Electrical stimulation

Read on, see if it’s right for you

A brief History

This is a technique is relatively new in the world or Chinese Medicine. Some say it dates back to the early 1800’s used by physicians in France and Italy, others say it was developed by Japanese scientists in 1940’s who were working on developing new techniques to heal bone fractures, and in 1950’s Chinese doctors began experimenting with it as a form of anesthesia and pain relief. Regardless of its history electrical stimulation of acupuncture needles is widely used today for treating many different conditions very effectively.

How does it work?

The mystery of how it works is still being uncovered today; however, before electricity was discovered the needles were stimulated by hand. An acupuncturist or Chinese doctor would stand by the patient and manipulate the needles for several minutes at a time. Some practitioners still use this manual technique.  The objective is to stimulate the needles for several minutes during the treatment. When the needles are hooked up to the lines, the machine will be adjusted to a frequency and intensity tailored to each individual’s comfort level.  Depending on the condition treated, generally there can be as little as one pair of needles, or as many as four pairs stimulated at the same time.

How long does it take?

The typical treatment lasts about 20-30 minutes. More or less time will be decided by the licensed practitioner.

Does it hurt?

No. It may elicit a strange sensation. It sometimes feels like someone gently poking you with a dull stick, or the feeling of localized heat.  Everyone experiences it differently. You won’t know until you try it yourself. The electrical stimulation needs to be monitored for individual comfort levels.  Sometimes a patient may adapt to the impulses and feels no sensation at all. In this case the practitioner may raise the intensity during treatment, or if it becomes uncomfortable vice versa.

What does it treat?

It can treat absolutely any condition; however, it is a great choice for treating numbness anywhere in the body. It is best to use for post-stroke patients who lost movement or sensation. The sooner these patients get treated, the more likely that they regain normalcy. The longer they wait the less likely to get good results.  Another thing e-stim is great for is bone loss or joint degeneration. There have been many studies with great results on this topic. Furthermore, it is the go-to technique in case of severe pain due to spasms. In case someone throws their back out and can’t stand straight. There have been cases where patients come in crawling to an acupuncture office and 45 minutes later they can walk out. Of course follow up will be needed, but the results are immediate and substantial from one single treatment.

Other conditions treated with e-stim is skin conditions such as acne, renal colic, nausea, high blood pressure, any orthopedic condition, pain management, weight loss, menstrual cramps, cravings, addictions and more.


It is contraindicated for patients with a history of:

  • seizures
  • epilepsy
  • heart disease
  • pregnant
  • patients with pace makers