Electro-acupuncture (EA) is very effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions as well as encouraging . It is used for pain, dysfunction, to promote healing, and to increase performance. In its simplest definition, EA is applying electricity (via 9 volt batteries) using a specialized device to acupuncture needles.
Electro-acupuncture can be used for a variety of reasons which include:
- REDUCING PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
This especially applies to musculoskeletal conditions (both acute injury and chronic conditions). As an example, EA applied to trigger points or motor points in the lower back and hip area can help to reduce spasticity, free up tight bands and adhesions, and reduce pain through stimulating the release of the body’s own natural chemicals.
- IMPROVE THE FUNCTION AND HEALING OF TISSUES
This includes improving blood flow and reducing the chemicals which promote inflammation. Improving function and correcting imbalances go hand-in-hand with reducing pain. EA works by activating nerve-muscle communication to promote the function of the musculoskeletal system. In this way, it address functional imbalances that are at the root of many pain conditions (for instance a weakened psoas muscle in relation to sacroiliac joint and hip pain). Electrical stimulation, when used appropriately, has been also used to speed up the healing of tissues (like bone and skin).
- NEURO-MODULATION OF THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
Balancing sympathetic (fight or flight) vis-a-vis parasympathetic nervous system tone is an important part of this treatment. In short, this treats the body’s stress response. Vagus (vagal) nerve disturbances as well as autoimmune conditions can be addressed in this way. The treatment goal is to increase energy flow to the organs and glands helps to improve the signaling and messenger system required by the body for optimal health and well-being. Examples of this include conditions of the lungs and respiratory system (such as asthma), cardiovascular system (hypertension), digestive system disorders (like IBS and inflammatory bowel), and urogenital system disorders. EA can also help to improve the feedback loops between the glands (thyroid, adrenal, ovary, prostate) and the hypothalamus-pituitary system in cases of hormone imbalances and sleep disorders.
- PTNS for OVERACTIVE BLADDER DISORDER (OAB)
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a nonsurgical treatment option for urinary urgency, frequency and urgency incontinence, which is commonly known as overactive bladder disorder (OAB). Overactive bladder, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is more common in women but can also occur in men. Symptoms of OAB include the sudden and strong need to urinate, frequent urination, getting up at night to urinate and not making it to the bathroom before leakage of urine occurs. PTNS is derived from acupuncture in Chinese traditional medicine. In 2011 the Food and Drug Administration approved PTNS as a treatment option for OAB. It is used by Kaiser and many other medical clinics as a first intervention for OAB. Many research studies have looked into the effectiveness of it and found success rates between 50 and 80 percent.
- VASCULAR REGULATION
Useful for the treatment of circulation to the extremities and internal organs. Research shows that when the blood is exposed to the correct level of electrical currents it will improve blood perfusion at the capillary level of the tissues. The result is improved blood flow throughout the body. This has implications in the treatment of cardiovascular disease as well as circulation to the extremities and internal organs.
EMF vs. ELECTROACUPUNCTURE
The term “EMF’s” are often used in a negative context to refer to electric and magnetic fields which interfere or disrupt health and human function. EMF’s usually refer to the radiation given off by cell phones, microwaves, WiFi routers and the like and are thought to have adverse health effects.
In the context of electroacupuncture, we are referring to electric currents applied to acupuncture needles which match the physiological energy of the body. This benevolent energy (called E-Qi) is necessary for function and is congruent with the human body.
As Bruce Lipton writes about in The Biology of Belief, the conformation of a protein’s structure (and thus function) are governed by electromagnetic charges among the linked amino acids. Electrical charges on the protein literally alters its functioning. In this way, electromagnetic charges govern activity of hormones and receptor sites on the cellular membrane of every cell in your body. The intelligence of the cell membrane relies on these E-M forces to empower biological processes.
Humans are electrical beings. Our tissues need optimal E-Qi in order to function and repair damaged tissues. Our cells are constantly regenerating. When used at appropriate levels, electroacupuncture can stimulate the healing of tissues and encourage healthy function of the organs and glands.