The most interesting aspect of FSM, in my opinion, is that it hails as the “homeopathy of electrical stimulation.” While the subtle healing aspects of the modality remain to be fully elucidated, the approach is clearly beneficial and well regarded among many professional sports teams for its ability to selectively heal tissues and physical conditions. It stands as one of the most promising and interesting physical medicine adjuncts we use in our office. We recommend it to patients after minor accidents as a preventative measure and for all musculoskeletal/pain conditions in general. However, we also know it does much more in the way of stimulating healing on many levels. Nevertheless, it is FDA approved for the same conditions as all electrical stimulation (TENS) devices, and its more subtle healing effects remain undefined (at least for now.)
So what is Microcurrent?
A faint (almost homeopathic) electric impulse measured in millionths of an amp. By comparison a typical stimulator device (i.e. TENS unit) produce in the milliamps, which is a 1000 times greater. Live cells and tissues generate a current in the microamp range, so it stands to reason there is value in using electrical stimulation devices that deliver closer to this subtle range. While you may not feel the impulse, its effects are profound. Why?
“Living matter is highly organized and exceedingly sensitive to information conveyed by coherent signals…”
“Each cell, tissue and organ has an ideal resonant frequency that coordinates its activities.”
-James Oschman, PhD Dover, NH
Microcurrent therapy is safe and has been in use for over a century and was quite popular before drugs and surgery became the standard of medical care in the United States.
(Read this provocative letter to Dr. Merk, early founder of the American Medical Association, and owner of his own drug company, to understand why these technologies were essentially lost to medical education.)
How does Microcurrent help?
“Microcurrent increases the production of ATP, your own chemical energy, by up to 500%. It also increases protein synthesis and waste product removal.” -Cheng, 1987
As a physiologic modality that increases ATP (energy) production within the cells and tissues, FSM can impact any given tissue’s healing rate. The almost immediate response to the correct microcurrent such as let down of muscle tension and myofascia holding patterns in seconds; scars softening; trigger points desensitizing; swelling reduced, suggest mechanism involving the immune and nervous system are also at play. In many situations changes seen with patients with just a few weeks of treatment and are profound and long lasting and often permanent.
Why Frequency Specific?
Specific frequencies seem to induce specific effects on cells and other tissues that resonate with those frequencies. For example there is a specific frequency for nerves, a different frequency for muscles, another for tendons, etc. The “frequency specific” aspect of treatment is as important as the microcurrent itself. Thereby impacting positively cells, muscles, tendons, and nearly every tissue in your body depending on the settings. In addition to each tissue having its own unique frequency, there are specific frequency for tissue conditions such as inflammation, scars, loose connective tissue, et cetera. The automated units we use in the office and for home rentals, run through any number of custom tailored programs automatically. Animal research confirms that the frequency to reduce inflammation reduces inflammation by 62% in a mouse model. Prescription drugs reduce inflammation by 45% in the same mouse model by comparison. .
How do “specific frequencies” help?
It is hypothesized the frequencies work via biologic resonance. A high pitch sound can shatter a glass when it resonates with its crystalline structure. Microcurrent frequencies seem to be able to resonate with biologic tissue when chosen correctly. Once the tissue is “re-set” it seems to stay in its healthy configuration, baring no new insults, with basic nutritional support, et cetera.
Any known side effects or risks?
There is no record of any permanent harm caused by Frequency Specific Microcurrent, though adjustment and healing reaction may occur due to tissue and blood flow changes and the related release of long stored waste and metabolic products. Some people have similar reaction after a massage but the reaction after microcurrent tends to be stronger. Post reactions, which are actually a good thing, may include nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, or a temporary increase in pain or a flu-like feeling. This can start approximately 90 minutes after treatment and may last from 4 to 24 hours, mitigated by intensive hydration protocols which we will instruct you on. While reaction can occur, not everyone has them, and they have no real bearing on the efficacy of your treatment in general.
FSM is rarely used across the brain, in the presence of pacemakers, or during pregnancy. (Just in case.)
Of course, an important consideration is the misuse of microcurrent for a condition more appropriately addressed by a different method (i.e. misdiagnosed cancer, anatomical anomaly, et cetera). That is why it is a good idea to see a licensed doctor, and more importantly one proficient in anatomy and physical medicine.
Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.