Acustimulation

Synonyms

Acupoint, acupoint stimulation, acupressure, acupuncture, acupuncture point stimulation, acustimulation wristbands, EA, electroacupuncture, Neiguan point (P6), portable TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), shiatsu, TAES, TEAS, transcutaneous acupoint electrical stimulation, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, transcutaneous electrical acustimulation.

Not included in this discussion: Acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu, TENS.

Background

Acustimulation is the mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. A low intensity electrical current is used to penetrate just slightly below the surface of the skin.

It may be delivered by acupuncture needles attached to electrodes or, more commonly, by battery-powered appliances that can be worn on the body (touching the surface of the skin).

The Neiguan point (P6) is an acupuncture point on the wrist that has been used in acupuncture (without electricity) for approximately 3,000 years to overcome gastric symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This is the most common point used in acustimulation.

Acustimulation is the mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. A low intensity electrical current is used to penetrate just slightly below the surface of the skin.

It may be delivered by acupuncture needles attached to electrodes or, more commonly, by battery-powered appliances that can be worn on the body (touching the surface of the skin).

The Neiguan point (P6) is an acupuncture point on the wrist that has been used in acupuncture (without electricity) for approximately 3,000 years to overcome gastric symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This is the most common point used in acustimulation.

Theory

Acustimulation is a distinct modality from acupuncture. However, it borrows from Chinese acupuncture theory to locate points on the body where electrical stimulation, as an alternative to needles, may be applied to reduce certain symptoms.

Western science explains the effects of acustimulation in terms of affecting the nervous system, rather than the circulation of chi (vital energy, life force), which is the basis of Chinese acupuncture theory.

The system of chi pathways ("meridians") used in Chinese acupuncture theory has certain parallels with the nervous system. This makes it possible to use the Chinese map of acupuncture points to identify locations where electrical stimulation may influence certain responses of the nervous system.

Nausea and vomiting are believed to be caused by disturbances in the normal nerve impulses passing between the brain and stomach. Acustimulation uses a mild electrical current at the wrist to modulate these nerve impulses and restore normal signals between the brain and stomach, thus reducing nausea and vomiting.


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