Monday, September 16, 2013

A Flood of Emails on Electronic Acupuncture

I got 32 email concerning my use of electronic acupuncture and naturopathic/alternative medicine. I gather there is an interest. I'll pick one and share.

Joyce wrote:
...I want to , need to learn more ways and better ways to deal with the spasticity.  Where can I learn more about the electronic acupuncture that you talked about.  Naturopathic medicine to deal with spasticity.  .??? I never want a repeat of this week and it is not over yet.  Help!  
I already sent an email back to Joyce and here is my response.

Hello Joyce,

Infections are always a bug-a-boo with all part of the body. Even if you don't know it's there. I tend to listen to what my body is telling me. For me, the first sign of infection is malaise because I've always been a do person. While I may not know the cause, I know something is brewing. I also have this weird sense of smell that can smell an infection on myself and others. I can usually pinpoint the location within 72 hours. That's one of the reasons I made an excellent trauma nurse. The body relatively screams at me what's wrong. I know, I'm Abby Normal. That's also why I started searching for naturopathic/alternative medicine schools.

I guess the first thing I should ask is does your husband have any electronic devices implanted in his body? Like a pacemaker or pain control units to his spine, if so he cannot use this device. The device is the ETPS 1000. It's a neurostimulator like e-stim, but it's placed on acupuncture points. It works by sending a pinpoint electrical charge into the nerve. Unlike general e-stim it doesn't have a large pad but a tip like a ball point pen.

This is the LINK to my particular model. There are many and they all do the same thing. Google ETPS and you'll see what I mean.Mine has control dials for the amount of charge (patient's tolerance) and polar settings to excite or sedate. I've actually used it for years. I have no idea what the going price is, but I paid $250. You will need a prescription from your neurologist. It is battery operated and can be done by yourself or to others. I just found it on Amazon for cheaper, so maybe it's approved in the US now. When I bought mine back in the 90's it had to be ordered from Canada.

I actually have a working knowledge of acupuncture so I know the spots, but it isn't necessary with the books you can buy. Has you or your husband had an EMG run? You hear higher static sound with tightly contracted muscle, this works on the same principle with high and low pitched tone. At the highest point you hit the nerve-muscle junction and the point of the causing the pain and spastic muscle. Although the book shows general points, you are on a search and destroy mission. Find the highest pitch (squeal) for the maximum benefit.

Just after my stroke, the muscles tightened unbearably. Trying to do the ROM exercises became a daily chore lasting precious minutes getting the joints relaxed enough to move especially in my wrist. I pulled out my acupuncture needles and inserted them into my forearm and the base of thumb and fingers too. After a few minutes I found the bunched muscles relaxing. Then I remembered this unit I bought for my husband for his pain control that sedated nerves. I tried it and it worked. I got more range of motion doing the exercises. It was me marrying modern and ancient philosophies like I usually do.

Now keep in mind that I am also on the maximum allowable oral Baclofen, Zanaflex, and Valium at night for muscle spasms. Or rather I only take the Valium at night because it will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and puts me to sleep. I am also on a Botox injection schedule of every 3-4 months...5-6 months had me in agony for a month to a month and a half. Because it is available for me. I do not forgo modern medicine but look for ways to augment it.

The two books I strongly recommend are Natural Health: Pain Management for the 21st Century and Natural Heath II: Health Maintenance for the 21st Century. Both are published by Accmed and written by Bruce R. Hocking. Even if you don't order the unit, they are invaluable for understanding massage points.

Hopes this helps your husband.


There's no perfect fix for spasticity. Doctors cannot even agree what causes it or why some stroke survivor get it and others don't.
You have to first define the mechanism of what is broke to fix it!
I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. While I do have a Ph.D, it's not in medicine. I'm just an ordinary stroke survivor looking for ways to combat what has happened to my body and try to make it better.

Does it relieve all my pain? No not 100%. Does it relieve all the spasticity? No, there is still some that you can see in the previous picture. The is no fix all. I just have found it helps me. 
I also treat the muscle spasms with an herbal blend of Rosemary, Red Thyme, Epsom salt, and Marjoram herb steep it into a very strong tea and soak in a bath tub. (steep time 30 minutes) These herbs and mineral have natural muscle relaxing qualities. I use a cup of each in a 2 quarts of boiled water.


  1. Nice picture of a head -- at least you understand our own noggin' !!
    Cheers / John A.

  2. John,
    "Understand my own noggin'"? It's probably the least understood of all my organs.

  3. Hi Jo .. sounds as though it's been a challenging time .. I just hope things work out in the easiest and cheapest way for you ..

    .. that doctor sounded so nice - the one that seemed to want to really help you ..

    Cheers Hilary


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