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Gain a Competitive Edge With Microcurrent
By: Stephanie Frey
Posted: August 29, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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According to the Suzuki article, ATP, known as the “current of life” or “molecular currency,” is the only energy molecule that the body will accept and utilize as energy. This includes all cellular activity, DNA replication, regeneration and healing, collagen and elastin synthesis, neurotransmission and muscle contraction.
Without ATP, the human body does not function effectively and will eventually deteriorate. Yet, the body does not store ATP; rather it is manufactured on an as-needed basis via ATP synthesis mostly in the mitochondria of the cell. Therefore, the impact of microcurrent to increase levels of ATP is significant. Emil Y. Chi, PhD, director of the University of Washington’s department of pathology, performed clinical studies using microcurrent equipment. He notes, “The fact that technology works in harmony with the body is evident. Examination of the skin tissue treated with microcurrent showed a 45% increase in the number of elastin fibres in the dermis, and the length if the fibres on average doubled. The collagen thickness in the connective tissues increased 10%, and the numbers of blood vessels increased by 35%. The application of microcurrent to skin and tissue produced a firmer and tighter feeling on the skin surface.”
How does microcurrent work?
Knowing how microcurrent technology affects ATP is vital for the success of the treatment, and that means understanding the dynamics of microcurrent’s electrical current, waveform, frequency and polarities.
Electrical current. Microcurrent is measured in microamperes, or µA, which are extremely tiny electrical currents. Microcurrent intensity levels can range from 25–600 µA. A 1982 study called “The effects of electric currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis and membrane transport of rat skin” by Cheng et al., proves that at 500 microamps, ATP generation in the mitochondria increased about 500% and amino acid transport increased by 30–40%. The study also indicated that when currents were increased above 500 microamps, ATP generation was depleted, amino acid uptake was reduced by 20–73% and protein synthesis was inhibited by as much as 50%.
Variety of waveforms. The type of waveform used in microcurrent varies, depending on the area of treatment. Studies indicate that a modified square waveform is best for muscle-lifting, while a slope waveform is better for collagen-building. Other microcurrent waveforms include square and sawtooth.