Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of General Practice
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Dr Paul Ghaie


This unit will cover the development of various theories pertaining to the neuro-physiology of acupuncture starting off with Felix Mann's Somato-Viseral theories. Becker's "Electric Man", The Gate Control Theory of Wall and Melzak, and the humoral theories starting with Pomeranz (and others) work on endorphin. The latest discovery in neuro-physiology with regard to pain pathways and in particular the concept of neuroplasticity will be discussed. The seminal work of J.S Han of Beijing, involving the identification of many of the neuropeptides as a response to Electro-acupuncture, and which provides a basis for pain management is also explored in depth.


At the completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  1. Understand the basic research in acupuncture over the past 25-30 years in modern physiological terms.
  2. Apply the concepts of acupuncture therapy within the framework of modern physiology, particularly in the realm of pain management.
  3. Consider the differences, and similarities between the ancient philosophy of TCM and modern physiology, to provide a rationale for the choice of acupuncture points in clinical practice.


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Chief examiner(s)