Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of pain and illness and disease in Asia. It was first used over 3,000 years ago in China and is currently the major component of traditional Chinese medicine. It is a safe medical technique that is used in order to help the body heal itself. Acupuncture is a way to prevent surgery and an alternative to putting chemicals into the body.
Acupuncture is also an excellent alternative to using drugs that have major side effects on the body. Electro acupuncture was also developed in China around 1934. It is used as an extension for the hand manipulation of acupuncture needles. A needle is inserted under into the skin as would normally be done with the regular hand manipulation and then an electrode would be attached to the needle to provide continuous stimulation. Electro acupuncture basically substitutes for prolonged hand maneuvering.
The acupuncture patient needs a specific amount of stimulation and sometimes the practitioner may pause due to fatigue. Electro acupuncture will assure that the patient will get the correct amount of stimulation for his treatment. Electro acupuncture also helps to reduce the total treatment time by providing continued stimulation.
This is good time management for the practitioner, as he can attend to other acupuncture patients. Electro acupuncture can produce a stronger stimulation, if necessary, without causing any tissue damage resulting from the lifting, twirling and thrusting of the needle. Strong stimulation is used for the treatment of neuralgia and paralysis. It is also much easier to control the frequency and the amount of the stimulus with electro acupuncture than it is with hand manipulation of the needles.
The biggest disadvantage of electro acupuncture is the lack of direct contact the practitioner has in the actual acupuncture therapy that is taking place. The practitioner may not be able to respond to changes that are taking place during electro acupuncture, if electrodes are used in place of hand manipulation.
The use of electro acupuncture is especially effective for treatment of neurological diseases, including spasm, chronic pain and paralysis. Caution should be used in patients with serious cardiac diseases. It is highly recommended to avoid placing any electrodes near the heart because the heart may respond adversely to electrical impulses. But, the advantages overwhelming outweigh the disadvantages in electro acupuncture. At least when using the electrode approach, the acupuncture will be complete as in the ways of the old Chinese master acupuncturists.