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Acupuncture for immune-mediated disorders. Literature review and clinical applications.
Acupuncture activates the defense systems. It influences specific and nonspecific cellular and humoral immunities; activates cell proliferation, including blood, reticuloendothelial, and traumatized cells; and activates leucocytosis, microbicidal activity, antibodies, globulin, complement, and interferon. It modulates hypothalamic-pituitary control of the autonomic and neuroendocrine systems, especially microcirculation, response of smooth and striated muscle, and local and general thermoregulation. Immunostimulant points include LI-4, LI-11, ST-36, GB-39, SP-6, GV-14, BL-11, BL-20, BL-23, BL-24, BL-25, BL-26, BL-27, BL-28, and CV-12. Some, such as BL-47, are immunosuppressive. Antifebrile points include GV-14 and ST-36. Reactive reflex SHU points, MU points, and earpoints are useful in organic diseases. In immunomediated diseases, some or all of these points can be used with other points, especially local points and points of the major symptoms or points of the affected body part, area, function, or organ. Applications of acupuncture include treatment of inflammation and trauma; stimulation of tissue healing in burns, ulcers, indolent wounds, ischemia, necrosis, and gangrene; infections; postinfection sequelae; fever; autoimmune disease; allergies; anaphylaxis and shock; and treatment or prevention of side effects from cytotoxic chemotherapy and ionizing radiation. Acupuncture therapy may inhibit neoplastic cells. Examples of acupuncture use in immunomediated conditions in small animals are given.