Dr. Lea Kelley, DC, LAc, MTOM, DiplAc
Frequency Specific Microcurrent dramatically increases the body's ability to heal and repair itself.
Every function in the human body is electrically based. The electricity made inside your cells provides the power for your body. When FSM is applied to the body (specific speeds- microamp range) it can help the body promote pain relief, relax muscles, reduce inflammation, dissolve scar tissue and improve healing. FSM also:
- Increases ATP (each cell's raw energy) production by up to 500%
- Reduces Cox-mediated inflammation by up to 60%
- Increases protein synthesis by 70%
- Increases amino acid transport by up to 40%
- Remodels and transforms scar tissue
- Increases "feel good" beta endorphin levels
- Helps restore depleted adrenal function
- Reduces fracture repair time by up to 50%
- Enhances DNA synthesis, insulin binding, oxygenation, cellular repair, intracellular calcium uptake
FSM works on the principle of biologic resonance. All tissues have their very own unique frequencies that they resonate with when healthy. When injured or damaged, these frequencies change. By doing FSM, we are helping the tissue to return to it's normal, healthy frequency.
"For years I have been having tingling and numbness in my arms and hands. I have been tested for carpel tunnel and diabetes which came out negative. After one of Dr. Kelley's "re-boot" sessions the tingling and numbness went away! I couldn't wait to get back to her office to share this with her. Truly amazing result!" - Nelda
The Basis for Micro Current Electrical Therapy in Conventional Medical
Journal of Advancement in Medicine
Volume 8, Number 2, Summer 1995
Joseph M. Mercola, DO and
Daniel L Kirsch, Ph.D., DAAPM
The use of electricity in medicine is not new. Clinicians used it over 150 years ago to treat nonunion
bone fractures. Electomedicine and nutrition, abandoned early in this century, have been recently
revived. Most physicians are unaware of their therapeutic benefits. Electrotherapy, especially micro
current electrical therapy (MET) is useful for a variety of clinical conditions. Indeed, it may be the best
treatment for many pain-related disorders, providing fast relief of symptoms and quickly promoting
healing. It has significantly less side effects than drugs in chronic conditions. The more advanced
MET devices can often demonstrate effectiveness with a simple two minute office procedure,
allowing validity to be quickly assessed.
Pain is a serious problem that only recently has been getting the attention that it deserves. It and its
associated symptoms have a potent economic impact. The Interagency Committee of New
Therapies for Pain and Discomfort estimates that chronic pain affects more than 40 million
Americans and costs the US economy over $65-$70 billion annually. At least 10% of Americans
suffer chronic, handicapping pain. The avenge chronic pain patient has suffered for seven years and
has had 3 to 5 surgical operations, spending $50,000 to $100,000 or more. lost productivity due to
pain is estimated at over 700 million workdays per year (l).
Although pain may be an important warning of a disease process, it often has limited diagnostic
value and remains a difficult problem for the physician. A recent study (2) examined visits to eclectic
and alternative medicine practitioners. It reported that non-reimbursable costs were about $10.3
billion in one year, comparable to the $12.8 billion hospital expenses during the same time period. In
1990, Americans made an estimated 425 million visits to these eclectic practitioners. while making
only 388 million visits to all US primary care physicians. Many patients cite the side-effects and shortterm
relief of drug therapy as the primary reason that they seek alternative medical care. New
development in electromedical technology offers physicians an effective treatment for pain-related
disorders for many of them.
Traditional Therapy and TENS:
Electrical modalities have been used for many years to control both acute and chronic pain.
Clinicians also routinely use neuromuscular electrical stimulators to rehabilitate injured athletes (3,4).
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and other similar devices use a mild form of
electrically induced pain to block the body's ability to perceive the pain that is being treated (5,6).
when patients receive TENS at unmasked low frequencies (eight pulses per second or less) their
production of endorphins may increase, thus producing temporary relief, possible in approximately
50 per cent of people. The effect of TENS is believed to stimulate A-beta pain-suppressing nerve
fibers to overwhelm chronic pain-carrying C fibers (7). Similar results can be achieved by repeatedly
tapping the painful areas with a blunt object. Massage, ice and heat relieve pain this way. The
ampere (amp) is the measure of electron movement or current past a fixed point over time.
Interferential, TENS, and high-voltage pulsed galvanic stimulators deliver currents in the milli amp
range, stimulation which generally exceeds nerve firing thresholds, resulting in sensation ranging
from a gentle tingling to intense muscle throbbing.
Traditional TENS only works if the current is strong enough to feel, using a current up to 80 milli
amps. Patients are advised to set the current at the maximum comfortable tolerance, but the nervous
system gradually accommodates to this high level of current, causing tolerance similar to that of
chemical analgesics. Increasing the current causes mild electrical burns in about one third of the
patients. The technique provides no significant residual effect.
