Introduction to application of electric fields for healing wounds
- 26 July 2006
- From New Scientist Print Edition.
- Andy Coghlan
Josef Penninger of the Austrian Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna and Min Zhao of the University of Aberdeen, UK, have demonstrated that natural electric fields and currents in tissue play a vital role in orchestrating the wound-healing process by attracting repair cells [peptides] to damaged areas.
The researchers have also identified the genes that control the process. "We were originally sceptical, but then we realised it was a real effect and looked for the genes responsible," Penninger says. "It's not homeopathy, it's biophysics."
Audio: Listen to Colin McCaig, also from the University of Aberdeen, discuss electricity and wound healing with New Scientist's Caroline Williams (mp3 file). Listen to all the New Scientist podcasts here.
Cells and tissues essentially function as chemical batteries, with positively charged potassium ions and negatively charged chloride ions flowing across membranes. This creates electric field patterns all over the body. When tissue is wounded this disrupts the battery, effectively "short-circuiting" it. Penninger and his colleagues realised that it is the resulting altered fields that attract and guide repair cells [peptides] to the damaged area.
The researchers grew layers of mouse cells and larger tissues, such as corneas, in the lab. After "wounding" these tissues, they applied varying electric fields to them, and found they could accelerate or completely halt the healing process depending on the orientation and strength of the field (Nature, vol 442, p 457).
Next, they set about finding which genes were involved. They looked at those already known to make repair cells migrate under the influence of chemical growth factors and attractants, and found that their level of expression could be influenced by electric fields. "We have not reinvented the cells' genetic
migration machinery," says Penninger. "We have simply shown that electric fields switch them on too." The gene expression of several types of repair cells was affected, including neutrophils and fibroblasts.
They then focused on one particular gene known to prepare cells for migration, and another that halts the process. When the team knocked out the migration "promoter" gene, wounds exposed to electric fields healed more slowly. They healed faster when the migration "blocker" was knocked out.
The next stage is to investigate ways of manipulating the phenomenon to accelerate healing, says Mark Ferguson, a wound-healing specialist at the University of Manchester, UK. "For many years there have been anecdotal reports of the effects of electrical currents on wound healing," he says. "This paper not only demonstrates the effects of electrical currents on cellular migration to wound defects, it also provides a mechanistic understanding of how such signals alter cell behaviour."
From issue 2562 of New Scientist magazine, 26 July 2006, page 13
As it turns out the Russians already performed this research on application of varying electric fields in healing tissues decades ago. A small device by the acronym, SCENAR, is now being distributed worldwide for consumers and health practitioners alike. Instead of applying the same electric signal that may have induced a successful response in the lab, the SCENAR signal responds to the induced bioelectrical field or biofeedback with the proper bioresonant signal. Please read the following:
Excerpted from "The Body Electric," by Robert Becker, MD.
Self Controlling Energo-Neuro Adaptive Regulation, was developed for the Russian space program to overcome the unique problems of space travel. Pharmaceuticals were impractical due to the specificity of each drug, leading to a need to store a large variety and quantity of drugs, and also due to the introduction of toxins into the water recycling system, such that one treatment may well treat the whole crew.
A Russian team of doctors and scientists, based at Sochi University and led by Alexander Karasev in the late 1970s, developed a method of treatment that was energy efficient, multi-applicable, portable and also non-invasive. They were the first people to achieve repeatable therapeutic treatment using electrical signals to stimulate the immune system. Head scientist Professor Revenko claimed that there were VERY FEW ILLNESSES SCENAR could not treat and often cure. Tests conducted in Russia have since proven the Scenar effective in 80% of cases.
The SCENAR was immediately dubbed the "Star Trek" Device by the press because of its origins and its similarity to the "all-curing" medical scanner used in the series, Star Trek.
How it works
The SCENAR uses [bioenergetic] biofeedback: By stimulating the nervous system [through feeding back a resonant signal to the induced bioelectric fields], it is able to teach the body to heal itself. The device sends out a series of signals [which mimic the bioelectric signals of the nervous system] through the skin and measures the response; [This device is simular to a scalar wave device known as the "Pulse Wave Myotron;" it produces artificial elliptical wave forms carried by microvolt and nanovolt impulses driven by fractions of an ampere which very closely emulates the elliptical wave forms of the brain, but it does not bother with biofeedback. The SCENAR also emulates the action of a sonar which utilizes doppler waves to map a terrain, but instead of mapping, the SCENAR feeds the reflected wave form back to the tissues.]
