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TENS Acupuncture: A Modern Take on Traditional Therapy

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) acupuncture is a type of electroacupuncture that combines the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture with modern technology. TENS uses a small, battery-operated device that sends low-voltage electrical currents through the skin to stimulate the body's natural pain-relieving mechanisms.

How does TENS acupuncture work?

The TENS device delivers electrical currents to the body through electrodes placed on the skin at specific acupuncture points. These electrical signals stimulate the nerves, which send signals to the brain to release endorphins - the body's natural painkillers. This can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in the targeted area.

What conditions can TENS acupuncture treat?

TENS acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Chronic pain, such as back pain, neck pain, and arthritis

  • Acute pain, such as pain after surgery or injury

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Menstrual pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Sciatica

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Sports injuries

How is TENS acupuncture performed?

TENS acupuncture is performed by a licensed acupuncturist or physical therapist who specializes in electroacupuncture. The practitioner will first identify the acupuncture points to be stimulated, based on the patient's specific condition and symptoms.

The electrodes are then placed on the skin at the selected acupuncture points, and the TENS device is turned on. The electrical currents will begin to stimulate the nerves, and patients may feel a slight tingling or buzzing sensation.

The intensity of the electrical current can be adjusted to the patient's comfort level.

TENS acupuncture sessions typically last between 15-60 minutes, depending on the patient's needs and condition. The number of sessions required will also vary depending on the individual and their response to treatment.

Is TENS acupuncture safe?

TENS acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and trained practitioner. However, there are some situations in which TENS acupuncture should be avoided, including:

  • Patients with pacemakers or other implanted medical devices

  • Pregnant women

  • Patients with epilepsy

  • Patients with a history of seizures or convulsions

  • Patients with open wounds or skin infections at the site of the electrode placement

It is important for patients to discuss any medical conditions or concerns with their healthcare provider before undergoing TENS acupuncture.


TENS acupuncture is a safe and effective form of electroacupuncture that can provide relief for a variety of conditions. By combining traditional acupuncture with modern technology, patients can experience the benefits of acupuncture without the use of needles. Talk to your healthcare provider or licensed acupuncturist to see if TENS acupuncture is right for you.

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