Electro-Acupuncture (EA) is a form of Acupuncture in which a small electrical current is passed between Acupuncture needles. EA is quite similar to traditional Acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional Acupuncture, needles are inserted in specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electricity, using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulses.
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, illness is caused when Qi does not flow properly throughout the body.
Acupuncturists determine whether Qi is weak, stagnant or otherwise out of balance, which indicates the points to be stimulated. EA is considered to be especially useful for conditions in which there is a weakness or deficiency of organs, and also when there is accumulation or stagnation of Qi, such as in pain syndromes.
The Cochrane organization, a group of evidence-based medicine (EBM) reviewers, reviewed eleven randomized controlled trials on the use of EA at the PC-6 acupuncture point to control chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. The reviewers found that EA applied along with anti-vomiting drugs reduced first-day vomiting after chemotherapy more effectively than anti-vomiting drugs alone.
A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found inconclusive evidence that EA was effective for nausea and vomiting and hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy.
Researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (Rockville, Maryland) evaluated three representative devices intended for electrostimulation of acupuncture needles.
Using electrical stimulation in human ailments treatment has a very old history. There are some writings in Avicenna’s treatises about electric shock with electric eels. But electrical stimulating in acupuncture has an almost 40 years old root. It began from a hospital in Shanghai China.