Acupuncture relies on your body’s ability to self-heal by summoning the energetic and curative potential within each acupuncture point. By contrast, herbs influence the body by introducing their specific medicinal properties. In many cases, acupuncture and herbs are used in combination.
While research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects, there is no single theory that fully explains how acupuncture works. Many believe that acupuncture works by stimulating the release of endorphins and other immune system cells, thus regulating the nervous system. Other studies have shown that acupuncture may influence brain chemistry by altering the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Both hypotheses could support how acupuncture effects sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and other processes that regulate blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.