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June 17, 1974

Acupuncture Study

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles

JAMA. 1974;228(12):1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230370020012

To the Editor.—  Although there has been increasing discussion of acupuncture, few people seem to realize that this topic was introduced to Journal readers at least three quarters of a century ago,1 and that The Journal carried comprehensive reviews2-4 of acupuncture, the first nearly a decade before the subject rose to the forefront of public and professional attention.The University of Southern California Acupuncture Study Group has attempted to develop a single hypothesis to explain the manifold phenomena of acupuncture, which involves the autonomic nervous system.One of the most surprising aspects of this new theory is that it contains little that is basically new. It has been known for years, for example, that the entire nervous system of the adult is derived from the surface layer of the embryo, the ectoderm. However, the general response to early studies on cutaneovisceral and viscerocutaneous reflexes has been to ignore