Compared with the non-needling group, sham needling at TE5 and needling/sham needling at the sham point did not activate cerebral areas. However, needling at TE5 resulted in the activation of Brodmann Area (BA) 30. Needling/sham needling at TE5 and needling at the sham point did not deactivate any cerebral areas, whereas sham needling at the sham point led to deactivation in BA6. Compared with sham needling at TE5, needling at TE5 activated BA13, 19 and 47 and did not deactivate any areas. Compared with needling at the sham point, needling at TE5 had no associated activation but a deactivating effect on BA9.Needling at TE5 had a regulating effect on cerebral functional areas shown by PET-CT, and this may relate to its impact on the recovery of post-stroke patients.