Acupuncture as a method of pain relief in the acute and chronic stage is based on a wide range of clinical trials published in reputable journals, done by researchers from reputable medical institutions.
Therapists practice needling in a biopsychosocial, evidence based model that is grounded in neuroscience and neuroanatomy.
If you look at the research on the biological mechanisms of action, acupuncture needles and dry needles are doing the same thing: providing a novel stimulus to the CNS which has effects on many neuroanatomical regions associated with pain. Needle insertion stimulates nerve endings which can block nociceptive signaling according to gate-control theory, needle insertion also stimulates endogenous opioid release, purinergic signaling and modulation of the endocannibinoid system.
Another interesting concept is acupuncture helps to stimulate improved micro-circulation, while encouraging the removal of cellular exudates and drainage of metabolic waste (Kaneko et al. 2016 & Shinbara et al. 2017).
More to Explore
Kaneko, Y., Kime, R., Furuya, E., Sakamoto, A., & Katsumura, T. (2016). Effects of Acupuncture Stimulation on Muscle Tissue Oxygenation at Different Points. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.
Shinbara, H., Nagaoka, S., Izutani, Y., Okubo, M., Kimura, K., Mizunuma, K., Sumiya, E. (2017). Contribution of adenosine to the increase in skeletal muscle blood flow caused by manual acupuncture in rats. Acupunct Med.