Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles to adjust the life energy (qi) through the stimulation of various points along meridians of the body. Used for pain relief and in the treatment of sports injuries, and internal conditions The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture involve numerous mediators, receptors and signalling pathways, as outlined in two recent reviews (64, 65). The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture have particular relevance to allergic rhinitis, irritable bowel syndrome, post-surgical recovery, migraine, osteoarthritis and inflammatory aspects of a range of musculoskeletal conditions. .
In allergic rhinitis, acupuncture has been shown to down-regulate total and specific IgE, as well as SP and VIP (32, 66). Acupuncture has been shown to down-regulate transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in inflammatory pain and there is indirect evidence to suggest that acupuncture may down-regulate TRPV1 expression and sensitivity in allergic rhinitis (32, 64, 67). In irritable bowel syndrome, acupuncture has been shown to down-regulate SP, VIP and CGRP (68, 69). In migraine, acupuncture has been reported to down-regulate CGRP and SP which are also powerful vasodilators (70, 71).
Table 3. Summary of effectiveness/efficacy in acupuncture research literature sorted by evidence levels Australian DVA (Sept 2005 – Sept 2010) USVA Evidence map (Jan 2005 – Mar 2013) The Acupuncture Evidence Project (Mar 2013 – Sept 2016) Effective Evidence of positive effect Evidence of positive effect.