Electro-acupuncture is very similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated using very thin, sterile, single-use needles inserted at specific points on the body. In electro-acupuncture, the needles are attached by small clips to a device that creates electric pulses along the needle. Needles are stimulated in pairs so that gentle current can be passed from one needle to another. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated at the same time. Electro-acupuncture can be used for a wide variety of conditions. It is particularly effective in dispersing stagnant qi, such as occurs in a chronic pain condition, muscle spasms, and neurological disorders.
During electro-acupuncture treatment patients may experience a tingling sensation similar to the de qi (or "arrival of qi"). In many cases, the current used is below the threshold for sensation, so the tingling will not be felt.
It is important to provide your practitioner with a complete medical history. Electro-acupuncture should not be used on patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, heart disease or strokes, or on patients with pacemakers.