Acupuncture is ostensibly the manipulation of energy within the body. Many have surmised that the flow of electricity within the body is at the heart of the matter.
Most people in the West view acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine as an ancient practice that has remained unchanged for thousands of years in the mysterious orient. It does not matter if they accept or reject it as an alternative treatment option. They still do not view it as something dynamic and always changing. The truth is that acupuncture has not been immune to the changes wrought in our society by technology. In the last century, there have been many developments in acupuncture theory. These include the discovery and study of several holistic theories such as Ear acupuncture and the use of electro-stimulation.
There has been some thought that the acupuncture needles actually produce very minute electrical charges when they are twirled while inserted. It is also believed that the needles, when left in place, tend to drain excess electrical energy at a cellular level. This has led to the administration of small current electrical charges into the needles to replace the need to twist them or reinsert them to produce maximum effect.
A logical advance from this has been the idea of electrical charge acupuncture. This is the idea that the needles themselves would not be necessary if the same effect could be produced by administering a small electrical charge to the acupuncture point. The electrical charge that is used is very small. It ranges from .03-10 Hz and has an intensity of between 25-150 micro-amps. It can be applied in a short application or for a longer duration using an electro-pad to provide continuous stimulation.
Electric charge acupuncture has been very effective in the treatment of pain and inflammation of joints and tendons. Athletes and practitioners of sports medicine have been some of its most ardent supporters. Although it might seem that the major reason for its popularity is the human’s normal aversion to the idea of needles, this is not completely true. It is true that the insertion of needles is more time consuming and does pose very slight risks of bleeding and bruising. This approach eliminates these small risks and the treatments can be performed faster and with less trouble.
More important than speed or comfort, however, might be the idea that the charged acupuncture might be more effective for certain types of treatments. If there is a measurable electrical stimulation that is causing the control of qi during needle insertion, it makes sense that an electrical form of producing this stimulation might have even greater potential. Although the treatment is new and not much clinical evaluation has been done as of yet, electric acupuncture is an indication that Traditional Chinese Medicine is a dynamic and ever changing approach to health treatment. It is most likely that this has always been true, but the technological age might be accelerating the process as it has done in so many other areas.
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