How does electroacupuncture work?
Electro-acupuncture provides additional small amount electric stimulation to the acupuncture needles. Electro-acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s natural painkillers and anti inflammatories, including opioids, serotonin and norepinephrine.(1) The research shows that the electro-acupuncture affects both in the area of the injury as well as in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. Electroacupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve which induces the release of dopamine and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands which inhibit inflammation.(2)
I most often use electro-acupuncture for chronic pain such as back pain, neck pain, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and others. But it can also be used to help people quit smoking, addictions, and reduce inflammation. The pain relief with electro-acupuncture can be so dramatic it has been used for certain types of surgery in China.
What is an Electroacupuncture treatment like?
Electroacupuncture is very safe and comfortable for the patient. Generally the patient will feel a small tapping or tingling where at the location of the electric stimulation. The muscles in the area sometimes will twitch a little. The electro-acupuncture machine which I use utilizes microampere which causes less muscular twitching.
The three main factors in the success of electroacupuncture treatment are acupuncture points which are stimulated, the frequency of the electric stimulation, and time of the treatment.
What are the best acupuncture points for electroacupuncture?
Each lead has 2 clips. You can put them on two acupuncture points that are relatively close together if you want to focus pain and inflammation in a specific region or muscle. Or you can put them farther away if you want to increase circulation in the channels. It is important to place the leads ipsilaterally, that is only one side of the body and not cross the spine. Specific acupuncture points, such as ST 36, GB 34, and GB 30 have a profound effect when stimulated.