Questions About Microcurrent Therapy
Is microcurrent FDA Approved ?
Yes, it is put in the same class (family) as TENS instruments. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator.
How is Microcurrent different from the other devices in the TENS family?
There is a major difference because microcurrent uses microamperes rather than milliamperes. Microamperes (microcurrent) are 1,000th of a milliampere, which means microcurrent is an extremely mild current. Microcurrent operates at the same level as human and animal bodies. It has been showed that levels of 750 microamperes and up lose their healing ability. The other instruments in the TENS family more apt for pain control.
Can I use my TENS unit to treat my horse?
If current goes through the skin, it is by definition a TENS unit. Most units are in the milliamperes range, which is 1,000 times higher than microamperes. All electrical stimulation devices have similarities, but treating with a milliampere TENS unit does not substitute for micro- current. Milliamperes primarily block pain, whereas microamperes pro- motes healing. Also, most horses will not tolerate milliamperes.
Why do some electrodes have stronger output sensations than others?
Some electrodes, such as the silver knit gloves, have more surface area in contact with the patient, which results in a dispersive treatment. Electrodes that have dispersive treatments tend to have softer output sensations. Other electrodes, such as acupoint probes, create a very focused point of contact. This type of electrode will have stronger output sensations than the electrodes that have larger surface areas. The type of unit and settings also greatly affect the output sensations.
Why haven't I heard of microcurrent before?
If you start asking around, you'll probably find you know many friends, associates, or animals that have been treated by this modality. If you have had physical therapy or seen a sports medicine doctor you may have had treatments yourself and just didn't know it.
Why might I have heard microcurrent doesn't work?
Product has been on the market since the late 70's, but it was very expensive and mostly used by sports medicine doctors for quick results on their athletes. It took a while for microcurrent therapy to filter down through other fields of practice. When it did many companies jumped in and start trying to make instruments to take advantage of the potentially large market place. This was a good and a bad thing!
As in all industries many of these companies failed to do a good job. Many of the instruments produced were not true microcurrent units at all and others were not an accurate delivery system! Many of the instruments on the market are very limited in features and capabilities. Owners of such equipment could honestly say it doesn't work. Today many of those companies are gone, but not all, so as is in all industries it is important for a prospective buyer to be aware that low-quality devices are on the market as well as highly effective, well-designed units.
How does the Precision Micro Unit stack up?
Quality, accuracy, and features unsurpassed in its class. Commonly called "The Work Horse" or "The Clinic in a Box". Only weighs 16 pounds.
Is it safe?
Very! However it still requires proper and responsible use.
Is there much research in this area ?
YES! The first book written in layman terms that does a beautiful job of recapping the beginning of this industry is "The Body Electric", by Robert O. Becker, M.D. & Gary Selden. Since then, the increase in knowledge in the use of this modality has been phenomenal!
I've heard some far out claims, are they true ?
Depends on what you call "far out claims". Microcurrent is a valuable tool that should be considered in many applications. Working as a health care professional or with one, it is one more way to achieve optimal health in a noninvasive way.
What is the basis of why it works so well?
Simply put, we are all electrically charged beings. Trauma and injury cause living cells to lose their electrical charge. By inducing outside stimulation, the cells are recharged and returned to their normal frequency. Only then can they begin passing and processing blood normally.
How fast can I expect results?
There are many parameters to consider. For instance, is the injury acute or chronic, minor or major. The results can be experienced in as little as one treatment. The average is three to five for simple problems, with more time necessary for more serious conditions.
I've heard about iontophoresis, why isn't my vet using it?
There are a variety of possible reasons, but often veterinarians have not been exposed to much electrotherapy and there are few clinical studies on the topic. However, most vets are surprised by iontophoresis’ results in decreased lameness, improved comfort, and recovery to performance.
Do Matrix products eleminate the need for chiropractic treatments?
Regular therapy sessions often make it so there is less need for chi- ropractic adjustments. Alternatives to body work are microcurrent (i.e. with electrode gloves), infrasound massage, and infrared blankets. These help the muscles become supple and the spine to realign naturally. Also, treatments before chiropractic work will help the adjustment hold.
What are the primary benefits of the infrasound massagers?
Infrasound therapy is ideal for providing fast pain relief, soothing arthrit- ic joints, reducing swelling and inflammation, softening tight muscles, and breaking down scar tissue. For some conditions, infrasound can get results even faster than microcurrent. Also, if you give your horse mas- sages, using a Qi Gong makes it much easier on your body.
Why would I need a light or laser device? When would I use it?
Light therapy, both LEDs and lasers, requires no prep and can be used in contact or held several inches away, making it easy to treat sensi- tive horses. Light therapy is great for general pain relief, closing fresh wounds, and relieving skin issues, as well as for reducing scar tissue.
If I have other therapy devices, why do I still need microcurrent?
I consider microcurrent to be a foundation therapy, because the bene- fits and applications are beyond compare. Other therapies have their own specialties, but microcurrent is able to do it all. There is nothing better for a whole body treatment and it can easily adjust to treat many types of conditions in various methods.
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate): ATP is a dynamic reservoir of energy in our body that supplies cells with energy to complete essential bodily functions. Microcurrent has a cumulative effect on ATP levels.
Acupoint: A pressure point stimulated in acupressure, acupuncture, or with microcurrent probes.
Amplitude: The level or intensity of electrical current flow. Also refers to the amount of current used.
Biofeedback: The body’s response to a stimulus (such as microcurrent) and the technology’s ability to detect, measure, and analyze information, then respond to the body.
Biphasic/Alternating Current: An electrical current that reverses direction at regular intervals.
Channel: One output that has a positive and a negative side.
Electrode: A conductor through which electricity enters or leaves an object - i.e. the pads, wraps, rollers, probes, et cetera that are made of materials that allow electrical current to pass through them.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration): The overseeing body of all medical, therapeutic, and cosmetic devices in the United States. The FDA clears devices based on clinical trials proving effectiveness and safety.
Frequency (Hertz): Represents the repetition of waveforms.
GSR: Galvanic skin response - refers to a microcurrent device’s ability to use current to gather information through the skin. BEST devices’ biofeedback is a form of advanced GSR.
Microampere (uA): Very low level of electrical current, only 1 millionth of an ampere. The same level of electrical current that living cells generate. Current level used by microcurrent units.
Milliampere (mA): Electrical current that is 1/1000th of an ampere, which is a significantly higher level than microamperes. Used by most TENS units to block pain signals to the brain.
TENS: Stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, meaning electrical stimulation that goes through the skin.
Voltage: Electrical pressure, such as the force that causes current to flow through an electrical conductor. Microcurrent devices use low voltage compared to most units in the TENS class.