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electroacupuncture by Dr Les Bailey phd,Les Bailey
Dr Les Bailey Phd DO acopm(int part) Les Bailey, looks at electroacupuncture in his physical therapies practice
By: Dr Les Bailey
As I sit writing this article I have 4 needles in my shoulder and an intermittent current running through them.
I have a worn and damaged acromioclavicular joint with accompanying osteophytes.
The surgeon has informed me that if he operates,it will take a minimum of 6 weeks off work to heal.
We both agreed that it was 34 years of performing osteopathic techniques that wore the shoulder ,the constant bearing down on the arms and joints having slowly worn the shoulder joint.
I am finding electroacupuncture is controlling the pain very well,and lets face it,its all i can do to myself !!!
I remember my first electroacupuncture machine over 25 years ago.It cost around £400 from memory.My current one was under £75 with a far higher spec all the way from china.How times have changed!!!
Lets look at an explanation of electroacupuncture.
Electro-acupuncture, the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupoints, was developed in China as an extension of hand manipulation of acupuncture needles around 1934.
It is described, though only briefly, in most comprehensive texts of acupuncture (1-4). The procedure for electro-acupuncture is to insert the acupuncture needle as would normally be done, attain the qi reaction by hand manipulation, and then attach an electrode to the needle to provide continued stimulation. The benefits of using electrical stimulation are:
It substitutes for prolonged hand maneuvering. This helps assure that the patient gets the amount of stimulation needed, because the practitioner may otherwise pause due to fatigue. Electro-acupuncture may also help reduce total treatment time by providing the continued stimulus. During electro-acupuncture, the practitioner can attend to other patients.
It can produce a stronger stimulation, if desired, without causing tissue damage associated with twirling and lifting and thrusting the needle. Strong stimulation may be needed for difficult cases of neuralgia or paralysis.
It is easier to control the frequency of the stimulus and the amount of stimulus than with hand manipulation of the needles.
The main disadvantage of electrical stimulation of acupuncture needles is the lack of direct practitioner participation in this aspect of acupuncture therapy and the associated limited opportunity for the practitioner to respond to changes that are taking place during treatment. However, for practitioners who, after inserting and initially stimulating the needles, normally leave the patient to rest undisturbed without performing prolonged needle manipulation, electro-acupuncture can provide a significant benefit: replacing the missing stimulus that is recommended by most experienced acupuncturists in China.
Although electro-acupuncture may be used as a component of nearly all acupuncture treatments that require manipulation of the needles, according to the Chinese literature, especially good results are expected from electro-acupuncture treatment of neurological diseases, including chronic pain, spasm, and paralysis. In patients with serious cardiac diseases, however, the method should be used with caution. It is generally recommended to avoid placing electrodes near the heart, as the heart can respond adversely to electrical impulses, and the path between any two electrodes should not cross the heart area, despite the low current that is used. Some have suggested avoiding placing electrodes to needles on both sides of the spinal cord (e.g., for Hua Tuo or bladder meridian points), because of the possible effect of the electrical stimulus on the nervous system. Points are generally selected in pairs for electrical pulse stimulation, with 1-3 pairs at one time, and the pairs are usually on the same side of the body.
I usually combine electroacupuncture with other physical therapies at the les bailey clinic as i have a belief that a multi pronged approach is far more effective than one discipline alone.For example I would tackle the worn AC joint on a patient with a combination of mobilisation,deep tissue massage coupled with electroacupuncture.
I would not use laser or ultrasound as the problem lays too deep within the body to gain any effect on a worn AC joint,so electroacupuncture is ideal.
Dr Les Bailey phd, DO,acopm,apta (int part). Les Bailey.Banstead surrey
Les Bailey 2012