Micro Current Electrical Stimulation (MET):
Micro Current electrical therapy represents a significant improvement in rapid pain control and
acceleration of healing. It uses current in the micro ampere range, 1000 times less than that of TENS
and below sensation threshold. The pulse width, or length of time that the current is delivered with a
micro current device is much longer than previous technologies. A typical micro current pulse is
about 0.5 seconds, which is 2500 times longer than the pulse in a typical TENS unit and a good
micro current unit has approximately ten times the electronic circuitry of a TENS unit.
Unlike TENS, MET is usually administered through hand held probes positioned so that current flows
between them, through the painful area, for ten seconds. The vast majority of pain problems can be
treated with less than 10 applications of 10 second probe treatments. Many patients are free of their
pain in less than two minutes and there is generally a significant residual effect, often lasting from at
least 8 hours to as long as 3 weeks or more (8). The first home care MET stimulator was introduced
in 1982. It provides at least the same results as more expensive models (9). It is a pocket-size device
for home use and patients find it easy to learn to use it, as necessary, to control their pain.
How Micro Current Works:
MET works because of its ability to stimulate cellular physiology and growth. One classic study (10)
showed that it could increase ATP generation by almost 500%. Increasing current actually decreased
the results. This study also demonstrated its ability to enhance amino acid transport and protein
synthesis. One can see an illustration of the true therapeutic effect of MET through the mechanism in
which trauma affects the electrical potential of damaged cells (11). The injured area has a higher
electrical resistance than the Surrounding tissue. This results in decreased electrical conductance
through the injured area and decreased cellular capacitance (12), leading to impairment of the
healing process and inflammation.
Correct application of MET to an injured site augments the endogenous current flow, allowing cells in
the traumatized area to regain their capacitance. Resistance is reduced, allowing bio-electricity to
flow through and reestablish homeostasis. This process helps to initiate and perpetuate the many
biochemical reactions that occur in healing. Muscular spasm, occurring as a reaction to trauma,
causes reduction in blood supply, resulting in local hypoxia, accumulation of noxious metabolites,
and pain. This, in turn, leads to reduction of ATP synthesis. Thus, MET stimulation results in
replenishment of ATP (10).
Rapid Pain Management:
One of the greatest values of MET is in pain control (8,9,12). It also reduces inflammation, edema
and swelling, increases range of motion, strength, and muscle relaxation, and accelerates wound
healing (13,14). It is exceptionally useful in soft tissue injuries, such as sprains (15,16). wounds,
post-surgical trauma, and particularly in treatment of long-term residual pain due to post-surgical
scars. It is effective for treatment of headaches, temporomandibular joint syndrome, neuropathies,
arthritis, bursitis and tendentious. Clinical experience indicates that it is an adjunctive therapy in
earaches, sore throats, toothache, sinus congestion, viral or allergic conjunctivitis post-herpetic
neuralgia, skin ulcers, post-CVA spasticity, and compression neuropathies such as carpal tunnel
syndrome. It has also proven useful in preventing the delayed muscle soreness that is common after
heavy exercise (17). Improvement in post-exercise muscle fatigue was achieved by applying the
current over the exercise muscles for twenty minutes after exercise. In a minority of patients MET
does not work or only provides brief palliative relief. Its full potential is yet to be defined.
It has been used to control hypertension (18), failed back syndrome (19,20). arthritis (21), Raynaud's
phenomenon (22,23), tinnitus (24-26), and post-anesthesia emesis (27). Dentists have used it as a
substitute for local anesthesia (28,29) and to control pain associated with orthodontic treatment (30).
Intractable pain in patients with head and neck cancer has been successfully treated with MET, even
in some cases that were morphine resistant (8,12). After only 10 minutes of MET, pain relief lasted
from 8 hours to more than 3 weeks. The technique has been used successfully at the University of
Texas MD Anderson Center (31).
About 5% of long-bone fractures in the United States result in nonunion (82). Electrical stimulation of
the fracture provides a non-surgical option for repair. It is also being investigated for use in
osteonecrosis and osteoporosis (83).
Using electrical therapy to heal nonunion fractures is not new. It was first reported over 150 years
ago (34,35). At the turn of the century, however, a number of medical charlatans, using
electrotherapy, forced the Carnage Foundation to have the Fleiner commission review its use. In
1910, the Fleiner Report relegated electrotherapy to a scientifically insupportable position, causing it
to fade from medical practice. Further exploration of the technique was reported by Yasuda and
Fukuda (86) who found that mechanically stressed bone produces a small negative electrical direct
current that stimulates bane production.
Becker (37) performed research that led to applying electrotherapy to the healing of bone fractures
(38). By 1976, over 100 articles had been published describing the effects of electricity on bone
growth and repair in laboratory animals and in humans (89). As of 1990, more than 100,000 cases of
nonunion fractures and aseptic necrosis have been successfully treated with electrotherapy (40).
