Electroacupuncture is a modern variant of acupuncture that uses electricity to enhance the therapeutic effects of traditional acupuncture. It involves stimulating two needles with an electrical current, which some believe improves the healing properties of traditional acupuncture. Although there is limited evidence to support the many claims being made about electroacupuncture, some studies point to it as a useful method for treating a variety of conditions. One of the advantages of electroacupuncture is that it can cover larger areas of the body than traditional acupuncture. Electroacupuncture is also known as percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) and many acupuncturists consider it a useful tool that complements traditional acupuncture treatments.
It involves placing acupuncture needles in the body and then connecting them to each other using small clips and a cable connected to a device that supplies small electrical impulses or current. This technique has no nerve endings or muscles, and is considered an extremely safe method. When treating headaches caused by stress or hormonal imbalances, traditional principles are followed to restore energy balance. Electroacupuncture can contribute to the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals involved in nerve cell signaling, and activate pain relief and other recovery mechanisms. It can also produce a significant increase in the signal in the anterior middle cingulate cortex, while 2 Hz electroacupuncture produces an increase in the signal in the area of the raphe pontine. In dogs with spinal cord injuries, electroacupuncture has been found to be an excellent complementary therapy to control pain for veterinary patients.
The most modern acupuncturists base their practice on current knowledge of physiology, and it is believed that electroacupuncture can enhance the stimulatory effect of acupuncture.