What is Neurofunctional Electro-Acupuncture?
Neurofunctional Electro-acupuncture is developed from the Neurofunctional Medicine Approach* and involves stimulation of the nervous system with a fine solid needle and electricity for the purposes of modulating the activity of the central and peripheral nervous system. Through this we can then influence muscle activity, blood flow and pain.
Pain, poor movement patterns and all past and current injuries create roadblocks in the communication between the brain and body. This communication happens through nerves. Using electricity with an acupuncture needle allows for direct stimulation to clear those roadblocks, improving muscle activation, circulation and reducing pain - helping you get back to what you love doing.
You as the patient will feel very little as the needle goes in, a dull ache or muscle twitch, followed by gentle tapping when the electricity is connected. You will stay “hooked up” for at least 10 minutes. Something to note, the area of pain is very rarely the source of the pain, so the needles might be positioned somewhere else on the body which relates to the area of your pain even though it might not seem relevant to you. Ask your practitioner to explain at your next visit!
An example to help explain this: You’ve had knee pain for several months from a “tweak” while you were golfing. You’ve done all the necessary rehab but it still hurts when you twist or when you swing the club. There is likely still an irritation of the saphenous nerve, residual from the original injury. So we would target the nerve along its path from the inside of the knee, thigh and into the back.
The follow up:
Everyone responds differently but in general, following the session, you may feel like you’ve had a little workout, you might feel tired or even hungry. Make sure you hydrate after and have had something light to eat at least 1 hr prior to your treatment to minimize fatigue after the session.
It often requires several sessions to experience a lasting effect but you will likely feel something has been done after the first treatment. We often ask our patients to take note of the after effects to help us gain a better understanding of your system, which also helps us develop a prognosis for your injury and recovery.
Hopefully this paints a little picture of what neurofunctional electro-acupuncture is all about. If you have any questions, ask us next time you’re in!
*Neurofunctional Medicine Approach is a methodology taught by Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco at the McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program and the Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner and Specialist Programs in Canada
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