Writing a ‘blog’ is usually written to give personal points of view about specifically related subjects. This is especially so on a company’s website where this particular one is found so this one follows the same pattern. Electrotherapy takes Its name in part from the Greek word ἤλεκτρον ‘Electron’ meaning amber and ‘Therapia’ meaning to heal, also via the Latin from the Greek. Amber was found to attract silk to it and other very light objects at certain times especially if the silk had been drawn over a piece of amber beforehand. Thales of Miletus about 640-546 BC noticed this phenomenon and gave it the name ‘Electron effect’. The link between electricity and the Greek discovery was not realised until well into the second half of the second millennia. The amber effect can be linked to many other examples of friction causing an attractive charge. Lightening being such an example. The ‘rubbing‘ of water molecules against molecules of air as they fall causes an ever increasing attraction between the ground and the clouds resulting in a discharge to balance out the effect. Hence the flash of light and the bang heard from the heat causing a shock wave expanding from around the path of the discharge. Very interesting, you may ask, but what as all this to do with therapy and electrotherapy? Well, read on if you are not particularly scientific in nature but curious enough to want to know about how things work.
The whole body whether human or any other species works and is sustained throughout life by electronic attraction in some way. The word ‘atom’ also comes from the Greek ‘Atomos’ meaning indivisible and thought to be the smallest possible divisible particle of an element. This in general turned out to be true but they did not reckon on the glue that holds together all solids liquids and gasses being caused by an even smaller particle called the electron. This being the link holding together all elemental atoms and compound mixtures of different types of atoms.
Electrons are a sub-atomic particle named directly after the Greek word for amber for good reason. Rubbing silk against amber causes some of the electrons to leave the silk transferring to the amber. This unnatural loss of electrons by the silk creates a charge between the amber and the silk that in turn causes the silk to try to cling to the amber to regain its lost electrons. Where there are excess electrons as in charged amber then this is said to ‘negatively charged. Conversely where electrons have been lost becomes positively charged. Extreme balancing of electron charges can be seen as lightening in thunderstorms. The whole function of the body whether in motion, sight, smell hearing touch sensors and brain processes relies upon an unbalance state of electrons to attract various nutrients and compounds into cells. Specific electrotherapies are useful is where they have the ability to influence electrons in the body to form charges. Electrons also exhibit the property that when transiting between atoms they cause a small magnetic field whilst in motion. If billions of electrons are in motion the then field is very strong. Conversely if we cause a sufficiently rapidly pulsing chain of magnetic fields then this causes electrons to be pushed aside as the field sweeps through tissue. This builds up charges in tissue. When injury or disease damages cells the charge that attracts nutrients is lost as the cell is ruptured. Although the cells quickly repair the rupture, the loss of charge affects the ability of the cells to function. Sweeping a rapidly changing magnetic field through the area of injury causes the formation of a charge outside of the injured cells effectively aiding the damage cell to return to its normal charge balance and thus aiding repair. Of course electrotherapy covers other therapies not just pulsed magnetism. Virtually all have some effect on charge balance within tissue to stimulate the body’s healing process. So the next time you brush your hair and hear small spits and see flashes when carried out in the dark, or when touching a loved one after walking over a carpet in dry conditions and feeling a sharp very short tingle and spit sound, you are tapping into the historic origins of electricity and nature of those incredible electrons… Ó Dr David Somerville, August 2020.