Electroacupuncture Works for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) is a complex condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide, manifesting in a variety of uncomfortable and often debilitating symptoms. I have helped many patients with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Electro-acupuncture is an essential part of my treatment for CPPS.  

This blog post explains how electroacupuncture works, what the therapy is like, and current clinical research into how it works for CPPS. 

Understanding Electroacupuncture

electroacupuncture on stomachElectroacupuncture incorporates electrical stimulation to enhance the therapeutic effects of the treatment. Electroacupuncture applies a mild electric current through the needles, providing a stimulus to the muscles and nervous system which enhances the potential of acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation in chronic pain syndromes like CPPS.

The Science Behind Electroacupuncture for CPPS

The mechanisms and science behind electroacupuncture are multifaceted, involving neurophysiological and biochemical processes.

Neurophysiological Mechanisms

Electroacupuncture is thought to work primarily by modulating the nervous system. It stimulates nerve fibers, which can influence the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. This stimulation can affect areas of the brain involved in pain perception and stress response, such as the limbic system. The electrical stimulation helps in releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and can modulate the release of other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, thereby enhancing mood and reducing pain.

Biochemical Effects

Electroacupuncture can induce biochemical changes in the body that contribute to its therapeutic effects. For instance, it can reduce inflammation by promoting the release of anti-inflammatory compounds and inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines. This can help in managing chronic pain conditions. Additionally, by influencing the levels of certain hormones and enzymes, electroacupuncture can aid in regulating bodily functions, improving digestion, and enhancing metabolic processes.

Circulatory Benefits

This practice also has a significant impact on circulation. By stimulating muscle and tissue, electroacupuncture can enhance blood flow, which is essential for healing and the proper functioning of organs. Improved circulation can help in removing toxins from the body, promoting tissue repair, and enhancing overall wellness.

Clinical Research on Electroacupuncture for CPPS

electroacupuncture machine

Clinical research has supported the efficacy of electroacupuncture in treating Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS). (1) After three weeks the electroacupuncture group reported significantly greater pain relief compared to the placebo and relaxation technique groups. Impressively, by the six-week mark, participants undergoing electroacupuncture experienced a reduction in pain by nearly 50%. An intriguing aspect of the study was the observation of reduced levels of inflammatory markers in the electroacupuncture group. This reduction suggests a potential anti-inflammatory effect of electroacupuncture, providing a physiological explanation for the pain relief observed.

This research reinforces the idea that electroacupuncture’s potential as a powerful tool in the pain management arsenal. As we continue to unravel the complexities of CPPS and explore innovative treatments, studies like this pave the way for more personalized and effective approaches to care. 

The treatment process

Consultation and Evaluation: The first step involves a detailed consultation and examination. During this consultation, I will review your medical history and specific symptoms to determine if electroacupuncture is a suitable treatment for you. I will palpate some muscles to see if they are active trigger points. 

Preparation: Based on the initial evaluation, I will develop a personalized treatment plan, identifying the acupuncture points that will be targeted during the session. Then you would lay down on the massage table. Usually we start with acupuncture points on the back so you would most likely lie face down if this is comfortable. 

Treatment: I will carefully insert thin, sterile needles into the specific acupuncture points on your lower back, sacrum, legs, and other specific areas. Once the needles are in place, I attach small clips to the needles to connect them to an electro-acupuncture device. This device generates gentle electric pulses, which are then passed between pairs of needles. The intensity and frequency of the electric current can be adjusted to ensure the patient’s comfort while maximizing the therapeutic effect.

Throughout the session, I will adjust the stimulation as needed. Most often the feeling dies down throughout the treatment so I will adjust it to a comfortable amount. The duration of the session typically ranges from 15 to 20 minutes. 

Get Acupuncture, Feel Better!

Electroacupuncture is an essential tool for treating CPPS. By understanding what to expect during the electroacupuncture process, you can feel more comfortable and open to experiencing the potential benefits of this unique treatment approach.

Please call us at 212-319-5757 to make an appointment. Or you can schedule your appointment online.


1. Lee SH, Lee BC.Electroacupuncture relieves pain in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: three-arm randomized trial. Urology. 2009 May;73(5):1036-41.

Joseph Alban

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a Doctor of Acupuncture, New York Licensed Acupuncturist, and NCCAOM Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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