WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY..
A literature review showed that acupuncture activates the defense systems by influencing specific and nonspecific cellular and humoral immunities; and activates cell proliferation, including blood, reticuloendothelial, and traumatized cells; and activates leucocytosis, microbicidal activity, antibodies, globulin, complement, and interferon. By modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary control of the autonomic and neuroendocrine systems, it influences microcirculation and the response of smooth and striated muscle, and local and general thermoregulation. Acupuncture was found to reduce inflammation and trauma; stimulation of tissue healing in burns, ulcers, indolent wounds, ischemia, necrosis, and gangrene. Acupuncture therapy may inhibit neoplastic cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1581655
- By stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008)
Acupuncture can reduce inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003)
Acupuncture may help to relieve pain and congestion in people with allergic rhinitis by regulating levels of IgE and cytokines, mediators of the allergic reaction to extrinsic allergens (Ng 2004; Rao 2006; Roberts 2008)
Clinical trials suggest that acupuncture is at least as effective as corticosteroids and may improve recovery in patients with Bell's palsy, either used alone or in combination with drug treatment (Tong 2009; Li 2004)
Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain's mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin (Sprott 1998) and endorphins (Wang 2010)
Acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause by regulating serum estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone and luteotrophic hormone (Xia 2008) and increasing relaxation and reducing tension (Samuels 2008)
Acupuncture can alter the brain's mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels (Zhou 2008) and increasing endorphins (Han, 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009), which can help to combat negative affective states.