Several methods are available to stimulate bone growth. All require 3 to 6 months of treatment, and
have similar contraindications. A gap in the fracture greater than half the diameter of the bone or
synovial pseudoarthrosis will result in failure (33).
The first clinical trial of direct current surgical implant in humans in the United States (41) achieved
results in 4 months in a large percentage of cases (42). Stainless steel electrodes with 5-20 micro
amps of current produced the best growth, while current above twenty micro amps actually caused
hone to die (43).
A noninvasive alternative is inductive stimulation, which works by creating a magnetic field around
the nonunion site. Pulsing electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) are induced by a treatment coil or
transducer. These devices are battery powered and portable. Patients wear them for 3 to 10 hours a
day and treatment lasts about 6 months. Many investigators report 90% healing rates with this
method (44). Although PEMFs contain both electrical and magnetic fields, the bone remodeling
processes appear to respond mostly to the electrical field component. The magnetic field contributes
less benefit to the process (45).
Spectral analysis of PEMF frequencies shows that they range from 1-250,000 Hz. As indicated
above, the electrical, not the magnetic energy, is responsible for producing bone growth.
Investigators tested 150, 75, and 15 Hz sinusoidal electrical field effects on the prevention of
osteoporosis (46). They found that the 150 Hz field did not increase bone mass, but inhibited normal
bone loss associated with disuse. The 75 Hz field increased bone mass by 5%. while the 15 Hz field
actually increased it by 20%. The energy represented by this frequency is less than 0.1% of the
PEMF field. This strongly suggests that the vast majority of the energy introduced by PEMF has no
beneficial effects on bone re-growth and it is also probable that even lower frequencies, like the 0.5
Hz field produced by MET would provide even more impressive results.
Several devices use capacitive-coupled stimulation which produces an electrical field at the fracture
site. They are 9 volt battery units attached to the skin over the fracture site. It has the advantage of
not requiring precise placement of the electrodes and can be administered 24 hours a day. Unlike
inductive coupling, patients using this treatment can have a full weigh-bearing cast and this
tremendously enhances patient compliance.
The first capacitive-coupling devices used a 60 kHz sinusoidal wave form and delivered a current of
7 to 10 milli amps (47,48),but subsequent work suggested that non-sinusoidal wave form and much
less current is more effective in promoting bone healing (10,11,49) Although clinical experience
exists, no studies have been published to date for these applications with MET.
Tendon and Ligament Repair:
One of the first studies published on treatment of soft tissue injuries was by Wilson in 1972 (50).
Micro Current delivered in a PEMF format has been helpful in the management of refractory
tendentious of the shoulder (51). Stanish (15,16) used implantable electrodes with constant 20 micro
amp direct current in severed dog tendons. He observed a 92% return to normal in 8 weeks,
compared to 50% in control animals.
Although implantable electrodes were used, it is likely that external electrodes could produce similar
results. This could significantly enhance the current treatment of tendon ruptures. Use of MET seems
to enhance cell multiplication in connective tissue, and speeds formation of new collagen in injured
tendons. Accelerated healing of ligament and tendon injuries has been reported (52) and it has been
shown to increase rat tendon healing by over 250%.
Chronic wounds, of which leg ulceration's make up a major share, are a therapeutic problem. It is
estimated that 90% of leg ulcers are due to venous stasis, affecting 0.6 of men and 2.1% of women
in their 60s (40,53). Acute soft tissue injury is common and there are 2.5 million burn wounds a year
in the US. Of 30 million lacerations, one in 5 are serious enough to require auxiliary treatment (14).
Use of MET is simple, safe, and efficient and can have tremendous influence on improving wound
Becker (54) showed that living tissues have multiple direct current surface potentials which are
combined to form a steady state bio electric field. He hypothesized that injury causes a localized shift
in the current flow, triggering repair. He called this the current of injury (COI). Although first described
by Galvanic in 1786, and later by others (14) COI was finally confirmed in 1980 (55). These
investigators studied children who had experienced accidental finger amputation. They found that the
current peaked at 22 micro amperes 8 days after the injury and thereafter slowly decreased back to
zero. It is believed that this current of injury triggers biologic repair, and later work established that
there is actually a battery-like aspect to the epidermis (56-58) that can influence wound healing.
Since membrane potentials are basic in the cell, it is logical to assume that 75 trillion cellular
batteries will influence physiology in some way.
Occlusive dressings accelerate wound healing (59). They probably achieve their effects by promoting
a moist environment (57) which resurface 40% faster than air-exposed wounds (60). This is possibly
related to COI, since a dry wound is less electrically conductive. Electrical stimulation of a wound
increases the concentration of growth factor receptors which increases collagen formation (61,62).
