How does electro acupuncture work?
Electro Acupuncture (EA) is the technique of combining normal acupuncture, or dry needling, with the application of an electro stimulus delivered through the needles into the skin. Electro acupuncture is a highly effective modality and has been used for decades to treat stubborn conditions.
I use EA to treat several problems, finding it particularly useful in knee arthritis, meniscal tears and repairs, tennis elbow, sciatica and headaches. Manual needle stimulation works by driving an immune response in the body and increasing the concentration of endorphins, thereby suppressing the levels of cortisol—the stress hormone.
The aim is to lower the sensitivity of the nervous system and reduce pain. In conditions like sciatica or more chronic and long-term problems where the pain is neuro-pathic, electric acupuncture has been found to be effective, because its electro acupuncture reduces pain on local, spinal and supraspinal levels.
Therefore, not only is local tissue inflammatory chemical release suppressed, but the pathways carrying information to the brain are inhibited. In the central nervous system, it enhances the release of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Electro acupuncture has the potential to enhance the concentration of endorphins within the body by heightening the stimulus offered by conventional acupuncture, essentially making the nervous system aware that every needle is present during the therapy session. On occasions the patient loses the sense that a needle is in situ.
With electro stimulation the patient is constantly aware that the needles are providing a stimulus. This enables a continued drive of endorphin release with the aim of providing a longer and much larger treatment effect. Electro acupuncture has the potential to offer a patient who has previously had a poor response to therapy or conventional acupuncture the chance of pain relief.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is electric acupuncture the right treatment for me?
I will ask you a series of questions in relation to your problem and your past medical history in order to determine whether acupuncture is right for you. A few reasons we might not use acupuncture include a history of epilepsy, blood clotting disorders, infection or if you are pregnant.
Are there any side effects?
It is common to get a mild tingling, warmth, or heavy feeling in the area while the needles are in. The most common side effect is mild bruising; however, some people can feel a little light-headed or drowsy after treatment. Read more about electro acupuncture here.
Is there anything I should do before/after acupuncture?
Try to eat a couple hours before your treatment, particularly if you have a condition such as diabetes where you could be more at risk of feeling faint if your blood sugar is low.
After treatment we will make sure you have time to sit and drink a glass of water before rushing off. You may also want to avoid driving after your first appointment in case you feel dizzy or drowsy.
If you think you could benefit from this combined approach of physiotherapy and acupuncture to help your recovery from a painful condition or injury, then get in contact with your movement physiotherapist.
This is an adjunct that can start you on your journey of recovery, like all procedures outlined in my service page.
We just need to find the right path for you. It’s all about having the right information and the right treatment pathway.
Healing is a process, not an event.
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