Electrical stimulation (aka e-stim) entails stimulating the target areas through the combined use of acupuncture and gentle electrical current. It is an effective technique in the treatment of myofascial pains, muscular dysfunctions, Bell’s Palsy, and post stroke rehabilitation. The intensity of the stimulation is adjusted to ensure patient comfort and positive treatment outcome without inducing pain.
In my practice, I most often use electrical stimulation on large skeletal muscles, like hamstrings, quadriceps, and the trapezius. These muscles are almost always tight, tender, and sore on people who do a lot of sitting and typing, and that pretty much includes everybody who works in a modern office setting. Because these muscles are long, it’s easy to palpate and locate the tight and tender spots, they make a perfect candidate for electrical simulation.
Some people aren’t exactly crazy about electrical stimulation, although my personal experience on getting electrical stimulation has been nothing but positive. As a matter of fact, my very first acupuncture treatment was done with electrical simulation to my hamstring and quadriceps. It was an amusing experience to feel those muscles perform synchronized contractions and relaxations. More importantly though, was the results – I felt like I have a pair of brand new legs!
Many acupuncturists in the US shun away from electrical stimulation, despite the popularity of electrical stimulation in Asia. Based on my personal experience and clinical outcome, electrical stimulation is an indispensable tool especially in address muscle tightness and pain due to repetitive use or sport injuries.
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