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History of the Development of Microcurrent Stimulation Therapy

From Dr. Miller:

I have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. It is an honor to have the opportunity to participate in the rise to prominence a remarkable new therapy for the treatment of retinal disease, especially Stargaart’s Disease, Age Related Macular Degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa. For years, conventional medical wisdom dictated that these diseases, all relentlessly and progressively degenerative, were untreatable. Hope for finding a treatment was dim to none. Patients with any of the above diseases were told to plan for potentially devastating losses of visual acuity.

In the very early Eighties, Grace Halloran (who became Dr. Grace Halloran) learned that she was losing her vision to Retinitis Pigmentosa. By the time she learned this, and the extremely high likelihood of passing it on to her offspring, she was already pregnant with her second child. Since she had given her first child up for adoption this issue was still unknown to her. Grace had no way to find that first child and lived in fear that she had passed the potential blindness on to both her children.

Grace Halloran is Amazing GraceGrace’s story is told in her book Amazing Grace. By 1983, Grace was legally blind, being worse than 20/200 in both eyes. Not a person to give up easily, Grace began her search for alternative methods of treatment. In this search she met Herbie Berger, (now Dr. Herbie Berger). Herbie told her of a new technology, microcurrent stimulation, which provided remarkable results for the treatment of pain. Eager to evaluate anything, Grace asked Herbie for his help.

They chose to stimulate eight acupuncture points around the eye. A quality of acupuncture points is that they are focal points for low electrical resistance on the surface of the body. That makes them excellent loci to apply bio-electrical stimulation, which allows the treatment to penetrate deeper and faster. Grace had remarkable results, not only stopping the progression of her disease, but also bringing about amazing improvement in her vision. Grace made it a life’s work to help people with retinal disease.

Two years later, in 1985, an optometrist from South Dakota, Dr. Leland Michael, attended a pain management seminar in San Francisco. Grace was there as well. Grace, then the President of the Center for Eye Health in Santa Rosa, and Dr. Michaels struck up a friendship. Dr. Michaels concluded his West Coast trip with a visit to Grace to be trained in her procedures for treating RP and ARMD with microcurrent electrical stimulation.

That training was the beginning of a study that lasted nearly eight years and consummated in an article in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine in 1993. Dr. Michaels reported the findings on a group of 25 ARMD patients followed from 1985 to 1992. Dr. Michaels reported that over the course of the study, he saw an average improvement in the vision of the left eye of 1.4 letters. One patient, with the wet form, had a severe bleed causing a 66 letter loss in that eye. Discounting the extreme skew in the data created by this one patient, there was a .66 letter average improvement in the left eye during the same period. Unfortunately, Dr. Michaels died shortly after completing that phase of the study.

In October 1997, I attended a Symposium for Biologically Closed Circuits. Several papers were presented on the treatment of ARMD with microcurrent stimulation. By that time, the devices of choice were from MicroStim® Technology Incorporated. Dr. Joel Rossen, president of MicroStim®, had developed and patented a unique line of microcurrent stimulators. I acquired one of the MicroStim® Devices and shortly thereafter, started treating macular degeneration patients. I compiled the statistics for the first 121 patients I treated for macular degeneration (30% wet and 70% dry) in my office during a two years period. Over all, 84% of all eyes showed improvement of as little as 1 line to as much as 5 lines on the Snelling visual acuity test. Less than 1% of all 240 eyes lost more than one line.

The original selection of the points treated with microcurrent stimulation was based on work being done using acupuncture to treat retinal disease. Using my knowledge of acupuncture, and relying on advise from other experienced acupuncturists, I made some modifications to the protocols that had been developed for Grace Halloran. I felt that some minor changes in the points that were treated would make the treatment more effective.

The results in treating people with macular degeneration in this office are as good or better than that reported by others. We are quite pleased with the success that comes from the use of microcurrent stimulation. The results from the treatment of the first 121 patients in this office are reported here at www.organicmd.staging.wpengine.com.

In talking with other physicians who are also treating ARMD patients with the techniques described here, there appears to be a constancy to the success that is obtained. They all report improvement in at least 70-90% of dry patients. I believe that this is probably due in large part to the technology in the microcurrent stimulator manufactured by MicroStim®, Inc. This technology, properly and conscientiously applied, brings results in all of the centers where it has been adopted.

Microcurrent stimulation therapy is not a miracle cure for macular degeneration. It is a therapy in the form of a very specific and controlled type of electrical stimulation and relies on very sophisticated technology. In addition to this stimulation therapy, the addition of certain supplements, anti-oxidants, and vitamins that are beneficial for protecting the eye and assisting the eye in healing is also recommended. Like any disease, there is a need for the proper diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.

DISCLAIMER: The data presented here has not been reviewed by the FDA, nor has it been peer reviewed. The microcurrent devices used are approved by the FDA for the treatment of pain, but they have not been approved for other uses. The use of a device for an off-label use by a physician is legal. The use of microcurrent stimulation discussed here is only one part of a comprehensive program for supporting visual health. Dr. Miller is not a manufacturer of these devices, and the material presented here is informational, and is not intended as simply a solicitation to sell devices.If you have further questions about the work being done by Dr. Miller, please contact his office to arrange an appointment or consultation.