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Electroacupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture: the same points are stimulated during treatment as with normal acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached with some small electrodes to a device that generates electric pulses. Electroacupuncture machines are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered. Electroacupuncture uses two needles at time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
What conditions can electroacupuncture treat? In the UK and Europe, electroacupuncture has been clinically tried for a variety of conditions. It has been effectively used as a form of pain relief and anesthesia and for the reduction of muscle spasms; it is also used for the treatment of neuropathy, arthritis and for neurological disorders. Other studies have examined the role of electroacupuncture in treating skin conditions such as acne, renal colic, and acute nausea caused by cancer medications. There is also evidence that electrical stimulation of acupuncture points activates the production of endorphin , which could reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease.
Electroacupuncture involves the passage of electrical energy through acupuncture points with attachment of battery-operated electronic devices to the needles. This technique allows for more accurate and uniformly regulated stimulation than can be achieved with manual stimulation of the needles alone. Specific frequencies of electrical stimulation may induce the production of specific neuro-peptides in the Central Nervous System. A frequency of 2 to 15 Hz causes the release of β-endorphin and met-enkephalin in the brain and dynorphin in the spinal cord and is more effective in relief of deep and chronic pain than a higher frequency stimulation (100 Hz). The effects of acupuncture may be predominantly mediated by the enkephalins and β-endorphin.
Does electroacupuncture hurt? Patients may experience a very mild tingling sensation while being treated with electroacupuncture, which is most likely due to the electric current. In most cases, the person fall asleep during the treatment because of the strong release of endorphins
An integrative approach in which conventional treatments and homeopathic medicines are used can be highly beneficial in the treatment of numerous conditions. Childbirth presents many opportunities for integrative medicine. While the use of homeopathic medicines can sometimes prevent the need for surgery, homeopaths acknowledge that surgery is sometimes necessary. When surgery is medically indicated, using homeopathic medicines before, during, and after the procedure can help the patient recover more rapidly.
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