Medical Acupuncture Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Medical Acupuncture article.

Acupuncture: The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anes...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Adrenal gland: A small gland located on top of the kidney. The adrenal glands produce horm...

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Alternative medicine: Alternative medicine is the term for medical products and practices ...

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American Medical Association: The AMA. The AMA's mission statement proclaims:

Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Antagonist: A substance that acts against and blocks an action. Antagonist is the opposite...

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Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulan...

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Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Appendectomy: Removal by surgery of the appendix, the small worm-like appendage of the co...

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Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, usually associated with infection of the appen...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Auricular: Of or pertaining to the outer ear, or to something else that is ear-shaped, suc...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Board certified: In medicine, a description for a physician who has taken and passed a med...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Carpal tunnel syndrome: Compression and irritation of the median nerve as it passes under ...

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Cerebrospinal fluid: A watery fluid that is continuously produced and absorbed and that fl...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chinese medicine: See: Traditional Chinese medicine.

Complementary medicine: A group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used to...

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Cortisol: A metabolite of the primary stress hormone cortisone. Cortisol is an essential f...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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Elbow: The juncture of the long bones in the middle portion of the upper extremity. The bo...

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Fibromyalgia: A disease characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscle...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Gray's Anatomy: A book entitled Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical by Henry Gray appe...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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Journal of the American Medical Association: JAMA, which began publication in 1883, now bi...

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Large intestine: Comes after the small intestine. Large because it is wider than the smal...

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Low back pain: Pain in the lower back area that can relate to problems with the lumbar spi...

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Lumen: A luminous term referring to the channel within a tube such as a blood vessel or to...

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Medicare: The US government's national health insurance program for people aged 65 and old...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cramps: Cramping in the lower abdomen, usually in the first or second day of the...

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Naloxone: A drug that antagonizes morphine and other opiates. Naloxone is a pure opiate an...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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NCCAM: National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

NEI: Stands for National Eye Institute, one of the US National Institutes of Health.

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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New England Journal of Medicine: Despite its regional name, The New England Journal of Med...

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Objective: In a microscope, the objective (also called the objective lens) is the lens nea...

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Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Physiologic: Something that is normal, that is due neither to anything pathologic nor sign...

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Physiology: The study of how living organisms function, including such processes as nutrit...

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Pituitary: 1. As an adjective, pertaining to the pituitary gland or its hormonal se...

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Pituitary gland: The main endocrine gland. It is a small structure in the head. It is ca...

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Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

Placebo effect: Also called the placebo response. A remarkable phenomenon in which a place...

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Postoperative: After surgery. As opposed to preoperative, before surgery.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Sciatic nerve: The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve begins from nerve roots in...

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Sciatica: Pain that results from irritation of the sciatic nerve and typically radiates fr...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Syringe: A medical device that is used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from, the b...

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Tennis elbow: Lateral epicondylitis caused by injured tendons from the muscles that attach...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Traditional Chinese medicine: The current name for an ancient system of health care from C...

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Veterinary medicine: The medical science concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and preve...

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Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prev...

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Western medicine: Conventional medicine, as distinct from an alternative form of medicine ...

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