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    Insurance fraud? Say it ain't so, Joe!

    The following post was placed on a bulletin board exclusively for United States Air Force Academy graduates. It has great relevance here for the joke of electrotherapy.

    Fellow graduates, I would like you to consider a point of science whose personal impact on health and fitness will be amplified by the number of years your academy days have receded. I speak now in general of electrical medicine, but in particular of the affects of electrical charge on the body. I ask your indulgence in reading this long note so that you may grasp the science involved, may see its significance for you and others you care about with regard to maintenance of fitness and health, and may consider how the issues involved may be brought to the attention of the general public in a way that will be acceptable.
    The history of the therapeutic use of electricity stretches back over two centuries. It is riddled with un-reproducible results, unsupported claims, superstitions about the affects of electrical charge on the body, and hawkers of electrical stimulation for any number of disorders. Unfortunately, things did not change much with the early twentieth century understanding of electricity. Although laboratory techniques and diagnostic tests were refined throughout the century, the discoveries about electrical affects on the body were limited to artifacts of research (like that of direct current stimulation on bone healing) that were never theoretically unified, but instead noted as empirical facts. The field of the clinical application of electrical medicine stagnated, to the point where the FDA now states, in its regulations with regard to electrically powered muscle stimulators, that it does not have the resources or methods to determine if any particular muscle stimulator submitted is effective. Only if it is safe. For it to be safe it must not pass or 'leak' more than half a milliamp. The understanding of the affects of electricity on the body is so opaque and clinically irrelevant that leaders in that field cannot give any guidance to the FDA as to what is effective and what is not. Ignorance about electrical stimulation is so institutionalized that at the same time neither NASA nor any professional athlete nor any bodybuilder uses electrical muscle stimulation either exclusively or at all to build muscles, and the medical health industry is adorned with electrical devices that allegedly have benefits for muscle building but for which the FDA will not vouch.
    The near-complete clinical irrelevance of electrical medicine is due to the misunderstanding of the phenomenon of electricity that is encoded in the FDA's restriction on passage of electrical charge. For this proscription renders impossible the use of electrochemistry to build muscle. Electrochemistry requires at least ten times the permitted amount of amperage to transcutaneously trigger the protein synthesis necessary for the building of muscle. If muscle contraction is to result in muscle building or maintenance, it must be triggered the same way the body triggers it, and that is through delivery of an electrical charge to the neuromuscular junction, not through voltage transmission applied transcutaneously to anywhere on the muscle surface, as is the accepted and FDA approved method for muscle stimlation. The nervous system trophism and firing that makes a muscle contract is indeed electrical, but it is electrochemical, not electromechanical. This makes the site of the introduction of the electrical stimulus very important..
    There are numerous companies marketing FDA-approved muscle stimulators for which the claim is made that atrophy is reversed and muscle strengthening follows. Some of these machines cost over $10,000, and all use some type of biphasic current to make the muscle contract. In a graph of time versus voltage change we know from our basic electrical engineering backgrounds that the area between that curve and the X axis is the amount of current flow. In a biphasic current this area tends to cancel out from one side of the X axis to the other. Little or no current is passed, as the FDA requires. Whether using AC or DC, companies peddling electrical muscle stimulators ensure that the voltage waveform is biphasic, because if it is not it doesn't get FDA approval. This is done with DC by switching the polarity back and forth with each pulse. And the result is that electrochemistry is ruled out, that nervous system functioning is not simulated, and that the muscle is not affected in any way more than massage would affect it, or some mechanical stimulus caused it to contract. In 1993 research done by Greve et al. and published in the journal Paraplegia, announced that what is called 'functional electrical stimulation' did not have any affect on the cross-sectional area of the type II muscle fiber. The loss of that cross-sectional area is what is known as disuse atrophy. This did not change anything in the world of commerce where still more companies sprang into existence pushing what they called FES to combat atrophy. Christopher Reeve, in his travails, threw his influence behind the perpetuation of the refuted claims and the continuing sale of the equipment on the premise that it would help paralytics. It does no such thing, having no affect on atrophy. Many who use the extremely expensive but ineffective devices swear that they work to reverse atrophy, but don't have the biopsies to back up their anecdotes. It does not occur to them either that maybe their uncritical credulity might be influenced by the incorrect belief that the FDA knows what it is doing, or that the insurance companies paying magnificent prices for the equipment might not be immune to being defrauded.
