The scientific community accepts that acupuncture provokes natural alterations in the body, while several theories have been proposed in an effort to interpret its action mechanism (the gate theory, the endorphin release theory, the inhibitory pathways theory, the neural theory, and lastly the concept of the neural acupuncture unit).
During the act of acupuncture, the following situations appear to be involved in its action mechanisms:
direct stimulation of the network of nerve endings, mechanical stimulation caused by the needle and release of biologically active peptides in the underlying tissue and the central nervous system.
We can say, in general, that acupuncture stimulates the nervous, paracrine, endocrine and immune systems to the body’s benefit.
According to clinical studies and laboratory research that has been presented in national and international conferences and in medical publications, acupuncture exhibits the following effects:
- Local hyperaemia (vasodilation) and improvement of micro-circulation
- Painkilling effect (endogenous opioids)
- Anti-inflammatory effect
- Regulation of the body's immune response
- Regulation of the hormonal profile (effect on the endocrine system)
- Triggering of tissue self-healing/regeneration mechanisms
- Effect on the autonomous nervous system (general homeostatic effect)
- Euphoric, stress reducing and anti-depressive effect
- Calmness, relaxation, mild sleep-inducing effect
- Decrease in the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome in addicts
- Anti-emetic effect