What to look for in an Electro-acupuncture (EA) Device
Amplitude: A current of 20 mA is ample for EA. If you also intend to use surface electrodes (TENS), you may need up to 80mA.
Frequency: A wide range is useful, perhaps with some preset frequencies, 2-200 Hz should suffice.
Charge balance: To avoid electrolytic effect at the needle/tissue interface, output current must be charge balanced over the whole amplitude and frequency range you are likely to use.
Modulation: EA or TENS machines should be able to product both continuous and interrupted patterns of stimulation. For EA, dense-disperse is essential.
Presets: Even the more complex devices may offer only preset programmes. Consider whether these really suit your needs. On the other hand, without presents you may be left floundering in a sea of uncertain options.
Controls: Should be simple and provide finely graded and accurate changes in output, with no sudden or unpredictable increments.
Outputs: Should be isolated. A good feature is to be able to treat different points with different stimuli simultaneously.
Safety features: Could include an amplitude range switch (to reduce output when using needles rather than pads), automatic zero output at start-up, and so on.
Batteries: A reliable low-battery indicator is essential, whether the device is powered by ordinary batteries or an internal re-chargeable.
Extra: Do you want a timer, a handheld obstetric switch, pulse duration that is controllable independently of frequency, a facility for different waveform?
(Adapted from the textbook electro-acupuncture: A practical manual & resource by David F Mayor)
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