Does electroacupuncture work?

Posted by John Hubacher on Feb 9th 2024

Manual acupuncture versus electroacupuncture

Since the introduction of EA, studies have found that analgesic effects of EA are greater and more effective than manual manipulation, and that manual acupuncture and EA appear to stimulate different CNS areas. An fMRI study of normal adults found that stimulation with EA at a frequency of 3 Hz on LI4, Hegu, produced fMRI signal increases in the precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus/inferior parietal lobule, and putamen/insula, whereas manual needle manipulation of the same point produced prominent decreases of fMRI signals in the posterior cingulate, superior temporal gyrus, and putamen/insula. EA also increases the tissue content of endorphins.