Electrical acupuncture stimulates specific peripheral nerves, which send strong impulses to the spinal cord and brain. With different stimulating frequencies, electrical acupuncture can induce different endorphins at different levels of the CNS. Endorphins have many physiologic functions, such as modulating pain mechanisms to relieve pain, relaxing cardiovascular systems, and improving immune activity by reducing physiologic stress. Electrical acupuncture stimulation, therefore, results in accelerated self-healing.
Endorphin mechanisms are nonspecific. Electrical acupuncture and needling stimulate the secretion of endorphins; however, chiropractic manipulation, massage, physical exercise, meditation, and taking a vacation can also have the same result to some degree. Nevertheless, electrical acupuncture provides special clinical mechanisms that greatly enhance the effects of ISDN. When a needle is inserted into damaged or unhealthy soft tissue, the needling process and the needling-induced lesions activate an anti-inflammatory response, relax the soft tissue contracture, and enable tissue regeneration. During insertion and removal of the needles, the tissue is only slightly stretched. Manipulating the needle can apply more of this tissue-stretching effect.3
If scar tissue from adhesion has already developed, more tissue stretching is needed to reduce it. The rhythmic contraction and vibration created by the electrical current facilitates the separation of tissue that is in the process of becoming adhered or has already adhered. This rhythmic contraction may also have the effect of loosening and breaking up scar tissue. In summary, the clinical value of electrical acupuncture stimulation is that it can reduce adhesion and prevent the formation of scar tissue, as well as improve blood and lymphatic circulation by subjecting the muscles to passive movement.
Electrical acupuncture should be applied cautiously. Because forceful movement is induced in the muscles, there is a potential for overcontraction, which can cause damage to muscle fibers. Such contraction, by applying excessive tension to the origin and insertion tendons, can lead to tendinitis or even breakage of the tendon fibers. The contracting muscles can cause physical impact between components of a joint, producing pain and damaging the joint structure. Strong muscle contraction even can break the bone. In view of these possibilities, electrical acupuncture should be used in a conservative manner with new patients: low intensity with minimal observable motion of muscle. It should start with frequencies of 2 to 10 Hz for short periods, such as 3 to 5 minutes. Once the patient feels comfortable with electrical acupuncture, the parameters can be modified.
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Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.