Recent research indicates that specific points throughout the body, located in channels or meridians, activates disorder-related brain regions. In other words, parts of the body directly correlate with parts of the brain. When those points are stimulated, it would activate pain control in that region of the brain.
Acupuncture is subtle, gentle and is usually used for internal treatments - complaints like digestive issues, stress, insomnia, fertility, or in cases of chronic or ongoing pain. The needles sometimes elicit a slight dull or achy sensation on insertion, which quickly goes away and the treatment is generally relaxing.
Differs from traditional Chine medicine (TCM) in that it seeks to treat trigger points within the muscles and not necessarily on meridians. When trigger points develop in muscles, they lead to neuromuscular dysfunction, resulting in pain, decreased function and increased stress on surrounding structures.
Acupuncture style needles are used to elicit a twitch response to release the trigger point and restore normal function to the muscle. Needles are not retained. This is a more physical modality and can produce quite a strong sensation, usually resulting in a twitch and/or cramping sensation.