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The joke of electrotherapy

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    blah, blah, blah.


      Originally posted by Don Quixote:

      And herein is the problem. There is no test for the success or failure of FES to reverse atrophy, no test even proposed by its author, Petrofsky.
      Then how can you reliably claim that FES doesn't work?

      "Sometimes, its enough to plant the seed, walk away, and let the flower grow on its own."'s worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.


        This you, Don? WHOIS data is public information, by the way. If so, what kind of research does your lab do? Just curious.

        Gregory O'Kelly
        San Luis Laboratories, CA


          scott just so you know, Don had already stated in a post to me earlier in the thread, when I questioned who he was, as to where to find his name on the website, so you didn't have to go to all that trouble. But, I'm glad to find out about this WHOIS thing. pretty neat. going to have to check it out. no harm to any party meant here, just pointing something out.


            Google Results... guy has a 20 page PDF available on Electrochemistry and Neuroscience.

            "Sometimes, its enough to plant the seed, walk away, and let the flower grow on its own."
  's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.


              Originally posted by Don Quixote:

              Larwatson,until you can cite a study which finds by biopsy of type II muscle fiber that FES affects atrophy, until you can come up one of the multitude of researches you say are out there, one, just one, only one that uses biopsies and electron transmission microscopy to verify the fantasies of Petrofsky, please stop crowing about how FES has survived scrutiny in the court of science. Not even Wise Young could do this. You say the scientific evidence is 'beyond substantial'. You know so much, okay, where is it?
              With regard to providing evidence that electrochemistry has the affects it does on the triggering of protein synthesis such that the type II fiber's cross sectional area increases, I am in the process of disseminating the equipment and information so that individuals can check it out themselves. I cannot afford the electron microscopic biopsies that Petrofsky should have done, but didn't since he is an engineer and knew nothing about muscle structure, only how to make a muscle contract using voltage transmission.
              You still don't get it do you? The burden's on you stud.

              Let me lake this real easy for you if you want anuybody to take anything you say seriously. Three simple steps.

              1. Identify yourself and your credentials. You've yet to prove up on even this very simple point. Until you do so you have no credibility.

              2. Provide documented proof of the effectiveness of your therapy that has been subjected to peer review.

              3. Provide a published work by a respected professional journal indicating the validity of your documentation.

              4. As a throw in - get nominated by a group of your peers for a Nobel Prize. Jerrold did.

              The burden's not on me Don, or Dr. Young, or the Petrofsky's. The FDA, the VA, Medicare and the insurance companies are all potential expert witnesses that have publicly testified in support of FES by approving these therapies as being effective. These are independent sources with far greater scientific knowledge than I have . . . or you have shown. With the VA, Medicare and the insurance industries being the equivalent of hostile witnesses.

              The burden's on you big stick. Now stop the whining and the circular arguments and get to work.

              The burden is on you.

              What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator
              What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator


                Member posted 03-17-04 04
                This you, Don? WHOIS data is public information, by the way. If so, what kind of research does your lab do? Just curious.from O'KellySan Luis Laboratories, CA
                Posts: 1019 | From: Virginia | Registered: 11-21-01

                Steven Edwards Moderator posted 03-17-04 04:20 PM 03-17-04 04:20 PM
                quote: Originally posted by Don Quixote:
                And herein is the problem. There is no test for the success or failure of FES to reverse atrophy, no test even proposed by its author, Petrofsky. Then how can you reliably claim that FES doesn't work?-Steven"Sometimes, its enough to plant the seed, walk away, and let the flower grow on its own."

