by Darren Starwynn, O.M.D.
The title of this chapter is very appropriate. In the online version of Miriam-Webster dictionary there is this definition of the word “magic”:
“an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source”
Countless times people I was treating with microcurrent, or those witnessing the treatment, have remarked that the results they saw were like “magic”. A Vietnam veteran with an implanted pain drug delivery pump, multiple spinal fusions and many other injuries and diseases saw his pain level plummet from a level “10” to a “2” after a 15 minute microcurrent and light session. He had previously had years of other kinds of treatments without relief. A realtor with a painful pinched nerve in her neck had a total release of pain after a 2 minute treatment. A 10 minute treatment of half of a 55 year old woman’s face using microcurrent facial rejuvenation techniques clearly opened and lifted her eye, smoothed crow’s feet, tightened her mouth and jaw line and made her facial coloration look like it had 20 years earlier.
Yet these effects are not supernatural. They are possible because every aspect of our bodies is pre-wired to respond to subtle electrical currents. Most parts of our bodies also produce endogenous electrical charges – including nerve cells, fascia (connective tissue), muscles, brain cells and our hearts. We truly have a “body electric”.
Even beyond the understanding of the electrical nature of the human body, modern science has also demonstrated that “everything is energy”. Everything in the Universe, regardless of how solid it seems to our senses, is really made up of infinitesimally tiny sub-atomic particles winking in and out of existence within a formless void called the quantum field. Most of what we consider to be matter, such as our bodies, is actually 99.9999% empty space!
The energy that makes up our bodies and the Universe operates according to universal laws of energy that have been observed since ancient times.
Since our bodies are completely composed of energy, healing with externally applied energy makes sense. That’s what microcurrent therapy is all about.
What is Microcurrent?
The prefix “micro” refers to anything measured in the millionths of a unit. “Current” refers to amperage (or amps), the primary unit for measuring electrical current. Therefore microcurrent is electric currents in the millionths of amp levels.
Microcurrent devices differ from conventional electric stimulation in that the currents delivered are much gentler – actually about 1000 times lower. Microcurrent devices are also generally designed to be used with greater precision, and often include probe electrodes suitable for treating specific points of pain as well as acupuncture and trigger points. Microcurrent is also applied through pad electrodes for treatment of broader body areas.
While applications of microcurrent therapy to local areas of pain or injury can produce very positive results, treatment techniques based on universal laws of energy can produce even better results. This is especially true for treatment of patients with complex, hard to treat chronic pain. (see example below).
Microcurrent can be a powerful booster and accelerator to the effects of other therapies. I have taught microcurrent techniques to acupuncturists, physical therapists, chiropractors, myofascial therapists, nurses and estheticians. They often report superior and longer-lasting clinical results by adding microcurrent to the regular techniques they were already doing.
Color light has also been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. Color psychology is now a well established field. Researchers have determined that certain wall colors reduce violence and acting out in prisons and mental hospitals, and many forms of color light therapy have evolved.
The use of color light for healing purposes has been well-known since ancient times. Combining color light with microcurrent to enhance effects is a much newer practice. I have compared the uses of color light by itself to the use of Microlight (microcurrent combined with color light therapy) for chronic pain andemotional healing treatments and have observed faster and more profound results when Microlight is used. This is not hard to understand when you consider that the human body is electro-magnetic in nature.
Modern patients often present with a complex mixture of pain, internal medical, emotional and reactive symptoms, often aggravated by a load of chemical toxins on the body. They are usually seeking rapid results that take less time to produce. Microlight therapy is one of the most powerful methods to offer these kinds of results.
Applications of Microcurrent and Microlight Therapy
Since its inception in 2002 the following valuable applications of Microlight therapy have been demonstrated and used in clinical practice:
- Rapid relief of chronic pain
- Sports medicine – treatment of acute athletic injuries
- Adjunct to myofascial therapies and bodywork, to relieve pain and accelerate release of tight, contracted muscles.
