Acupuncture’s immunomodulatory effects explored

A review by Chinese authors has explored the immunomodulatory function of acupuncture, highlighting its ability to regulate immune cells and signalling molecules and stimulate anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious responses. The authors point out that recent systems physiology approaches in Western countries align with the ancient holistic view of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Traditional acupuncture focuses on addressing the root cause of diseases, not just the symptoms, and aims to mobilise self-healing mechanisms to restore body homeostasis. They note that as research on acupuncture therapy has progressed, its regulatory effect on the immune system has become increasingly recognised, particularly in immunologically-mediated conditions such as infectious and allergic diseases. The multiple immunomodulatory mechanisms of acupuncture are reviewed and systematically integrated with existing research, to explain how acupuncture modulates the innate and adaptive immune systems, as well as well-known neuroanatomical mechanisms, such as the somatosensory-autonomic reflex pathway.

The immunomodulatory mechanisms for acupuncture practice. Front Immunol. 2023 Apr 6;14:1147718