Electroacupuncture dry with needle connecting machine used by acupunturist on female patient for acupuncture guided by EPI Intratissue Percutaneous Electrolisis. Electro stimulation in physical therapy to knee of a young woman in physiotherapy center.


Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. Electroacupuncture is an increasingly popular form of treatment and is used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine for a wide array of conditions.

What’s the difference between electroacupuncture and traditional acupuncture?

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.

Close-up of physiotherapist inserting needles on patient for electro dry needling
Physiotherapist performing electro dry needling on the knee of a patient in clinic

What conditions can electroacupuncture treat?

According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, illness is caused when qi does not flow properly throughout the body. Acupuncturists determine whether qi is weak, stagnant or otherwise out of balance, which indicates the points to be stimulated. Electroacupuncture is considered to be especially useful for conditions in which there is an accumulation of qi, such as in chronic pain syndromes, or in cases where the qi is difficult to stimulate.

Electroacupuncture has been effectively used as a form of anesthesia; as a pain reliever for muscle spasms; and a treatment for neurological disorders. Some studies have examined the role of electroacupuncture in treating skin conditions such as acne, renal colic, and acute nausea caused by cancer medications. There is also some evidence that electrical stimulation of acupuncture points activates the endorphin system, which could lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease.

Does electroacupuncture hurt?

Patients may experience a tingling sensation while being treated with electroacupuncture, which is most likely due to the electric current. In most cases, however, the effect produced by the current is subsational; in other words, the tingling sensation will not be felt. Some minor bruising or bleeding may occur, which is the result of a needle hitting small blood vessels.

Our registered acupuncturist, Sungwoon Shawn Tjen, is an experienced practitioner of electroacupuncture. To find out more about this service or to book an appointment, call us at 604-876-9977 or book online.