Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM)

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is a system of treatment using micro-amperage current, which is electrical current in millionths of an ampere and is the same kind of current your body produces on its own (and thus is biocompatible). There is no shock involved, and most people do not feel anything although a very slight vibration sensation is possible. The resonance effects of the frequencies are used on tissues and conditions to reduce symptoms and improve health. Microcurrent has been shown to increase energy production (ATP) in cells by 500%, reduce cytokines that cause inflammation, and increase secretions in various tissues including Substance P that reduces pain. There are numerous studies indicating its ability to improve healing in wounds and fractures.


Medical physicians and osteopaths used electromagnetic therapy devices to treat patients in the between 1900 and 1934. They did research and published their findings in journals, books and meetings. In 1934, the American Medical Association declared that electromagnetic therapies, homeopathic remedies, nutrition and herbs were “unscientific” and that drugs and surgery were the future of medicine. Physicians were told that they could lose their license to practice medicine unless they stopped using the devices. The treatments fell out of use and by the 1950’s the machines were made illegal by the FDA.

In 1995, Carolyn McMakin, DC received a list of frequencies from an osteopath who bought a practice in 1946 that came with a device made in 1922 and came with a list of frequencies. These frequencies were used with a two-channel microcurrent device as if the descriptions on the list were correct, with immediate results – the frequencies appeared to do exactly and only what they were described as doing. Frequencies to reduce inflammation did that and only that. Frequencies to remove scarring increased range of motion but had no effect on inflammation . The frequency to stop bleeding prevented bruising but did nothing for inflammation or range of motion. Dr. McMakin began teaching the technique in January 1997.

The current FSM machines have FDA certificates as if they are Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) devises for blocking pain. The FDA has not evaluated the use of resonance therapy or frequencies.


The frequencies appear to change pain, function, and even structure in a large number of clinical conditions. FSM is especially good at reducing inflammation, treating nerve, joint and muscle pain and dissolving or softening scar tissue. The frequencies to reduce inflammation have helped thousands of people with conditions such as asthma, liver problems, irritable bowel, cardiovascular disease, and diabetic neuropathies. People who are treated within 4 hours of new injuries such as auto accidents and surgery have reduced pain and a greatly accelerated healing process. There are no guarantees that every protocol will be effective in every person. In general, the frequencies either work or they simply have no effect. As long as appropriate proven therapies are not delayed or withheld, FSM “can’t hurt, might help”. People who are dehydrated cannot benefit from FSM – every patient is advised to drink at least 500mL of water within 2 hours before treatment and people who are chronically dehydrated may need more water for treatment to be effective. In addition, the effectiveness of FSM depends almost entirely on an accurate diagnosis – treating the right tissue for the correct condition is critical for benefit to occur.


    • Respiratory Conditions: Asthma, Bronchitis

    • Pain: including Back Pain, Spinal Disc, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Headaches, Myofascial Pain; Osteoarthritis, TMJ Pain, Tendon and Ligament injury or pain, Tennis Elbow, Neuromuscular Pain, Post-Surgical Pain, Fibromyalgia associated with Cervical Spine Injury, and more

    • Neurological Conditions: Bell’s Palsy, Concussion, Migraine headaches, Peripheral Neuropathy, Post-Herpetic Neuralgia; Restless Leg Syndrome; Sciatica; Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

    • Genitourinary Conditions: Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, Endometriosis, Ovarian Cyst, Interstitial Cystitis, Kidney Stone Pain, Vulvodynia

    • Somatic Conditions: Goiter, Gout, Herpes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Sinusitis, Immune/Autoimmune Conditions

    • Musculoskeletal Conditions: Frozen Shoulder, Whiplash, Fractures; sprains and strains; tendonitis

    • Other Conditions: Scars; bleeding; Restless Leg Syndrome; adhesions, emotional issues, Fibrosis, Lymphedema, PTSD, Shingles; Wound Healing

The effects of frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) signaling on nervous system function have been documented for almost twenty years. The data needs much more research to flesh out mechanisms and confirm the results, but very specific effects of specific frequencies on the nervous system have been found to be present.


In 2000, blood sample data was analyzed by the premier micro-immunochemist at NIH, Terry Phillips, PhD, who documented log-rate reductions in all of the inflammatory cytokines by factors of 10 and 20 times in response to one and only one frequency combination, 40 hertz to reduce inflammation and 10 hertz to target the spinal cord. These changes happened only in patients with fibromyalgia from spine trauma, and their pain decreased from 7.4/10 to 1.4/10 in 60 minutes. While the cytokines dropped and endorphins increased at log rates, serotonin dropped. When the pain was zero, the frequencies were changed to target the medulla and balance the nervous system. In every case, serotonin reduction stopped, and the levels of serotonin increased only in response to this protocol. In one case, the level more than doubled in 30 minutes. No nutritional intervention was used.

In 2003, blinded animal research showed that only one frequency combination (40/116) reduced lipoxygenase (LOX) mediated inflammation by 62% in four minutes in every animal tested. This is a time dependent response in a well-established animal model of inflammation. In the same research, 40 hertz combined with 116 hertz reduced COX mediated inflammation by 30% in four minutes, which was equivalent to injectable Toridol when it was tested in the same animal model. No other frequencies reduced inflammation.

In 2005, the two-hour frequency protocol for treatment of PTSD was developed. The frequencies aim to reduce the activity of midbrain stress centers, reduce inflammation in the forebrain, and quiet the sympathetics. The protocol has been used by thousands of FSM practitioners for 14 years. There have been no failures to date and no negative side effects as long as medication is reduced when symptoms improve. In 2010, data collected on three-to-five year chronic, combat-induced PTSD showed dramatic and rapid reduction in PTSD symptoms and scores after only four treatments in four weeks. No improvement is expected in PTSD when it has persisted for longer than two years. The recommended treatment calls for eight sessions in seven weeks. The data show significant improvement after only half the recommended treatment. No nutritional or medication interventions were used.
The treatment protocols for traumatic brain injury, stroke, and concussion have been in use since 1997. In 2013, Alicia Thomas, EdD, documented significant and dramatic EEG changes in TBI and autism patients treated with a combination of frequency specific microcurrent and speech therapy processes. Experience has shown that when these protocols are combined with nutritional support and brain exercises, the effects are even more dramatic and positive.
In 2013, Roger Billica, MD, documented rapid dramatic changes in autonomic function and heart rate variability in response to only very specific frequencies targeting the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The frequency to “increase secretions” of the sympathetic nervous system was applied for 60 seconds and dramatically increased sympathetic tone and reduced parasympathetic tone as demonstrated by HRV readings. That effect was reversed when the frequency to “increase secretions” in the parasympathetic system was applied for 60 seconds and tested after a two minute wait. Clinical responses consistently reproduce these effects. For this testing no nutritional intervention was used. In clinical settings, nutritional and dietary support are always recommended.

Nutritional approaches to brain health are clearly effective, but they take too long and, in general, work too slowly to optimize patient compliance. The data and common sense suggest that combining the rapid response to frequency specific microcurrent therapy with nutritional approaches that maintain those immediate changes would make treatment more effective, more efficient, and less expensive.

— Carolyn Mcmakin, MA, DC; Frequency Specific Microcurrent and the Nervous System; October 22, 2019; Townsend Letter

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