(PRWEB) September 2, 2004
At the age of 31, Jerry Zaslow sustained a lower back injury that caused his left foot to go numb. Fast forward . . . at 79, he has retired from marathons but remains very physically active. His retirement from marathons occurred at age 64 because of progressive lower back and left leg pain relating to training for and completing fourteen 26 mile, 385-yard marathons, that include one London Marathon, one Marine Corp Marathon, eight New York Marathons and four Boston Marathons. How does Jerry, a marathon man, keep physically active after being disabled by an injury that would keep most people from exercising altogether? Through ETOIMS.
ETOIMS is Electrical Twitch-Obtaining Intramuscular Stimulation which is an automated version of deep tissue electrical medical acupuncture. Jennifer Chu, MD, associate professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Penn Soft Tissue Comfort Center, created this innovative technique that sends very brief electrical pulses to areas with irritated nerves to relieve muscle pain. Like many of Dr. Chu's patients, Zaslow found Dr. Chu and her revolutionary medical acupuncture technique by accident. After taking up marathon running, despite his lower back injury and against the advice of orthopedic surgeons from Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore, he continued running for 17 years without any adverse affects. In 1990, at age 64, the numbness in his left foot became severe, and Zaslow was forced to seek medical help.
"I thought I'd need surgery so I could keep running," said Zaslow. "That's when a running buddy of mine asked if I'd tried acupuncture. My son-in-law, a physician in rehabilitation medicine and a former resident of Dr. Chu suggested that I make an appointment with her". The rest is history.
Dr. Chu determined that Jerry Zaslow's chronic pain condition stemmed from nerve root irritations related to spinal stenosis and herniated discs. But ETOIMS goes deeper than traditional acupuncture, literally.
ETOIMS is an automated form of electrical muscle stimulation from within the depths of the muscle. Instead of following traditional "energy" lines or meridians as in acupuncture, Dr. Chu follows the lines between and within muscles and inserts a needle electrode automatically to give a brief electrical pulse at nerve-muscle meeting points. This stimulation causes the muscle to twitch. Since acute and chronic muscle pain can be caused by nerve irritation that tightens a muscle, focussed exercising of the muscle through twitch related contraction and relaxation at many points within the muscle alleviates muscle pain.
"When you irritate or damage a nerve, muscle fibers close around the nerve fibers like a fist," says Chu. "The electrical pulse uncurls the fist from the nerve fibers, thus relieving muscle pain and restoring function".
Dr. Chu first pioneered TOIMS. Unlike the theories of medical acupuncture where many needles are used to balance excess and deficient energies, TOIMS places only a single needle electrode into the muscle to stimulate nerve muscle meeting points for Â½ second at each point, one at a time. This causes the muscle to twitch focally, exercising the stimulated area. The local exercise helps restore local circulation essential for healing muscle and nerves around that area. While the initial procedure was arduous and done by hand, muscle pain relief did occur. ATOIMS automated the process and electrical stimulation with ETOIMS made the method more efficacious.
"ETOIMS is so much faster and definitely more effective," says Zaslow.
This latest update of the medical acupuncture technology now makes the procedure easier and allows Dr. Chu to treat patients whom otherwise couldn't have been treated.
Zaslow says, for the time being he has retired from marathons, but not from being physically active. He is the CEO of a manufacturing and distribution company who are sole source global suppliers to institutions that include schools, hospitals, prisons and government agencies. He works eleven-hour days, trains on a treadmill, Nordic Track and vigorous hill climbing. His objective is to return to running and have his ETOIMS therapy and exercise activity counter-balance, enhance and compliment each other. Zaslow says, "I wouldn't be able to do this without Dr. Chu. Long live ETOIMS".
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