by Pamela Policastro, L.Ac.
It sounds a bit scarey, but there’s a good chance that at some point in your fertility acupuncture treatment your TCM practitioner will pull out “the electro-stim machine.”
Basically, electroacupuncture is a substitute for time consuming hand manipulation. Although you may not be aware of it, once the acupuncture needles have penetrated the skin, your acupuncturist then gives the needle a little twist, thrust, or both. This hand manipulation communicates to the body what action we need it to take. The point being, electroacupuncture can produce a higher and more continuous level of stimulation than manual manipulation.
Electroacupuncture was first developed in France during the early nineteenth century when a few physicians and researchers began to apply mild electric currents to Chinese acupoints. One of the first physicians to do so was Dr. Louis Berlioz, who used electroacupuncture to treat neuralgia.
Despite discoveries in France at that time, the concept did not receive much attention until the early twentieth century, when sporadic research began to be done by US and Chinese researchers. Still, it was not until the 1950's that electroacupuncture began to develop extensively in mainland China. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a German physician by the name of Reinhold Voll systematized the procedure and made several innovative uses of electroacupuncture. His system, EAV(electroacupuncture according to Voll), is still used by many acupuncturists worldwide. The 1950's also brought developments in electroacupuncture by several physicians around the world. One such doctor was Dr. Lavier of France (leave it to the French!), who used local electroacupuncture anesthesia for surgery..um, no thanks. Today, electroacupuncture is widely employed throughout the world.
Electroacupuncture involves a set of needles and electric stimulation.At the start, the electrical potential is zero and the current gradually increases so a s to monitor the patients reaction. The amount of electrical stimulation depends on the tolerance of the patient and the nature of the disease.
After the treatment has progressed for a minute or two, the patient may become accustomed to the electric current as effective stimulation gradually decreases. When this occurs, the current is increased accordingly.
Most electroacupuncture treatments last 10-20 minutes, but in some select cases it may be continued for as long as 4-5 hours.
Here, at Pulling Down the Moon, your acupuncturist will probably include some electroacupuncture if she/he is trying to improve your egg quality. Electroacupuncture creates more qi and blood circulation in the uterine area, thus benefitting both eggs and endometrial lining.
Well, that is the end of my 4-part series, "Tools of the Trade". I hope you have found the information provided to be both educational and interesting. Take your new found knowledge and go forth to share with friends, family, and physicians alike. Namaste