Non-specific immune mechanisms
In a study of 36 patients with severe chronic bronchitis who had been taking either oral or injectable corticosteroids for up to 24 years, acupuncture resulted in leukocyte migration returning to normal in most patients during the course of treatment. (Sliwinski & Kulej 1989).
In a study of patients undergoing surgery, acupuncture appeared to protect the patients from the usual fall in white cell counts after major surgery. There was a significant increase in phagocytic activity of neutrophils in the patients who were given acupuncture compared with the no-treatment controls. (Zhou et al 1988). Animal studies have also supported the ability of acupuncture to stimulate phagocytosis (Sin 1983).
Sliwinski J, Matusiewicz R 1984 The effect of acupuncture on the clinical state of patients suffering from chronic spastic bronchitis and undergoing long term treatment with corticosteroids. Acupuncture and Electro-therapeutics Research 9:203-215.
Zhou R, Huang F, Jiang S, Jiang J 1988 The effect of acupuncture on the phagocytic activity of human leukocytes. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 8(2):83-84.
Sin Y M 1983 Effect of electric acupuncture and moxihustion on phagocytic activity of the reticulo-endothelial system of mice. American Journal of Acupuncture 11(3):237-241