                Steven, whenever anyone makes claims about any scientific hypothesis, they are required by scientific method and others in that scientific community, to specify a test by which the truth of their hypothesis may be tested. This test occurs in the form of hypothetico-deduction, that is, given a premise A, we examine the connection between A and the consequent, B. This occurs in the form of "If A, then B," where B is to be connected to or related to A in some way. B is usually in the form of a prediction. For example, we are faced with the premise A, FES reverses atrophy. In order to test this premise, we connect it to a consequent, B, where, in this case B would be "cross sectional area of the type II muscle fiber increases." Dr. Petrofsky has an A, a premise, but he never sought to test it, relying instead on the refusal of the FDA to bother investigating the veracity of claims about powered muscle stimulators as long as they were safe. Instead of saying "If FES reverses atrophy, then we should see..." Petrofsky said right off, A is true, it doesn't need to be tested, proof of its truth is in the approval by the FDA for powered stimulators. Larwatson and Curt now would have us believe that the widespread acceptance of FES, even by the VA, is indication of its effectiveness, and they cannot cite evidence anywhere that relates cross-sectional area of the type II fiber to FES. It turns out that the only such evidence, the results of research discussed earlier in this thread that was done by Brazilian scientists, shows that FES has no affect on type II fiber. We are left then with the following bit of deduction for those who push FES as working: If FES reverses atrophy, then it will be accepted by the FDA and used widely by people who know nothing about muscle structure. This certainly isn't science, though it satisfies the gullible and the desperate, and it plays into the hands of Dr. Petrofsky who never supported his claim with the biopsies. Consider then that if FES reverses atrophy, and if there are those who might be paralyzed because of advanced myopathy or disuse atrophy, then, so far, FES has not done a thing to restore anyone's muscles to usability even though some persist in using it for as long as 20 years. Petrofsky never said what to look for if his device doesn't work. The possibility of its not working has never been tested or even considered. He assumed from the start the device would work, and did nothing to verify this assumption.
                Scott, San Luis Laboratories is a small organization dedicated to testing Petrofsky's assumption, and to finding what does actually affect the diameter of the type II fiber. A key bit of the analysis is updated understanding of the nature of electricity and of the electrical functioning of the nervous system as seen in nervous system trophsim. It is the premise of this lab that the only way to trigger the protein synthesis necessary for the increased diameter of the type II fiber is to simulate nervous system trophsim delivered to the neuromuscular junction. Nervous system trophism cannot be simulated using AC or biphasic current since electrochemistry is not possible, and, using direct current, it is not possible unless the charge from the anode is delivered to the neuromuscular junction. Dr. Petrofsky's claims are contradicted by the available research done not by this lab, but by the Brazilians. What this lab has done is research the way that cross-sectional area can be affected. Although this lab has not done the biopsies to confirm that electrochemistry has this affect (they are so expensive that only people like Petrofsky or Rutgers University could do them), the people who work here know that FES has not been shown to have this affect. Here's a little bit of empirical evidence, something that Petrofsky lacks, to support the idea that electrochemistry has this affect. When a severely atrophic muscle is made to contract with electrochemistry, the contraction is weak, but grows stronger over time as the muscle is exercised regularly, and motor control of a once unusable muscle returns gradually. With FES the contraction is strong enough to move the leg from the very start, yet even after years the muscle remains as unusable as it was at the start.
                Rather than taking time sniping at me, why don't some of you approach Dr. Young and ask him about this? Ask him where the biopsies are that contradict what the Brazilians found? Here I am suggesting that maybe there have been mistakes made that act to keep people in wheelchairs un-necessarily, and what am I faced with? A bunch of people who want to endorse a product that has been around for twenty years yet has never gotten anyone out of a wheelchair or ever restored motor functioning. Absolutely amazing! Thank you all for being so patient with me. Your future is in your hands. I'm out of here. I found something. It works. It is helping me and others. Goodbye.


                  Don/Greg whatever.

                  First. Pal anybody that knows me knows my cynical nature. Desperate isn't something I've ever been accused of. Quite to the contrary actually. I have no stake in this fight that you've picked other than I'll be damned if I sit by and let people like you come around and push a therapy that has no supportive base. And more importantly detract from one of the few therapies that I have actually seen developed that works.

                  If you know anything than you know that the Petrofsky's faced vast skepticism and were decried up into the early 90's as selling false hope. I myself waited until the mid 90's to try it. They and others like them had to prove up their case for over two decades before FES has been tepidly accepted by the insurance industry.

