Electro-Acupuncture works to stimulate the body’s healing processes by sending electrical impulses through the channels, muscles, and nerves. Electro-Acupuncture is commonly associated with pain management, as it promotes the release of neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphin, a natural analgesic (pain reducer).
The Difference Between Electro-Acupuncture and Traditional Acupuncture
Electro-Acupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electro-Acupuncture uses two needles at a time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
What Conditions Can Electro-Acupuncture Treat?
In the United States, Electro-Acupuncture has been studied for a variety of conditions. It has been effectively used as a form of anesthesia, as a pain reliever for muscle spasms, and in the treatment of chronic pain and neurological disorders. Other studies have examined the role of Electro-Acupuncture in treating skin conditions such as acne, renal colic, and acute nausea caused by cancer medications. There is also some evidence that electrical stimulation of acupuncture points activates the endorphin system, which could lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease.
Does Electro-Acupuncture Hurt?
Patients may experience a tingling sensation while being treated with Electro-Acupuncture, which is likely due to the electric current. In most cases, however, the tingling sensation produced by the current will not be felt.
Are There Any Risks Involved with Electro-Acupuncture?
Electro-Acupuncture should not be used on patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, heart disease, or strokes, or on patients with pacemakers. It should also not be performed on a patient’s head or throat, or directly over the heart. Another recommendation is that when needles are being connected to an electric current, the current should not travel across the midline of the body (an imaginary line running from the bridge of the nose to the bellybutton). Before trying Electro-Acupuncture, patients should make sure to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their practitioner.
Just like any type of Acupuncture, only a licensed Acupuncturist or Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine should provide Electro-Acupuncture. This will ensure safe practice and best results.