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Electrical stim acupuncture or electro-acupuncture refers to a relatively new acupuncture technique where a pulsating electric current is applied to the acupuncture needles that have been placed on the body.  It is completely safe and painless. Electrical stim acupuncture has roots dating back to China during the 1930’s. Although it’s a comparatively new development in the renowned Chinese acupuncture method from ancient times, the philosophy behind electrical stimulation acupuncture is essentially the same as that of the traditional method, albeit with a little more aggressive approach.

Acupuncture is based on the concept that a persons qi, or energy, moves throughout the body through meridians, and that certain body points represent areas where the qi rises to the surface on these meridians. With the activation or stimulation of these qi points by touch or via needles,  the result is usually the same,  an alleviation of specific symptoms, ailments and various chronic conditions. The use of a pulsing electric current in combination with acupuncture needles results in an enhanced stimulation of the acupuncture point along a meridian, thereby boosting the qi.

The Electro Acupuncture Procedure

Electro-acupuncture is basically done by inserting needles in particular body points like in the traditional method. However, a small electrode is connected to the needles in electrical stim acupuncture. The purpose of the electrode is to provide gentle pulsation which activates the qi passing through the various body points. The procedure usually provides a soft humming to the patient, which allows for a very fluid treatment in an incredibly soothing and pacifying manner. The electrode acts as an alternative to the physician’s dexterous hand moving of the needles when stimulating acupuncture points. Apart from sidestepping any chance of fatiguing the physician, electrical stim acupuncture makes certain that patients receive the appropriate levels of stimulation needed.

Electro-acupuncture treatment duration

The standard electrical stimulation acupuncture treatment duration is normally ten to twenty minutes and hardly exceeds thirty minutes. These are relatively shorter durations compared to regular acupuncture methods, largely because electro-acupuncture provides a continuous and generally stronger stimulus. In rare instances, the gently throbbing electric stimulus can be applied for one hour or more, particularly when treating dogged neurological disorders. When the patient is being stimulated, the body can adapt to the stimulus, typically after the first two minutes of stimulation as response to the stimulation declines gradually. The electric output is then attuned in intensity to carry on the sensation. This adaptation is also avoided by the use of varied frequency output of the electrical stim acupuncture device.

Benefits of electrical stim acupuncture over traditional acupuncture

It eliminates the need for lengthy hand maneuvering required in traditional acupuncture. This works to make sure that the patient receives the level of activation required, as a physician can become tired and be forced to pause the hand maneuvering. Furthermore, electro-acupuncture can significantly reduce the duration of treatment as it provides continuous stimulation.

If necessary, electrical stim acupuncture produces a stronger stimulation. Paralysis and neuralgia conditions can be difficult to treat and thus require stronger stimulation. It is far much easier to regulate stimulus frequency and intensity in electro-acupuncture than when a practitioner uses hands to manipulate needles.

Conditions that can be treated using electrical stim acupuncture

One of the main beliefs that shape the traditions of Chinese medicine holds that disease is caused by improper flow of qi throughout the body. The acupuncturist determines whether (or not) qi is weak, not moving or imbalanced. This determination helps to specify the body points that need activation. Electrical stim acupuncture is particularly effective when treating disorders that have rendered qi to be difficult to activate, or conditions that result to a buildup of qi, like chronic pain cases.

The effectiveness of electrical stim acupuncture in treating various conditions has been studied widely in Europe, America and Asia. The technique has proved effective when used to induce insensitivity to pain or anesthesia. It has been proven to reduce muscle spasms and relive pain and has been successfully used to treat neurological disorders. There’s also evidence that it minimizes the impact of heart conditions and it lowers blood pressure. Some research studies have shown that electrical stim acupuncture helps in treatment of various skin conditions including acne and renal colic.

At Boca Raton Acupuncture we use electric stim acupuncture when appropriate for a patient’s specific needs. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about this powerful healing technique.