Brain correlates of phasic autonomic response to acupuncture stimulation: an event-related fMRI study.
Acupuncture and acupuncture-like somatic nerve stimulation exert modulatory effects upon cardiovascular and renal activity under different physiological and pathophysiological conditions. It seems that acupuncture facilitates the physiological reflexes in response to changes in internal or external environment. Thus, acupuncture can lower high blood pressure in hypertensives, elevate low blood pressure in hypotensives, and promote urinary sodium excretion during hyperosmotic challenge, etc. Acupuncture effects are thought to be mediated by activation of the small myelinated fibres coming from muscle receptors. Preliminary studies show that different neurotransmitters and neuropeptides are involved in the effects of acupuncture.