Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture for Varicose Veins
By Darren Starwynn, OMD, LAc
Varicose veins are a common issue for aging people, especially those with sedentary lifestyles. These unsightly, sometimes bluish veins become more visible and distended due to weakening of the veins and the valves within them. This is aggravated by lack of exercise. Exercise increases circulation and brings much more blood from the legs up into the body.
According to Chinese medicine, varicose veins are implicated with weak Spleen function, as the Spleen prevents prolapses when functioning well, and rules the muscles and connective tissues. With this understanding, we see the picture of many Americans with over-consumption of sweet and Damp-forming foods weakening their Spleens while not exercising enough. Such people are ripe for formation of varicose veins.
The only medical treatments for varicosities are removal or blockage of the offending veins using surgery or lasers, a far cry from ideal treatment for maintaining good circulation and health.
Fortunately, positive results can be had through non-invasive application of microcurrent or microlight therapy. Here is a suggested protocol using the Sequence Therapy principle. Sequence Therapy involves using a series of techniques within a single treatment session, each of which builds on and amplifies each other’s effectiveness. This method is powerfully effective for pain relief, yet the same principle can be applied for many other conditions. Here is the protocol:
(Note: If there is bleeding, lumps or severe pain around the varicose veins, send the patient to a physician specializing in vascular disease right away prior to administering microcurrent treatment.)
STEP ONE: Microcurrent probe treatment
Set up your microcurrent device for the following parameters:
Intensity: 75-150 µA
Waveform: Modified Square is best. This is a special waveform that has a short milliamp spike followed by a microcurrent square wave. It is more aggressive for moving stagnancy than other microcurrent waveforms.
Frequency: Consider 79 Hz, the Van Gelder frequency for veins.
Color light: Use lemon, magenta or indigo light. It is best to muscle test to confirm the most therapeutic color. One of the properties of magenta is to promote blood circulation. You can apply the color light before or after the microcurrent treatment. If using a microlight device, you can apply them simultaneously.
Timer: 15 seconds
Branch Technique: Treat to surround the affected veins from several directions (Circling the Dragon). Palpate for tender points, if any, and focus on them.
Root Technique: Responses will be better if you also treat the Root. Use TCM organ evaluation methods to determine the key organ(s) that require balancing. As mentioned above, it is likely that varicose vein patients will require therapy for their Spleen. Microlight Mu-Shu technique is a wonderful, rapid way to do that. (See my article that describes this method in the November 2006 issue.)
STEP TWO: Lifting Wands
A set of polished metal bars is available with some microcurrent devices. These are helpful for body sculpting and cellulite reduction treatments. They are also useful for treatment varicosities. Use the same parameters as indicated above for probe treatment, except set the time for 5 or 10 minutes. Start treatment and stroke upward over all the varicose veins. Use one bar over the varicose veins and one on the opposite aspect of the leg. You can also treat two different veins at the same time, stroking upwards for each. Total treatment time: 5–10 minutes; 5 minutes will be plenty for most people in this sequence.
STEP THREE: Pads with specific frequencies
Finish with pad electrodes to flood the area. Use 50–100 µA intensity, square waveform, biphasic polarity. Use two to four sets of pads cris-crossing the areas of varicose veins You can have two sets of pads crossing on one leg and two sets on the other leg.
The frequencies shown below come from the work of naturopath Harry Van Gelder. Each microcurrent frequency targets and resonates with specific tissues in the body, or conditions of the tissues. In this system, one set of pads is programmed to the frequency of the tissue being treated, while the other set is programmed to the frequency of the condition of those tissues.
In this protocol, you will run different frequencies on channels A and B of your microcurrent device. Run each set of frequencies for 5–10 minutes and then switch to the next set.
If your device has four pad output channels, you can also use channels C and D to treat the other leg at the same time. Simply copy these same settings to those channels (shown in parentheses):
CH A (C): 84 (Varicose veins, thrombosis); CH B (D) 79 Hz (veins)
CH A (C): 14 (swelling, edema); CH B (D) 79
CH A (C): 139 (Varicose veins, prolapse); CH B (D) 79
CH A (C): 103 (Blood); CH B (D) 79
Exercise is a prime necessity for treating and preventing varicosities. Walking is essential. Putting legs up more often when at rest and massage of the legs is also very helpful. One helpful exercise is for the patient to lie on his/her back and pull the knees to the chest. Rotate the left ankle back and forth for a few minutes, then repeat on the right side.
Several herbs also can strengthen the effects of this treatment:
Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum): When taken internally reduces blood vessel fragility and adjusts bleed vessel permeability. Can reduce swelling, bruising, spider veins, leg cramps and varicose veins. Typical dosages: 30 – 40 drops of extract in water 2 – 3 times a day or 600 mg of powdered herbs.
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis): An astringent that can be used topically to reduce appearance and swelling of varicose veins.
Grapeseed extract contains powerful anti-oxidants that can promote healthy vein and capillary function and also reduce varicosities and bruising.
As with any use of medicine patients using any of these herbs should be carefully monitored. If any adverse reactions are noted, the herb should be discontinued immediately.
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