Philip A.M. Rogers MRCVS

AP in Pain and Painful Conditions


Tkachuk_VN; Medvedev IP; Bachurin EP (1991) Effectiveness of AP-analgesia (APA) to treat chronic post-traumatic pain Syndromes. Ortopediia Travmatologiia i Protezirovanie May (5):33-35. In Russian. This was a study of the value of APA to treat chronic post-traumatic pain Syndrome. It also compared the characteristics of APA with those of electo-analgesia in the treatment of this pathology. Results of treatment of traumatic pain Syndrome of the lower limbs by the IRT method (106 patients) were analyzed and compared with the results of treatment by the above mentioned methods, as well as by APA and electro-analgesia separately. IRT was better than electroanalgesia an APA to treat chronic pain Syndrome. Electroanalgesia contributed more than AP to rapid analgesia and restoration of autonomic and trophic functions.

Wang_YQ (1996) TCM in trauma treatment. Adapted from WWW: Chinese Med News, Free release by BEIJING CONS BIO-TECH E-mail: WWW-Site:
TCM has made enormous contributions to healing wounds and curing diseases among ordinary people and solders. It still is important to the Army's Health Care Program, complementing the use of modern WM. TCM comes mainly from the Han ethnic group but includes also medicinal knowledge developed by Tibetans, Mongolians, Uygurs, Dais and other ethnic groups in China.

TCM has developed systematically, based on data accumulation, repeated theorizing and constant practice over several millenia. Pattern (Syndrome) recognition is one of its key skills. Daily activities and the occurrence of disease are related not only to intrinsic changes within the human body, but also to changes in the external natural world and social environment. This emphasis on holism and constant change coincides with the bio-psychosocial model of modern WM. TCM doctors understand disease, based on general Med knowledge, and pay attention to the specific responsive features of the individual.

The patient's constitution, psychology, time and place of onset of the disease and other factors all need consideration. With clinical judgment and long experience, the "Four Diagnostic Methods" are applied to the personal, geographical, seasonal and climatic features relevant to the patient. Only then can the doctor of TCM formulate a therapeutic scheme, select the right prescription and decide the right dose of each component.

TCM stresses the self-regulation and interdependence of overall bodily functions, "Internal" and "External" factors, and the control of, or adaptation to internal and external manifestations. Therapeutic methods of TCM are divided into pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic.

Pharmacotherapy uses chiefly natural products found in China. A total of 12807 types of Chinese medicine ingredients, including plants, animals and minerals, have been recorded. These natural drugs contain substances which possess a wide range of physiological and pharmacological properties. Some improve metabolic level, others regulate immunological functions, help strengthen the body and delay aging by fighting off disease. Pharmacotherapy usually is given orally. Fumigation, steam baths, external local application, injection, infusion, and many other methods are also used.

Non-pharmacotherapeutic methods consist mainly of AP, moxibustion, bone knitting, massage and cupping. Fangshi (army doctors) were responsible for the treatment acute illnesses and the preparations of Chinese medicine. This is recorded in Chinese military documents from 8th century BC. Doctors and nurses, and records of wounded solders, were all introduced into the Chinese army. War wounds were treated by amputation, massage, bandaging and immobilization. Alcohol was used as an anaesthetic for surgery.

Around AD 190, Huato, an army surgeon, invented one of the world's first general anaesthetics, Ma Fei San, which he used in performing many different operations including excision of tumours in the peritoneal cavity and orthopaedic operations. Reduction of shoulder and hip joint dislocations, splinting of limb and spine fractures, and suspension reduction of spine fracture were all recorded. In sanitation and anti-epidemic work, stress was laid on multiple sanitary measures to prevent diseases and on nutrition.

In the 4th century BC, drugs to prevent frostbite and heatstroke were already in use by Chinese armies. In many books on the art of war, anti-poisoning prescriptions were recorded which could relieve the effects of over 30 kinds of poison originating in minerals, animals and plants.

During the mid-19th century, Western medicine spread in China. But TCM remained the mainstay. It is now widely held that TCM and WM can be mutually complementary. By applying modern science and technology, Chinese experts have solved many problems related to health service, which is guaranteed for peacetime and wartime, leading to further development of TCM in the military field.

The application of TCM in trauma treatment

1.        Treatment of war wounds and trauma: Chinese medicine has succeeded in treating fire-arm wounds, intraocular haemorrhage, gas gangrene and explosion-deafness, and in providing anaesthetics for field surgery. To treat traumatic paraplegia, three courses of EAP on the GV Channel gave a functional recovery rate >50%.

2.        Prevention and treatment of military training injuries: AP, cupping, and other methods of therapy show definite analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, and are distinguished by instant effect, short duration of treatment and ease of application. AP has been used to treat soft tissue injuries of the hand, shoulder, waist, knee and ankle, with a success rate of 96%.

3.        Prevention and treatment of common infectious diseases: Encephalitis B, leptospirosis, epidemic haemorrhagic fever, and other infectious diseases have not been found in the army for many years and the incidence of hepatitis and dysentery have been reduced to below 0.15% and 1%, respectively. Treatment of chronic severe hepatitis gave a 64% survival rate. Artemisinin (an active compound) and its derivatives were extracted by Chinese scientists from Herba Artemisiae Annuae. These compounds have made a great contribution to the prevention and treatment of malaria throughout the world.

4.        Health guarantee in extreme environments: From the theory of TCM, Chinese army doctors also discovered a new AP point "Gaoyuan Zhitoutong I". At elevations of 5000-5300 meters, field observation has confirmed the marked preventive and therapeutic effects of AP at this point on headache of acute mountain sickness (AMS).

5.        Clinical treatment of diseases in peacetime:
Treatment of intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer and acute pancreatitis with combined TCM and WM cured 70% of patients without surgery. Treatment of malignant tumours by oral use of a TCM drug preparation "PingXiao Pian", combined with Western therapeutic measures, also achieved notable success.