Bruna Shabazz

Date of Award


First Advisor

Sarah Snyder

Second Advisor

Chris Coggins


Acupuncture has been practiced as a healing modality for much longer than other healing systems that are still in use today. Although most commonly associated with its long history in Chinese medicine, there is growing evidence that forms of acupressure stimulation have been incorporated into other cultural healing practices, including several outside of Asia. This thesis presents a history of acupuncture focusing mostly on China, and examines how this treatment modality is being incorporated into Western biomedical practices with a primary focus on pain management. In order to fully integrate acupuncture into American medicine, structural barriers such as insurance coverage and acceptance by the medical community need to be reevaluated to reflect the literature supporting acupuncture’s efficacy. By interlacing narratives of my personal experience with acupuncture between each chapter, I hope to relate to readers by connecting the objective research to an accompanying case study.

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