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Animals 2012, 2(3), 395-414;

One Medicine, One Acupuncture

CSU Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 West Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 26 July 2012 / Accepted: 6 August 2012 / Published: 29 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combination of Western and Chinese Medicine in Veterinary Science)
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Simple Summary

“One Acupuncture”, modeled after “One Medicine”, embodies a system of translational acupuncture built upon science and hypothesis-driven research. Forging a synthesis between human and veterinary acupuncture requires consistency in point location across species so that meaningful comparisons can be made. The human acupuncture network provides a template of well-studied neurovascular sites that have changed little over the years, in comparison to their veterinary counterparts. This paper identifies disparities that remain. Reconciling inconsistencies will bolster the ability for researchers and clinicians to better understand and interpret findings from acupuncture studies on various species so that more can benefit from these insights.


“One Acupuncture”, like “One Medicine”, has the potential to improve research quality and clinical outcomes. However, while human acupuncture point locations have remained largely consistent over time, the veterinary versions remain imprecise and variable. Establishing anatomical criteria for veterinary acupuncture atlases in keeping with the human template will create congruence across species, benefiting both research and practice. Anatomic criteria for points based on objectively verifiable structures will facilitate translational research. Functionally comparative innervation, in particular, should be similar between species, as the nerves initiate and mediate physiologic changes that result from point stimulation. If researchers choose points that activate different nerves in one species than in another, unpredictable outcomes may occur. Variability in point placement will impede progress and hamper the ability of researchers and clinicians to make meaningful comparisons across species. This paper reveals incongruities that remain between human and veterinary acupuncture points, illustrating the need to analyze anatomical characteristics of each point to assure accuracy in selecting transpositional acupuncture locations. View Full-Text
Keywords: acupuncture; veterinary acupuncture; anatomy; neuromodulation; comparative anatomy; translational research; One Medicine; One Acupuncture acupuncture; veterinary acupuncture; anatomy; neuromodulation; comparative anatomy; translational research; One Medicine; One Acupuncture

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Robinson, N.G. One Medicine, One Acupuncture. Animals 2012, 2, 395-414.

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