Electro-acupuncture is the use of a machine similar to a TENS machine that is then attached to the needles once they have been inserted. It is used to relive pain, but with the added benefit of enhancing the known function of the particular acupuncture point being stimulated.
Your practitioner may choose to use electro-acupuncture for the following reasons:
in some instances it can increase the effect of the points being used when compared with using manual acupuncture alone.
In some instances, results can be more rapid and longer-lasting
Electro-acupuncture may have an effect on pain, relaxation, circulation and muscle tone that cannot be obtained using manual acupuncture.
EA can allow stronger, more intense stimulation that is continual whereas manual acupuncture requires needles to be stimulated just once at insertion and possible once more half way through the treatment.
It is important to remember that EA is not suitable for all patients depending upon certain previous surgery (EG insert of a pace-maker or if the patient is not strong enough to tolerate a high degree of stimulation. Patients may request EA, but it is up to the practitioner to decide whether it would be int heir best interest to receive it or not.