Acupuncture with electrical stimulation
“Low frequency electroacupuncture is said to be associated with a greater output of endorphins from the nervous system. [These endorphins] circulate in your bloodstream longer, providing an extended period of pain relief compared to acupuncture alone. The neutrons traveling throughout your body can also provide better tissue healing and wound repair.” – Peter Dubitsky
Electroacupuncture is considered to be especially useful for conditions in which there is a significant blockage of energy or “accumulation of qi”, such as in chronic pain syndromes.
“Electroacupuncture 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. Electroacupuncture uses two needles at 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.
Electroacupuncture can also be employed without using needles. A similar technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, uses electrodes that are taped to the surface of the skin. The advantage of this procedure is that it can be used by people who have a fear of needles or a condition that prohibits them from being needled.
Electroacupuncture has been in existence since the 1800’s, and many studies have been done regarding the efficacy of the treatment method. “It has been effectively used as a form of anesthesia; as a pain reliever for muscle spasms; and as treatment for neurological disorders. Other studies have examined the role of electroacupuncture 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.” (Acupuncture Today)
Possible side effects:
minor bruising or bleeding
Electroacupuncture should not be used on patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, heart disease or strokes, or on patients with pacemakers.