                  It works. I've seen it work. It has worked on me. I've been in achair for over 20 years. By using FES on my forearms this past year for about one month I began to get back movement in my hands that I nver had before. The same with my legs, which took almost 6 months of intense FES work. When i stopped the FEs the movement in my legs has subsided, but not the movement in my hands, though I'm not getting more back right now.

                  So little pup I've been there. I had to battle my insurance company to approve the therapy. And I want to make sure that others have access to it.

                  Now if you want to come around and decry a therapy I know works and possibly jeopardize others opportunities to have access to it . . . .

                  The you sure as hell better be ready to put up or shut up.

                  If you've got something better than great let's see it. I'll even help you promote it. But you better come to the table with something better than vacant, unsupported statements.

                  You've been at this for a while. Amazing that no one has bit. Surprisingly you've been promising the same thing since 1999 it seems.

                  Here's a blast fom your past. It should sound familiar. The reference thread from google is as follows: Reference

                  Muscle Weakness, Atrophy, Paralysis
                  This article submitted by Gregory C. O'Kelly on 2/18/99.
                  Email Address:

                  I have conducted almost two decades of research on the problem of chronic paralysis following concussive, non-destructive spinal injury, and I have arrived at the conclusion that much of this paralysis is due not to irreversible nerve damage, but to atrophy of muscle tissue during the acute phase of injury. I have a four page paper available by e-mail which discusses this issue in highly technical detail, but it is still understandable by the layman. The point I wish to make here is that this sort of chronic paralysis is reversible even years after injury, all that is required is restoration of the muscle. The longer after injury one waits to do this sort of treatment, involving direct current electrotherapy, the longer is takes to recover. If the body is maintained during the acute phase then the person may never be paralyzed once the neck injury or spinal bruising clears up. I am looking for people, patients or physicians, who would like to read this paper and discuss its implications for the treatment of chronic paralysis. The treatment has been perfected, and waits only to be disseminated. The paper will be sent to anyone requesting it. It can be supplemented by a second paper of greater length which discusses the role of electromagnetism in the treatment of chronic paralysis and the degenerative diseases of aging. All are welcome! Feedback is invited.
                  Gregory C. O'Kelly

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                  Here is a list of responses that have been posted regarding this article...

                  * Very Interested (5/4/99) 1:50 PM
                  * Paralysis Paper (3/18/99) 4:20 PM
                  * Please send this to me (3/4/99) 5:22 PM
                  * Gregory (2/22/99) 1:37 PM

                  Goodbye Greg/Don/ whatever. Come back when you have something tangible.

                  What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

                  [This message was edited by larwatson on 03-17-04 at 06:26 PM.]

                  [This message was edited by seneca on 03-18-04 at 09:04 PM.]
                  What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator


                    Nice detective work guys...

                    Once his cover was blown he bailed out, interesting...

                    [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

                    Eric Harness,CSCS
                    Project Walkâ„¢

                    Eric Harness, CSCS
                    Neuro Ex, Inc
                    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery


                      Thanks guys, this thread has been really bothering me. A lot of people have put a lot of work into FES and it is a shame to discredit them as being unethical and what not when the person doing the discrediting has no real understanding that FES is a valid therapy.

                      One thing that really proves Don/Greg does not know what he is talking about is him saying that FES works the same as when it is first started as it does six months later, that the muscle contraction starts out strong and stays that way and does not gain in strength. I disagree very much with this statement from personal experience.

                      When I first started using my FES bike after being Paralyzed for 20 years, I would ride about 5 to 10 minutes before going into shutdown, my legs were just too weak to push any longer. Now after three years of hard work and using the bike for the most part every other day for one hour rides, if I regularly use the bike I can push on level 4/8 (pushing 25 watts in resistance) for up to an hour. I know this is pushing quite a bit of torque as I have tried helping out with my arms just to see the resistance I am pushing and I have to really flex my triceps to turn the leg crank using my arms at these levels.

