indicate that the following mechanisms may be triggered during an acupuncture treatment
1. A somatic autonomic reflex, may affect the gastric and cardiovascular functions.
2. Changes in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, triggered by needling, may affect the emotional state and craving. (This mechanism may form the basis for the treatment of smoking cessation as well as the treatment of psycho-emotional disorders).
3. By affecting other pain-modulating neurotransmitters such as met-enkephalin and substance P along the nociceptive pathway, acupuncture may relieve headache.
4. Acupuncture may affect the hypothalamus pituitary axis and reduce the release of the luteinizing hormone in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
5. Acupuncture's effect on the fascia connective tissue network and the primo vascular system, are another possible mechanism.
6. Finally, the idea of true versus sham acupuncture points, which are commonly used in clinical trials, is problematic because the difference between true and sham points does not exist in the neurobiological model.
Note: Although some, if not all, of the above mechanisms may play a part in producing acupuncture beneficial effects, many of its effects are as yet unexplained.