- Accelerated rehabilitation after injuries, strokes or neurologic degenerative diseases
- Emotional healing and balance through the chakra system, using color light and microcurrent (Microlight)
- Facial and whole-body rejuvenation and anti-aging effects
- Pediatric treatment
- Veterinary treatments
Documented Effects of Microcurrent
There is a lot that science has confirmed about how and why microcurrent offers such dramatic healing and pain relieving effects. Here are the physiologic effects of microcurrent as demonstrated by research studies:
- Faster and more efficient wound healing – Numerous research studies have validated this effect. As an example Carley and Wainapel reported the following: 30 hospital patients with non healing ulcers were divided into two groups, one treated with conventional wound dressings and one with microcurrent stimulation at 300 – 700 µA. The latter group was given two – two hour stimulation periods per day. After six weeks of such treatments the group treated with microcurrents showed a 150 – 250% healing rate, with stronger scar formation, less pain and lessened infection of the treated area.
- Boosting ATP production in cells – ATP is the energy-carrying molecule in cells that powers all activity, including cellular healing. Cheng, et al have been widely quoted for confirming how microcurrent boosts ATP production as well as the availability of free amino acids for cellular repair. Most significant was their finding that levels of electrical stimulation above 1000 µA (1 milliamp) actually retarded ATP production. This indicated that only very low-level electrical stimulation has this very desirable effect.
- Strengthening tendons – Oweye and his team reported stronger tendons in rats that had positive (anodal) microcurrent applied, with current at 75 µA, 10 Hz frequency. Many other studies have shown similar effects.
- Better bone healing – A team of Japanese researchers demonstrated that mandibular lesions in dogs responded well to application of 50 µA stimulation. They stated “It seems likely that direct microcurrent promotes normal bone formation within the defective area and accelerates the osseous healing process. Prolonged application of electrical stimulus promotes a remarkable bone remodeling mechanism.”
- Helping kill bacterial infection in wounds – J.A. Spadaro and team reported good bacteriocidal effects combining microcurrent stimulation with silver ions. Percutaneous silver wire implants were placed in rats, and the wounds inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus to test how much infection would spread. Microcurrent stimulation was passed through the wires, with + anodal current placed into implanted silver wire, and the – cathodal electrode placed on the rat’s belly as a ground. It was found that significant inhibition of infection occurred, with the most marked results at 20µA current level. “Metallic silver can be effectively and efficiently activated to elicit its anti-microbial activity by the application of microampere electrical current.”
- Microcurrent may support function of stem cells in healing eye diseases – One form of microcurrent stimulated both dermal fibroblasts and U937 cells to secrete transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), which is an important regulator of cell-mediated inflammation and tissue regeneration. This article supports the potential of microcurrent to improve the results of stem cell transplantation.
- Polarized microcurrent used to shrink cancerous tumors – B. Nordenstrom, M.D. demonstrated that the positive polarity of microcurrent, passed through needles implanted into cancerous tumors, blocked cancer pain and in many cases caused the tumors to regress or disappear. He theorized that this treatment set up a form of electro-osmosis, which dehydrated the tumor and blocked production of pain-producing substances such as histamine, substance P and bradykinin.
Reinhold Voll, M.D. was one of the greatest pioneers in the development of microcurrent therapies. He and a team of colleagues developed the first commercially available microcurrent stimulator called the Dermatron in the 1960’s. After extensive study of the effects of microcurrent on the body, he reported these physiologic effects:
- Spasmolysis of blood and lymph vessels & hollow organs
- Improving circulation of blood and lymph
- Tonification of elastic fibers to improve organ functions
- Reduction of inflammatory processes in the body
- Reduction of degenerative processes through promoting proper function of connective tissues
- Restoration of healthy nerve function through polarization effects
- Stimulating ATP production for muscle relaxation and healing
Voll did extensive research, using his equipment to apply microcurrent at specific therapeutic frequencies to acupuncture points for treatment of a wide range of diseases. See Treatment Formulary III in my book Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture for details.
I believe that some of the effects of microcurrent are still off the charts of traditional science. These would be the ways that low-frequency currents balance and heal the meridian system and chakras. Many other studies too numerous to quote here confirm that the human body is exquisitely sensitive to low-level electrical stimulation. The polarization (placement of positive and negative electrodes), frequency rate (number of pulses per second) and waveform of the current all produce targeted effects in the body. These effects are elevated when such stimulation is passed through acupuncture points that relate to the pathology being treated. A summary of some of this research can be found in Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture, Chapter Two.
