What is it?
Electro Acupuncture should not be confused with TENS. This is a technique where conductive sticky pads are stuck near to pain areas and a current is put through them. Electro Acupuncture uses needles the same as 'normal' Acupuncture the difference is that wires are attached to the needles and a current flows from the Electro Acupuncture machine to the needles and through the points. Often in China, Electro Acupuncture is used to stimulate points when the Practitioner is trying to produce an Anesthetic effect. Open Heart Surgery has been shown to be performed using this while the Patient is conscious! I use this technique on myself when I go to the Dentist as I don't like the injections that Dentists use and I like to avoid having a 'rubber mouth'!
I also use Electro Acupuncture with nerve problems such as Sciatica, this is used to smooth the flow of Qi and to clear Qi Stagnation. I don't like to use this technique on the face and am nervous when Cosmetic Acupuncturists use it. To me one of the best uses of Electro Acupuncture (EA) is when a Patient has had a Stroke. EA can be very effective for bringing back movement into limbs that have been paralyzed by Stroke.I have done this a number of times including getting one lady walking after 5 weeks and I got my own Father's arm and legs working after a Stroke so that he could then drive his car!
I like to think that EA is another tool in my tool box and I use it when I think it will produce the most benefit, I am no stranger to the effects of electricity because I am also an HND qualified Electronics Engineer.
How is it used?
Needles are inserted in the usual way and then leads are connected to the 'Magic box', the current is very slowly turned up until it can be felt by the Patient, it is then turned up a little more so it can be fully felt but is comfortable, it should never be painful. Sometimes with Stroke Patients the current is increased further as they might not feel it. The current can actually be increased until it causes the muscles to move, for a Stroke Patient this is a brilliant way of showing them that their limbs do work, it is just a case of getting the signal from the brain to the limb so it will operate. this gives them hope and can make them determined to overcome the problem.