What is electroacupuncture?
Electroacupuncture was developed in China around 1934. Similar to traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture involves inserting needles into specific points on the body. Using two needles at a time, a pulsating electrical current passes from one needle to the other, stimulating the acupoints. Several pairs of needles may be used, and the treatment usually lasts less than thirty minutes.
How does electroacupuncture work?
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells found mainly in the bone marrow. Widely studied for their healing potential, MSCs have demonstrated the ability to regenerate tissue as well as help regulate a stable internal environment for cells. Electroacupuncture triggers the release of MSCs into the bloodstream.
What advantages does electroacupuncture have over traditional acupuncture?
Electroacupuncture is a convenient substitution for hand maneuvering in some cases because the needle’s electrical current stimulates a larger area than the needle alone. It also provides a stronger stimulation without the tissue damage that may occur from needle movement. The practitioner is able to control the amount and the frequency of the stimulus easier than when using hand manipulation of the needles.
What does electroacupuncture treat?
Electroacupuncture is effective in treating Bell’s Palsy, tennis elbow, severe nerve pain, paralysis, acne, renal colic, and even the nausea cancer patients on medication may experience.
What should patients expect during electroacupuncture?
Standard treatment usually takes 10-20 minutes, rarely exceeding 30 minutes unless treating certain neurological disorders. The patient may experience rhythmic spasms or muscle twitching. After the first few minutes, the patient may have a decline in response to the stimulus once the body has adapted to it. The practitioner will adjust the frequency and/or intensity in order to circumvent this adaption. A sensation of numbness, swelling and/or heaviness may occur during electroacupuncture. Although electrical currents are not transmitted throughout the body, patients with particular health histories should abstain from this treatment.
Which patients should not use electroacupuncture?
Patients who have a pacemaker or a history of seizures, heart disease, epilepsy, or strokes should not receive electroacupuncture. It’s also recommended that patients avoid having electrodes placed over the heart or throat.
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