Electro acupuncture is a form of acupuncture where needles are stumulated by a small electric current , similar to TENS, using small clips. The frequency and the intensity of the impulse are adjusted, depending on the condition being treated. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Benefits of Electro acupuncture
Electrical stimulation is most commonly associated with pain management as it promotes the release of endogenous neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphin, a natural analgesic. Additionally electrotherapy can be effective for treating Bi syndromes (rheumatic and arthritic conditions), channel stagnation and musculoskeletal trauma.
According to some acupuncturists, this practice augments the use of regular acupuncture, can restore health and well-being, and is particularly good for treating neurological diseases, including chronic pain, spasm, and paralysis.
In the United States, electro acupuncture has been studied for a variety of conditions. It has been effectively used as a form of anesthesia and pain relive. 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
What are contraindications?
The method should be used with caution in patients with serious cardiac diseases. It is generally recommended to avoid placing electrodes near the heart and avoiding placing electrodes to needles on both sides of the spinal cord (e.g., for Hua Tuo or bladder meridian points),. Electro acupuncture should not be used on patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, or on patients with pacemakers. It should also not be performed on a patient's head or throat, or directly over the heart.
Before trying electro acupuncture, patients should make sure to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their practitioner.
Electro acupuncture is an acupuncture technique that, comparatively speaking, has only recently come into use. It is believed that electro acupuncture was first used by physicians in France and Italy as far back as the early 1800s. Others attribute its discovery to Japanese scientists in the 1940s who were interested in making bone fractures heal more quickly. Still others claim that electro acupuncture wasn't really developed until 1958, when acupuncturists in China began experimenting with it as a form of pain relief. Whatever the case, electro acupuncture is an increasingly popular form of treatment, and is used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine for a wide array of conditions
Electro-Acupuncture by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon
An Introduction to Electroacupuncture by Dr. Daniel Hsu, D.A.O.M., L.Ac.
The journal of Chinese Medicine