The History of Electrostatic Potential Therapy
The idea of easing pain with electricity was first discovered in 1752 by Benjamin Franklin of America, who proved that lightning is caused by electricity generated between the clouds and the ground. Owing to this discovery, it was later found that electricity is effective in the treatment of various kinds of ailments.
In 1776, Hiraga Gennai of Japan made an electric generator called the “Electriciteit” which was believed to be effective for relieving pain and was used widely with patients. The Electriciteit continued to enjoy popularity among doctors treating rheumatism and neuralgia until the 19th century.
In Europe, according to medical dictionaries of the 10th century, electrostatic potential therapy apparatuses of different types from those in Japan were clinically in use at the time.
The advances of research and development with regard to electrostatic potential therapy apparatuses in Japan led to clinical applications that were carried out for more than 50 years. Today, many types designed for household use are widely available in addition to those for professional use in medical institutions.
Electrostatic Potential Therapy Enhances The Power Of Natural Healing
A human body consists of approximately 6 billion cells that carry out a wide range of functions. The general function of the body activates a feedback mechanism that helps to maintain an optimum environment for these cells to perform all their vital activities. In other words, when the external environment changes, the body functions to optimize its internal environment including the osmotic pressure of body fluids, the gaseous composition and electrolyte composition of the blood, pH and body temperature. For the purpose of maintaining this constancy of its internal environment, the cells and organs of our body are controlled by a feedback mechanism that is based upon cooperation among the nervous, endocrinal and immune systems.
This constancy that is maintained within the internal environment of our bodies is called “homeostasis” and, in effect, is maintained by the cooperation among our systems and the regulating mechanism of our individual organs.
We need to maintain homeotasis if we are to continue to live. We get sick when our homeostasis is significantly disturbed, but we also have an automatic mechanism that works to maintain homeostasis (the feedback mechanism). This is called the “homeostasis mechanism” or “natural healing power”. The body can recover from illnesses if the degree of the homeostasis disturbance is within the limits of our natural healing power. If it exceeds these limits, the result is death. Natural healing power, in other words, is the power to prevent illness or to help us recover from illness. Electrostatic potential therapy using an electrostatic potential therapy apparatus works to enhance the natural healing power that maintains homeostasis within our systems.
“All vital mechanisms, regardless of how varied they may be, have only one objective, that objective consists solely of the preservation of the conditions of life within the internal environment of our bodies.” (19th century French physiologist Claude Bernard)
Therapeutic device is a medical instrument that imparts an alternating current potential to an electrically insulated human body*, thereby surrounding the body with an electrical field that has a beneficial effect. The electrical field apparatus stimulates the skin’s sense receptors via nerves. This stimulation ultimately acts on the body’s regulatory mechanisms such as the autonomic nervous systems, or hypothalamus, in the brain.
Just one of the benefits of these effects is that the body’s homeostatic functions are kept in healthy levels by restoring the amounts of electrolytes in the blood (specifically, sodium, potassium, and calcium ions) to their normal values. This enables the body to recover from various unpleasant symptoms.
* The virtual absence of an electric current means that the user experiences no shocks, tingling, or unpleasant sensation whatsoever.
Homeostasis and the Body’s Natural Powers of Healing
Treatment in present day Western medicines is usually given after diagnosis. Such diagnosis is based on tests designed to discover irregularities in various parts of the body. However, it is difficult for tests to detect “semi-healthy” conditions, such as headaches, stiff shoulders, insomnia, and chronic constipation, which are often seen in today’s stressful society. Such conditions often fail to be diagnosed as ill health.
Oriental medicines, on the other hand, is based on the concept of gozo roppu (five vital and six internal organs), whereby health is thought to depend on the normal functioning of all these organs to maintain an optimum balance (homeostasis). The collapse of this balance causes a variety of symptoms to develop, including aches and pains, stiffness, hot flushes, and chills. Oriental medicine views these symptoms as indicators of “semi-health”, and considers them to be warning signs of the onset of illness. In order to enhance the human body’s natural healing powers, diverse therapeutic methods have been practiced from ancient times, including kampo (oriental herbal medicine), acupuncture, kyu (moxibustion), and amma massage.
Modern physical therapy is based on the successful blending of Western medicine with the concepts of Oriental medicine. A diverse range of medical instruments and equipment for use in physical therapy are available, many of which are also employed in hospitals and other facilities offering medical treatment.