The Science behind APS Therapy – Action Potential Simulation
APS stands for Action Potential Simulation.
Action potential – passage of electrical energy along cells. Simulation – ‘ a copy’.
APS Therapy is a type of microcurrent therapy. Microcurrent therapies transmit an electrical current through the human body, using electrodes to make contact with the skin, at biological frequencies. To compare, a TENS machine uses a current of thousandth of an amp, or 0.001. APS Therapy uses a current of 0.00 0001, or a millionth of an amp.
The APS therapy wave form is an exact copy of a copy action potentials, the body’s own electrical signalling system, which is what makes it unique.
What is Action Potential?
‘The change in electrical potential associated with the passage of an impulse along the membrane of a muscle cell or nerve cell.
In the human body, action potentials occur in nerve cells, muscles cells and endocrine cells, and are also referred to as ‘nerve impulses’ or as the cell ‘firing’.
In neurons, they play a central role in cell-to-cell communication. In other types of cells, their main function is to activate intracellular processes. In muscle cells, for example, an action potential is the first step in the chain of events leading to contraction.
How does Action Potential Simulation work to relieve pain?
APS Therapy works in a multi-faceted way. Applying waves of simulated, ‘extra’ action potentials enhances both intra- and extra-cellular communication. This allows the body to remove waste and the products of inflammation more effectively, resulting in reduced inflammation.
By enhancing communication, reducing inflammation and also by boosting levels of ATP, the body’s own healing mechanisms are unimpaired and stimulated.
In cases of neuropathic pain, or improper nerve firing, such as restless leg symdrome, applying waves of correct action potential frequencies seems to reduce the improper nerve impulses, reducing or completely alleviating pain or symptoms.
Other neurohormonal effects are discussed in Sports
More on Action Potentials & ATP
Action potentials are generated by special types of voltage-gated ion channels embedded in a cell’s plasma membrane. These channels are shut when the membrane potential is near the resting potential of the cell, but they rapidly begin to open if the membrane potential increases to a precisely defined threshold value. When the channels open (by detecting the depolarisation in transmembrane voltage), they allow an inward flow of sodium ions, which changes the electrochemical gradient, which in turn produces a further rise in the membrane potential. This then causes more channels to open, producing a greater electric current across the cell membrane, and so on. The process proceeds explosively until all of the available ion channels are open, resulting in a large upswing in the membrane potential. The rapid influx of sodium ions causes the polarity of the plasma membrane to reverse, and the ion channels then rapidly inactivate. As the sodium channels close, sodium ions can no longer enter the neuron, and they are actively transported out of the plasma membrane. Potassium channels are then activated, and there is an outward current of potassium ions, returning the electrochemical gradient to the resting state. After an action potential has occurred, there is a transient negative shift, called the afterhyperpolarisation or refractory period, due to additional potassium currents. This is the mechanism that prevents an action potential from travelling back the way it just came.’
So in Summary…
Nerve cells communicate by using action potential. All the processes of the body take place by the different types of specialised cells working in harmony with each other. ‘Action potentials’ facilitate waves of electrical communication between these cells. A series of biochemical reactions take place, lasting just thousandths of a second, in which electrically charged molecules of sodium or potassium rush in and out of cells, as ‘gates’ in the cell membranes open and close, and when they get to certain concentrations, they trigger a electrical impulse, a ‘firing’ and a depolarisation, sending a wave of information along to the next cell, and setting up for the next wave of action potential.
Action potentials in the body have a unique frequency, illustrated here:
Figure 1. A. view of an idealized action potential. B. Recording of action potentials- these are often distorted compared to the schematic view because of variations in electrophysiological techniques used to make the recording. Image complements of Wikipedia/ wikimedia commons.
What does Action Potential Simulation (APS) Therapy do?
Injury and inflammation decrease the ability of action potential to flow through the damaged tissue, leading to impairment in detoxification and repair. Failed attempts of the body at detoxification can lead to a cycles of incomplete healing and inflammation causing pain and loss of function, which may become chronic.
APS Therapy is the application of the exact frequency of the body’s action potentials, through the cells of the body, passing between the 2 ( or 4) electrode pads of the APS machine. This boosts the occurrence of action potentials in the body.
Boosting the amount of action potentials occurring speeds up many cellular processes in the body, as communication between cells is enhanced. Speedy detoxification is enabled, and the chain of biochemical processes involved in cellular repair and regeneration mechanisms is enhanced, causing faster wound and injury healing, improved recovery time after exercise, and pain relief, even in some long standing conditions
One of the key ways that this is achieved is through the production of more
Adenosine Triphosphate – ATP
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), is known at the energy currency in all living cells. ATP molecules are the storage and distribution vehicles for energy in the body. They are formed from the chemical bonds of adenosine, ribose, and three molecules of phosphate. Energy is released when the phosphate bond is broken.
In our bodies, the function of ATP is to convert glucose, from the breakdown of food, into energy. This energy is utilized in almost all energy related cellular reactions, including muscle contraction, protein biosynthesis, nerve transmission, and active transport across cell membranes
We have approximately 250g of ATP in our bodies, which is continually being recycled and reused to create energy. In fact the average person turns over their own body weight a day in ATP! Excess to current demands can be stored.
more ATP = better function and more energy.
How does APS Therapy affect ATP production?
The body’s ability to produce ATP declines over time. This is primarily due to the lack of available nutrients, particularly oxygen and hydrogen, needed to create ATP. This is due to: environmental factors, such as free radicals created by chemicals in food and pollution, that either use up or destroy the necessary nutrients; poor dietary and lifestyle habits, weakened digestion leading to the inability to break down nutrients from food, or disease processes, including those that damage the mitochondria. some people, eg athletes, place enormous demands on the ATP in their systems.
APS Therapy stimulates the production of ATP using the direct micro-current flowing from the positive to the negative electrode of the APS machine. This emulates the electron transport chain which is one of the key ways that the body produces ATP. The result is faster recovery time from exercise or injury, and for many people, a boost to energy.