                      I know also when I work out regularly, my legs look and feel very muscular including my gluts, my legs are even more heavy due to the increased muscle bulk and it is harder pulling them into my vehicle after transfering in, I some times worry about stressing out my shoulders more as lifting my legs is a lot harder when I am using the bike regularly. There is no doubt in my mind that I am building up muscle bulk in using the bike regularly. Another benefit I get from regular use is decreased leg spasms.

                      If I take time away from the FES Bike, such as when I am on vacation, I notice my legs get lighter and less muscular and far more spastic. When I start using the FES bike again, it takes a lot of time to build back up to the level I was at before I stopped using the bike. I took the month of January off from riding as I was in Florida and it took me a full 5 weeks of riding for an hour every other day until I was back up to riding level 4/8 for the full hour.

                      The only way to build muscle bulk is through hard work, this includes staying on a regular schedule of using the FES bike. Same thing with lifting weights as any weight lifter will tell you. You cant just sit on your fanny and duct tape some Anode or whatever to your forehead and expect it to happen by itself, building muscle bulk requires exercise, as much as some people dont want to hear this.

                      And Chasb let me ask you something, if I where to put an electric motor on my handcycle and duct tape my hands to the pedals and just sit there for one of my thirty mile rides and watch my arms rotate around by the power of the electric motor, do you really think I would stand a chance of getting any useful exercise this way and building up any of my muscles? Working out with an electric motor powered erogometer is only good for range of motion and perhaps circulation (dont get me wrong it is better than doing nothing) but the only way you are going to get real exercise is to allow your muscles to do the work. I remember we got into an arguement a couple years back about this in the chat room. Sorry you still do not believe the claims of FES as it has infact helped so many people including myself. A few years back, even I was wary of the claims made by the FES Manufactures, I am now completely sold on the idea now that I have a lot of experience with FES bikes. I have hoped it would gain even more widespread acceptance than it has, I have nothing to gain by saying this as I no longer work for the company, it is just something I want other people who are SCI to experience for themselves.

                      [This message was edited by Curt Leatherbee on 03-17-04 at 08:17 PM.]
                      "Life is about how you
                      respond to not only the
                      challenges you're dealt but
                      the challenges you seek...If
                      you have no goals, no
                      mountains to climb, your
                      soul dies".~Liz Fordred


                        the "bulking up" of the muscle (you speak of) is from water being added to the muscle from the session stimulation. Thats why there is such as fast decrease in size (of the so called muscle) when you stop using the e stim bike. One other thing; From my knowledge it takes a minimum of 140ma to cause enough of a current to cause contractions in the quads, hams & glutes. It is my opinion that this amount of current is not good for the muscle tissue or cartilige long term. Just my opinion, not trying to get anyones panties in a twist.


                          I haven't participated in this topic thus far. As an avid FES biker I had to come here to even believe it. And I certainly can't read the entire history of this topic. Sorry. So I'll just add a few thoughts.

                          FES causes deep muscle contractions. By stimulating muscle contractions in a pattern they become functional, you can pedal a bike. Electrodes embedded in the muscle might produce stronger contractions, but surface electrodes are sufficient.

                          The increase of strength and endurance in my legs as I pedal regularly is being questioned? The centimeters added to the girth of my thighs are what? Isn't it just common sense that as you exercise you build strength? Is anyone contending that our own muscles are not responsible for pushing the pedals against resistance? So we go from zero activity to every other day pedaling. This is supposed to have no effect?

                          Obviously the use of FES in SCI cannot be the issue here. Increased muscle bulk and strength. Cardio-vascular training. Certainly no one is questioning the value of FES for SCI in this regard. I don't know what the "joke of electrical stimulation" is but it has nothing to do with paralyzed persons making themselves healthy with FES. Because that's no joke at all.

                          I had a four week vacation from FES back in December/January. I started a topic about it in this forum. It took almost three weeks for any significant changes in my legs to be apparent.

