Electric and Auricular Acupuncture in Focus

By Dr. Dongfeng Zhou

Have you ever come across these terms – electric and auricular acupuncture? You probably have not. First of all, you need to understand what the concept is. Well, acupuncture is an age-long traditional remedy; it involves the insertion of sterile needles into a patient’s body through the acupoints in order to treat specific diseases. Generally, it has eight principles and each pair seeks to balance up the body’s energy flow (Qi). Also, the traditional remedy is safe as it has no severe adverse effects. While the traditional, full-body approach has been practiced over the centuries, other techniques exit. So, this article will discuss them in detail.

Understanding Electric Acupuncture

Electric acupuncture in Davie, FL

Electric acupuncture – also known as electroacupuncture (EA) – involves two needles and the passage of charges through them. In other words, instead of twirling or hand-manipulation of the needles, as it is the case with the age-long traditional method, EA involves passing electric current through the needles to stimulate acupoints. The current gives it the right vibration that delivers the required treatment. In the end, it blocks pains and other ailments by activating the body’s biochemical. Oftentimes, the current is about 40 – 80 volts, resulting in a pulsating sensation. In addition to that, the session lasts for between 10 and 20 minutes; it never exceeds 30 minutes. EA was developed in China in the 1930’s, serving as the connection between the physical and spiritual selves.

Benefits and Efficacy

Many practitioners are increasingly embracing EA because it has numerous benefits over the manual method. These benefits are highlighted below:

  • EA circulates the bloodstream for a much longer time and offers longer period of pain relief than the traditional technique
  • The specialist won’t get tired easily as there is no room for hand-maneuvering
  • EA requires less time for treatment due to sustained and stronger effect
  • This covers a much larger part of the body than the traditional method
  • It also eliminates the need for precise needle placement as common in the manual approach. This means that it is more accurate than the traditional technique.

Given the unique therapeutic effects of EA, therapists use it to fully or in part to treat specific conditions. These medical conditions include musculoskeletal, neurological, obstetric, gastrointestinal, intraoperative and postoperative analgesia. It is also believed to increase blood flow and help to unblock potential blockages.

While this method releases endogenous opioid (such as endorphins), facts have emerged that it is more consistent and convincing to use EA than the manual method. Experts say that treating people with EA takes about 3 weeks. Keep in mind that you should consult a specialist to help you with this therapy because it involves electric current. It is also not advisable to try EA if you have seizes, heart diseases, epilepsy, and strokes.

Ear or Auricular Acupuncture

Ear acupuncture in Fort Lauderdale

This is the type where sterile needles are inserted into the ear and rotated in the clockwise direction to normalize the body function. It helps to regulate the body’s internal organs, structure, and functions. During the session, sterile pins are placed on specific points around the ear. These acupoints correspond with the organs, emotions and other sensory feelings that stimulate healing. It is a type of auriculotherapy, which means it is concentrated around the ear. The session goes on for long-lasting stimulation and may place ear tacks or small seeds from the vaccaria plant on the parts of the ear. The session lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.

Going back in history, author Zhenjun Zhang detailed the first auricular map in his book, Essential Techniques for Massage in 1888. The map identified the five Zhang organs, and these are the heart, spleen, kidney, liver, and lung. Ever since, specialists have been using the technique to treat diseases in China and elsewhere in the world. Despite Zhang’s position, TCM practitioners believe that there are over 200 acupoints around the ear. However, in 1990, the World Health Organization released a list, identifying about 39 auricular points. Of the number, 10 acupoints are the major ones used at the time due to their potency. Today, specialists focus on five designated acupoints: lung, liver, kidney, shen men, Sympathetic.

Disease Treatment and Efficacy  

EA can treat a wide range of diseases. These health conditions include chronic pain, migraine, anxiety, weight loss, insomnia, cancer pain, allergies, etc. In one 2017 meta-analysis, researchers reviewed 10 studies to examine the efficacy of the traditional remedy. In the end, they concluded that it can provide relief within 48 hours from the onset of treatment. It is noteworthy that the authors recommended that more large-scale studies were needed to support their findings. Still, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health strongly advises that it must be administered by a trained and certified specialist as failure to take the right steps may lead to serious side effects.


In this article, you have learned about electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture. While the former focuses on all parts of the body, the latter concentrates on the ear region. The good thing, however, is that the ear technique can be incorporated into EA. This means they can go either separately or together.

With respect to ear acupuncture, Chinese medicine in Davie believes that the ear is a powerful source of energy (Qi) through which other parts of the body can be treated. This principle serves as its fulcrum. Alternatively, ear seeds are used and it is noninvasive. More importantly, you begin to feel the therapeutic effects of the treatment within 3-4 days. Then again, how long the effect lasts depends on your age, symptoms, and condition you are being treated for.

From the foregoing, studies have shown that the two traditional remedies are potent for treating a wide range of ailments. Now you know what the terms mean; have you tried either of them before? If not, we can help you get started to achieve total wellbeing. To do that, just get in touch with us to learn how we can help us lead a richer, ailment-free life today.


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