Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture in which a small electric current is passed through the needles. This is typically done by attaching wires to the needles and connecting them to a device that generates the electric current. The current is usually very low-frequency and low-intensity, and is used to stimulate the acupoints.
It has origins in Chinese medicine, with the concept of delivering “Qi” energy in certain body spots. These body spots, “Meridians”, are pathways that enable the flow of vital energy. Holistic healing can occur when these spots are stimulated.
There are reports of using electroacupuncture in the early 19th century. Other reports claim that Japanese doctors developed the method around the 1940s. The method has spread among Asian TCM practitioners after the 60s.
Today, electroacupuncture is available all over the world.
The main target of electroacupuncture is to reduce topical pain and inflammation. You may use electroacupuncture for treating:
- Chronic back pain
- Deep muscle pain
- Nerve injury (chronic or as a result of an accident)
- Cancer pain and chemotherapy-related nausea
- Other chronic and sudden/accidental painful conditions
Electroacupuncture is especially useful when combined with pain-numbing agents and traditional acupuncture. It also enhances the effects of physiotherapy.
Electroacupuncture involves the insertion of needles in target spots. The needles feature a small electrode which generates electricity to the spots. The electrode produces a vibrating wave and sound during treatment.
Studies have shown that electroacupuncture treats pain and inflammation differently compared to other methods. It uses a frequency between 2-10 Hz as opposed to 100Hz.
This electric frequency blocks pain signals by triggering pain-alleviating chemicals. These feature opioids (numbing agents), serotonin, and norepinephrine. All these chemicals work together to reduce inflammation and block pain receptors.
Some studies also suggest that electroacupuncture may help your system produce mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells occur in our bone marrows. They are responsible for helping your body to build different kinds of tissues. Additionally, they have regenerative properties.
During an Electro Acupuncture Session?
Electroacupuncture is a simple method that involves one TCM practitioner. In a common electroacupuncture session your TCM practitioner will:
- Examine your condition and symptoms.
- Insert a needle at the treatment spot and a second needle nearby
- Use electrodes to connect the needles to a special electroacupuncture device.
- Ensure that the electrodes are properly attached and switch on the machine.
- Allow the electric pulsation switching between the two close needles.
Note: Electroacupuncture devices have varied voltage and current settings. Your acupuncturist will use a lower setting first and then adjust with repeat sessions.
A session usually takes 10-20 minutes (less compared to a traditional acupuncture session). Once the session is over, you can return to your normal duties. A gentle and soothing vibration may be felt during the treatment.
Benefits of Electroacupuncture
- Provides pleasant and soothing stimulation. The needle application process is soothing and pleasant. When the needles are connected to electrodes, they emit a gentle and soothing vibration.
- Ease of application. The TCM practitioner will no longer need to use their hands once the electrodes connect to the needles. This will save both time and effort, especially for the TCM practitioner.
- Short sessions. Electroacupuncture sessions last no more than 20 minutes due to continuous electrical stimulation.
- Longer results. The combination of traditional acupuncture with electrical vibration has a longer healing effect. It penetrates the bloodstream for longer and the results are more long-lasting.
- Coverage of a larger area. A unique advantage of electroacupuncture is that it stimulates a larger area. This prevents the need for extra needles and application spots.
- Instant results. Unlike other methods, results occur even after the first 1-2 sessions. A single session can boost the flow of “Qi” energy, enhance blood circulation, and facilitate healing. Plus, pain relief is almost instant with electroacupuncture stimulation.
A recent study examined the effects of electroacupuncture treatment on 181 patients. It reveals that those who received electroacupuncture showed greater improvements in their symptoms. They also reported better mobility than the control group.
Another study examined the numbing effects of strong intensity electroacupuncture in Knee Osteoarthritis patients. The patients were split into three groups based on treatment intensity. Those who underwent strong intensity sessions saw greater pain relief.
Overall, there is evidence suggesting that high intensity electroacupuncture can reduce disability and ease pain in patients of:
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Gastrointestinal diseases e.g. digestion issues
- Neuralgia (pain of the nerves)
- Chemotherapy-related nausea and discomfort
- Parkinson’s disease
- Hot flashes (in menopausal women)
If you suffer from any of the above or similar conditions, consult us for a treatment plan.
Cost of Electroacupuncture
Electroacupuncture is generally very affordable in Malaysia. A typical session costs anywhere from RM55-150 . The exact amount varies according to the condition and the number of sessions.
Why Thomson TCM is the Best TCM Centre for Electroacupuncture in Malaysia?
We are a leading provider of Chinese Medicine and Electroacupuncture treatment. Our hundreds of satisfied clients choose us because:
- We have a modern and welcoming TCM centre. We have designed our centre with the patient in mind. You will feel welcome and comfortable as soon as you step in.
- We have a robust team of skilled TCM practitioners. Our team of experienced TCM practitioners can help with a wide range of conditions. Ranges from stroke rehabilitation to injuries.
- We offer supplemental and specialised products. Guided by our holistic philosophy, we offer specialised herbal products to enhance your results.
- We offer accessible and affordable solutions. Forget about invasive and very costly treatments. Our services and products are affordable and minimally invasive.
Check out the high 5-star ratings of our happy customers on Google business and social media. Having helped hundreds of patients, we are confident we can help you next.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Electroacupuncture painful?
Generally, no. You may only feel a slight pricking sensation when the TCM practitioner places the needle. The needle is extra thin so it is unlikely to cause any pain. Once the TCM practitioner connects the electrodes to the needle, you may feel some gentle vibration.
3. Who should avoid Electroacupuncture?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women, epileptic patients, and patients of bleeding disorders should avoid electroacupuncture. Since electroacupuncture trigger blood circulation and electrical signals in the nervous systems, it may aggravate symptoms in the above patient
5. Do I need to do anything after my electroacupuncture session?
Right after your session, your TCM practitioner may advise you to rest for a few hours or days. This depends on the scope and intensity of the treatment.
You may do low intensity tasks same-day after treatment. It’s best to avoid any high intensity activities e.g. weight lifting, running, within 24 after treatment. It’s also best to drink enough liquids and follow a healthy diet to boost recovery for a week after treatment.
2. Is Electroacupuncture safe?
YES. Electroacupuncture is generally safe if done by a skilled TCM practitioner. If you are dealing with an unskilled TCM practitioner or unreliable centre, there is a risk of electric shock.
4. Are there any side effects right after an electroacupuncture treatment?
The procedure is minimally invasive. However, the needling and stimulation of the spots may cause some light bruising. This is uncommon and typically lasts only 1-2 days. You may also feel a bit sore for a day after treatment. In most cases, you may return to your daily duties a couple of days after treatment without any problems.
6. How many treatment sessions will I need?
While results are noticeable after 1-2 sessions, it’s best to schedule at least 5 sessions for best results. We recommend you speak with us for a special treatment package for your case.
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