The practice of acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and is a modality of Chinese Medicine. Electro-acupuncture is a more recent technique developed in the mid-1900s. It is used to help patients with a number of ailments including pain, atrophy, inflammation, wound healing and nerve disorders. 

In a typical acupuncture treatment, acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the patient. The practitioner manually stimulates the needle in order to get the desired healing effect. Electro-acupuncture is a method of stimulating the points in place of the practitioner doing manual stimulation for the duration of the treatment. It also provides for more consistent stimulation. 

During a treatment using electro-acupuncture, the practitioner will insert at least two needles into the region of the body that needs stimulation. They will then connect wires to the needles which are plugged into the electro machine. There should be some sensation once the machine is turned on, but no pain or discomfort to the patient. The sensation feels similar to a TENS machine, which is often used by chiropractors and physical therapists to help relieve tight muscles via pads that stick onto the outside of the body. Electro-acupuncture goes deeper than just the surface of the body to stimulate healing at the tissue level. A typical treatment may last 20-60 minutes. There may be some pulsating sensations or even visual jumps or pulses of the muscles during the treatment.

Recent studies have shown success with helping relieve pain from fibromyalgia, hypertension, symptoms of depression and even some gynecological issues. This type of treatment is safe for most individuals, but is not recommended for individuals with pacemakers, arrhythmias, or who are pregnant. It is also not recommended for those who have suspected malignancy or those with a history of seizures or epilepsy.

Written by Alecia Hansen