Study finds benefits of electrical acupoint stimulation with a TENS in ME/CFS

serg1942

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A Chinese randomized controlled trial shows significant improvement in fatigue of ME/CFS patients after one month of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation with a TENS machine:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29354991/

I have found this study and I thought I'd share it just in case it hasn't been shared yet.

I'm going to give it a try with the TENS machine I have!..

I hope it helps!
Sergio
 
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Second star to the right ...

Rvanson

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I used to think acupuncture was BS, Then while picking up a box while on delivery, I turned to my left. Man, the back pain was absolutely incredible. I took the rig back to the yard, hurting like mad. I had to crawl up to my second story apartment it was that bad, I have found chiropractic to be useless. My father use to go to one, once or twice a month. Anyhow, I picked an acupuncturist. He used electro-acupuncture where a small amount of electricity was connected to a few of the needles. After the first session, I felt much better, but still hurting.
I went back for three more sessions. The pain was GONE and didn't come back. Best $185 dollars I ever spent.
 

BrightCandle

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The points chosen for the tens connection are quite interesting. On the rear at the base of the neck and lower spine on the back and on the front at the base of the large intestine and navel. The spine points are almost the entire length, which is very interesting since an area I have seen therapist suggest avoiding, but the very wide gap between electrodes may reduce the impact. The other is directly stimulating the intestines. Both are areas that CFS patients have a lot of issues with so I find it interesting at least because I have in the past used my TENs to pass a difficult stool and I do use it on my lower back at times as well, both its been fairly effective at.

The stated therapy level is 14+-2 mA and that is a bit tricky to map to most consumer TENs units that don't give precise control of current just a 1-10 scale. They give no idea of the frequencies or programmes to use so its hard to know what to even try to use here from the various TENs standard programmes or even onto the more sophisticated machines that allowed frequency and other settings. My Auvon (£35 on Amazon) says its technology peak draw is DC5V---550mA and IIRC it has 10 levels of intensity and anything above 3 or 4 anywhere else is usually really painful, I have no idea if its linear but this may just be running the machine on its lowest intensity or below, I really have no idea how that 14mA maps. The challenge is Current = Voltage /Resistance and the resistance is going to vary with the amount of human it has to go through. I assume its measured on the patient (the method has a few holes on the details!), but it also means we need to measure the electrodes in place with an amp meter if the TENs machine doesn't tell us current or allow a target current and then we have to work out how that maps to intensities to select the closest thing.

I'll have a play along with an Amp meter and see if I can get something usably close and see what if anything that spine one does, I imagine I get that too high and its going to be bad news for controlling my body and limbs!
 

serg1942

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The points chosen for the tens connection are quite interesting. On the rear at the base of the neck and lower spine on the back and on the front at the base of the large intestine and navel. The spine points are almost the entire length, which is very interesting since an area I have seen therapist suggest avoiding, but the very wide gap between electrodes may reduce the impact. The other is directly stimulating the intestines. Both are areas that CFS patients have a lot of issues with so I find it interesting at least because I have in the past used my TENs to pass a difficult stool and I do use it on my lower back at times as well, both its been fairly effective at.

The stated therapy level is 14+-2 mA and that is a bit tricky to map to most consumer TENs units that don't give precise control of current just a 1-10 scale. They give no idea of the frequencies or programmes to use so its hard to know what to even try to use here from the various TENs standard programmes or even onto the more sophisticated machines that allowed frequency and other settings. My Auvon (£35 on Amazon) says its technology peak draw is DC5V---550mA and IIRC it has 10 levels of intensity and anything above 3 or 4 anywhere else is usually really painful, I have no idea if its linear but this may just be running the machine on its lowest intensity or below, I really have no idea how that 14mA maps. The challenge is Current = Voltage /Resistance and the resistance is going to vary with the amount of human it has to go through. I assume its measured on the patient (the method has a few holes on the details!), but it also means we need to measure the electrodes in place with an amp meter if the TENs machine doesn't tell us current or allow a target current and then we have to work out how that maps to intensities to select the closest thing.

I'll have a play along with an Amp meter and see if I can get something usably close and see what if anything that spine one does, I imagine I get that too high and its going to be bad news for controlling my body and limbs!
That is interesting! Could you tell me what settings did you use to pass hard stools? I suffer from severe constipation and I might try it!

I hadn't thought about those points being tricky... I will measure the intensity with a multimeter and make sure it stays at the indicated levels.

I have realized that the TENS just increases the voltage needed in order to reach the established intensity, so depending on the resistance the voltage applied will vary, but the intensity is maintained constant. However, as you point out, the amperage on the TENS is not reliable. For example my 10 amps are actually around 2 real amps...

Ah! One more thing... The study applies the therapy at intervals of 2 and 100 hz. But they don't specify what the intervals are. I have seen that intervals usually used for these frequencies are 3 seconds, so I'll try these.

If you try the therapy, please let us know how it goes!

Best,
Sergio
 

Wishful

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I'll have a play along with an Amp meter
Ammeters measure continuous current. A TENS machine produces pulsed current. To measure pulsed current you need something more sophisticated, to measure peak current or average current.

I think you're better off just experimenting with different settings and seeing what works for you.
 
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My lower back problem I was born with, spinal defects...gets bothered energetically alot.

The base of my skull/back of neck is where I believe much of the issue radiates from this general area.

I use biomagnets on both these areas and mostly it helps noticeably.