscher, MSc, PhD, MDsc, Professor, Head, Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine and TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 29, 8036 Graz, Austria. gerhard.litscher@medunigraz.at
Telephone: +43-316-38513907 Fax: +43-316-38513908
Received: November 6, 2014
Peer-review started: November 9, 2014
First decision: December 17, 2014
Revised: December 22, 2014
Accepted: December 29, 2014
Article in press: December 29, 2014
Published online: March 27, 2015

Using acupuncture instead of anesthetics to induce analgesia was performed in China many years ago in surgical anesthetization. Although many medical units in China’s cities and rural areas are applying these techniques in operations, it should be pointed out that acupuncture anesthesia is still in the process of development and is of next to no practical and even less scientific value in the western world. However, acupuncture-assisted anesthesia can be useful also in countries other than China.

Keywords: Anesthesia, Acupuncture, Anesthesiology, Acupuncture-assisted-anesthesia, Sedation

Core tip: Acupuncture anesthesia has been converted into acupuncture-assisted anesthesia in China. Acupuncture-assisted anesthesia reduces the demands of anesthetics and the post-operative complications and has a potential organ protective effect.