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  Pain Management Theraphy in UK

Acupuncture Electrotherapy In Modern Medicine

Application & Benefits in Treatment of Painful and Non-Painful conditions.

electro acupuncture

The electro-acupuncture is used in treatment of various disorders by application of:

1. Low frequency

2. High frequency and

3. Ultra-High frequency

Stimulation of the acupuncture needle by electricity is a modern innovation in acupuncture. Although manual stimulation is superior to electrical stimulation, the latter has certain advantages such as convenience, time savings, and less traumatization of the tissues. It is also preferred by children.

Electro-acupuncture (also called electro-pulse stimulation”E.P.S.”) is preferable to hand stimulation in acupuncture anesthesia. Electrical stimulation of the acupuncture points may be carried out without insertion of the needles in patients who are hypersensitive to needles by using an electrode tip soaked in saline solution
Three types of electrical apparatus are used in acupuncture practice:

  • A. Electrical pulse stimulators for administering therapy.
  • B. Acupuncture point detectors which locate the acupuncture points electrically by making use of the fact that these are points of lowered electrical resistance on the skin.
  • C. Dual-purpose instruments which combine the above functions. Electrical pulse stimulators are used to stimulate the acupuncture points by feeding them with a special type of electrical flux.

Types of electrical current used

Direct current (D.C.) Galvanic and Faradic stimulation cannot be used for therapy as there is tendency to cause iontophoresis and cauterization of the tissues at the point of contact.

Alternating current (A.C.) is also not suitable as it cause much discomfort to the patient. It has been found that the best form of stimulation is to use a pulsatile (or “pulsed”) current generated by means of a transistorized or printed electronic circuit.

Pulsed current can have many different wave-forms such as biphasic, square, biphasic spike, and sinusoidal; but the most widely used in electro-acupuncture is the biphasic spike. Stimulation with this wave-form can be delivered to the patient as either continuous, intermittent, or dens-disperse. The dens-disperse form is the most commonly used as the patient exhibits the least amount of sensory adaptation.

Many makes and models of electrical pulse stimulation are available, but they are all constructed on a common plan. The object is to deliver a minute pulsed current to the acupuncture points, and this current to be adjustable in respect to three parameters:

Voltage: must be adjustable from about 5 to 20 Volts. The range of the voltage generally used for treatment is 5 to 10 Volts. The power source may be the main supply or one to six dry cell batteries. Set-up transformers are used for getting the desired voltage. We do not recommend the mains supply as the source of power, as a breakdown of the transformer could have a disastrous effect on the patient.

Frequency: must be adjustable according to requirements. For most forms of therapy, a low frequency of about 1 to 50 Hertz (i.e. 1 to 50 pulses per second) is sufficient. For acupuncture anesthesia however, a higher frequency range (1000 to 2000 Hertz biphasic) is employed in the operative or painful area. In some models up to 30,000 Hertz can be delivered (this is still experimental).

And Intensity (current strength): is generally very small – not more than a few micro-amps. The intensity must be adjustable so as not to cause discomfort to the patient. However, particularly in acupuncture anesthesia, it should be sufficiently strong to induce the acupuncture sensation called “Ti-chi or deqi”

The procedure of the electrical stimulation:
During electrical pulse stimulation the above 3 variables (voltage, frequency and intensity) must be regulated so that no discomfort is caused to the patient. Control knobs, with calibration for fine tuning these variables, are provided on the instruments panel on all reliable models. Pilot lamps (or “magic eyes”) and loudspeakers (amplifiers) for audio-visual monitoring are available in most instruments. There are switches for selecting the wave-forms; intermittent, dens-disperse, etc. Each instrument is also fitted with several output points from which there are sets of lead wires which can be connected to the inserted needles by means of fine wire and clips. The wires in each set of leads are an earth wire. By using different sets of leads, several patients may be treated simultaneously with single stimulator in therapy, (but not in anesthesia).

Types of Electrical stimulators:
Many portable transistorized models of Electro-Pulse Stimulators are available today. The most popular stimulator, which is used at our UKACUPUNCTUR CLINICS, is safe machine with no side effects such as electrical burns and other harmful effects.

What are the contra-indications to Electro-acupuncture? 
In epilepsy and other convulsive states, electro-acupuncture should not be used at all. It is also avoided in patients with cardiac disorders like auricular fibrillation and other conductive disorders. In high fever and in epileptic electro-acupuncture is avoided. Electro-acupuncture must not be carried out on any patient with cardiac pacemaker. It is also contraindicated in infants, mentally ill, non-co-operative patients, and those with excess Yang disorders particularly of the Heart, Pericardium and the Brain.

What disorders can be treated by Electro-acupuncture:                                                       In traditional Chinese medicine, a disease which is caused by qi flow disturbance weakness, stagnation or out of balance will indicate the acupuncture points to be stimulated. So that

Electro-acupuncture is considered in these conditions. Electro-acupuncture has been effectively used as: 1. To induce anesthesia; 2. To relieve pain and muscle spasms; 3. For treatment of various neurological disorders; 4. For treatment of many skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis and psoriasis; 5. And also for treatment of renal colic, and acute nausea caused by cancer medications.

If you want to know furthermore about Electro-acupuncture and its effectiveness in treatment of various diseases, please contact UK ACUPUNCTURE CLINICS