                          Anyone who's tried FES doesn't question it. At least not any paralyzed person. Nope. For us it's our first shot at real exercise for our paralyzed muscles. Exercise that uses our own muscles and nothing else. Exercise that increases our heart rate and cardio-vascular conditioning.

                          I'm shocked there has been four pages of discussion regarding this. For me there's little left to talk about. Only educating the not yet informed as to the great benefits of FES should generate this many messages.

                          ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
                          ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


                            Jeff..the history is:

                            A cartoon character came in and bashed Dr. Young, the Keck Center, S.Petrofsky, FES and all of traditional neuroscience.

                            He thought he was bright. He sarcastically asked if I was also a schoolteacher...LOL how funny because...I AM!!!
                            (this is not fair, he actually may be bright, but he sounds very bitter)

                            So, Scott put a name to him further proving that no one is anonymous on the internet. LarWatson is brilliant in my opinion deserves whatever legal fees he charges anyone...( that is generous coming from me seeing as I think I sent my divorce lawyers second child through college).

                            Curt is a good defender, and a few like ChasB offered good counterarguments which are always welcome when they are done with some taste and manners..(miss you chasb)

                            Meanwhile, after one post, I sat back and watched.

                            Mr. Don Quixote, did you go bye byes? Sorry, but I am a mother too...

                            Well I think that's about all of it. Now I have to go to therapy for E-stim because I thoroughly enjoy my reduction of pain that does not work according to mr..greg whatever...


                            If I can see it, then I can do it. If I believe it, there's nothing to it.


                              I've already mentioned everything you did. There is no point arguing with this guy. You can't make someone see what they don't want to see. He seems to base his entire opinion on FES not affecting Type II muscle fibers...which I don't care what type of muscle fibers FES's definately affecting some type of muscle in my husband's legs and gluts(which will help prevent pressure sores)also as yours. I've made reference to how power lifters that lift extreme weights are not bulked up (type II muscle fibers are genetic and vary from individual to individual, some people have more some less)like Arnold Swartezzenager wouldn't dream of lifting what that Russian guy was lifting over his head who just looked like he drank too many beers and ate too much pizza! And there is no way you can doubt the cardio benefit of pedaling a bike at 47 to 50 rpm for an hour 3 times a week.
                              I appreciate you posting [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]


                                a different way to look at it...

                                instead of focusing on his shots at fes, why not actually thinking that his proposed therapy might work? basically, b/c he came out shooting at Dr Young, fes, Petrofsky, etc, everyone doesn't like DQ so they focus on shooting him down. while his manner of promoting his therapy is controversial, the therapy may be right on. why not try it? if fes therapy had been promoted in the same manner, where would all you die-hard fes users be today?

                                this electrochemistry theory/therapy could possibly be the "next big thing." maybe it will get better results than fes...maybe it won't. how will you know w/o trying it? i know the guy he wrote about, Clayton Dixon, he was a bit overweight and out of shape when we were in rehab. now he's fit b/c of DQ's device. he is an incomplete injury and that may be why he's out of the chair now, but i guarantee the therapy helped a lot, if not the reason he's out now. he only used the device a few months and in those months he had huge results!

                                the problem here isn't electrochemistry vs fes. the problem is that nobody is reasonable b/c they are mad about the posts. i'm sure fes had humble beginnings, but people tried it & liked it, and those people support it now. don't confuse backing up a therapy you like w/ contempt for an alternative therapy. when electrochemistry has been tried by enough people it will build the necessary foundation and hopefully take off like fes. i know i'll be trying it as soon as i can get ahold of a machine. i'll have to take caution not to damage my skin, but fes, tens, & estim have the same precautions.

                                SEE THROUGH THE CONTEMPT!!! this post went as far as tracking the guy down, and also threatened a lawsuit...geez! that was all just as unnecessary as the attacks on Dr Young. gimme a break, just consider the therapy...
                                "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
                                ...Mark Twain

                                I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
                                ...Winston Churchill

                                A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
                                ...George Bernard Shaw