The Chinese have developed highly complex theory to guide the practitioner of acupuncture. This theory has been refined through careful observations of the patterns of disharmony in humans and animals over millennia.
Acupuncture from a Chinese perspective influences the flow of energy (Qi) through energy meridians that run between the internal organs and close to the surface of the body. By selecting certain combinations of acupuncture points the functions of the internal organs and structures along the meridians can be improved.
Much research has been carried in recent years to try to explain the mechanisms of acupuncture from a scientific, Western viewpoint. It has proven to block painful stimuli at the level of the spinal cord and also cause the release of a number of other natural substances in the body that help to relieve pain and inflammation (for example endorphins—natural morphine-related chemicals), and to influence brain neuro-transmitters and a variety of hormone levels.
The needles are very sharp so their insertion is not very painful and the release of endorphins often makes the animal relax during treatment.