In China, Xingnao Kaiqiao (XNKQ) acupuncture has been widely used for stroke treatment. However, its electrophysiological mechanism remains unclear. Hence, this study aims to study how XNKQ acupuncture modulates brain rhythm oscillations of stroke patients, and investigate its correlation with stroke recovery. Randomized control trial. Twenty (sub)acute ischemic stroke patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to two groups (an acupuncture group [AG] [n = 10] and a control group [CG] [n = 10]), and four patients (two patients in each group) dropped out of the study. All patients received conventional treatments, and the patients in AG received additional XNKQ acupuncture treatment once a day for 10 consecutive days. Before treatment, 14 days after, and 30 days after treatment onset, their movement impairments and neurologic deficits were measured using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), the Fugl-Meyer (FM) Scale, the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and the Modified Barthel Index (MBI), and their electroencephalogram data were recorded. Compared with the CG, the AG showed more improvement in FM scores ( = 0.02), as well as decreased relative delta power and increased relative alpha power after 2 weeks’ treatment. The decrease of the relative delta power and the increase of the relative alpha power in the ipsilesional frontal area were significantly correlated with the FM improvement (F5, F7, FC1, and Fz electrodes, all || > 0.517,  < 0.040). The curative effect of XNKQ acupuncture related to its electrophysiological modulation. This study was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR2000038560).