Scientists have no comprehensive answer as to how acupuncture works. Here is a list of a few currently proposed theories:

  1. By a yet to be determined process, acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels. This is called the “Augmentation of Immunity” Theory.
  2. The “Endorphin” Theory states that acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkaphalins).
  3. The “Neurotransmitter” Theory states that certain neurotransmitter levels (such as Seratonin and Noradrenaline) are positively affected by acupuncture.
  4. The “Circulatory” Theory holds that acupuncture has the effect of constriction or dilation of blood vessels. This may be caused by the body’s release of Vasodilaters (such as Histamine), in response to acupuncture.
  5. “Gate” Theory states that the perception of pain is controlled by a part of the nervous system that regulates the impulse, which will later be interpreted as pain. This part of the nervous system is called the “Gate”. If the gate is hit with too many impulses, it is overwhelmed and closes, preventing the pain impulse from getting through. Acupuncture treats the smallest gates and nerve fibers which are the ones first affected.