Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. According to some acupuncturists, this practice augments the use of regular acupuncture, can restore health and well-being, and is particularly good for treating pain. There is evidence for some efficacy (when used in addition to antiemetics) in treating moderate post-chemotherapy vomiting, but not for acute vomiting or delayed nausea severity. Electroacupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. These devices are used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electroacupuncture uses two needles at time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Electroacupuncture uses the same principles and pressure points as the traditional needling method, but it adds a microcurrent to the needle. Practitioners adjust the frequency of the current and the number of electrons that flow through the wire to the body. “It’s like someone sitting there tapping the needle, constantly stimulating it in a way that you can’t achieve with your hand,” says Folckomer. “[This method] enhances the function of that specific point and activates different types of regeneration in the body.

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