Acupuncture is probably the most popular alternative therapy practiced in the United States, Europe and many Asian countries. It has been applied clinically for more than 5 thousand years according to the ancient oriental medical theory. A great deal of acupuncture research has been achieved, with particular efforts toward understanding the pain control effects. In addition to the analgesic effect of acupuncture, an increasing number of studies have demonstrated that acupuncture treatment can control autonomic nerve system functions such as blood pressure regulation, sphincter Oddi relaxation, and immune modulation. Although only a limited number of controlled studies have assessed the efficacy of acupuncture, increasing clinical evidences support that EA treatment is effective for various immunological diseases including allergic disorders, infections, autoimmune diseases and immunodifficiency-syndromes. This review will address the mechanism of acupuncture in modulating various immune responses and the relationship between acupuncture mediated immune regulation and neurological involvement.
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