This is an exhaustive treatment of the subject of the skin’s neuroendocrine role. I’ve only skimmed it, but I’ve already learned a number of interesting facts that might be pertinent to acupuncture.
- Number of nerves in the dermis decreases with age and with disease: perhaps this is why acupuncture can take longer in the elderly and why electroacupuncture is often more effective.2.
- There is a direct effect of skin perturbation on the HPAA with cortisol release leading to a feedback to immune triggers. In the graphic below, acupuncture needle, or tattoo needle, could be substituted for “microbes.”
3. Skin perturbations may lead to modulation of the the thyroid. Hyper/hypothyroid are classic yin/yang conditions. So possibly skin needling could, in fact, modulate thyroid function.
Other endocrine systems are discussed too. Endogenous opioid system is triggered with skin perturbation.