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Interferential current therapy via electroacupuncture: significant benefits / recovery from ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Hip, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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    Well then maybe their peer-reviewed journals have different standards for what they report.

    How long should I rub with the potato?:)
  2. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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    How is acupuncture going to help

    Orthostatic Intolerance?
    Motor Disturbances?
    Overload phenomena?
    ADD?
    Post-Exertional Malaise and Fatigue?
    autonomic manifestations?:
    Immune dysfunction?
    Non slow wave or refreshing sleep?
    Severe sleep apnea?
    RLS?
    Neuroendocrine Manifestations?
    GHD?
    VERY Low T?
    hypersensitivities to light, sound motion, odors?
    Informational overload with inability to multi-task?
    Motor overload, with staggering and weakness?
    breathing dysregulation?
    ●shortness of breath?
    ●intestinal irregularities?
    ●irritable bowel syndrome?
    ●diarrhea?
    ●constipation?
    ●alternating diarrhea and constipation?
    ●abdominal cramps?
    ●bloating?
    ●nausea?
    ●pain in lower abdomen?
    POTS?

    All of which are common CFS disorders
    Tito and rosie26 like this.
  3. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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    You would need to attend a school of acupuncture to understand how it all works. Training and education for becoming a licensed acupuncturist is rigorous and intense. Can't be done through Google University. It's equivalent to becoming a medical doctor.
  4. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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  5. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I don't want to elicit muscle contraction. They do that too much already!
    merylg likes this.
  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    But the processes (can't think of the word I'm looking for!) and effects of medical treatment can be explained. You don't need medical training to understand that. A bit of science background helps, but most things can be explained in lay terms.
    Valentijn likes this.
  7. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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  8. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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    Cancer is easier to cure/treat than CFS ME,

    for the fact there is no cure for CFS ME

    with 95+% of the medical industry ignoring/ridiculing CFS ME

    and your telling me that acupuncture can cure CFS ME

    in which an acupuncturist knows absolutely nothing about

    Do acupuncturists specialize in snake charming as well?
  9. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses terms that would be unfamiliar to Westerners:
    http://www.acupuncture.com/education/diagnosis/diagmethods.htm

    I remember when a disability insurance provider requested my records from the clinic where I was receiving acupuncture. The receptionist and I laughed and laughed. For one things the records were in Chinese, and if they could get a translator I doubt they would know how to comprehend such things as: "Indicates xu and cold syndromes or symptoms due to yang qi deficiency and insufficiency of qi and blood."
    manna and SDSue like this.
  10. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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    Veterinarians with training in acupuncture treat animals with acupuncture. Only a licensed veterinarian can apply the acupuncture; a licensed acupuncturist with no veterinary license cannot.
  11. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    I did experience fatigue... pre-illness. Obviously, nothing like I do today. But I wonder if you aren't right to a point?

    1. I was a single mom
    2. I worked two jobs
    3. I was under a ton of stress
    4. My house was never spot-less, but it was clean and lived in and well-cared for.
    5. I slept well
    6. I routinely exercised
    7. I ate 'ok' - some veggies (not enough) and probably a bit too much junk
    8. Ambitious and always willing to take on the next challenge at home or work - be it solving complex problems in the office to doing electrical wiring or plumbing by myself

    I was tired every day. But not so tired that it ever limited the things I would want to go do.

    And I would wake up totally refreshed and able to take on the next challenge.

    So, I think I experienced normal fatigue prior to getting ill... but maybe it was because of all the stress I was under? I do know that some of my closest friends were always amazed at all the things I would do and would comment on it.
    SDSue likes this.
  12. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Senior Member

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    Here's another study with positive results that included a control group:
    Acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome: a randomized, sham-controlled trial with single-blinded design.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23981369

  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Note that the 2014 study discussed in this thread is not really about the benefits of electro-acupuncture for ME/CFS, because even in the control group of this study, electro-acupunture was given.

