The Mechanism of the Electric Field Therapy Apparatus' Effects

3.1 Electricity's Biophysical Interactions

Biophysical interactions derived from the effects that electricity (or electric fields, in a broad sense) has on the body can be divided into the following three:

The stimulative effects of electric current (1) are sensory reactions to stimuli caused by electric current running through the body. The types of stimuli depend on the length of time the current flows. Electric current stimuli also depend on the frequency, creating larger stimulation at low frequencies and smaller stimulation at high frequencies. A typical physiotherapy apparatus is the low frequency therapy apparatus which applies an electric current of special wave form of a few to several thousand Hz to a living body, creating effects similar to a slight nervous paralysis or a massaging effect.

Heat generation (2) is caused by the electromagnetic energy absorbed by the body. A physiotherapy apparatus typical of this type would be an ultra short wavelength therapy apparatus that passes high frequency current from an electrode to generate heat inside the body. This produces warming effects such as improvements in the circulation of blood.

One of the other effects (3) includes what is called "non-thermal effects". These are considered to be unique to phenomena other than heat. An example would be the effect on the body by electric fields of extremely low frequencies (ELF) of 50 –60 Hz. Shenpix Electric Field Therapy Apparatus is a physiotherapy apparatus that employs this non-thermal effect.

ELF electric fields' effects on the body (non-thermal effects) are as follows:

3.2 The Mechanism of the Electric Field Therapy Apparatus' Effects

3.2.1 Effects of sensory receptors on the body surface

(1) Stimuli by body hair movement

Hairs on body surface can be expressed with an electric constant. A cylindrical inducer (hair) is standing at an angle on a flat conductor (skin). When an electric field is applied to a body surface in this manner, dielectric strength is applied to the body hair causing the hair to rise.

When an electric field is generated on a cat's hind leg, for example, the electric force (dielectric strength) of the field makes the body hair move, and action potential is generated in the nerve fibers that stimulate the sensory receptors of the body hair. Receiving a signal of such an action potential, the brain recognizes the electric fields surrounding the leg.

Sensory information is first sent to basal ganglia in the thalamus of the interbrain. The thalamus has nerve fibers that transmit information to the hypothalamus. The stimulus transmitted to the body surface by electric fields has an effect on the brain's hypothalamus, which is the center of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrinal system.

The stimuli made by the movement of body hair to the skin of the whole body are similar to the principles of acupuncture and moxibustion of the Chinese medicine. It can be explained that stimulating acupuncture points that are all over the skin surface causes particular organs to react, which is called the reflexes of internal organ parieties.

(2) Effects on the autonomic nervous and endocrinal systems

The time-series change in the amount of corticosterone (glucocorticoid) in mature rats' serums after a 15-minute exposure to an electric field therapy apparatus (7,000 V) was visible with a test.

After the exposure to the apparatus, corticosterone continued to decrease for several hours after treatment. After 24 hours, its level returned to nearly the original amount. This means that the apparatus has a mild endocrinal effect through the pituitary gland and adrenal cortex systems, which suggests the existence of a stress-relieving effect on the central nervous system.

It was also shown that the exposure tot the apparatus significantly lowered adrenocortical hormone (ACTH). On the other hand, no change was seen in catecholamine (noradrenalin, adrenaline and dopamine).

The effects on the autonomic nervous and endocrinal systems activate the natural healing power to maintain homeostasis to ease unpleasant symptoms of various kinds.

3.2.2 Effects of electric current induced into the body

There are 3 types of effects that are caused by the induction of a very small amount of electric current into the body:

Changes in body fluids (1) can be seen as the skin (especially the inner skin) impedance changes due to the effects of the electric current running through electrolytes (body fluids), such as ionizing.

Changes in the permeability of cell membranes (2) are caused by a small amount of electric current (microampere: one one-millionth of an ampere) that is induced into the body and runs through the membrane-dependent calcium channel (VOC) and depolarizes enough cell membrane for absorbing calcium ions. The increased intracellular calcium ions then play a fundamental role of affecting the cell wall and ion movement, including the increase of ATP production in the mitochondria.

The microampere-level electric current activates the electron-transmitting system of intracellular mitochondria (3) and enhances the synthesizing of ATP. This enhances metabolism, facilitates the restoration and regenerates cells, and adjusts, recovers and improves the muscular tone. The current also restores and expands blood vessels, improving the circulation and lymph fluid flow as it ease pain.

Electric current induced into body has effects on body fluids and cells, enhancing the metabolism of the cells and tissues and easing stiffness and pains. It is also effective as a treatment for stiffness in the shoulders, backache, knee pain, etc. Some test results show that it also promotes the healing of fractured bones.