I’m sure there is more than one common denominator, but in this Jane Brody blog post about yoga in the NY Times, she says,

“Possibly through its stimulation of the vagus nerve, yoga appears to counter inflammation throughout the body, and may reduce the effects of diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. And by relieving physical and mental stress, which can erode the tips of DNA, which are called telomeres and program cell death, yoga may slow biological aging and prolong life.”

That is exactly the gist and purpose of my studies on the autonomic nervous system and acupuncture. She said it so succinctly and well. My studies suggest that in those people who benefit from acupuncture with a decrease in symptoms, you see their vagal activity increase, which is the restorative arm of the autonomic nervous system. This corresponds to decrease stress and an increase in health and slowing of the aging process.
More on my practice here.