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Hi -

Does anyone know of good/modern reference textbooks or journal articles on use of electrical stimulation with acupuncture (electroacupuncture) in general (entire body) - and also on a secondary note - electroacupuncture in dentistry (for TMJ issues, pain control, relaxation, etc.)?

Thanks in advance -

Peter Campbell



I think you are going to have to find a way that works for you to overcome this fear of Electro-stim, it is absolutely vital for pain relief (stagantion).

Perhaps you can contact the school you went to and ask the Instructor to clarify some things for you.

I was taught that you put the black clip nearest to the area of pain, and the red clip further down the channel to lead the stagnation out. Don't cross over a joint (like a knee or elbow) with the red clip because you will not effectively lead the pain past the joint.

There are areas of the body that are contraindicated to use electrostim, I am concerned that not enough knowledge could cause you to make errors.

I was told by someone at school that 7.5 is a universal healing frequency, so I often use that. I start out on LOW pulsating and turn my dial up very slowly until the patient can feel it and then turn it up just a tad higher.

Low for 15 mins, then high for the last 5. But this is my unit, I have no idea what yours is...ask a classmate or an experienced Acupuncturist to help you. But it is a VERY good tool to have.




Everything Liz has said is fine and the currencies/duration depend on your particular machine and the patient so it is difficult to lay down hard and fast rules. I will try, however, to add a page to our main site about electro acupuncture which covers the basics - we probably should have put that information up a while ago.

The only other thing I would add for now to Liz's post is to never cross the spine.

Yin Yang House Acupuncture & Energy Healing Clinic


Dear Dupuis,

The EA subject is an very interesting issue for me and, I'm convinced, for many other people, since the appearance of the self-made EA appliances on market.
I bought such a device for aleviating some health problems for me and my husband, but the brochure that came with that device is extremly simple-minded - very-very frustrating, really...

Ofcourse, my concearns are close related to those already presented by sblac: which intensity/stimulation time is correct, since every illness has its particular way to manifest itself from a person to another.

I red very carefully the informations that are so generously presented on this site, but although I obtained some wonderfull results about PMS, I'm reluctant in getting furher than this by experimenting about my husband's migrains and on other more delicate condition of mine (IBS - which requires stimulation of some UB points, pretty hard to be accurately found by someone like us, since we have no medical experience). I don't know the risks involved by using the wrong electric intensity, nor by not stimulating the correct points - so I stopped here.

Needless to say that in our country, Romania, the official accupuncture not so very trustfull (needles applied way far from the correct position Sad - no need to be too smart to observe such a thing after seeing a simple acupuncture chart), so... we'd better do what we can, at home, with our little EA device, in the limits of the common sense.

Therefore, any information about the sagely usage of EA accupuncture you will be so kind to provide will be of the utmost interest for us.

Thank you,


I read up on microcurrent devices in the market, it seems OK for microcurrent to do crossing anywhere in the body. I see training demo for physical therapist using microcurrent device and they
treat by crossing technique (along the spines, anywhere except the brain).
I know for the fact microcurrent operate at cellular level/ATP production and not like like TENS unit which tend to Jam the pain signal.

Of cousrse microcurrent is for healing and not for acute pain.

Mike Nguyen L.Ac.



I share your frustration in the lack of information about EA, I will add my little knowledge to the pot and hope it helps.

I was warned never to cross a pair of electrodes over the heart, this will interfere with the hearts own electrical rythym and never use EA on someone with a pace maker as it can stop the device. Never use on broken bones (unfused) as this is extremely painful.

I read that for best results your machine must be Bi-phasic - this means that the pulse is equal on both needles, otherwise you will not achieve de qi. the pulse width should be 0.1 - 1.0 ms, square wave pulse 25-50 v 2.5 - 5mA at pulse width 0.1 ms if any one can tell me what this all means I will be greatful.
4 hz releases endorphins, 50 - 200 hz releases seratonin 2 - 4 hz is best to achieve de qi. high intensity to sedate, low intensity to tonify.

Generally you can use EA on any ailment to amplify the effect of the needles but I am wary of using it on patients with deficiency syndromes, moxa would be more appropriate anyway - maybe this is why you caused more pain in your client. muscle spasm is another concern, turn the intensity slowly and only to a tolerable level. I was taught that as long as you connect the electrodes to the needles along the line of pain, it will clear the channel and sedate the nerve.

As for the pain element and shutting down the nerve messages this is concerned with the gate theory, which you can look up in good A+ P books.

EA also stimulates nerve function and growth I was recently informed by an electro-physicist that the stimulation causes a chemical change in the synapse which affects the nerve cells on a chromasomal level and stimulates regrowth - this is why it is so effective for atrophy and nerve damage.

He also made me aware of the risk of using not only EA but any electrical device around any high output of magnetic radiation, this would mean mobile telphone masts, broadcasting stations, medical equipment such as scanning machinery. Basically the EA machine will act as an amplifier and can cause burns and tissue death, the difficulty here is being aware of the location of these types of radiation, but considering the extreme effects I think you would notice if this was happnening.


While written largely for dentists the text, Electro-acupuncture for Dentistry: Electroacupuncture Dentistry Manual, is quite good. For more general information, electro-acupuncture a practical manual and resource is decent as well.


There is an article by Stephen Lee in a recent edition of EJOM,vol 5 issue 6, ejom, that covers many musculoskeletal problems. I have used the principles discussed to good effect.

The David Mayor book is packed with information but can be difficult to draw conclusions from as a result.

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