The Electro-Acuscope and Electro-Myopulse Therapy System is a non-invasive modality utilizing a low voltage current to match the requirements of the patient's body. These instruments have successfully treated common equine and canine problems such as pulled muscles, strained tendons and ligaments, inflammation, abscessed feet, and nerve paralysis. It is particularly successful in relieving or greatly reducing the swelling and pain of tissue damage occurring from athletic injury. In addition, the Acuscope has proven to be effective in the treatment of conditions thought to be life threatening or crippling, such as laminitis, navicular problems, deep puncture wounds, and deteriorating coffin bones. This therapy system is in the family of electro-therapy, with the instruments being designed with a safe and effective amount of current called microcurrent.
The Electro-Acuscope is FDA approved for use on humans. It has been used in doctor's offices, physical therapy practices, and hospitals since 1978. The Acuscope has been successfully used by many sports medicine clinics and is especially well-known for its success in treating professional athletes. Although the Acuscope has been primarily recommended for orthopedic, neurologic and arthritic discomfort, the instrument's use is not limited to pain relief. In equine therapy, the Acuscope has been used for over twenty years to treat a vast number of conditions and injuries.
The Acuscope assists the body in healing itself by improving the circulation of blood and oxygen in the involved area, and normalizing the electrical circuitry in the nerves and muscles of damaged tissue. The body is made up of a vast number of cells. In many ways these cells act like tiny batteries storing and releasing energy, doing their work of taking in nutrients, releasing waste products, repairing and reproducing themselves, etc. Each cell has a measurable electrical charge which must be maintained in order to function properly.
Energy flows constantly between all cells throughout the electrical circuitry of the body. When damage or trauma occurs to living tissue, there is a disruption in the electrical capacity of the involved cells and after an initial surge, there results a measurable decrease in the production and flow of energy through the electrical network of the involved tissues. This condition is generally accompanied by pain in the area and often results in the body's inability to completely repair itself. Thus, lengthy rest periods and inactivity are often prescribed in order to attain eventual restoration of normal function.
At this point, the Acuscope is frequently introduced. Since the instrument has both feedback and therapeutic functions, it actually provides auditory and numerical readouts which indicate the locations where tissue is damaged and unhealthy. Once abnormal areas are located, the Acuscope can then treat the tissue according to its needs. An experienced therapist can interpret the sounds and numbers which reflect the amount of conductivity passing through the tissue between treatment probes and can determine a course of therapy based upon these readings. Swelling and inflammation are translated into high numbers on an LED display along with corresponding high-pitched tones. The Acuscope readings tell the therapist where the problem is most severe, and it can pinpoint precise areas of excessive heat and fluid in acutely damaged sites. It can also identify tissue which has become chronic, i.e. an area of deficiency in an energy-depleted state. Low numbers and tones reflect tissue which is unable to complete the healing process and incapable of returning to a normal, healthy condition without assistance. In addition, the Acuscope can help locate problem areas in other parts of the body which have become sore or painful as a result of compensating for the original cause.
For example, an all too common condition such as a bowed tendon will initially cause the horse to refuse to bear weight on the injured leg. Acuscope readings will initially reflect the excessive electrical activity in the area resulting from the heat and inflammation in the traumatized tendon. Immediate treatment to the involved site can help accelerate the healing process. A horse with a bowed tendon which has not received Acuscope treatments will spend a prolonged amount of time with opposite leg bearing the majority of the weight, which can cause secondary conditions from overcompensation where the muscles/tendons/ligaments of that leg will become strained and sore. With Acuscope treatments, these secondary complications can be prevented by keeping the body balanced, comfortable, and in a healthier state.
Acuscope therapy is a modality applied primarily for pain relief, to improve soft tissue function, and to increase range of motion. The Acuscope differs from other electrical stimulation devices in that it delivers its' treatments in micro-amps. Most nerve stimulations devices (TENS) produce milli-amperage current designed to bombard the tissue and simply block pain signals from reaching the brain. The Acuscope, in contrast, generates only the level of current required to gently encourage nerve and muscle fiber to return to conduction of normal electrical impulses. Also in contrast, ordinary TENS devices provide only temporary relief, whereas a series of Acuscope treatments have a cumulative, long-term healing effect.
The advanced and sophisticated technology of the Acuscope has been used extensively over the past twenty years, by and under the supervision of many veterinarians to deal with the most serious injuries and acute life threatening conditions of the equine athlete.
