While acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years, the use of electro-acupuncture is a fairly recent addition to the tools of an acupuncturist. Electro-acupuncture can produce wonderful results when it comes to certain conditions.
Here at the YinOva Center we use electrostimulation, also referred to as e stim, to support many things: timely labors in late pregnancy, induce ovulation in anovulatory patients, treat back and neck pain and other various chronic pain issues. To perform e stim we simply attach little electrode clips to specific acupuncture needles during a regular acupuncture session. The electrodes are part of a machine that generates a low-grade electrical impulse at a specific frequency and intensity. The sensation elicited is similar to a tapping or buzzing, is mild, and still allows the patient to relax for the duration of the treatment, which is around 25-30 minutes. In fact, most people find it to be quite a pleasant experience!
Research on e stim has demonstrated its effectiveness for many conditions. It simply intensifies the acupuncture treatment, when appropriate. E stim is safe, but those with pacemakers, epilepsy, a history of seizures or strokes should not receive it. You can discuss whether e stim would be a helpful addition to your treatment with your acupuncturist.