Dr Zhen Zheng is the Program Coordinator for the Master of Applied Science (Acupuncture) and Master of Applied Science (Chinese Herbal Medicine). Her research focuses on identifying the optimal acupuncture treatment protocol for pain.
Teaching and administration
In the past 15 years, Dr Zheng has taught, coordinated and developed courses and programs in Chinese medicine. She is the Program Coordinator of two Master’s programs, and a course coordinator and lecturer of basic theory courses and clinical courses.
Dr Zheng’s key areas of interest are teaching students to develop critical thinking skills and make informed clinical decisions. She is committed to improving School of Health Sciences students’ knowledge of pain.
Individuals respond to pain therapies differently. In Dr Zheng’s laboratory, staff and students have developed methods to examine the key factors that contribute to varied responses to pain and pain therapies. They have also studied the optimal acupuncture treatment protocols for pain.
This research explores a range of questions, including:
- What types of pain respond to acupuncture?
- Does peripherally mediated pain respond to acupuncture better than centrally mediated pain?
- Is electroacupuncture more effective than manual acupuncture?
- Are there differences between local and distal acupuncture?
- Does individual adaptability to pain affect their response to acupuncture?
- Does acupuncture modulate endogenous pain control and pain adaptability?
- What are the key Chinese medicine patterns of chronic pain?
- Do Chinese medicine patterns of chronic pain affect acupuncture analgesia?
Dr Zheng’s expertise is well recognised by her peers and the broad health community. She was a member of the Primary Care Group for the development of the National Pain Strategy, and has been invited to deliver lectures to nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, general practitioners, pain specialists, rheumatologists and complementary medicine practitioners.
- 2012: Innovation in Curriculum Learning and Teaching Award (Team member), RMIT University
- 2013: Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (Team member), Office for Learning & Teaching, Australian Government
You can find out more about Dr Zheng’s research.
- Program Coordinator: Master of Applied Science (MC024 Acupuncture)
- Program Coordinator: Master of Applied Science (MC138 Chinese herbal medicine)
- Course Coordinator: COTH2106 Chinese Medicine theory 1, COTH2108 Chinese Medicine Theory 2, COTH2111 Clinical Chinese medicine 1
- Additional teaching: MEDS2126 Integrated Clinical Sciences 2 on topics of pain management and research methods, COTH2112 Classic Literature in Chinese Medicine and Clinical Conference (Acupuncture) on topics of different schools of thoughts
- Supervising Master degree by research and PhD candidates
Research methods used
- Clinical trials
- Systematic reviews
- Psychophysical studies
- Qualitative research
- Questionnaire development and validation
Types of pain researched
- Tension type headache
- Chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Chronic non-specific low back pain
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Human pain models
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
- Bachelor of Medicine, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, Australia
- National Ageing Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Victoria
- Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria
- Caulfield Hospital, Victoria
- St Vincent’s Hospital, Victoria
- Australian Acupuncture Research Network, National Institute of Complementary Medicine, New South Wales
- Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
- European Cooperation in Science and Technology Action TD1005
- Member, Professional Standard Panel, Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
- Member, Couse assessment panel, Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
- Member, Australian Pain Society
- Member, International Association for the Study of Pain
- Member, Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association
- Director, Norlane Healing Hand Inc (a not-for-profit organisation provides low-cost alternative and complementary medicine to marginalised people in our society)
- Director, Rotary Club of Corio Bay, Rotary International
- Member of the Editorial Board, Acupuncture and Moxibustion Research (Zhen Ci Yan Jiu)
- Member of Editorial Board, Integrative Medicine Research
- Founding and past Editor-in-Chief, Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
- Acupuncture in Medicine
- Australasian Medical Journal
- BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Chinese Medicine
- Clinical Journal of Pain
- European Journal of Integrative Medicine
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
- Journal of Nursing
- Pain Medicine
- Neurochemistry International
Conference presentations (delivered) since 2010
Dr Zheng gave more than 20 keynote or invited presentations at national and international conferences, including the Annual Conference of Australia Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, International Symposium for Acupuncture Research (South Korea), International Symposium on Acupuncture, and World Pain Clinic Congress.
She has also given many conference presentations at the International Association for the Studies of Pain, Annual Conference of Society for Acupuncture Research, International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research, and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Pain Society.
- Wang, Y.,Xue, C.,Helme, R.,Da Costa, C.,Zheng, Z. (2015). Acupuncture for frequent migraine: A randomized, patient/assessor blinded, controlled trial with one-year follow-up In: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, , 1 - 14
- Lee, T.,Zheng, Z. (2014). Acupuncture pain research: quantitative and qualitative In: Acupuncture for Pain Management, Springer, New York, United States
- Zheng, Z.,Wang, K.,Zhao, D.,Xue, C.,Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2014). Adaptability to pain is associated with potency of local pain inhibition, but not conditioned pain modulation: A healthy human study In: Pain, 155, 968 - 976
- Zheng, Z. (2014). Acupuncture in Australia: regulation, education, practice, and research In: Integrative Medicine Research, 3, 103 - 110
- Deare, J.,Zheng, Z.,Xue, C.,Liu, J.,Shang, J.,Scott, S.,Littlejohn, G. (2013). Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia (Review) In: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, , 1 - 5
- Zheng, Z.,Paterson, C.,Ledgerwood, K.,Hogg, M.,Arnold, C.,Xue, C. (2013). Chaos to hope: a narrative of healing In: Pain Medicine, 14, 1826 - 1838
- Zheng, Z.,Paterson, C.,Yap, K. (2013). Does Chinese medicine consultation share features and effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy? Using traditional acupuncture as an example In: Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 8, 6 - 15
- Zheng, Z. (2012). Traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture In: Essential of Law, Ethics and Professional Issues for CAM, Elsevier, Sydney, Australia
- Xue, C.,Helme, R.,Gibson, S.,Hogg, M.,Arnold, C.,Somogyi, Z.,Da Costa, C.,Wang, Y.,Lu, S.,Zheng, Z. (2012). Effect of electroacupuncture on opioid consumption in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: protocol of a randomised controlled trial In: Trials, 13, 1 - 8
- Hao, X.,Xue, C.,Dong, L.,Zheng, Z. (2012). Factors associated with conflicting findings on acupuncture for tension-type headache: Qualitative and quantitative analyses In: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19, 285 - 297
- Patient attitudes to usage and reduction of opioid medications for chronic pain. Funded by: Helen Macpherson Smith Trust pre 2014 from (2010 to 2011)
- RMIT Foundation International Visiting Fellowship - Dr. Charlotte Paterson. Funded by: RMIT Foundation from (2010 to 2011)
- Randomised controlled trials of acupuncture vs. pharmacotherapy for acute pain relief in emergency departments. Funded by: NHMRC - Project Grant from (2009 to 2011)
- Electroacupuncture on opioid consumption by patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: a randomised controlled trial. Funded by: NHMRC - Project Grant from (2009 to 2013)
- Combined electroacupuncture and cognitive behavioural therapy for tension-type headache: a randomised controlled trial. Funded by: NHMRC - Project Grant from (2009 to 2011)
3 PhD Completions and 4 Masters by Research Completions3 PhD Current Supervisions