In numerous recent scientific studies, micro-current therapy has been proven to have a profoundly beneficial effect on living tissue. Micro-amperage (below 1 milliamp) is the naturally occurring level of current generated by cells throughout the body. In technical terms, some of the benefits of micro-current therapy at the cellular level are: opening of voltage-sensitive calcium ion channels, normalizing cell membrane potential, restoring the sodium pump function, enhancing protein synthesis, and increasing ATP production. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why supplying the kind of current that naturally occurs in healthy tissue promotes regenerative metabolic activity.
Another unique feature, which sets the Acuscope apart from other electrical stimulation devices, in the micro-chip circuitry that is designed to scan and monitor the tissue. Other electrical stimulation units gather no feedback and produce only a simple fixed output according to preset specifications. The Acuscope reads neurological impedance (resistance) in the circuit created through the tissue placed between the two probes or electrodes. Based on the information it gathers, the unit is programmed to calculate appropriate corrective waveforms. Acuscopes used on horses are specially calibrated to take into account their higher metabolic rates than those found in humans. Computerized circuitry picks up abnormalities in the nerve fiber impulses (input), and modifies its infinitely variable square wave signal (output) appropriately. Its' self-correcting mechanisms continually adjust the current until normal patterns are being conducted without resistance through the tissue between the probes. The readings then tell the therapists when an area has been successfully treated and the probes can be moved to another location. This feedback modulated procedure eliminates the possibility of over-treatment or harm to the cells.
Remarkably, results are usually noticeable immediately, with continued improvement over the following few days. Within a week, most conditions will have progressed dramatically. Chronic conditions may take several treatments before initial results are observed, yet Acuscope treatments are known to resolve serious conditions which would otherwise never improve. Enhanced alertness, calmness, definite gait changes, coordination, and balance are typically some of the immediate results along with reduction of pain, swelling, and relief from muscle tightness. It has been consistently observed that the animal becomes extremely relaxed from this non-invasive procedure. Horses are often observed relaxing through a treatment by lowering their head, giving a deep sigh of relief, bending a rear leg, licking and chewing, and yawning.
Horses are started with an initial series of three treatments within a 72-hour period. This is to ensure a proper introduction to the therapy system, as well as create a strong base for long-term results. After the initial treatments are completed a follow-up program is suggested depending on the needs of the individual horse.
Microcurrent therapy has been scientifically proven to be the most significant form of therapeutic applications for a wide range of injuries and conditions, along with having beneficial effects for general maintenance. This modality is a form of electro-therapy, delivering a safe and effective level of current to the body.
Microcurrent is significant because it is the same level of current that our bodies produce naturally. This leads to the body being able to recognize the amount of current being delivered at the time treatments are being administered, and therefore it is able to respond more efficiently to these types of treatments. Microcurrent is equivalent to one millionth of an ampere, a small yet effective amount of current that the body requires to sustain life and to be able to recovery from injuries.
The Electro-Acuscope/Myopulse Therapy System is known for obtaining, and retaining its own FDA approval for every instrument model that's available in today's market. This therapy system, when used properly, has been deemed safe and effective for several uses:
One of the most prominent benefits of this therapy system for animal use is the biofeedback system. This is a monitoring system through a pre-programmed computer circuitry. The animal calibrated instruments are programmed with the required information for cellular function in animals in order for the instrument to be able to internally adjust its output according to what each individual animal is requiring at the time of each session. This means that when these instruments are used properly, and appropriately calibrated for animal tissue, the risk of overstimulation can not occur!
The proper programming and calibration is needed for effective animal applications due to the differences in basic physiology between humans and animals. Between different breeds of animals alone, there is 30-90% difference in cellular function. If this information is not programmed into the computer circuitry of the instrument, then the practitioner is applying a "fixed output" treatment. This means that the capability of the instrument to internally adjust to the needs of the animal is not longer applicable, and the instrument is delivering a "fixed output" microcurrent treatment where overstimulation can occur.
What are these physiological differences between humans and animals? Here are a few main differences:
Due to these remarkable differences, the need for properly calibrated equipment in conjunction with proper training is essential in obtaining the optimal results that this therapy system is designed to produce.