I have developed a set of microcurrent and Microlight treatment techniques that are based on universal laws of energy movement that have been observed since ancient times. Many of these mirror the ancient roots of the field of acupuncture. For example, it is common to needle acupuncture points in the feet to relieve the pain of headaches, a reflection of the universal law of correspondence – “as above, so below”. Highly effective treatments can be performed without the insertion of needles using polarized Microlight therapy.
I most commonly use polarized microcurrent at 75 µA, 10 Hz frequency in combination with color light therapy for PNE chakra balancing therapy. The wavelength, or color, selected for balancing each chakra is very significant. Although we still don’t understand the exact mechanisms of how microcurrent enhances relief of depression, anxiety and PTSD it seems likely that these effects are associated with many of the mechanisms presented in this chapter. In addition to what is written above there are other subtle energy effects on the body. These include:
Effects on release of neuro-peptides. These are small molecules used by the body for communication and signaling purposes. In her book Molecules of Emotion Candace Pert recounted her research about how neuro-peptides inter-connect the brain, immune system, organs, hormones and our emotions. Although she did not specifically use microcurrent stimulation in her studies it appears from observation that the application of well-chosen microcurrent and light frequencies do have significant effects on neuro-peptide release.
Releasing energetic blockage through the body. The ancient art of acupuncture is largely based on using needle insertions to release “bi” or blockage in the meridian system and to clear Blood stagnation. Chinese Medicine teaches that such blockage is a primary cause of pain and disease as well as disorders of the Spirit (emotional imbalances). It has been well established that electrical stimulation passed through acupuncture points, or electro-acupuncture, produces these effects and can amplify the effect of needle therapies.
Psycho-emotional pain is also associated with blocked, shut-down parts of the body and psyche. Pioneers in body-centered psycho-therapy such as Wilhelm Reich and Ida Rolf popularized therapies that release tense, blocked body regions to help heal emotional issues. The use of microcurrent in PNE Balancing supports the healing process in similar ways.
Release through micro-systems. One of the most remarkable techniques in the acupuncture armamentarium is evaluation and treatment through auricular therapy and other micro-systems. The ear contains a complete map of the rest of the body, as does the face, hands, feet and abdomen. Stimulation of points on the ear corresponding to dysfunctional body areas has powerful effects at rapidly relieving pain and helping correct disorders of the organs, glands and nervous system. Microcurrent may be used through micro-systems to produce these effects. Micro-systems are expressions of the holographic nature of the body – where parts contain a map of the whole body.
Hands-on training in these methods is offered through East-West Seminars.
 Low Intensity Direct Current Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 66, July 1985
 The Effects of Electric Current on ATP Generation, Protein Synthesis, and Membrane Transport in Rat Skin Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, #171, Nov/Dec. 1982
 Low-intensity Pulsed Galvanic Current and the Healing of Tenotomized Rat Achilles Tendons: Preliminary Report Using Load-to-Breaking Measurements Archives Physical Med Rehab, Vol. 68, July 1987
 Experimental Studies of Influences on Healing Process of Mandibular Defect Stimulated by Microcurrent Shikwa Gakuho, #82 1982
 Bacterial inhibition by electrical activation of percutaneous silver implants, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Vol. 20, 565-577 (1986)
 Altern Lab Anim. 2001 Nov-Dec;29(6):693-701. England University of Nottingham, Todd I, Clothier RH Electrical stimulation of transforming growth factor-beta 1 secretion by human dermal fibroblasts and the U937 human monocytic cell line.
 Nordenstrom, B. An Electrophysiologic View of Acupuncture: Role of Capacitive and Closed Circuit Currents and Their Clinical Effects in the Treatment of Cancer and Chronic Pain, American Journal of Acupuncture, Vol 17, #2, 1989
 Voll, R. Twenty Years of ElectroAcupuncture Diagnosis in Germany: A Progress Report. Am J Acupuncture 1975; 3(19):7-17.
 Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture, Starwynn 2002, Desert Heart Press (available through Eastwestmed, Inc. (800) 872-6789.
 C. Pert, Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Between Mind-Body Medicine Scribner (1999)
For more information, contact the author at: www.drstarwynn.com