    Rather, this 2014 study is about the benefits of using interferential current therapy (ICT), applied via the acupuncture needles, over and above the benefits of straight electro-acupuncture. The study shows that twice as many ME/CFS patients recovered (by their definition/measurement of recovery) from ME/CFS using ICT, compared to the number that recovered using just straight electro-acupuncture. So it shows that ICT-type electro-acupuncture is twice as effective as normal electro-acupuncture.

    However, the fact that the study claimed a 20% recovery rate even from electro-acupuncture alone does seem rather odd and exaggerated. If any therapy could really achieve a 20% recovery rate for ME/CFS, people would be singing about it from the rooftops. Nevertheless, although we may need to tone down the hype of this study, ICT may still be a useful ME/CFS treatment, which might provide some welcome reductions in ME/CFS symptoms.



    One point though: I wonder whether the good results found in this 2014 study might be due to an intensive use of electro-acupuncture / ICT, because in the study the treatment was given every day. And in another 2011 Chinese study on acupuncture which also found benefit for ME/CFS, the patients were given acupuncture once daily for 4 weeks, except on weekends. And this 2013 acupuncture study gave acupuncture two or three times per week, for 4 weeks. So they do seem to use acupuncture quite intensively when they give it in China.

    I imagine if any of us here have tried acupuncture, we probably only went for one session per week (no doubt in part due to the costs). Anyone done acupuncture here? How many times a week did you go?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
    MeSci, Valentijn and CFS_for_19_years like this.
  14. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Moderator note:
    The thread 'Acupuncture Heals Chronic Fatigue Syndrome...' has been merged into this thread
    MeSci likes this.
  15. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Yeah once a week due to the cost.
    I personally got no benefit, but of course there could be many reasons for that (wrong practitioner, not frequent enough, wrong points punctured etc.).
  16. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I had accupunture 3 times during the course of ME. The last being for pain after an accident. The first being for hayfever, the second for ME.

    It did help with the pain but took a long time to take effect. The previous 2 attempts (weekly for 4 months plus) had no effect on my ME or hayfever symptoms.

    The ME acupuncture was electro-acupunture but it was so long ago that I couldn't describe it very well.
  17. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The 2014 ICT study discussed in this thread used the acupunture points located around the spine in the middle part of the back: the two electrodes of the first ICT channel were connected between the Xinshu (BL 15) area and and the Shenshu (BL 23) area, so that the electric current runs vertically alone the spine between these two areas. (The two electrodes of the second ICT channel were connected between the two trapezius muscles on either side of the upper back, so that the electric current runs horizontally across the back between these two muscles.)

    And the 2011 study mentioned above used a similar area of the back: the back-shu acupunture points: Xinshu (BL 15), Pishu (BL 20), etc.

    So it would seem that acupuncture on the mid back region, around the spine, is a good for ME/CFS.


    Names of Acupuncture Points on the Back
    986017EB52F042DABC904F7DEDF1B5C1.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
    cigana likes this.
  18. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    A few points about the equipment used: If you look at the original article, you will see that the electro-acupuncture and the interferential current therapy are delivered by two different machines, used at different times. The G6805 is not an interferential current therapy machine - it's just a standard electro-acupuncture machine. According to the article,
    This model is no longer available, but when it was, it was $920.

    There are different versions of the G6805 made by a wide variety of Chinese companies (or a wide variety of Chinese shell companies with one parent company), and they all look basically the same. They all have the K808-I model number on them, which seems to indicate that they're really the same machine. This is the machine used in the trial. I decided to buy mine from Amazon (yes, I'm doing this), as these units have been known to break, and the specific one I selected at Amazon has an unusually long 3-year warranty. (Amazon also sells various other clones of this machine.) Amazon is also very good about dealing with defective products.

