The Practice of Korean Medicine
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The Practice of Korean Medicine



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Therefore, in order to investigate the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture, it is necessary to establish a group treated by acupuncture alone.

From the above clinical studies, it is possible to summarize the originality of Korean acupuncture by describing both of its characteristic approaches-inspanidualized and practical. Firstly, a number of clinical studies in Korea have shown the benefits of inspanidualized acupuncture treatment, such as Saam, Taegeuk or Eight constitutions acupuncture (35). Patel et al. (145) noted that inspanidualized treatments significantly favored acupuncture, whereas formulaic approaches, in which all the patients received the same treatment, showed no significant difference. However, in order to demonstrate its superiority, more rigorous and well-designed randomized controlled clinical trials are urgently needed. Secondly, HA-like BVA have been used to treat a variety of painful conditions. HA is a new method of acupuncture where distilled herbal decoction is extracted and purified to be administered to an acupuncture point for stimulation. HA simultaneously exerts pharmacological actions from a bioactive compound isolated from herbal medicine and mechanical actions from acupuncture stimulation. The Korean medical world considers HA as a promising therapeutic method for various diseases (84,140).

An inspanidualized approach based on constitutional energy traits have been widely applied to a number of clinical trials in Korean medicine. HA have also been developed as a new therapeutic modality using integrated and practical approaches. Korean acupuncture in its own way is making a contribution to the emerging need for inspanidualized and integrated approaches to acupuncture. In closing, we stress the need for randomized controlled studies and express our hope that this view into Korean traditional medical practice will lead to evidence-based studies that could form the basis for a meta-analysis in the near future.

  Footnotes

 
*For reprints and all correspondence: Hye-Jung Lee, KMD, PhD, Department of Oriental Medical Science, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, 1 Seochonri, Kiheungeup, Younginshi, Kyungkido 449-701, South Korea. Tel: +82-31-201-2173; Fax: +82-31-206-9731; E-mail: hjlee@khu.ac.kr

   Acknowledgments

 
We are grateful to Dr. Nam-Il Kim for presentation of the Figures. This study was supported by a grant of the Oriental Medicine R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (0405-OM00-0815-0001).

   References


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