I was wondering if any one had any information on ARP as a method using EMS? I’ve heard about this method but have no information on how it is used and how it would be incorporated into the training cycle.

The ARP methods require the use of the Therastim unit. It’s very much different from regular EMS and TENS units in that it is designed to be used while moving (try to do this with a regular EMS unit and you’ll pull or tear something).

The Therastim unit seems to offer many interesting properties as far a recovery goes. However it costs around 4000$

From the ARP web site-

The Science Behind
The A.R.P. Trainer and Protocols

Dr. Bjorn Nordenstrom one of the worlds leading researchers in his book Biologically Closed Electric Circuits provides compelling evidence that the human body is a biologically closed electrical system.
Nordenstrom proved when disease or injury occurs there is a charge formed in the affected deep soft tissue.
For healing to occur, this charge has to be eliminated either by the body itself or by an outside source of electrical current.
When this charge of injury is NOT dissipated, scar tissue forms, leading to a restricted range of motion that may be permanent.
Nordenstrom showed that chronic pain is often sourced in old injuries where the charge has been stored, rather than released. The A.R.P. Trainer can penetrate deep enough into soft tissue to dissipate this charge of injury without surface pain

Dr. Yakov Kots considered by many to be the innovator of electrical stimulation use in athletics believed you had to have high voltage with lots of power to get deep enough penetration to effect soft tissue damage or muscle conditioning.
Russian Stim equipment especially Stimul One which Dr. Kots invented were very high voltage machines which would elicit rapid results however the high voltage would often burn the skin and the use of weights to secure the electrodes was very uncomfortable.
Dr. Kots proved to the world that deep penetration of electrical current would in fact increase the physical size of muscle fiber in as little as 10 days.
Dr. Kots in December of 1977 under an exchange arrangement worked out by Canada’s Montreal Concordia College and Moscow’s Central Sports Institute proved to the world that electrically stimulating muscle would in fact increase strength and size in the muscle fiber. ( Full text of test available)

Dr. Robert Becker in his book The Body Electric determined that collagen becomes electrically charged and forms scar tissue when physically abused.
Nobel Laureates E.Neur and B. Sakmann demonstrated that cells communicate with each other electrically. At injured sites, cells embedded in charged collagen have their communication disrupted, preventing the reduction of inflammation and edema.

The Surface charge theory that the A.R.P. protocols are based on holds that introducing electrical current to dissipate the charge in injured collagen will prevent the formation of scar tissue, reduce inflammation and reestablish cellular communication.

The Trauma Repair Theory: holds that severe injury triggers the production of scar tissue to wall off areas where charge has developed.
If enough electrical current can be introduced into the area to eliminate the charge the scar tissue will begin to breakdown, the matted down collagen will unmat.
This is the main reason A.R.P. is so effective on chronic pain from old injuries it actually breaks down scar tissue to release the stored charge and allows the tissue to return to normal along with the ROM.

Bradykinin Theory: Bradykinin is a highly potent chemical produced by the body as a result of tissue damage.
Bradykinin is a major factor in developing the usual effects of trauma - edema, pain, muscle spasm, loss of range of motion.
When collagen is injured it becomes charged and creates an environment that stimulates the production of Bradykinin.
If an electrical current can be introduced deep enough to dissipate the charge of injury it will prevent Bradykinin and thus reduce the main effects of trauma.
The A.R.P. Trainer is the only Electrical Stimulation modality, which allows this deep penetration without surface pain.

The A.R.P. Theory: Denis Thompson the developer of the A.R.P. Protocols for injury recovery and Strength production believes that the key to muscle related injury recovery as well as increasing strength and flexibility in a muscle is eccentric contraction.
Trauma causes muscles to contract thus causing pain and restricted range of motion. As long as the muscle stays in contraction the process of healing is greatly retarded.
Using Electrical Stimulation which does not allow for eccentric contraction will have little or no results in increasing range of motion, rapid healing, or strength production.
The A.R.P. Trainer with the A.R.P. protocols is the only Electrical Stimulation modality which allows a injured muscle to immediately relax, elongate, and allow eccentric stimulation.

Technical Considerations
Wave Form: Compound, Double Exponential Asymmetric with high levels of Direct Current

Power: High Power with NO surface burning or surface pain 0 to 2.5 watts

Main Pulse: 40 to 500 pulses per second

Background Frequency: High Frequency carrier signal 10,000 cycles per second

Polarity: Direction of Electron flow is reversible

Depth of Penetration: Deepest soft tissue penetration resonates with the human system causing the bodies natural resistance to drop out


It would be great to see peer reviewed research on healthy skeletal muscle and EMS of any protocol. Some exists but is it me or did the PT research stop doing much after the late 80s?

WoW, very interesting stuff. What the heck is going on today. Everyone decides to post about alternative methods to recovery, and injury healing.