While acupuncture has, basically, remained unchanged over the centuries, recent times have resulted in a blending of modern technology and this ancient form of therapy.
Namely, acupuncture is a process of piercing specific spots of the body with many thin needles in order to stimulate blood and energy flow, promote healing and regeneration after injuries and various other health complications. The practical part of acupuncture has not changed since 2000 years ago, remaining a crucial piece of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Lately, however, this form of acupuncture has evolved into Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or electroacupuncture.
What is Electroacupuncture?
Even through electroacupuncture is yet to be proven absolutely effective, it is nevertheless a form of therapy which holds great promise. In fact, the main areas of effectiveness, when it comes to this type of acupuncture, are treatment of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy and delaying the nausea severity. Still, the Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics says that all medical practitioners are obligated to inform their patients about the experimental characteristics of electroacupuncture, even going to the extent of calling it bogus.
Claims and counterclaims aside, electroacupuncture greatly resembles regular acupuncture, mainly by using the same spots on the body for the insertion of needles. However, this form of treatment varies in the sense that small clips are attached to the needles. Through these clips electric current is delivered to the needles and to the body. Depending on the type of the treatment, electroacupuncture can take several forms, varying in intensity and frequency of the electric current used. Most commonly, more than 30 minutes of exposure to this device is considered too much.
Being based on the same principles as the traditional acupuncture, the electrical acupuncture gives its best to promote the flow of chi, the bodily and spiritual energy, preventing it from getting stuck at some points of the body, leading to health problems.
According to a research study carried out by the Cochrane Collaboration, electroacupuncture, when administered with regular medication for preventing or controlling post- chemotherapy vomiting and nausea, reduces the need for 4 other dosages of this drug. Some other usages for electroacupuncture which have been considered effective are those for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, even though these need to be further backed up with additional medical research.
As for the potential side effects related to electroacupuncture, the whole process needs to be carried out by a trained and qualified professional, decreasing chances of unexpected complications. Additionally, the potential damage to the tissue may stem from the frequency of the electric current delivered.
Electrical Stimulation of the Body
The perceptions of diseases and health problems in general have changed over the centuries. Namely, we do not focus on seeing illnesses as something spiritual or obscure. Rather, we do our best to provide palpable evidence for every diagnosis of ours. Thus, illnesses are thought to be triggered by harmful microorganisms, compromised immune systems and DNA changes, among other things, contrary to the previous attitude of Traditional Chinese Medicine being related to blood and energy circulation.
Therefore, the acupuncture of today uses the magnificent electroacupuncture in order to access all the sources of health problems. Each form of acupuncture, including the electrical one, focuses on stimulating the signaling systems in our body, increasing our body’s chances of healing itself partially or completely.
Subsequently, electroacupuncture may be used for affecting one’s nervous system, motivating it to trigger the production of various biochemicals, reaching to each and every cell in our body. The nerves involved in this form of stimulation are spinal and cranial nerves. Yet, the true potentials of electroacupuncture lie in the fact that this approach is capable of controlling the production of endorphins.
Interestingly, the usability of the electroacupuncture varies. Some approaches focus more on treating universal health problems, without addressing any specific factors. Also, there are those which focus on dealing with a smaller health problem like a disease or many smaller diseases.
Furthermore, some forms of electroacupuncture may not contain the needles at all, focusing on solely delivering the electric current to the body. Nevertheless, its needle-using variant is considered to be much more popular.
Acupuncture has also changed through time and, today, can take plenty of forms. For example, acupressure is a very popular form of acupuncture, using one’s fingers and body parts instead of the needles. Still, as it was mentioned above, more research needs to be done on the subject of electroacupuncture, bearing witness of its wide-range effectiveness and innovative spirit.
Electroacupuncture is a similar discipline to acupuncture, using electricity in order to boost the effect of the needles or functioning without these ancient tools of acupuncture. Electroacupuncture is, therefore, a great, healthy way of stimulating your bodies towards a complete or partial recovery and regeneration. Even lasers can be used for stimulating the acupoints in the body, having the same effect as regular or electroacupuncture.All in all, this method of treatment deserves more attention due to its advancements and the incredible healing potential it has.