Anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture via the Vagus nerve

Anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture mediated through the Vagus nerve

Acupuncture is a commonly used modality utilized to treat dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system and internal organs in both eastern and western medicine. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is frequently considered to be a mediator of acupuncture stimulation (AS), because of its ability to interconnect peripheral somatosensory input with internal organ structures.

Previous studies have shown that specific point stimulation can create measureable molecular change within the activity of specific brain centers responsible for regulating autonomic function. Considering this, the authors hypothesized that acupuncture stimulation may change internal inflammatory responses in organs, such as the spleen, via efferent Vagus nerve activity. Overall, it was shown that stimulation reduced the levels of cytokines in the spleen as well as serum, the effects of which were reversed with de-inervation of the Vagus nerve complex.


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