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January 1, 1973


JAMA. 1973;223(1):77-78. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220010063023

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Ever since a group of US physicians and their wives visited the People's Republic of China in September 1971 and Dimond1,2 published his observations, Chinese medicine has been in the news—especially acupuncture anesthesia. Then, when the President's party made their memorable eastern trip and the President's physician confirmed the efficacy of acupuncture anesthesia, interest in the technique has become epidemic.

Of course, there are skeptics who have sent letters to The Journal and to American Medical News denouncing acupuncture anesthesia as a hoax. Most of them believe that Chinese stoicism plus hypnosis are what makes acupuncture anesthesia seem to work. One writer told of his experience some years ago with a patient afflicted with a painful axillary abscess. The patient, a young psychologist, was told that a general anesthetic was indicated for the necessary surgery.

"I won't need that," he replied. "I'll use self hypnosis."

When preparations for the