Electro-acupuncture (EA) is the application of a pulsating electrical current through acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupoints. The procedure for EA is to insert the acupuncture needle as you would normally and then attach an electrode to the needle to provide continued stimulation. Cells, tissue and essentially the entire system will be influenced by the electrical currents. Most electrotherapy techniques are transcutaneous, this means that the electricity will only flow superficially over the skin, EA directs the current with pinpoint precision. During EA there may be tingling or mild involuntary muscle twitches, these are normal, temporary effects of the electricity entering the body. In clinical studies, EA has shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, particularly those that are chronic.
Benefits of electrical stimulation
- Reduces pain, muscle spasms and neurological issues.
- Decreases hypertension
- Relieves nausea
- Helps assure that the patient gets the amount of stimulation needed to increase sensation in patient suffering from numbness.
- Can produce a stronger stimulation without causing tissue damage associated with twirling and lifting and thrusting the needle. Strong stimulation may be needed for difficult cases of neuralgia or paralysis.
- Easier to control the frequency of the stimulus and the amount of stimulus than with hand manipulation of the needles.