    There are many issues that are deliberately not addressed in this email that can be investigated on the web site at www.galvanism.org - issues such as why there is this proscription on the passage of current, where did it come from? The material on the page goes into great detail with regard to the relation between a neurophysiology that holds the nervous system is electrical yet doesn't know what electricity is, and a physics that learned what electricity is but doesn't bother updating the life sciences with regard to what is at the heart of cell membrane voltages. The material is sometimes quite technical, always cross-disciplinary, and sometimes disturbingly iconoclastic. An example of the latter is the attack on the standard protocol of placing the ground electrode outside the cell when cell membrane voltages are measured, and how this is related to standard models of the voltaic cell seen in chemistry texts that mislabel the anode and the cathode, holding that a battery contains the anode only and not both. Consequently bioelectrochemists routinely mislabel the anode and the cathode, and focus exclusively on the direct current's destructive, oxidative affects without considering its anabolizing, reducing chemical affects that may be harnessed to build tissue like muscle. On the site there is an electrochemical tutorial that discusses the role of electrochemistry in the appearance and evolution of life, and in the functioning of the nervous system. The idea that the nervous system is electrochemical had been labeled 'really revolutionary' by Dr. Dieter Walz, editor of Bioelectrochemistry, upon reading the abstract to one of the papers on the web page. He could not publish the paper, however, because it overturned so many icons and ridiculed the mislabeling of the anode and the cathode by previous, published bioelectrochemists, one of whom told me that the labeling is dependent upon one's point of view and not what is taking place chemically and electrically. You will be amazed to know that the electricity of the body is thought of as something besides the movement of electrons from one site to another. Instead bioelectricity is seen as the movement of protons, hydrogen ions, driven by a thermodynamic pump, and ion currents that are born by the movement of fluid. And for this Peter Mitchell got a Nobel in 1978. I had an emeritus professor of microbiology tell me that quantum mechanics, despite dealing with the role of the electron in the atom and chemical bonding, had no relevance to biology. Absolutely amazing!
    What I am asking, then, is that those of you who are interested consider the issues here and help me bring this benightedness to the attention of the medical world. In the 1999 I submitted a research proposal to NASA suggesting the study of the affects of electrochemistry on the fitness of those in microgravity to combat the degeneration from disuse. I was told that NASA would not touch electrotherapy since it had been tried by the Soviets without consequence. The people at NASA were not able to distinguish between electrotherapy and electrochemistry. Through the intercession of Gregory S. Martin ('70), a former fellow parachute team member and classmate who, at the time, was commander in chief of the USAF in Europe, I was able to resubmit my thesis, with the assistance of Kevin Chilton ('76), a former shuttle pilot and, at the time, a brigadier at the Pentagon. This was to no avail. The scientific issues were too complex; the field of electrical medicine was just to littered with charlatanry and the ossification of FDA-approved, neuroscientific orthodoxy. I do not know where to go next to get a hearing. I have gained the interest of Scott Souza ('98), who became paralyzed after a motorcycle accident in 2002, and is a quadriplegic for whom, as usual, medical science can do nothing. I am also trying to interest Nathan Jackson's parents in the procedure. Nathan almost graduated from USAFA in 2001 but became a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident in the spring before his graduation. The point I have been trying to make to the medical and handicapped communities is an exceedingly simple one, yet it is completely misunderstood by both who are repulsed by my contempt for and exposure of the practice of FES as first class quackery. The point is that after any sort of nervous system trauma, destructive or not, there is an extended period of time, the acute phase, when disuse atrophy wastes the muscles just as the muscles of astronauts are weakened in microgravity. Should the nervous system again become functional, in whole or in part, it is left to act upon muscles so depleted that they are not usable even by a healthy nervous system. So the person remains paralyzed not because of nervous damage which, as yet, seems to be irreversible, but instead because of muscle wasting which is reversible - but only through the use of electrochemistry. The implications of this approach to nervous system functioning, the treating of it as an electrochemical phenomenon, have significance not just for the handicapped, but for all creatures with nervous systems. For it opens the door to a method for fitness that is free of and more efficient than resistance exercises, and that also offers a way to restore the efficiency of organs and glands since these too, lying post-synaptically, are acted upon by nervous system trophism to maintain functionability. In this regard consider the electrochemical tutorial on the web page listed above.
    I am looking for some help here. This is truly something that would fit under the rubric of 'aerospace medicine.' I have found that the walls of academia are impenetrable in this regard because of reverence for Nobel awards in '63 and '78, and for ideas about electricity and the nervous system which can be traced back as far as 1902, and which have no clinical consequence whatsoever besides preventing the understanding and application of electrochemistry to the body. Can somebody help me here?
    Gregory C. O'Kelly ('70)

