What is electric acupuncture?
Electric acupuncture uses a small electric current passed to selected acupuncture needles on the body.
Once the acupuncture needle has been inserted into the body, small crocodile clips are placed on the ends of acupuncture needles. Then a small electric current is passed into the acupuncture needles to a tolerable level. It sounds painful but isn't, it's just uncomfortable.
The acupuncturist sets the electric current intensity very low and then its increased until the person can feel it and then slowly raised until a tolerable level is reached. It isn't painful but isn't relaxing as regular acupuncture as it is a strong form of stimulation.
A lot of research into acupuncture uses electric acupuncture as it's a stronger form of therapy and may achieve better results.
Personally, I only use it when there is numbness and nerve pain, which electric acupuncture is particularly good at treating. Otherwise, I find relaxing on the couch with regular acupuncture can be of more benefit.
What are the benefits of electric acupuncture?
Electric acupuncture is a strong form of regular acupuncture. For this reason it's of more benefit in treating chronic health problems, particularly pain.
Does electric acupuncture have any side effects?
When electric acupuncture is performed by a qualified acupuncturist, generally it won't have side effects. Minor side effects include a heightened nerve sensation in the area where electric acupuncture was performed, but this should disappear after a few days.
Is electric acupuncture safe?
Yes, electric acupuncture is safe to use. This is because it's a stronger form of normal acupuncture, which has also been found to be very safe to use.
Is electric acupuncture safe to use in pregnancy?
TENS machines are a form of electric acupuncture that are available to but over the counter and are commonly used in labour.