This study is quite important because it explains one way that acupuncture works to regulate pain at a cellular level. While those of us who have experienced acupuncture need no proof that it works for pain, it is still useful to have a mainstream university explaining the mechanism for doctors and (dare I say it) insurance companies who restrict coverage to one or two codes.
Pain is regulated in a variety of ways by acupuncture. Like all medicine there is the reassuring placebo effect. But gate theory explains how the presence of a little pain drives out great pain which is why lancing or electrostimulation works. And when a needle is inserted, blood rushes to the site with all of its hormones and immunological constituents. Here is one other way acupuncture helps:
The University of Michigan Health system has just released the results of a new UM study that showed Chinese acupuncture affects your brain’s ability to regulate pain.