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Electroacupuncture Explained

 

Electroacupuncture is the specialized version of traditional acupuncture that involves running a small electrical current through the pre-placed needles. This is done in hopes of stimulating blood flow and achieving balance throughout the body. Today, we’ll explore the many benefits and uses to this newer form of TCM.

 

Invented by Chinese doctor Tang She-Cheng in 1937, it has a much shorter history in relation to the nearly 2,500 years of manual acupuncture. As a result, the practice is less widely in utilization, but does have proven benefits.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

So, how does it work? While it can seem scary initially, the principles are actually quite simple, and in essence, similar to manual acupuncture. Traditionally, an acupuncturist would place one needle per meridian point, and then manually stimulate the body using that needle and their hands. However, in electroacupuncture, two needles are placed per meridian point and an electrical machine is connected to these needles which sends a current back and forth, and stimulates the meridian point between. 

In electroacupuncture, two needles are inserted per meridian point, unlike traditional Chinese acupuncture.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Some people may be understandably wary about hooking their body up to an electrical current, so what is the point? According to multiple scientific studies, electroacupuncture has some pretty significant benefits, even when compared to the time-tested standard. Some specific benefits of this variation include increased efficacy in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis. Likewise, chemo-therapy related nausea and other chronic stress issues have been found to be reduced by this method. Specifically nerve-related issues that benefit from electrical stimulation. 

 

For example, study done by researchers at Georgetown University found that the applied use of electroacupuncture can reduce physical symptoms of chronic stress quite dramatically. Furthermore, this method can lower production stress hormones, and can be an effective addition to treatments for various conditions.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to this variation of practice, certain groups are at a higher risk for complications. If you are elderly, pregnant, have a pacemaker, other heart-related issues, or experience seizures you should not attempt electroacupuncture.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

WOULD YOU TRY ELECTROACUPUNCTURE THERAPY?

Unfamiliar with traditional acupuncture benefits? Check some out here!

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947586/

https://www.healthline.com/health/electroacupuncture#how-it-works

 

Acupuncture for Depression

shutterstock_130152032We have all felt sad or depressed at one time or another in our lives, but it tends to quickly pass. For those who are clinically depressed, this feeling tends to last for a much longer period of time and not only does it affect their lives, but the lives of those around them as well. Depression is a mental illness that if left untreated can lead to more emotional problems and also manifest into physical problems. It is characterized by prolonged feelings of hopelessness, sadness, worthlessness and thoughts of death/suicide. Depression affects physical health as well in that a person who suffers from depression may have trouble sleeping, eating, and working. It is estimated that there are 20 million Americans who are affected by depression and it is on the rise. The World Health Organization believes that depression will be the second highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, second only to HIV/AIDS.

Today, the most common form of treatment for depression is medication. However, more than 60% of patients on anti-depressants are responding with below satisfactory results. They are receiving partial temporary benefit or no benefit at all. Those who do respond to medication only receive temporary benefit/relief from the symptoms. Anti-depressants don’t treat the cause, they only mask the symptoms, and the side effects of depression medication have been reported to sometimes be worse than the depression itself.  Even knowing all of this, 11.3 billion dollars a year is spent on anti-depressant medications in the United States.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does not see depression as a specific illness for everyone who experiences it.  Chinese Medicine focuses on each individual and customizes the treatments specific to that particular person. Acupuncture is seen as an alternative treatment to reduce the severity of depression. Acupuncture can alleviate the signs and symptoms the person is experiencing as well as address the root cause and underlying imbalances.

Many studies have been done to support acupuncture as a treatment to alleviate depression.  Recently, a randomized controlled study was done. The results showed that the brain chemistry that is changed due to depression can be altered with acupuncture. Electro-acupuncture was performed on points Baihui and Yintang. At the end of the trial, the genes that were imbalanced from depression had become normalized. Acupuncture provides a safe, natural, drug-free way to treat depression.

You can read more about the study here: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1363-acupuncture-relieves-depression-regulates-gene-expression

“The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.” -Plato