    #2
    you know Greg, I still have my doubts, but to be honest, your persistence here sparks my curiosity.

    Do you have something tangible for us?

    Comment


      #3
      Scott,you will find already on the web page, if you haven't already looked, figures showing the distribution of motor endplate regions (neuromuscular junctions) and ganglia over the body. There are 1,152 of them, 576 on each side of the body. You won't find this anywhere else, and it took me over two decades to find them and grasp the systemic pattern of their distribution. The points shown appear in different colors; click on the colors and you will see generally what that bit of muscular does. These are the points that must be stimulated transcutaneously with pulsed electrical fields from the anode of the direct current (monophasic) in order to simulate the nervous system trophism necessary to cause a muscle [or organ,or gland, all post-synaptic structures] to be strengthened and energized. By strengthening here I am talking about protein synthesis being triggerd by a process of reduction or anabolism, and that means the building of tissue. I recommend the electrochemical tutorial on the web site for a good background on the reason monophasic current has this affect. Almost everything there, except some of the images, is taken from widely used textbooks, and assembled on a theoretical model where it is appropriate. The result is accepted facts coming to some very controversial conclusions that have impact on the understanding and treatment of motor and systemic weakness. Unfortunately for FES, it doesn't look good.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the reply... I have skimmed through the site, but admittedly haven't read in scrutinizing detail. You're a good writer... but there's a heck of a lot to read that I haven't the time for quite yet.

        I'm more curious about what you've got in your hands, so to speak, aside from the scientific findings. Do you have a machine similar *in concept* to a FES bike?

        Comment


          #5
          From the web site you will see that I am having the machines manufactured to accomplish what I call 'galvanic revivification.' The only machines I have currently are the ones I have made myself and used for twenty-four years, 5 prototypes of the machines to be manufactured (4 of which are now being used by other handicapped). The machines will cost $135 or thereabouts each to manufacture, and will be available at cost plus shipping and handling. The machines are different from FES, and, if you have been reading the posts, you will understand that they are pulsed, mono-phasic wave machines quite like already available DC power supplies except that the frequency, voltage, and current flow are within the parameters for electrochemical stimulation of the body without causing skin ionization or burning - if one is trained properly. That will be the subject of the next things to be put on the web page, how to use the machine and equipment. The machines won't be available for two months. I am looking for those who are willing to give this a try.

          Comment


            #6
            cool, thanks... I'm just trying to get a better visual understanding of what you're working on. I have read the posts & I think I've got the premise of the actual functionality figured out.

            at $135 (that IS one-hundred thirty-five dollars, right?!?), I'd be up for giving it a try, if the proper instruction accompanies it. Heck, at that price I think you'd definitely have a good chance at convincing us skeptics that this really is legit, if the machines are that [financially] easily attainable.

            I'll stay tuned to your site & updates. I appreciate your response.

            Comment


              #7
              I'd be willing to test it at that price after more info is provided on it...

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

              Comment


                #8
                Steven, the $135 was for the machine, but you will need electrodes, as you will see when the instructions go up. You'll see it all in detail before having to make any purchase. I am currently having an engineer design and manufacture the anodes, the prototypes of which I just got through testing. Testing revealed some problems, mostly with size and manipulability, and endurance. The first ones could not survive very well a drop to the floor. I'm hoping to have everything assembled in kits, with instructions on the web page that explain why the machine does what it does, how to use it, what to watch for with regard to skin irritation (a minor problem really for someone who is simply mindful), and how to clean the cathode while at the same time encouraging its corrosion. If you have any questions, don't be afriad to ask here.
                My housemate, a double amputee from a plane crash, watched me do this for years before getting into it himself. Like others who have done this he has become very enthusiastic about doing this because it relieves pain and builds muscle. A mechanical genius, he came up with the idea of an anode with a roller on it so that it would be easier to learn and apply. He has introduced a number of women to it for small problems (e.g., carpal tunnel, chronic sinusitis), and they keep coming back because of the speed of relief from pain. But protein synthesis, muscle building, is a little slower, and takes regularity of treatment. It is so simple to do there is no reason why anybody can't learn how to do it. I'm hoping it catches on eventually so that the equipment, when produced in large quantities, will cost less than $200 for everything,and that will include a healthy profit for the vendor, whoever that might be. I am not looking to make money on this; I live comfortably as it is. It's the idea, the process, the use of electrochemistry that I am pushing, and I don't want to get caught up in the manufacturing and sales aspect. I am a scientist/philosopher, and not a businessman. I have noticed that all those who do this regularly become addicted to it, including myself. I think it might have something to do with endorphins.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just out of curiosity, if this device is not FDA approved, how are you going to avoid lawsuits by consumers and the FDA coming after you for selling something not FDA approvable?
                  "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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Greg,

                    What is the possibility for fractures from using this equipment?

                    I know this the primary issue surrounding FES and thereason for FDA limitations.

                    Has this issue been addressed by yourself and your engineers?