Written by: Molly Wells
The Electro-Acuscope is a highly sophisticated electronic medical instrument which is designed to scan and treat many types of painful conditions. It is one of a class of electrical stimulators called TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). TENS means that the instrument uses electricity to reduce pain by stimulating the nervous system of the body without puncturing the skin in any way.
The Myopulse, companion instrument to the Acuscope, gently stimulates the muscles, tendons and ligaments, reducing spasm and inflammation, and strengthens tissue that has been damaged by traumatic injury. Together they comprise the most technologically advanced and effective electronic physical therapy equipment available in health care today.
The Acuscope and Myopulse establish a two-way communication between their own circuitry and the electrical signals from the area of the patient's body being treated. Using biofeedback technology, they measure such things as tissue conductivity and cell capacitance (the capacity of cells to hold an electrical charge). Generally, tissue conductance is very low in an area of chronic pain and abnormally high in areas of inflammation. In order to correct abnormalities, the treatment introduces gentle currents in waveforms similar to the body's own electrical signals. The Acuscope is programmed to generate the current pulse which damaged nerve tissue requires in order to return to a normal, pain free state. The Myoscope sends corrective signals specific to muscle and other connective, contractile tissue so that the cells can begin the work of self-repair.
The Electro-Acuscope and Electro-Myopulse are micro current instruments. The amount of electricity generated by the instruments is measured in micro-amps (millionths of an amp) an extremely tiny amount of current that is equivalent to what the body produces naturally. It has been scientifically proven that this low level of current produces the most beneficial effect on the body's cells.
Both instruments produce electrical signals in patterns similar to and compatible with that which is produced by the body's own normal, healthy cells, the level of energy which is constantly flowing through every living person and animal.
Every living body is made up of a vast number of cells which store and release energy. Each cell has a measurable electrical charge and therefore there is a constant energy flow maintained between cells throughout the electrical circuitry of the body.
When damage or trauma occurs, there is a disruption in the production of electricity and a measurable decrease in the flow of energy through the tissues involved. This condition is called electrical resistance and is generally accompanied by a sensation of pain in the area.
During treatment, the Acuscope introduces mild electrical current into the cells of the body in order to return the tissue to a normal level of electrical activity. While providing beneficial electrical current, the treatment causes the body to improve circulation, produce and more effectively utilize proteins and other nutrients required to cell metabolism and repair. In this way, the instrument assists the body in accelerating the natural self-healing processes. In addition, mild electrical current causes the body to generate chemicals called "endorphins", naturally occurring pain suppressors. The immediate pain relieving results, as well as the long term benefits of an Acuscope/Myopulse treatment, may therefore be considered an electro-chemical response occurring in the involved area at a cellular level.
Mild current stimulation, ideally at the level of 500uA (micro-amps) or less, has been proven to cause the cells of the body to increase production of the chemical ATP which responsible for cellular energy production. It has also been shown to increase protein synthesis, the building blocks of tissue, which allows the cells to begin to repair themselves. This low level of current is known to improve certain cellular functions which pump ions (such as sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.) into the cells, and to increase the transport of waste products out of the cells thereby assisting in the flushing of toxins out of the tissue.
As these chemical reactions build up with each treatment, the tissue is able to repair itself more completely. The "charge" on the tissue begins to hold and its ability to generate its own normal energy is restored. In most cases of neuro-muscular pathology, a series of treatments leads to permanent relief.
The pain relief that follows each treatment of a given area will last longer and longer, and each successive treatment will require a shorter amount of time to be effective.
The number of treatments required will depend on the severity and extent of the condition as well as the body's ability to heal itself. Age, general state of health, habits, and even state of mind may influence the length of time required for complete recovery. Somewhere between five and fifteen treatments is the normal average.
Unlike other forms of pain relief, such as therapy with certain drugs or higher amperage electrical stimulators, the body does not build up a tolerance to Acuscope treatments. Both with many pain medications and most hi-amp devices, prolonged use requires higher and higher doses of medications or increased time and amounts of electricity to achieve the desired pain reduction effect. With Electro-Acuscope/Myopulse treatments, sessions of shorter and shorter duration produce more dramatic and longer lasting effects, until treatment is no longer required. By definition, this is called the "cumulative" effect.
Why is conductive solution important?
