Electro acupuncture is applying pulsating electrical current to an acupuncture needle in order to stimulate the acupuncture meridian points and was first developed in China around 1934. The process requires that the acupuncture needle be inserted in order to attain the qi (energy) reaction by hand manipulation and use an electrode that is attached to the needle to provide sustained stimulation.
There are a number of benefits to using electro acupuncture and these include acting as a substitute for hand manipulation, producing stronger stimulation, and controlling the frequency and amount of the stimulus.
Added Stimulation through Electrical Currents
By acting as a substitute for prolonged hand maneuvering, it helps assure the patient that he or she is receiving correct amount of stimulation. Electro acupuncture can also lessen the total treatment time required through supply of continuous stimulus. It produces stronger stimulation if required and does not result in tissue damage that can happen through twirling and lifting and thrusting a needle.
Electro acupuncture also allows greater control of the frequency of the stimulus. However, a major disadvantage of electro acupuncture is that there is lack of direct participation of a practitioner and this may limit the practitioners opportunity to respond to changes that occur during treatment.
Good for Treating Neurological Diseases
Electro acupuncture is especially good for treating neurological diseases that include chronic pain, spasms, as well as paralysis. However, electro acupuncture should be used with caution in patients having cardiac diseases since the heart may respond negatively to electrical impulses.
The electro acupuncture treatment should last from ten to twenty minutes and should very rarely go on for longer than half an hour. Sometimes, however, the electrical stimulus may be used for an hour or longer but only in a few cases, especially when treating difficult neurological disorders.
In addition, electro acupuncture is generally administered using an alternating current and so, the two electrodes in any pair are equivalent and some devices permit direct current setting but this is not recommended.
Also, any device that is used for electro acupuncture should have good control over its voltage output so that there should not be any excess electrical stimulation which might cause pain or result in the muscles contracting.
Also, when treating chronic pain, electro acupuncture should be given to a point close to the source of pain and giving a patient some tri-cyclic anti-depressant chlorimiprmine may result in increasing effectiveness of the treatment.