What are the Benefits of Electroacupuncture?
Recently, I completed training in electroacupuncture, to offer an enhanced service to my patients particularly those with painful symptoms.
The practice of electroacupuncture is nothing new and may of fact have been used since the 1800s with it being more widely developed in the 1950s when it was used in China for pain relief in operations. There is already a growing body of research into the effectiveness of electroacupuncture and how it can enhance usual acupuncture practice.
In The Whitfield Clinic we have been using electroacupuncture for the past two months and even in this short time have seen the benefits to patients from its gentle pain relieving effects.
What is Electroacupuncture?
Electroacupuncture is a useful adjunct to acupuncture and is not as at all scary as it sounds, in fact most of my patients have actually enjoyed the sensation they get through their acupuncture needles with electroacupuncture.
A small current, which in my practise, you as the patient control, is passed between the fine acupuncture needles by two clips. The current is much less than that used in TENs machines and produces a more constant stimulation of the acupuncture points and needles to enhance the effect of acupuncture treatment.
Depending on the intensity you set the machine to and where the needles are in relation to your nerves, the sensation can feel like a warm tingling or a buzzing, to making the muscle twitch or a stronger sensation.
With my own patients, they often have increase in range of movement and pain relief after treatment with electroacupunctrure.
How does Electroacupuncture work?
Electroacupunctrure works similarly to traditional acupuncture, but the needles are able to be constantly stimulated by a small current rather than be manually turned through the treatment, giving a more consistent and constant effect. There is stronger evidence for the analgesic effect of acupuncture when using electroacupuncture.
The current from the electroacupuncture needles flows to the local area and stimulates local nerve fibres, attracting blood flow to the area, helping with inflammation and then also working on a more systemic level, encouraging the release of your body's own natural painkillers, endorphins.
What can Electroacupuncture be use for?
The main benefits from clinical trials of electroacupunctrue are with its pain relieving effects but there is also clinical evidence for its use in:
- Chronic pain
- Musculoskeletal pain e.g. back pain, shoulder pain, joint pains, tennis elbow
- Overactive bladder
- Gynaecology issues such as painful periods, irregular periods and fertility
- Gastrointestinal e.g. Constipation and nausea
- Headache and migraine
- Depression, anxiety and stress
And the research body is growing in further areas, so if your problem is not listed above, please contact us to see if it can help you.
It is safe to use on most people, except that it may not be suitable for those with implantable electronic devices like a pacemaker as it may interfere with the current, but here, traditional acupuncture can still be used safely instead.
How I use Electroacupuncture for my patients
Having used electroacupuncture on many patients (and also on myself) I am an advocate for its use but I understand that its not for everyone and the decision to use it, is down you.
If you are new to using acupuncture then typically we wouldn't start straight away with electroacupuncture but would first start off with traditional acupuncture techniques, then move onto electroacupuncture if appropriate.
Typically people who would benefit from electro acupuncture are those who suffer with painful symptoms, though it is also useful for other conditions such as nausea and to enhance the effects of fertility acupuncture.
The machine I use is the AS Super 4 digital and is a modern, easy to use machine.
Once I have set up the needles in the targeted areas, I usually hand over to my patients to control the settings. If at any point the sensation is too strong, then the machine can be switched off quickly and easily with the press of a button.
On occasion due to positioning, you may not be in control of the settings and in this case, I will set them for you and adjust them to your comfort and response.
The electroacupuncture session usually lasts for between 20-30 minutes.
I am pleased to offer electroacupuncture fully inclusive of my regular acupuncture session prices - If you would like to ask any more about electroacupuncture and how it could help you or book in please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01903 680 860 or click here to book online.
Please let me know at the time of booking that you would like electroacupuncture, so I can ensure that it is set up for your appointment.