This is some background material for a paper I’m preparing doing a “deep dive” into what is known about acupuncture and TAVNS and the autonomic nervous system and possible clinical relevance.
Clinical relevance of Heart Rate Variability Measures in the Acupuncture Clinic: Study of Acupuncture and transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation
Introduction: Acupuncture and Autonomics
Acupuncture for Immune Function highlights importance of autonomic nervous system
Mechanisms triggered by acupuncture needling
Release of local neurotransmitters manual and electroacupuncture
Electroacupuncture at 10Hz leads to SAPK (stress-activated protein kinase)JNK(Jun amino-terminal kinase pathways inflammatory factors such asTNF(tumor necrosis factor) and IL6(interleukin 6) antinoception
Acupuncture Leads to mast cell degranulation which leads to–>TNF and Il6antinoception perhaps mediated by T Lymphocytes. This can be prevented by giving naloxone. In summary acupuncture can induce mast cells to release inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines can activate T lymphocytes to produce opioids., which then activate μ-opioid receptors of sensory nerves to prevent nociception.More nuance is required in studying these effects however. In chronic pain, the κ-opioid receptors are not stimulated by electroacupuncture but the μ and gamma opioid receptors.