Electroacupuncture: Electrons Mingling with Your Meridians
While Western science produces many technological wonders, the medicine of the East—namely acupuncture and Oriental medicine—is an ancient and art that has been equally important, bringing scores of people in the West profound healing.
But Chinese medicine isn’t always simple, nor is it free of technology. One modern technique that goes beyond just needles is electroacupuncture. Electroacupuncture is most frequently used to treat pain (especially musculoskeletal pain and trauma, back pain, frozen shoulder, etc.) and sometimes to treat nerve injury and conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). It involves running a low-voltage electric current between acupuncture needles. Leads from the device are clipped onto the acupuncture needles and the device is switched on during the treatment.
Similar to the transdermal electroneurostimulation used by physical therapists for pain control, electroacupuncture stimulates bodily tissue and local nerves, but it also intensifies the stimulation at the acupuncture points, which strengthens the acupuncture treatment response. It is also sometimes used successfully as a surgical anesthesia.
Some people find relief in one session, while others receive the most benefit from a number of sessions. And please note that this technique, which is available in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine department at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, is not appropriate for all patients, and must be used only by a licensed acupuncturist. For many patients with pains, injuries and conditions (like those mentioned above), it’s a comfortable treatment that can make a huge difference in their quality of life.
Writer: Sydney Maupin, Staff Writer