    As for the ICT, you can spend anywhere from about $80 to thousands of dollars on one. The best value, and the one with the most users and positive reviews that I found, is the InTENSity Select Combo at TensPros.com. It sells for $99.95; that's close to the price of the cheapest unit, but this one has a lot more features, which may be needed for the treatment. It comes with 1" pads, but all the reviews I read that mentioned these pads said that they were too small, and that you should get the 2" pads instead. You can do this on the product page by selecting the drop-down "Electrodes" box; I chose the ten-pack of the Premium Pads for an additional $19.50.

    You can also get 5% off your order by using the "5off" code, which is the best available right now.

    And of course anyone who is going to do this is going to need acupuncture needles. I've been using the Cloud & Dragon brand for years and have always been happy with them. Now the study used 30G needles (..30 mm) that were 40 mm (1.5") long; the standard needles I use are 32G (.25 mm) and 1" long. I find that the slightly narrower needles go in a little easier, and I've always found them to work fine. The 1" size needle is easier to work with than the 1.5" needle, and I don't see any indication in the study that you'd need more than one inch. You can get a box of 500 of these needles here (you pick the size on the page). The needles also come in boxes of 100, but if you're really doing this, you'll want the larger size. And 500 needles are only $16.

    Finally, you'll need to know where to stick the needles. There are of course many guides on the Internet; I find the PDF booklet Atlas of Acupuncture Points quite helpful.

    More will be coming soon, where I'll describe my personal experience with this and why I think it may help a lot of people, but it's almost 7 a.m. here, so I really should get to bed. Ah, the wonders of sleep reversal.
    CFS_for_19_years, Hip and cigana like this.
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out, @zzz. I must have misread the study when I erroneously stated that G6805 was the interferential current therapy machine. But as you point out, the G6805 was only used for the standard electro-acupuncture in the study.


    Make You Own Interferential Current Therapy Machine for Free

    By the way, anyone who wants to try this interferential current therapy (ICT) for free, it would be very quick and easy to make your own interferential current therapy machine using just a computer and a HiFi amplifier.

    You'd need to download some free tone generating software (such as Audio ToolBox for the Mac) so that your computer can generate the two frequencies used in ICT machines. I believe in the study, they set the first ICT frequency to 4800 Hz, and the second frequency to 5200 Hz. So to create your two ICT frequencies, all you have to do is set the left stereo channel of the tone generator software to 4800 Hz, and the right stereo channel to 5200 Hz.

    Then you'd need to run an audio lead from your computer's headphone socket to one of the HiFi amplifier's input sockets at the back (eg: the CD input socket), so that your HiFi amp can amplify the signal coming from your computer. With this setup, once you turn on your amplifier, the left speaker output terminals will be producing the 4800 Hz frequency, and these terminals are your first ICT channel; likewise, the right speaker output terminals will be producing the 5200 Hz frequency, and these terminals are your second ICT channel.

    The output voltage of the speaker terminals of a HiFi amplifier is typically around 0 to 20 volts (depending on where you set the volume knob), which is a similar voltage to TENS machines and ICT machines. Of course, don't create a short circuit across your speaker output terminals, or else you may blow the transistors in your HiFi.

    I am going to use my HiFi amp to create an ICT machine in this manner.


    Looking forward to hearing your results, zzz.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  20. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    I had an acupuncture session by a medical doctor in Germany who had trained in Chinese medicine which is quite common there. I had requested it to relieve the pain in my hands and wrists.

    It took 40 mins and I was very relaxed through it. When she took the needles out I felt very strange indeed, like I had been drugged.

    The pain was just about gone and the effect lasted about a week and a half but the drugged feeling went after a few days and I was very sorry it went as it was enjoyable and lessened other discomforts in my body and made me sleep better.

    Unfortunately I could not afford to have it done on a regular basis but I was utterly convinced of acupuncture because of the experience but you must get a very good practitioner.

    I did feel however that it boosted my immune system which is not a good idea when you have autoimmunity.

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