Electroacupuncture is the combination of acupuncture and electric stimulation, with a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) type current, to produce greater analgesia. It consists of applying a current to the needles, mainly to treat pain.
The technique consists of the insertion of needles, leaving the point to be treated in the middle, with the needle aligned, and they can also be combined with other classic acupuncture points. For acute pathologies it is used high frequency and low intensity (sedation) and for chronic pathologies low frequency and high intensity (stimulation).
As we said before, TENS type currents are used. They normally have a waveform in asymmetrical biphasic rectangular pulses, although a great variety of shapes can be found. In general, this type of current does not have polarity and the cathode will always be the stimulator. There are two types of TENS, Western and Eastern, both have similar parameters but different nomenclatures. In general, the frequency is 1-5 Hz, the pulse width 50-250 ms and the intensity is dosed in mA. The current can always be transmitted continuously or interrupted (varying parameters in the different trains).
Monopolar stimulation is when we apply a TENS current through a single needle. It will serve as diagnostic mode (Point locator) or treatment mode.