Acupuncture and anaesthesia
Lee A, Chan S. Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT,
Hong Kong, China.
Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2006 Jun;20(2):303-14.


Acupuncture and related techniques are increasingly practised in anaesthesia. This paper reviews the current evidence and applicability of acupuncture and related techniques for anaesthetic procedures and postoperative nausea and vomiting. Recent evidence suggests that manual acupuncture is effective for reducing preoperative anxiety and for postoperative pain relief. Current available data do not support the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to the general anaesthetic in the intraoperative setting. There are extensive and good quality data to support the use of P6 acupoint stimulation techniques for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting in combination with or as an alternative to conventional anti-emetics. The use of acupuncture for labour pain management appears promising but requires further research. Patient selection, acupoint selection, needling techniques, and mode of acupuncture need to be considered when applying acupuncture and related techniques in the perioperative setting. There are guidelines for the conduct and reporting of acupuncture research, and these should be followed to improve the quality of studies.
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