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June 17, 1983

Principles and Practice of Physiologic Acupuncture

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1983;249(23):3251-3252. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330470071040

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Dr Ulett is one of a few hundred physicians in the United States who have thoroughly mastered the art of acupuncture. From my own experience with 10,000 patients at the Acupuncture Center of Washington, I agree with Dr Ulett that acupuncture is the treatment of choice for pain. He presents data that over 50% of patients will receive relief from disabling pain of long duration. From his own research and that of others, he also presents data that acupuncture is not hypnosis nor does it work by a placebo effect.

Dr Ulett has excellent chapters on the mechanisms of pain within the peripheral and central nervous systems. He explains in detail several presumed ways in which acupuncture modifies pain, including the gate and neurotransmitter theories. For example, he explains the mechanism of blocking dental pain by the use of a needle placed into the web space between the thumb and