Electroacupuncture is a modern variation of acupuncture that was developed in its modern form in China in the 1950s, specifically for use in surgical operations. When acupuncture was first used for analgesia, the anaesthetists had to continue to rotate needles manually throughout the operation, so they developed EA apparatus to relieve themselves of this chore.
How does electroacupuncture work?
In electroacupuncture (EA), needles are inserted by hand but then attached to a device that generates electrical current that cause stimulation of the needles. This can be produced with use of an ordinary TENS machine attached to the needles with wires and crocodile clips or with commercially available units specifically for EA. Regardless of the unit used, Dr. Yuliya is able to alter the frequency, intensity, and pulse duration of the electric current. Two modes of EA are used commonly at Central new Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness clinic: low-frequency (1 to 4 Hz), high-intensity EA and high-frequency (50 to 200 Hz), low-intensity EA.
What conditions are commonly treated by electroacupuncture (EA)?
The conditions most commonly treated with EA include musculoskeletal, neurological, obstetric, and gastrointestinal, along with intraoperative and postoperative analgesia. EA studies, particularly with low frequency stimulation, are more likely to support the role of endogenous opioid mechanisms than manual acupuncture studies, and opioid release is more likely in the Central Nervous System (CNS) than the circulation.
Recent Studies Demonstrating Electroacupuncture’s Vast Potential
A study involving 174 participants suffering from mild to modern carpal tunnel syndrome measured the impact of electro-acupuncture treatment over a period of 17 weeks. “Those who underwent electroacupuncture treatment reported less disability and less severe symptoms, plus more function and more dexterity,” according to an article by the Chicago Tribune. Though there wasn’t a significant decrease in pain, for individuals suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome electro-acupuncture is a less expensive and welcome option— compared to invasive procedures like surgery.
Another study published by Stem Cells Journals, titled “Electroacupuncture Promotes Central Nervous System-Dependent Release of Mesenchymal Stem Cells” found that electroacupuncture stimulation increased hypothalamic functional connectivity in human subjects and triggered the release of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the bloodstream. These cells then multiply and become various types of tissues, demonstrating electroacupuncture’s ability to treat injury-induced pain and tissue regeneration.
As the body of scientific studies grows, more and more health practitioners will turn to licensed acupuncturists to provide effective and quality treatment.
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