Special characteristics of conductive solutions are very important because they reflect the type of treatment benefits your client will receive. Often miss-understood, the ion composition of solution materials merit special consideration. The solutions developed for animal therapy have a multi purpose task: stability of electrode potentials, ability to reject "noise" under the electrodes, ability to match the input amplifier impedance, ability to eliminate distortion due to phase shift difference at various frequencies and conditions etc.
How are ingredients able to penetrate the skin in order to work?
EquiSol type solutions were developed based on micro-ion technology with selected polar ingredients to match mutual attraction effect between positive and negative ion. The conductive solution is used simultaneously under the direction of the instruments signal to insure penetration and absorption down to the blood vessel to nourish and repair tissue as well as regulating stability of electrode potentials.
Can other conductive electrolytes such as EKG, EMG, EEG or Ultrasound high velocity compounds be used to substitute conductive solutions specially developed for Acuscope animal therapy?
The answer is no. The importance of the client's short and long term rehabilitation treatment benefit, along with the electrode to solution interface is one of the most critical areas of concern.
Unmatched electrolytes can overproduce or diminish the average response magnitude and even produce unwanted voltages, therefore causing waveform distortions and thereby canceling the intended tissue restoration benefits.
For example when you use other conductive compounds, loading of electrode current density is increased and the resistive and reactive components of the electrode-electrolyte impedance become non-linear.
Because of this non-linearity, the magnitude of the electrode impedance becomes a function of the amplitude of the bioelectric event. Thus small and large-amplitude signals will encounter different impedance; therefore creating conflicts with undesirable or counterproductive therapeutic yields. Each electrolyte will produce its own physiological effects.
The conductive solution compounds such as Equisol 2000 and other manufacturer suggested products specially developed for animal therapy are essential and the only suitable choice.
By visiting each of the companies websites that produce EKG, EMG, EEG, and Ultrasound solutions will confirm that those solutions are not appropriate to use for microcurrent treatment applications. According to the companies themselves, they do not advise use of their solutions for microcurrent therapy.
How do I find out if my instrument is animal calibrated?
If you are purchasing instruments through Equinessence for animal applications, your instruments will be verified as animal calibrated instruments.
If someone is buying used instruments, they should verify by serial number of the device to know if the instrument was calibrated for animal use. People can submit the serial numbers for verification by contacting us directly. Arrangements can be made if calibration is found necessary, however the cost is high.
How much it will cost to have Acuscope calibrated for animal use?
When purchasing new equipment there is no additional charge for animal calibration. Used equipment that is in need of re-calibration will depend on the condition and age of the equipment. We are able to give quotes for recalibration and services when the serial number is submitted to verify a used instrument.
Due to the Electro-Acuscope/Myopulse Therapy System being FDA approved, every aspect of the instruments have been proven and independently tested for safety and efficacy of the treatments. The standards that accompany FDA approved equipment is a well known, accepted, and expected aspect when dealing with medical instruments in professional settings with licensed professionals. The testing that has taken place throughout the history of this therapy system includes the conductive solution, and the accessories that are used (electrodes, cords, etc.) during the applications of treatments.
According to a study that was produced by the manufacturer, the solution must be highly conductive with the least amount of resistance in order to provide safe, effective, and accurate treatments. The importance of this interfacing between the instrument and the animal is due to the biofeedback system that the instruments are designed with. This monitoring system (biofeedback) must be able to clearly calculate the needs of the tissue, and internally adjust its output according to what each individual animal is requiring at the time of every session.
Unapproved solutions that are mentioned in the study (such as ultrasound gel) will scatter the signals and confuse the biofeedback principles of this therapy system, while only being able to deliver the current to the outermost layer of dead skin cells (not having the ability for deeper penetration into the body). The approved solutions ensure penetration and absorption down to the blood vessel to nourish and repair tissue as well as regulating stability of electrode potentials.
The study also found that unapproved solutions will "spike" or overproduce the current being delivered, turning it into a high voltage modality where the benefits of microcurrent no longer exist. This predisposes the tissue to fatigue and detriment over time. Utilizing unapproved solutions and accessories will void the protection for safe and effective treatments by the FDA.
In order for a therapist to remain FDA compliant while working within their proper scope of practice, one must follow all of the guidelines set forth by the overseeing bodies of this therapy system. This includes that they only use the solutions and accessories that have been tested and approved by both the manufacturer and the FDA.
Independent and unbiased research can be done by visiting the FDA website directly to verify this information.
Written by: Molly Wells
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