Acupuncture directly affects the function of the nervous system by activation of the sensory nerve pathway. Compared to pathways that transmit pain, sensory nerves are thicker and more efficient, therefore sending more information at a faster speed, to override pain.
Acupuncture indirectly activates the adrenal glands, as well as promoting the release of endorphins from the central nervous system and dynorphins from the spinal cord. It affects other ‘feel good’ chemicals serotonin, GABA, catecholamines, dopamine and substance P to increase blood flow, reduce pain/inflammation, improve mood and induce relaxation/sleep.
Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the immune system and affect blood pressure/circulation, heart rhythm/stroke volume, secretion of gastric acid, and production of red and white blood cells. It also promotes the release of a variety of hormones that help body to respond to injury and stress.