From a western, scientific standpoint there seem to be many mechanisms by which acupuncture works. It works at the local level, i.e. at the point of injury or pain by releasing neurotransmitters, and allowing for better blood flow, and less perception of pain. But there are clearly more global mechanisms at play also. It increases endorphins (natural painkillers); it modulates the central nervous system, and can improve immunity. (Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that the needles balance the energy flow in meridians or energy channels, and thus relieve pain. But it also teaches that acupuncture can heal each of the five organs and entrails by treating the meridian that corresponding to each. The “spirit” itself can be balanced by correct treatment.
How Does Acupuncture Work? Kristen Sparrow