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Acupunctural Analgesia: Its Explanation by Conditioning Theory, Autogenic Training, and Hypnosis
WILLIAM S. KROGER
Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:855-860.
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Executive Director, Institute for Comprehensive Medicine, 9735 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212

1973, The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Acupunctural analgesia seems to work—but better for the Chinese than for other nationalities. Significant antecedent, intervening, and dependent variables indicate that the technique can best be understood within the paradigm of contemporary conditioning theory. It has not been placed in this framework because scientist-observers have not stressed the effects of shaping and modifying behavior by a kind of operant conditioning that brings about compliant behavior without the necessity for overt cooperation. This compliance can account for the broad spectrum of psychobiologic experiences leading to well-known placebo responses. Another factor not generally recognized is the powerful effect of suggestion, which enhances suggestibility and hypnotizability. The author also discusses the neuropsychophysiologic mechanisms involved in acupunctural analgesia.

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