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Micro-current Energy

What is micro-current?

dolphin microcurrent 400 300Micro-current energy is a beautiful technological invention that has changed the landscape of acupuncture. However, electricity has long been part of acupuncture and some stone carvings of the ancient Egypt, 2500 years ago, depict an electric fish being used to treat pain, a practice one found again during the socratic era. Interestingly, modern science has recently validated the “electric fish” theory.

Fast forward to 19th century and we reconnect with the use of electricity for pain treatment.

Fast forward to 20th century and we find the TENS (transcuteneous electrical nerve stimulation) with low voltage current transmitted to electrodes attached to specific skin areas, used mostly in physical therapy but also in acupuncture, linked to needles for extra stimulation.

Fast forward a bit more and you find micro current. As it name implies it is a very fine current or voltage, actually 1000 times less than what is used in physical therapy. Micro current is the homeopathy of electrical pain treatment, closer to vibration and less to an electrical jolt. The advantages? sometimes TENS can exacerbate the pain. Micro current, which can be tuned to patients’ sensitivity, offers a wider range of treatments, on more points or meridians. It is a great tool for those who, for any reason, shy away from needles. It is also a great tool to use in conjunction with acupuncture, either to reinforce the action of the needle or to treat more sensitive areas. Micro current can be felt on some places more than others but generally speaking the sensation is either non existent or very mild.

What is micro-current like?

In my office, I use an “acutron” machine that offers different programs of micro-current. It comes with probes and pads.

My use of the acutron comes from personal history: as it turned out, I was trying out the acutron just as my mother was visiting from France. Her arrival was quite dramatic as she had fallen on the escalators at the airport, a very scary experience since she fell backward on the moving escalator. Because of knee surgery and chronic low back pain my mother had no flexibility so she saw herself move upward immobilized. Somebody stopped the escalator, firemen and medical support came to her rescue and I was called to go pick her up where she had fallen. Needless to say, I was very scared and worried about concussion. She was in a panic, repeating that she did not want to go to the hospital. We went to the closest hotel and I gasped as I saw her back: as well as the state of her back: long black and blue lacerations from the escalator dents all along her spine. I finally took her home, watching closely for any sign that I might need to take her to the ER in spite of her refusal.

I wanted to give her acupuncture but her skin was raw and tender all over so I was reluctant to use needles. Since I had the acutron machine for trial, I decided to use the pads and some of the pre-programs for pain.

The experience was truly amazing: I gave her treatments everyday and could literally see from one day to the next the black and blue recede around the places where the pads were. Within a week, we were able to resume our travel plans.

I made the investment into the machine and have been using it ever since. The only problem with the acutron is that it is a bit bulky and awkward, therefore limited in mobility. Not something I could use at the community clinic from one person to another.

Fast forward: I discovered the Dolphin, little hand held micro current machines called dolphins (apparently because their shape and sound, with a bit of imagination, resembles those of dolphins)

Does one need a special appointment for micro-energy treatments?

No, micro-current energy treatments may be included in any of the treatments, as part of individual treatments or as part of the community clinic treatments. It may be used with acupuncture or in lieu of acupuncture. Some people prefer to opt for only one option —traditional needle acupuncture or micro-current energy only. All these options constitute valid choices.

Any drawback to micro current?

Results are great and the experience is overall pleasant. The only drawback, possibly, is that the treatment is more “busy” than the ones with needles. After needling people usually fall into a deep state of relaxation. Needles also work like little electrical antennas and, therefore, our whole electrical system — our nervous system— is reset. To palliate the “busyness” of treatments with probes or Dolphin, I might use one or two needles at the end or simply let people rest for 10-15 minutes so that they can experience the letting go that comes from treatment.

Some people still prefer simple acupuncture and actually refuse the use of any electricity. Some people do not want needles at all. Some people want both.

All of it is made possible nowadays and I am happy to have tools to accommodate people’s wishes and also to have different treatment options available.

Acupuncture “a la carte”…just pick your choice on the menu!