Ways of stimulation of acupuncture points

The acupuncture points can be stimulated either by needles or by non-invasive methods, e.g. by electrostimulation, acupressure by magrain or magnets, laser stimulation, local administration of heat (moxa), etc. Selection of the appropriate way of stimulation depends on several factors.

Figure:
Comparison of ordinary syringe needles (the two lower needles), and an acupuncture needle (the one above)


It is quite understandable that some people are afraid of needles. Insertion of a needle into an active acupuncture point cannot be called a completely painless procedure. The threshold of perceiving pain varies among different people. Therefore, it is nobody's “merit“ or “shame“ if one's own threshold for perceiving pain is higher or lower. If the same result can be achieved using other method than by insertion of needles, there is no reason not to use it. Sometimes, however, needles are far more suitable than other methods. It is, however, necessary to emphasize that acupuncture needles differ from usual injection needles, e.g. they are much thinner which significantly decreases pain upon their insertion.


Stimulation of acupuncture point by magrain acupressure pellets

Magrain is a special alloy designed for acupressure purposes. It is used in form of ball-shaped pellets with diameter of 1.2 mm, most often with the silver-coated surface (so that to achieve sedation of the acupuncture points). Magrain pellets are atached to the ear by a round adhesive hypoalergenic plaster (diameter 7 mm).

Figures:
Magrain silver-coated pellets - view from the pellet side, and from the plaster side


The magrain pellet usually remains applied on the acupuncture point for several days. It is recommended to press it several times a day for 30-60 seconds (fingers one against another). The direction of force applied onto the pellet should be vertical to the skin surface. This prevents the pellet from shifting away from the acupuncture point. Due to the pressure, the pellet may sometimes form a shallow excavation in the skin. Therefore, the site of application of the adhesive acupressure plaster if treated with a desinfection solution prior to the application. If, despite of the measures, pain develops in the place of the applied acupressure plaster (especially if the skin in that area also turns red), it is necessary to remove the acupressure plaster and the pellet, and to follow the recommendation.


Electrical stimulation of acupuncture points

Figure:
The active electrode of an electro-acupuncture device


An electro-acupuncture device is used both for the diagnostics (the detection or verification of activity of a specific acupuncture point), and for electrical stimulation or sedation of an acupuncture point. Electrical stimulation of acupoints has one considerable advantage: non-invasivity. The acupuncture point is stimulated by touching it with an electrode, using electrical current of exactly defined parameters. Sometimes it is necessary to stimulate an active acupoint up to unpleasant sensation approaching to pain. The specific intensity and duration of stimulation depends on specific health difficulties, the findings on ear acupoints, and other factors.