This may be important in view of the hypothesis that a major mechanism in causing ulceration is
removal of growth factors by venous hypertension (63).
Electricity was first used to treat surface wounds over 300 years ago with charged gold leaf to
prevent smallpox scars (64). Use of electromagnetic fields predates the application of direct current
(54) and there are several studies showing excellent results using this modality (65-68). Animal
experiments have shown, however, that direct current can accelerate epithelization and result in
stronger scar tissue formation (69,70).
The first human study using direct electrical current (71) reported complete healing of chronic venous
stasis leg ulcers in 3 patients with 6 weeks of treatment. The most frequently cited study (72) used
direct currents of 200-1000 micro amps in 67 patients. This was repeated in 1976 (73) in 76 patients
with 106 ischemia skin ulcers. In 1985 a randomized controlled study was published (74). All of these
studies documented significant accelerated healing with electrical stimulation.
In 1974 Rowley et al. (75) studied a group of patients having 250 ischemia ulcers of various types.
The series included 14 ulcers in control subjects. The electrically stimulated ulcers had a fourfold
acceleration in healing response compared to controls.
A consistent observation in these studies was that wounds that were initially contaminated with
Pseudomonas and/or Protease were usually sterile after several days of electrotherapy. Other
investigators have also noticed similar improvement (75-77) and suggest this technique as the
preferred treatment for indolent ulcers. No significant adverse effects resulting from electrotherapy
have been documented (78) and MET is clearly an effective and safe supplementary treatment for
recalcitrant leg ulcers (79). Although most studies use negative current to inhibit bacterial growth and
positive current to promote healing, the studies just mentioned used unipolar currents which
alternated between positive and negative. There is support for this technique in one animal study
(80), suggesting that bipolar current may be better for wound healing (14).
Potential Mechanisms for Repair Stimulation:
Becker (49) demonstrated that an electrical current emanating from a biologic control system is the
trigger that stimulates healing, growth and regeneration in all living organisms after injury but that this
system may become less efficient with time. He theorizes that the self-repair inimical to survival in
primitive organisms requires a closed-loop system. A specific injury signal is generated which causes
another signal to start repair. The injury signal gradually decreases over time as the repair process
proceeds until it finally ceases when repair is complete. Such a primitive system does not require
demonstrable consciousness or intelligence. This purportedly explains why animals actually have a
greater capacity for self-healing than do humans.
Becker maintains that it is helpful to compare the nervous system with a digital computer. Both
systems transfer information that is represented by the number of pulses per unit of time. Information
is also coded according to where the pulses go and whether or not there is more than one channel of
pulses feeding into an area. All our senses are based on this type of pulse system, an arrangement
similar to that used in computers. It operates remarkably fast and can transfer large amounts of
information as digital "off and "on" data.
Becker suggests that early organisms did not need to transmit large amounts of sophisticated
information and may have possessed something akin to an analog system which works by means of
simple DC currents. This represents information by the strength of the current, its direction of flow,
and slow wavelength variations in its strength. Although much slower than the digital model, it is
extremely precise and works well for its intended purpose.
Becker theorizes that the first living organisms used this kind of electrical system for injury repair and
that we still have this primitive nervous system residing in the perineural cells hidden within the
central nervous system. Every nerve cell is surrounded by perineural cells which comprise 90% of
the nervous system. They have semi conduction properties which allow them to produce and
transmit non-propagating DC signals. This analog system senses injury and controls repair. It
controls the activity of body cells by producing specific DC electrical environments in their vicinity. It
also appears to be the primary system in the brain, controlling the actions of neurons as they
generate and receive nerve impulses.
Although there are concerns that some types of electromagnetic field exposure can cause cancer or
leukemia (49,81,82), we have strong evidence that MET can normalize cell growth, accelerate cell
division after injury and inhibit cell division when it becomes abnormally accelerated. if a cell is in a
normal state of physiologic equilibrium, external electric fields do not appear to affect it (83).
Anti tumor effects of DC currents have been reported (84). The current state of electrical cancer
research seems to be where bone repair was about twenty years ago. The only studies published
used invasive techniques with percutaneous needle electrodes (8E91). All of the studies report
significant impairment of tumor growth with electrical treatment.
Caution is advised during pregnancy because electrical stimulation can affect the endocrine control
systems and can theoretically cause miscarriage, although this has never been reported. Micro
Current, or any other electrical stimulus should not be used on patients with demand-type cardiac
pacemakers. Other than these two conditions, there are no known significant adverse side effects to
Clearly, much additional work is required to define the role of MET. The results of research published
to date strongly suggest that it will have a much more prominent role in the future of health care. In
its current form, it can easily and safely control pain and accelerate healing. Due to its ready
availability, cost effectiveness, and safety, it is time for physicians to offer it as an option. The 84% of
patients who seek alternative medical techniques would be especially appreciative.
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