Each signal is only sent out when a change, in response to the previous signal, is recorded in the electrical properties of the skin. Visible responses include reddening of the skin, numbness, stickiness (the device will have the feeling of being magnetically dragged due to an induced nuclear magnetic resonance with the epidermal layer), a change in the numerical readout and an increase in the electronic clattering of the device. The C-fibres, which comprise 85% of all nerves in the body, react most readily to the electro-stimulation and are responsible for the production of neuropeptides and other regulatory peptides. The body can get accustomed to a stable pathological state, which may have been caused by injury, disease or toxicity.
Webmaster's Note: As you might know, our bodies have built in mechanisms for self preservation (i.e. the living body likes to maintain homeostasis). Our bodies like to maintain equilibrium under any circumstance; this is known as habituation. As a result, the living body is capable of very strange things.
When a limb or a piece of the brain is lost, the body adjusts the circuital pathes of the nervous system with the incurring electric fields to compensate for the trauma. The body compensates with all manner of symptoms and multiple miasms when attacked by disease. The body may also seem to work against itself when we starve it of fat and cholesterol. Our bodies even work to our own detriment when we become addicted to drugs and junk food. The equilibrium we seem to obtain when we develop a "tolerance" to toxic substances is actually a vegetative weakening of vital biological functions including the subject's emotional and logical constitutions.
Habituation of a pathological state is simply the subject's own body "giving in" to an intolerable situation while trying to meet your psychological addictions as well. With SCENAR technology, we are giving the body a choice of healing itself through neuropeptide resequencing of damaged tissues. In essence, with this technology, we reactivate the self-regulatory mechanisms that were pushed out of the wholistic equilibrium the body had when it was completely functioning.
The SCENAR catalyses the process to produce regulatory peptides by stimulation of C-fibers of the cutaneous nerves for the body to use where necessary. It is these neuropeptides that in turn reestablish the body's natural physiological state and are responsible for the healing process. As these peptides last up to several hours, the healing process will continue long after the treatment is over. The large quantity of neuropeptides and C-fibres in the Central Nervous System can also result in the treatment on one area aiding with other chemical imbalances, correcting sleeplessness, appetite and behavioral problems.
In Russia, there are over 50,000 cases of the device's use and some 600 practitioners currently use the device as their principal treatment instrument. A vast wealth of information is available from research papers, clinical reports and training manuals.
The device is used on most types of disease or injury: circulatory, sensory, respiratory, neurological, genito-urinary, musculo-skeletal, gastro-intestinal, endocrine, immune and psychological disorders. The SCENAR is also credited with vastly reducing recovery times.
Russian athletes have been known not only to compete after serious injuries, but even to break world-records. In accident and emergency wards, its ability to aid recovery is used to help victims of cardiac arrest, massive trauma and coma. It has recently been discovered to also aid in improving learning ability, memory, sexual function and improved physical health. Finally trials in Russia have also realised SCENAR's usage for pain relief. Both cancer and fracture patients have found more pain relief from the release of natural opoids after SCENAR treatment than from administered opiates.
The Scenar weighs approximately 300grams, is 200mm in length, with an electrical contact at one end and runs off a 9V battery. This is run over the spine and abdomen or the infected area, recording the resistive response to its signals and using its sophisticated software to return a fresh signal. A gentle tingling/stroking sensation will be felt. The practitioner is looking for anomalies on the skin surface, which may be highlighted by redness, numbness, stickiness or a change in numerical display or sound. (Actually, these symptoms are a homeopathic response and the homeopathic response mechanism IS a biophysical phenomenon whether or not the mechanistic researchers admit to it.) Although these areas may not seem to directly relate to the obvious symptom, by treating these "asymmetries"©, (as the Russians call them), the healing process will commence.
Patients having Scenar treatment need to take responsibility for their health and are advised to participate actively in the treatment and recovery process. The chemical compounds, released by the nerves, affect not only the problem areas, but also circulate in the blood treating other areas of the body. This goes some way to explaining how old and often forgotten problems are brought to the surface for treatment. The Russian Researchers state that a chronic problem that the patient has may take up to 6 weeks treatment, with long-lasting effectiveness. Acute problems may just take one or two treatments. They say that the SCENAR proves effective in 80% of all cases, of which full recovery occurs in 2/3rds of them and significant healing in the remainder.
Patients generally experience an increase in energy, more refreshing sleep and an improved sense of well being. How does it differ from other therapies? There are several ways in which it differs from other
electrical therapies. Unlike TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines, each impulse is different from the previous one so the body is unable to adapt to the signal. The Scenar impulse is high amplitude so it stimulates C-fibres, which make up about 85% of the nerves in the body. This explains the quick effectiveness of SCENAR therapy on the whole body.
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