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What it is?
Electro-acupuncture is a specialized therapeutic technique in which small electrical pulses are
applied to needles that are already inserted. Acupuncture and Electro-acupuncture are very similar treatments, the only difference is adding the electrodes to the needles and adding a low electrical charge. The electro-generator is able to adjust frequency level meaning the practitioner can adjust the intensity to your desired level.
Why do Electro-Acupuncture over Traditional Acupuncture?
Electro-acupuncture shares a similar range of benefits as Traditional Acupuncture, so it can be used to treat a broad spectrum of conditions. However, Electro-acupuncture seems to be more beneficial for sensory and motor problems. The most notable being conditions of the stomach, intestines, urinary bladder, and uterus, and all types of pain within the muscles, ligaments, and joints including headaches and migraines. Research also suggests blood circulation is better compared with Traditional Acupuncture, meaning better removal of toxins and circulation of nutrients. One of the goals in Traditional Acupuncture is to stimulate the feeling of Qi, which is a dull ache you feel when needled and a sign that it is working. Electro-acupuncture seems to be able to encourage the feeling of Qi more so than Traditional Acupuncture, as well as prolong the feeling.
What do you expect to do and feel in treatment?
First, the needles need to be inserted into the desired points. Once they are in, the electrodes are
attached and then the frequency will be started and increased to a point that you are comfortable
with. Generally, it is applied for 10-30 minutes. You will either feel a dull ache, or a mild tingling. If
you start to feel any pain or discomfort, the practitioner can turn down the frequency at any time, so it is more manageable.
Side effects?
Like Traditional Acupuncture, Electro-acupuncture is safe, and you shouldn’t need to worry. The only caution is it should not be used on anyone who has a pacemaker.



Ms. Ting Wang

  • Member of British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)
  • Clinician in Neurology department, Heilongjiang University of TCM Hospital
  • MSc. in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture), London South Bank University
  • BSc. in Clinical Discipline of Chinese and Western Integrative, Heilongjiang University of TCM


What you should know?

Acupuncture rarely ‘hurts‘. The most that people experience is a dull ache around the base of the inserted needle, or a slight tingling feeling when the needle is inserted. Points at the extremities, like toe or finger ends, can sometimes be a little sharp, but the sensation is usually brief.

Acupuncture is extremely safe if delivered by adequately trained practitioners. The most frequent side-effects are mild and include: minor bruising or bleeding, usually on needle withdrawal (3%), worsening of existing symptoms (1%) which usually lasts no more than two days and is sometimes associated with a good overall outcome; drowsiness, relaxation, or euphoria (3%) which is often experienced as pleasurable (and if so is not an adverse event!), and pain at the needling site (1%). Severe, extremely rare side-effects include a puncture lung or heart membrane (this is avoided by correct technique); transmission of blood-borne diseases (e.g. hepatitis C), avoided by using single-use, sterile, disposable needles, and skin infection (which is possible with ear acupuncture, particularly if indwelling studs are used).s

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