By Kwokming James Cheng on ScienceDirect.com
This paper presents some previously proposed neurobiological mechanisms on how acupuncture may work in some clinical applications from a clinician’s perspective. For the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, the proposed mechanisms included microinjury, increased local blood flow, facilitated healing, and analgesia. Acupuncture may trigger a somatic autonomic reflex, thereby affecting the gastric and cardiovascular functions. Acupuncture may also change the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, thereby affecting the emotional state and craving. This mechanism may form the basis for the treatment of smoking cessation.