Electro Acupuncture, the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupuncture points.
Electro Acupuncture, the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupuncture points. It was developed in China as an extension of hand manipulation of acupuncture needles around 1934. The procedure for electro-acupuncture is to insert the acupuncture needle as would normally be done, and then attach an electrode to the needle to provide continued stimulation.
The benefits of using electrical stimulation are:
- Electro Acupuncture helps assure that the patient gets the amount of stimulation needed. Electro Acupuncture may also help reduce total treatment time by providing the continued stimulus.
- It can produce a stronger stimulation. Strong stimulation may be needed for difficult cases of neuralgia or paralysis.
- It is easier to control the frequency of the stimulus and the amount of stimulus than with hand manipulation of the needles.
- Electro Acupuncture would promote production of neurotransmitters that would alleviate the brain dysfunction.
Some of the conditions which may benefit from electro acupuncture:
- Ligament injury
- Tennis elbow
- Knee pain
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic Pain
- Muscle spasm
Duration of standard treatment with electro Acupuncture is usually 20-30 minutes. The electrical pulsing stimulus is used in a few cases for an hour or more, especially for difficult to treat neurological disorders. Points are generally selected in pairs for electrical pulse stimulation, with 1-3 pairs at one time, and the pairs are usually on the same side of the body.
It is normal for the patient to experience responses such as rhythmic spasm or weak twitching of the muscle, sensation of numbness, distension, and/or heaviness. Patients who have not had acupuncture previously should receive standard acupuncture first to assure that they tolerate the treatment well, before moving on to electro Acupuncture.
Although improvements could be noted after just one to four treatments for many patients, some have to undergo one to two courses of therapy or more to get adequate relief.