My acupuncturist wants to use Electroacupuncture, What is it and how will it help?
E-Stim stands for Electrical Stimulation a technique that is also known as electroacupuncture. It sounds scary and archaic, but in fact, it is a modern form of healing used by practitioners of many different professions. Perhaps you may be familiar with a TENS unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), a machine used by many chiropractors and physical therapists. Electrical stimulation works in a similar way as a TENS Unit to stimulate the nerves and adjust the messages of pain that are being sent to the brain. However, because the electrodes are attached to needles which are inserted subcutaneously, electrical current is able to travel through the tissues without incountering resistance from the skin.
Electrical stimulation has been used as far back as 2750 BCE, where archeologists have found stone carvings showing electric fish being used for pain. In 1757, Ben Franklin used an electrical device to treat frozen shoulder and post stroke paralysis. In the 1800's, a man by the name of Carlo Matteucci discovered that injured tissue generates an electrical current. However, it was not until the 1930's that there was published information on electroacupuncture in China.
Today, acupuncturists use electrical stimulation to treat a variety of symptoms. Most commonly it is used to treat pain or muscle spasms, muscle atrophy, impaired joint or muscle function, poor circulation, inflammation or paralysis.
While the description of connecting electrodes to needles which are inserted into the body conjures up images similar to that of a torture technique, rest assured; electroacupuncture creates a slight tingling or buzzing sensation in the local area. Practitioners are trained to properly adminster the therapy so that pain does not accompany the treatment. Depending on the placement of the needles and the desireable outcomes of treatment, painless muscle twitching may occur with the electrical impulse. Frequently, an improvement of muscle strength can be noted directly after a few minutes of electrical stimulation.
Click on the following conditions to see research pertaining to electroacupuncture and it's effects:
Depression and Anxiety
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
Allison lives and practices in the beautiful city of Missoula Montana. She is a licensed Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist and Chinese Herbalist.