Electro-Acupuncture (EA) is the technique of combining normal acupuncture, or dry needling, with the application of an electro stimulus delivered through the needles and into the skin. Electro-acupuncture is a highly effective modality and has been used for decades to treat stubborn conditions.
Pain Relief Endorphins Acupuncture Electro-Stimulation
At Core Body Clinic we use it to treat several problems finding it particularly useful in knee arthritis, 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, stress hormone. The aim is to lower the sensitivity of the nervous system and reduce pain. Conditons like sciatica or more chronic and long term problems where the pain is neuro-pathic, EA has been found to be effective as because electro-acupuncture reduces pain on local, spinal and supraspinal levels. Therefore, not only is local tissue inflammatory chemical release suppressed but the pathways carrying informaiton to the brain are inhibited. In the central nervous system it enhances the release of serotonin and norepinepherine.
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-acupcunture has the potential to offer a patient who has previously had a poor response to therapy or conventional acupuncture the chance of pain relief.
Electro-acupuncutre has been shown in many studies to provide relief superior to conventional acupuncture. The machine uses different frequencies depending on the type, nature and intensity of the problem. We are able to bespoke the dosage specific to the patient and their problem. The technique is different to TENS because the needles are often placed directly into the nerve and blood rich muscle tissue thereby directly influencing the central nervous system.
All needles are sterile and treatment is only carried out by a certified pratitioner. Typically you will need 3 sessions to build up enough endorphins to see an effect with most patients experiencing a 50% reduction in pain after their first treatment. Treatments can be carried out weekly and then followed up fortnightly and monthly. The exact course of treatment is determined by the nature of the problem and the treatment plan. 1 hour sessions are advised for every appointment. It is not a panacea for pain, but has the potential to offer pain relief for more stubborn pain conditions.