Ample suggests acupuncture can relieve stress by stabilizing the body's natural homeostatic state and it can be beneficial for treating anxiety and depression (Lombardo et al., 2001; Walling, 2006). Acupuncture may ameliorate stress by affecting action potentials and inducing them to return to their normal firing rhythm (Walling, 2006). Further, Walling (2006) believed that traditional acupuncture may create a sense of well-being by stimulating an increase in neuropeptides, and suppressing the inflammation processes in the immune system. Walling went on to say that acupuncture needs to be better understood with scientific theory, rather than its traditional philosophical theory.
On the other hand, the
placebo response in well known, and it, too, can have a powerful effect
on symptoms of ill health (Finniss, Kaptchuk, Miller, & Benedetti,
2010). In some studies, individuals who had positive expectations had
far more dramatic results than those who were skeptical of acupuncture,
suggesting that expectations of relief may mediate the placebo response
(Linde et al., 2007). So, for those who believe acupuncture has contributed to your recovery...your recovery might be attributable to
one or the other, or a little of both, but most importantly, you found
something that worked for you!
G., Kaptchuk, T. J., Miller, F., & Benedetti, F. (2010). Biological,
clinical, and ethical advances of placebo effects. The Lancet,
375(9715), 686-695. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61706-2 (retrieved from:
K., Witt, C., Streng, A., Weidenhammer, W., Wagenpfeil, S., Brinkhaus,
B., ... Melchart, D. (2007). The impact of patient expectations on
outcomes in four randomized controlled trials of acupuncture in patients
with chronic pain. [Abstract]. Pain, 128(3), 264-271. doi:
Walling, A. (2006).
Therapeutic modulation of the psychoneuroimmune system by medical
acupuncture creates enhanced feelings of well-being. Journal Of The
American Academy Of Nurse Practitioners, 18(4), 135-143.