London : Scientists have been exploring the healing powers of electricity, particularly microcurrent therapy (MCT), involving a plethora of domestic gadgets that seemingly relieve pain, gout or depression.
Named Alpha-Stim and Microdoctor, these devices powered by a few AA batteries deliver a tiny current to the skin which cannot be felt through clips or sticky pads.
They are being touted as treatments for everything from joint pain to back pain to headaches, gout, multiple sclerosis and even depression.
Our bodies are composed of billions of atoms which produce electrical signals that run almost instantaneously through the body as nerve signals, controlling all bodily functions both conscious and unconscious.
MCT device companies claim injury and illness upset these signals and the treatment resets our natural electrical currents, aiding healing and reducing pain, the Daily Mail reported.
MCT involves electrical currents measuring less than one milliampere while a lightbulb may use about 500 milliamperes.
“New applications are mostly used for pain relief and soft tissue injury,” said Tim Watson, professor of physiotherapy at the University of Hertfordshire.
His team concluded that microcurrent is most effective when used for significantly longer than the daily 20 minutes recommended by most manufacturers.
Joanne Thompson, 32, a photographer who lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband Steve, 41 and their daughters, Ella, eight and four-year-old Amy, reported remarkable results.
She developed depression four years ago after her youngest daughter was born with a rare bowel condition.
“For the next two years I suffered panic attacks and had severe side effects from the medication – tummy upsets, nausea and weight gain. A friend of mine had been using a machine called Alpha-Stim. She suggested I try it alongside the pills. I was sceptical at first, but did some research and was impressed by the clinical studies and testimonials,” she said.
“You attach the clips to your ears and turn it on. I used it daily for two to three hours and would fall asleep with it. Within two months I felt a definite lift in my mood. After three months I felt I was able to cope with everyday life. It was a gradual process,” said Joanne.