The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study was to investigate mean blood flow velocity (v(m)) of the ophthalmic (OA) and the middle cerebral (MCA) artery during traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), ear acupuncture (EA), Korean hand acupuncture (KHA) and placebo needling (PN) by simultaneous and continuous transcranial Doppler sonographic monitoring. We examined 20 healthy volunteers 19-45 years old (mean age +/- SD, 26.2 + 6.0 years). Vm in OA was significantly increased during needling vision-related acupoints of TCA (p < 0.001), EA (p < 0.05) and KHA (p < 0.05), whereas nonsignificant alterations occurred in Vm of MCA. All subjects showed insignificant changes in mean arterial blood pressure. The study design does not allow to evaluate why and how the different acupuncture methods have an effect on the brain and eye, however it proves that acupuncture can provide scientifically measurable effects.