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What is Electro-Acupuncture?

The use of electro-acupuncture is a fairly recent addition to the field of acupuncture which has been treating patients for thousands of years. Electro-acupuncture is application of low electrical current to the needles. Most commonly, electro-acupuncture is used in treating pain but it is also known to be efficient in treating insomnia or depression and other conditions.

How does it work?

In the past, acupuncturists would stimulate needles manually during an acupuncture session to achieve the desired effect. However, manual stimulation was time consuming and could be uneven. Nowadays, with a help of a small machine, the practitioner can achieve more even and consistent stimulation in a short period of time.  In practice, clips of the E-stim machine (electrical stimulation machine) are attached to the inserted needles. The practitioner chooses the frequency and may also select how long the stimulation is going to be applied for.  Through feedback from the patient, the intensity of stimulation is gradually adjusted to ensure the comfort of the patient. Electrical stimulation may be applied between 10 to 30 minutes. Additionally, a similar technique is used for treatment of muscle pain when the practitioner may use an electrical stimulation pen. The pen touches the needle directly for a few moments to help reset the muscle fibers and restore proper function of the muscle.

According to research, different frequencies can cause release of different hormones such as endorphin or orphanin which are known for its effect on pain. Here are some links to the research articles:

Benefits of Electro-Acupuncture

Electro-acupuncture is intended to break up stagnation and release muscle tension which promotes circulation of the diseased area. Through fascia, an electrical signal is propelled to the brain and beneficial hormones are released resulting in improved pain levels.

Electro-acupuncture provides pain management and promotes healing in the same way as traditional acupuncture. Some acupuncturist use electrical stimulation as their main tool in the treatment, and some prefer to let the body do the work and may add electrical stimulation when condition is “stubborn”. While electrical stimulation may be beneficial to some it may be potentially too strong for others. It is at discretion of a practitioner to decide when application of electrical stimulation is appropriate.

Electro-acupuncture is relatively new addition in a field of acupuncture and research into its benefits is ongoing. While acupuncture continues to work with principles used by practitioners centuries ago, it is also a medicine that evolves constantly whether it is through technology or developing new strategies for new diseases. The goal remains the same – help the patient restore balance in the body and facilitate healing.

Find out if electro-acupuncture is for you. Contact us at 914-472-6688 or Eastern Wellness Acupuncture can provide the services you need to improve your health and wellbeing.

For more information on Chronic Pain read our blog article here:

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