History of ARP Wave
Electrotherapy is a complex field comprised of many different types of devices with a multitude of currents, waveforms, frequencies, amplitudes, durations, phases and pulse charges. There are a large number of devices on the market with only very limited effectiveness demonstrated in their use.
The ARP Wave was based on the observation that most of the basic science research documenting the positive effects of electricity with tissue and bone healing was done with direct current. Direct current was shown to produce increased mobility of reparative cells and to promote bone production in fractures. These landmark findings were made in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's. The basic science was quite clear – direct current promotes dramatic effects in both tissue and bone for healing.
Clinically, however, it was difficult to apply direct current for treatment without a high degree of discomfort. During the mid 1980's, the leading manufacturers of electrical stimulation devices began using alternating current which could be applied with much greater ease. The scientific data on cellular response to alternating current, however, was lacking. The clinical results with devices using alternating current have been only adequate. The technology for the ARP was designed to apply the dramatic cellular effects of direct current to clinical use and strength training. To accomplish this, a high frequency, double exponential background wave was linked to the direct current. The net effect was a reduction in skin and fatty tissue impedance, allowing deeper penetration of the direct current, and decreasing pain and irritation at the electrode sites. Direct current could now be applied in ways previously not possible.
At the same time that the technology for what would later be called the ARP was being developed by Gary Thomas, Denis Thompson, an American exercise physiologist, was passionately researching ways to relieve muscle spasm. Denis had done extensive research on Yakov Kots, an exercise physiologist for the Soviet Olympic program. In his work with Kots' theories, Denis became well versed in Soviet training methods using high voltage electrical stimulation. He witnessed extraordinary gains in muscular size and strength by Russian Olympic athletes using Kots' Stimul 1 electrical stimulator. Like all devices of that time, the Stimul 1 often caused severe skin burns and was quite painful. Also, during treatment, the muscles could not be elongated. In order for movement to occur at the joint, the unit had to be turned off.
After extensive experience with Kots' training methods including the use of Stimul 1, Denis was convinced that an electrical stimulation device could be developed that would allow a muscle to elongate and relieve muscle spasm. Through the Tesla Society, Denis was introduced to Gary Thomas, the creator of the technology for the ARP. Testing was performed for 2 years before methods were perfected to relieve muscle spasm after injury.
Despite the technological advances of the ARP, patients would still involuntarily contract surrounding musculature during treatment, therefore limiting the amount of direct current that could be applied. Denis then found that if specific movements were performed after a patient reached what he perceived as the maximum voltage tolerable, a relaxation response occurred and the voltage could be increased further. As this technique was perfected, a proportional relationship was noted between the rate of healing of the injured tissue and the voltage output delivered to it. The combined technique of delivering high voltage direct current to injured tissue being actively moved through a full range of motion yielded dramatic, accelerated healing and strength.
Shortly thereafter, Denis became intrigued with the training methods of Jay Schroeder who gained national notoriety after the success of one of his athletes's, Adam Archuleta. Archuleta was selected in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, after beginning his career as a walk on safety at Arizona State University. What gained national attention were the techniques used by Jay to develop Archuleta over a 4 year time. Archuleta was able to accomplish extraordinary feats of strength and speed for an athlete born with average ability. Adam was essentially a product of an elaborate system of training designed to elicit specific traits necessary for athletic mastery.
Jay partnered with Denis to apply these training techniques in rehabilitation. The training techniques elicited traits in the neuromuscular system that were augmented by the simultaneous application of direct current through the ARP. The ARP program thus consisted of application of the ARP with specific movement protocols to relieve pain from injury followed by strength and speed training methods performed in conjunction with the ARP to prevent recurrence. Once pre injury status was achieved, the strength and speed training methods were further intensified to achieve athletic mastery. The program was seamless, from the most elementary level of training post injury and post surgery to elite level training for maximum performance.