Often referred to as MENS (Microcurrent Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation), proponents tout microcurrent therapy as the most effective form of electro-therapy available. The basis of their claims stem from the size of the wave length—rather the lack of size. Microcurrent is tiny, one-millionth the size of on amp in fact, which happens to be the same strength as the natural electrical current that flows through our bodies on a cellular level. When a cell is injured its capillaries dilate allowing excess blood proteins to enter which promotes bloating and pain commences. Multiple bloated cells in a given area of the body constitute visible swelling.
While swelling may be our body’s natural way of protecting a wound, it has many drawbacks that impede the healing process. When cells are damaged and swollen they become nearly impervious to our body’s natural electrical current. Without this electricity the cell is unable to oxygenate, absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, exchange ions, conduct protein synthesis and produce ATP (the protein that is chiefly responsible for giving us energy). Even the cells polarity may be askew, oscillating randomly. Only with time do the cells that can receive some electrical current heal. Those that are too damaged to heal die and are discarded by the body.
The problem with this natural healing process is the time it takes. Anyone who has ever had a sprained ankle or a torn ACL knows this. If only there was a way to speed things up.
With MENS there is a way.
Bombarding an injured area of the body with excess electrical current vastly increases the amount of electricity that penetrates the membrane of the damage cells—up to 500 percent some studies suggest. The more current that reaches the interior of a cell, the quicker it can expel waste, create ADT, process ions, and re-polarize. Only then can it absorb nutrients and oxygen and resume normal cell physiology.
More so than any other modality, microcurrent is effective at aiding and even speeding up the healing process. (Double-blind studies were conducted by Lerner and Kirsch). Although popular, TENS works best for temporary pain relief by occupying the nerve channels that transmit the pain signal. But because of the size of its wavelength (1000 times larger than microcurrent) it can’t penetrate the cell wall to aid in healing as MENS can. Ultrasound can penetrate the cell wall but its function is to excite liquids using vibrations. It has its own useful purposes.
MENS has uses beyond healing and pain relief. Many practitioners use microcurrent for cell rejuvenation, particularly within the body’s largest organ—skin. As they age skin cells begin to lose their capacity to produce collagen, which is the substance that gives youthful skin that tight and vibrant look. Studies have shown that when aging skin cells are re-excited with microcurrent, they produce more natural collagen. Microcurrent also stimulates the muscles just beneath the skin helping to tighten them.
No matter the desired outcome microcurrent definitely has some impressive history of positive outcomes. Athletes such as Joe Montana have used MENS to recover and return to the game.
Check with your doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor to learn more and experience MENS for yourself.