Electroacupuncture is 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.
What conditions can electroacupuncture treat?
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, illness is caused when qi does not flow properly throughout the body. Acupuncturists determine whether qi is weak, stagnant or otherwise out of balance, which indicates the points to be stimulated. Electroacupuncture is considered to be especially useful for conditions in which there is an accumulation of qi, such as in chronic pain syndromes, or in cases where the qi is difficult to stimulate.
In America, electroacupuncture 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 a treatment for neurological disorders.
In clinic, I use it specifically for PCOS and stimulating ovulation, muscular pain and injury conditions that are acute/hot in nature, degenerative conditions such as spinal stenosis and paralysis.
Does it hurt?
And are there any risks?
Patients may experience a tingling sensation while being treated with electroacupuncture, which is most likely due to the electric current. In most cases, however, the effect produced by the current is subsational; in other words, the tingling sensation will not be felt. Some minor bruising may occur, which is the result of a needle hitting small blood vessels.
Electroacupuncture 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.