Electro-acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points with electric current, using needles. The therapeutic goal is to promote the circulation of Qi and stimulate healing. In traditional acupuncture, a single needle is used per meridian point. The needle is then manually stimulated by the acupuncturist. Electro acupuncture uses a set of dual-needles per meridian. Each set of dual-needles is connected to a machine which passes a small electric current through the needle set. The needles are designed to alternate moving back-and-forth between each other, creating a vibrating or tapping sensation. It is both the traveling electrical pulse from the machine and manual tapping from the needles that help stimulate the flow of Qi. The pace and intensity of the electrical charge and needling tapping can be reduced or increased by the machine. The electrical current can cover a greater surface area of a meridian than a needle can.
From a Western medicine perspective, electro-acupuncture works by stimulating muscles, nerves, circulation of essential substances, nutrient delivery to damaged tissues, and by removing inflammatory chemical thereby excellent to treat conditions like paralysis, sciatica.