Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882); US philosopher, writer
Electroacupuncture stimulation normally is initiated at a frequency of 4-5 Hz. If there is not a favorable response from the patient after several treatments, the clinician may choose to change the frequency and montage.
Why not sweep a frequency range instead of selecting individual frequencies? A new electro-stimulator, ITO ES-1 60, does just that. It permits the operator to sweep a large range of frequencies in multiples of one-third. For example, the frequency sweep can be adjusted from 5 Hz to 15 Hz, and the device will output each frequency over a selectable pulse width. In other words, the stimulator will stimulate 5 Hz, 6 Hz, 7 Hz, 8 Hz, 9 Hz, 10 Hz, 11 Hz, 12 Hz, 13 Hz, 14 Hz, and 15 Hz. And then, in the same fashion, it will sweep back down to 5 Hz and the cycle will repeat itself many times over the treatment prescription time.
If indeed we are stimulating neurotransmitters that are frequency-dependent and may attenuate pain either by a peripheral or central mechanism, why not cover a large frequency spectrum until a result is achieved during the initial treatment? We may plan to treat a patient for 15 minutes by sweeping 5-15 Hz, and then another 15-minute session sweeping 20-60 Hz. We have now covered almost all the individual frequencies from 5 Hz to 60 Hz. The question then arises whether starting at 4-5 Hz is as good as sweeping a broad range of frequencies? I leave that up to those who are curious to wonder. I have planted the seed, and maybe evoked the challenge of clinical research.
Over the last 6 years, I have expressed my views in many editorials that have appeared in Medical Acupuncture. Now it is time for a change in this pattern. I solicited Dr Steven Aung to write a "Guest Editorial" (in this issue). This invitation also extends to all the readers of the journal. I believe that a multitude of editorial opinions will broaden the journal.
I have taken yet another step. I have started a "Photo Essay Section" in which again Dr Aung has been gracious enough to contribute to. The purpose of the "Photo Essay" is to depict a photograph and an essay that you feel would be educational to our readers from an acupuncture point of view. Again, all readers are invited to contribute.
Kindly let me know your thoughts on this subject as I am seeking assistance to enhance participation in our journal activities that do not reflect a society journal, but more of an academic publication. Would it perhaps be interesting to offer a CME examination on the articles published in Medical Acupuncture over the year as a multiple-choice open-journal examination?
Again, the cover of the journal has changed, and this represents the last modification for awhile. I would enjoy hearing from you regarding the "cosmetic facelift," and other recommendations that would better our product.
The challenge of indexing in the National Library of Medicine has not been forgotten and remains one of the most important challenges of this journal, which I will address in a future editorial.
Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
Dr Richard C. Niemtzow is a Radiation Oncologist and Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is the Chief Medical Consultant for Alternative Medicine for the Air Force Surgeon General. In addition to his research activities, Dr Niemtzow practices Medical Acupuncture full-time at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He is President of the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF).
Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
9800 Cherry Hill Rd
College Park, MD 2074089
Phone: 301-937-7424 • Fax: 301-937-3205
Colonel (Dr) Richard C. Niemtzow
Medical Group (AMC)
Malcolm Grow Medical Center
Andrews AFB, MD 20762