Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is a system of energy medicine that employs low levels of electrical current in millionths of an ampere to stimulate the healing of specific health conditions. The frequencies used in FSM are square wave electromagnetic pulses created by a battery operated device that supplies electricity on two channels firing at the same time. Specific frequencies address specific conditions with the frequency thought to address or neutralize the condition on one channel and the frequency thought to address the tissue on the other.
The history of electromagnetic therapy devices started in the early 1900's when many medical and osteopathic physicians were exploring the use of frequencies to treat patients. In 1934 Maurice Fishbein of the American Medical Association clamped down on electromagnetic therapies by declaring them "unscientific" and threatened to revoke the medical licenses of physicians who used them. Electromagnetic research and treatments declined and their equipment was removed from the market by the FDA in the mid-1950's. In the 1980's microcurrent began to be used by physicians in Europe and the United States for stimulating healing in wounds and fractures. Units delivering micro amperage current were approved in the category of TENS by the FDA for pain management. (TENS or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a device that blocks pain using higher levels of current than FSM measured in milliamps, which was patented in 1974).
In 1994 Dr. Carolyn McMakin, a chiropractor practicing in Portland, Oregon began using microcurrent frequencies obtained from the clinical notes of Dr. Harry Van Gelder, a retired osteopath with additional frequencies obtained from the writings of Dr. Albert Abrams and Dr. McWilliams. She discovered that the frequencies appeared to do exactly what they were purported to do with no other effects, in other words the frequency listed to decrease inflammation reduced redness and swelling and the one to stop bleeding reduced bleeding. After successfully treating patients with frequencies and observing their effects McMakin began teaching the technique in 1997 to other health practitioners who were able to reproduce the same results. FSM is currently taught in seminars throughout the United States and in Ireland to medical and naturopatic physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists and acupuncturists. There are frequencies to address over 200 conditions including inflammation, scar tissue, herpes virus/shingles, nerve pain, brain fog, wound healing, and acute PTSD. One frequency combination or protocol has been found to eliminate the full body pain associated with fibromyalgia caused by spine trauma.
In July of 2011 I traveled to Portland, Oregon to see Dr. Carolyn McMaken to found out if FSM would be beneficial for me. After a lengthy intake of my medical history, McMaken declared that I did not have fibromyalgia since my pain was not random and triggered almost entirely by physical exertion. In my opinion fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are syndromes that encompass a wide variety of overlapping disorders and McMaken was simply stating that I did not have the kind of full body fibromyalgia pain caused by cervical trauma that responds to FSM. McMaken treated me with for a number of other conditions that she thought might be beneficial including concussion, liver toxicity, parasympathetic nervous system toxicity, and pituitary. She diagnosed the potential benefit of a frequency by my symptoms and also by feeling the muscle tension in my arm which softened in response to some frequencies during treatment. After my treatment session I felt positively intoxicated for about a half hour, a response according to McMaken that typically happens the first several times a person does FSM .
McMaken thought that the pain I experience after using my muscles was similar to a condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness which FSM has shown to help and has a published study on these results. Although McMaken had never encountered anyone like myself who had this condition in a chronic way, I personally know many people with fibromyalgia who have this condition which I describe in my post "Fibromyalgia Muscle Dysfunction". Delayed Onest Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercies resulting from muscle damage caused by eccentric exercise. DOMS is a universal symptom experience by most people who take a break from exercising or do an unfamiliar eccentric exercise. This symptom typically goes away once a person becomes accustomed to the exercise. In my case I am not able to tolerate exercise no matter how gradually I build up to it and damage my soft tissue with a very small amount of demand and stretching. The only remedies I have found is to limit my activities, practice EMG biofeedback on my muscles and rest. A month after my initial visit I returned to Portland to see if FSM frequencies for DOMS would help my muscle condition. Prior to my first treatment I took a strenuous walk and did some yoga stretching. The next day I challenged myself further with a longer walk and more exercise followed by another FSM treatment. I felt intoxicated after both treatments and did not developed symptoms of muscle soreness. Dr. McMaken felt that the treatment was successul and sold me for $2,000 a Custom Care microcurrent unit distributed by Precision Distributing Precision, a company operated out of her residence in Longview, Washington. The unit was loaded with a number of frequency protocols for conditions that might be helpful for me including DOMS which I was instructed to run whenever I experienced muscle soreness. After I returned home I experienced another several days of respite from my muscle condition and continued with moderate activity followed by running the DOMS protocol on my Custom Care unit. Gradually over the period of a week my muscle condition returned and the frequencies appeared to become ineffective and then provoked an agitation of my nervous system.
Unable to help me any further Dr. McMaken referred me to Dr. Catherine Willner, a neurologist and close colleague of McMaken's who resides in Durango, Colorado and practices FSM. Dr. Willner is an intellectual with impressive knowledge of both conventional and alternative medicine who practiced for ten years at the Mayo Clinic. She spent seven hours with me discussing my health history and did one session of FSM. Dr. Willner was puzzled by my unique set of symptoms and recommended that I do further testing at Swedish NeuroScience in Seattle to diagnose possible muscle pathology. She recommended that I experiment with additional FSM protocols at home. In order to add these protocols to my Custom Care Unit, it needed to be shipped back to Dr. McMakin, a process that took ten days. Further experimentation with these FSM frequencies on my own produced no positive results. When I requested to return my unit for a refund Dr. McMakin said that this was not possible. Since my unit includes many other frequencies that I did not use including wound healing, sinus cold and shingles, it may prove helpful to me or others I know in the future.
Although I did not experience a resolution in any of my remaining health issues with FSM I feel overall a bit healthier than before I did the treatments. I know from personal reports that FSM has benefited many people with specific conditions particularly in the area of pain relief. I also know that FSM is very safe and low risk so in this way it is worth investigating for those suffering from chronic illness, however the success of the therapy is dependent on the proper diagnosis of the practitioner and whether there is a protocol for the patient's conditon. For more information and to find a FSM practitioner go to: www.frequencyspecific.com . For information on other forms in the emerging field of energy medicine read the post "Energy Medicine of the Future" http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2011/03/energy-medicine-of-the-future.html
Custom Care microcurrent unit. Black graphite gloves are inserted between a wet towel and placed between treated area, usually the back and abdomen.