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

                    Comment


                      #11
                      First of all, Curt, I am not selling these devices, I am making them available at cost, and not to 'consumers' but to those who show a genuine interest in the procedure, who have viewed the web page and are therefore familiar with what is involved, who are 'trained' then in that sense, and who wish to see what it will do for them and those they love. This is unlike the consumer who buys something because of the salesman's credentials and ceritification, like FES, and who has no idea what to look for if the product should not work. In the case of what is called 'galvanic revivification', the electrochemical procedure I am offering for consideration here, in the training videos that will be on the web page the potential self-experimenter will be told in detail what to look for, in way of the procedure's affect on strength of muscle contraction and how it changes over time (growing stronger), in the way lights flash when one with eyes closed puts the anode to the the forehead, in the reddening of the skin beneath the electrode and how the skin affect at either electrode differs if the reddening is allowed to deepen, in the how the fingers will move when certain points are touched, how at one point the brow will lift but at another less than half an inch away the eye will close, how you can hear the frequency change as you turn the dial with the anode delivering power in front of the ear, and so on. If the experimenter does not see these things and experience these things, he does not have a nervous system. Such person does not need a lawyer to sue me, he needs a priest or a mortician.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Larwatson, fractures are extremely unlikely, and more likely to be healed then caused. The use of direct current on bone healing has long been studied, and on the web page in the essay "Breakout Session 3...", the one by the team of orthopedists, they even discuss the incredible findings of that sort of stimulation. One of the reasons bone breaking and fracturing is a consideration for those who use FES is that the contractions it causes can be quite powerful, even though on weak muscle. Furthermore, the way the electrodes are applied is to a large muscle group. DC stimulation causes weak contractions on weak muscle, contractions which grow stronger over time as the muscle is restored. You know we have musclo-skeletal systems, that is, we won't find strong muscles on weak bones, and weak muscles on healthy bones. FES makes even severely atrophic muscles contract strongly, and these muscle are on weak bones. FES is dangerous for the chronic paralytic in this regard. Furthermore, in a muscle group there may be up to sixteen neuromuscular junctions (the quadriceps and rectus femoris group). Stimulating with DC one goes to each of these junctions separately, overloading it to cause protein synthesis, but in no way that is remotely harmful to the bone.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I would caution anyone experimenting with this not to place the Cathode or the Anode anywhere near the heart. This could be a great way to stop the heart from beating if placed anywhere around that area of the chest.

                          Also the electrodes should not be placed anywhere on the head in my opinion, this is a great way to fry your brain.

                          I would suggest anyone considering this kind of therapy, be very cautious.
                          "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

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sounds sketchy. I guess time (& user reports) will tell. Greg, is Curt correct??

                            Keep us updated.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Curt, I always urge people to be cautious, or at least mindful, of what they are doing. In the origninal posting in this thread I wrote of the continuing superstition and ignorance with regard to the affects of electrical charge on the body. I want to say that the idea that one might stop one's heart or fry one's brain, especially at the current strengths and voltages provided by the equipment, is almost totally off the mark. The user controls the power setting, and it is only through a mistake that he might put the anode to the head while the power is high, and get something akin to a hammer blow to the head. That is why I stress familiarity with the equipment and its use, learning of proper technique, before doing anything like putting the anode to the head. The general rule is if it doesn't hurt your hand, it is safe to use on the head and neck. When I was consulting with an engineer about the first unit he put together for testing, the first thing I did to test its strength was put the anode over my heart and turn the power up all the way. The engineer's eyes grew as big as saucers when I did this. I said it was not powerful enough, and asked him if he ever shocked himself deliberately. He replied no, and said that to feel a shock meant that one had either done something wrong or careless. This is the state of understanding of engineers about electricity, and it is seen clearly in the case of Jerold Petrofsky, an engineer who has no idea that biphasic current is useless because he does not understand electrochemistry and its role in the functioning of bodys with nervous systems. Nevertheless, I understand the prudence of your warning. You will find the material on the web page explaining and demonstrating the use of the machine and why the wave form is the way it is, to be very complete when it is finished. But that won't be for another month. This will be about the time the equipment is available for those who wish to check it out. I have been using the equipment regularly on my heart and head, and find it absolutely enjoyable and relaxing. In fact the ganglia for the vagus nerve's inputs to the heart and some muscles of the upper thorax, can be stimulated at full power without even painful skin sensation (or so it is for me) Even beginners who trust me yet are skeptical, when the anode is applied to the neck at the same strength being used on the hand, remark about how relaxing and warming the stimulus is even though their heads are jerked around by it. Electrocardiograms done by the VA to check my heart functioning found it to be, in the words of the examining physician, 'textbook perfect.' And my blood pressure is usually 95 over 60. The acuity of my vision is better than 35 years ago when, at the Air Force Academy, I was told my eyes weren't good enough for me to go to pilot training. When I was flying privately ten years ago the examining physician for my medical found my eyes good enough to not need glasses. My dentist is impressed with the density and health of my jawbone and teeth. The caution you advise is good for the beginner, the person not yet familiar with the procedure who has not developed good technique, but over time fascination with the results and the feeling will lead the user to turn up the power higher than is needed just because it feels so good.

                              Comment

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