As I'm sure you are aware, scientific research practically doesn't count until it's been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. You can do tons of interesting experiments, but if no one will publish your data, it doesn't matter. Go home. Your research is lame.
Unfortunately, this by no means implies that all published research is good. There is an enormous hierarchy to journals. The journals at the top of the hierarchy are incredibly competitive to get published in and they demand a higher quality of work with more compelling evidence, while Research Journal of West TooDaLoo will pretty much publish that you observed your cereal getting soggy when it sat in milk too long. Accordingly, scientist generally value research from better journals as being more compelling because it meets a more rigorous standard.
If you're interested in knowing more about how journals are ranked, we use something called an "impact factor" which you can read about here.
I want to preface the research I'm about to show you, by emphasizing that it was published in Nature Medicine. Nature Medicine is.....a really really good journal. When my lab published data in Nature we all did a little dance and ceased referring to the paper by it's name, only calling it "The Nature Paper."
So this research is a pretty big deal.
Researches are Rutgers demonstrated that acupuncture could drastically decrease death from sepsis by modulating immune function in mice. Sepsis is one of the major causes of death in hospitals, and has essentially no treatment. The researches performed electro-acupuncture on mice with sepsis and found that while there was zero survival in mice who did not receive acupuncture, half of the mice that did receive acupuncture lived. Additionally, they went on to characterize how this was happening biochemically, and came up with physical evidence to support the use of acupuncture not just for sepsis, but for other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and Crohn's disease.