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11 Articles in Volume 10, Issue #9
Activated Glia: Targets for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain
Acute Herpes Zoster Neuritis and Postherpetic Neuralgia
Acute Treatment of Cluster Headache
Chronic Overuse Sports Injuries in the Adolescent/Pediatric Population
Clinical Recognition of Central Abnormal Neuroplasticity
H-Wave® Stimulation: A Novel Approach In Electromedicine
Homeopathy Enters Contemporary Pain Practice
Immune-modulating Effects of Therapeutic Laser
Pain and Addiction: Words, Meanings, and Actions in the Age of the DSM-5
Partial Plantar Fasciectomy With Autologous Platelet Concentrate
Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome: Pathophysiology and Radiologic Diagnosis

H-Wave® Stimulation: A Novel Approach In Electromedicine

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H-Wave technology is built on the work of those pioneers of electro-biology who paved the way and helped shape this technology. The early years of electrotherapy focused on stimulation patterns whose physiologic objectives where to target primary nerve populations—motor nerves (DC current), sensory nerves (TENS), mixed nerve stimulation (IFC), nerve muscle or alpha motor units (EMS), or cellular targets (MENS) and/or neurovascular targets (PENS). This latter category, percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is usually associated with electro-acupuncture. Before we explore the unique characteristics and benefits of H-Wave technology, it is instructive to review the historical and therapeutic applications of electricity.

Historical Perspective

Benjamin Franklin is perhaps best known as one of the members who helped draw up the declaration of independence and the US Constitution. In 1752, he also proved that lightening and the spark from amber were one and the same. The story of how he tied an iron spike to a silken kite and flew it in a thunderstorm while holding the end of the kite string by an iron key is legendary. When lightening struck, a tiny spark jumped from the key to his wrist proving his theory of electric currents. Many years prior to Franklin, ancient Greek physicians such as Scribonius Largus used what they recognized as being therapeutic electrical properties from the torpedo fish or torpedo ray and used this fish to treat symptoms of headache and gout. The torpedo fish had a reputation of being able to numb fisherman without seemingly touching them in any way. Hence, the electrical properties of this species became well known even in early times. We now know that these electric rays can generate up to 30 Amps and 200 volts of electricity which, when delivered in salt water (which is a better conduction than fresh water), is the equivalent to dropping a hairdryer into a bathtub.

In the year 1600, English physician William Gilbert coined the term electricity from the Greek term “electron” for amber. The Greeks had already identified, many years prior, certain materials that, when rubbed together, would attract light objects. In 1786, Luigi Galvani found that when touched by a metal knife, the leg of a frog twitched strongly. His conclusion was that electricity was contained in the leg muscle of the frog. Alessandro Volta later explained that the key to Galvani’s observation lay in two dissimilar metals—the steel knife and tin plate on which the frog was lying—being the main factors driving this phenomenon. He showed that when water (moisture) came between two different metals, electricity was created. He then went on to invent the electric battery. It wasn’t until Michael Faraday came along in 1831 that electromagnetism was discovered when he realized that a magnet moved inside a coil of copper wire generated a tiny electric current through the wire. In essence, he discovered the first method of generating electricity using motion in a magnetic field and what we now understand to be induction. Prior to that moment in 1785, Charles Coulomb demonstrated that like forces repel and, later in history, both Christian Oersted and Andre Marie Ampere discovered that an electric current produces a magnetic field. It was Michael Faraday’s experiments that later led to Faraday’s laws of electrolysis which expounded on how metals such as sodium and potassium could be precipitated from their compounds by an electric current. Faraday’s induction principle was the basis for today’s dynamo or generator which produces electricity via mechanical means and is the opposite of a motor, which converts electrical into mechanical energy.

Therapeutic Electricity

The use of electricity for therapeutic purposes paralleled the various electricity-related discoveries in general, with an increase in electricity knowledge leading to more medical applications for physiological purposes. Russian emigrΘ George Lakhovsky studied the effects of both electricity and radio waves on living organisms. He wrote the book The Secret of Life and published it in 1935 but, for the most part, it was ignored by conventional medicine. In 1987, Robert Becker wrote his landmark book, The Body Electric, and based many of his arguments on Lakhovsky’s previous work. It is clear that there have been entire libraries of work in the field of electromedicine that, over the years, have been dubbed as quackery and generally criticized by conventional medical proponents. There have been claims of hard-to-believe cures being discovered by pioneers of this technology such as the work performed by Royal Raymond Rife who, by 1932, claimed he had isolated the cancer virus and learned to destroy it in lab cultures and later in animals. His central premise was that all living cells and biochemical compounds have a unique oscillation—a frequency pattern or electro-magnetic signature. Even diseases have their own pattern and Rife categorized these patterns for many disease types. He postulated that he could restore balance in a dysfunctional cell and disrupt balance in a diseased cell thereby destroying a cancer cell using specifically-modified oscillation frequencies. The analogy is that just as a wine glass is shattered only by a particular frequency, a certain cell type can be targeted by similar harmonic principles. These unorthodox ideas did not resonate well with the AMA, in particular, and as a result, the work of Rife was forced underground where it remained for many years.

The field of radiotherapy is historically not only about the use of x-rays, but actually began with the inclusion of radionics, or the study of radiant energy. The original definition of radionics was “the science of detecting, measuring and utilizing micro-energetic emanations which radiate from matter.”1 Using this theory, all matter emanates radio waves that, ultimately, can be detected and altered for treatment purposes. In a very simplistic example, a diseased organ will emanate an altered radio wave pattern that can be detected at the skin level. This radiation could then be neutralized by inverting the wave patterns 180 degrees out of phase and returning them to the patient so as to restore a proper (healthy) radiation pattern. This system of like–curing–like was similar and in concordance with homeopathic principles that explained how remedies worked. In effect, we are talking about “wave cancellation” a concept used extensively in acoustics/electronics and known as phase equalization, phase inversion and phase modulation. Radionics is also a form of “percussive diagnosis” wherein, during the Middle Ages, the abdomen was thumped—with or without drums—to identify an area in a disharmonious state. Today, percussion continues to be part of a medical physician’s standard diagnostic procedure in areas such as the thorax and abdomen where areas of consolidation (masses), or fluid accumulation, alters the resonance pattern of surrounding healthy tissue. Most recently, we have begun to appreciate the early work of these pioneers since they, among other applications, laid the foundation for today’s microcurrent bone stimulation devices. This provides further evidence that yesterday’s outrageous and unproven observations are, in many cases, today’s rational medicine.

Last updated on: March 7, 2011