The Electric Body
By Amber Plante
Electricity is everywhere, even in the human body. Our cells are specialized to conduct electrical currents. Electricity is required for the nervous system to send signals throughout the body and to the brain, making it possible for us to move, think and feel.
So, how do cells control electrical currents?
The elements in our bodies, like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, have a specific electrical charge. Almost all of our cells can use these charged elements, called ions, to generate electricity.
The contents of the cell are protected from the outside environment by a cell membrane. This cell membrane is made up of lipids that create a barrier that only certain substances can cross to reach the cell interior. Not only does the cell membrane function as a barrier to molecules, it also acts as a way for the cell to generate electrical currents. Resting cells are negatively charged on the inside, while the outside environment is more positively charged. This is due to a slight imbalance between positive and negative ions inside and outside the cell. Cells can achieve this charge separation by allowing charged ions to flow in and out through the membrane. The flow of charges across the cell membrane is what generates electrical currents.
Cells control the flow of specific charged elements across the membrane with proteins that sit on the cell surface and create an opening for certain ions to pass through. These proteins are called ion channels. When a cell is stimulated, it allows positive charges to enter the cell through open ion channels. The inside of the cell then becomes more positively charged, which triggers further electrical currents that can turn into electrical pulses, called action potentials. Our bodies use certain patterns of action potentials to initiate the correct movements, thoughts and behaviors.
A disruption in electrical currents can lead to illness. For example, in order for the heart to pump, cells must generate electrical currents that allow the heart muscle to contract at the right time. Doctors can even observe these electrical pulses in the heart using a machine, called an electrocardiogram or ECG. Irregular electrical currents can prevent heart muscles from contracting correctly, leading to a heart attack. This is just one example showing the important role of electricity in health and disease.
CrashCourse. “The Nervous System, Part 2 - Action! Potential! Crash Course A&P #9.” YouTube video, 11:43. March 2, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZG8M_ldA1M.
Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology. “Voltage-Gated Channels and the Action Potential.” The McGraw-Hill Co., Video. 2016. http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072943696/student_view0/chapter8/animation__voltage-gated_channels_and_the_action_potential__quiz_1_.html.
Nelson, David L, and Michael M Cox. 2013. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry 6th Ed. Book. 6th ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co. doi:10.1016/j.jse.2011.03.016.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch'i (qì) is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity.[page needed][page needed] Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy", "life force", or "energy flow". Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. The practice of cultivating and balancing qi is called qigong.
Believers of qi describe it as a vital energy whose flow must be balanced for health. Akira Seto made a great hallmark in 1992 while testing biomagnetism using two identical coils with 80,000 turns each; not exactly a SQUID and therefore unable to detect normal, or usual human magnetic fields.
December 5, 2016/by Eugenio Lepine
"Dr. James Oschman believes that Extremely Low Frequencies (between 3-300 Hz) can stimulate tissue repair, and it’s in this extremely low-frequency range where most of the healing occurs: “the important frequencies for stimulating tissue repair are all in the biologically important ELF range”.
This includes frequencies that are less than 100 Hz, it is a low energy level and extremely low-frequency level. There is evidence to think that the optimal frequency also depends on the type of lesion or illness, 2 Hertz is effective for nerve regeneration, 7 Hz is adequate for bone growth, 10 Hz is used for ligaments, and somewhat higher frequencies work for skin and capillaries.
The therapeutic window seems to be delimited to low frequencies, as some people can be allergic to 50-60 Hz electromagnetic fields, feeling uncomfortable near transformers, fluorescent lights, microwave ovens and other appliances."
Kundalini (Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी kuṇḍalinī, pronunciation (help·info), "coiled one"), in Hinduism refers to a form of primal energy(or shakti) said to be located at the base of the spine. In Hindu tradition, Bhairavi is the goddess of Kundalini. Kundalini awakenings may happen through a variety of methods. Many systems of yoga focus on awakening Kundalini through: meditation; pranayama breathing; the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. Kundalini Yoga is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of Mantra, Tantra, Yantra, Yoga or Meditation. The Kundalini experience is frequently reported to be a distinct feeling of electric current running along the spine.
Bioelectricity refers to the generation or action of electric currents or voltages in biological processes. Bioelectric phenomena include fast signaling in nerves and the triggering of physical processes in muscles or glands. There is some similarity among the nerves, muscles, and glands of all organisms, possibly because fairly efficient electrochemical systems evolved early. Scientific studies tend to focus on the following: nerve or muscle tissue; such organs as the heart, brain, eye, ear, stomach, and certain glands; electric organs in some fish; and potentials associated with damaged tissue.
Electric activity in living tissue is a cellular phenomenon, dependent on the cell membrane. The membrane acts like a capacitor, storing energy as electrically charged ions on opposite sides of the membrane. The stored energy is available for rapid utilization and stabilizes the membrane system so that it is not activated by small disturbances.
Cells capable of electric activity show a resting potential in which their interiors are negative by about 0.1 volt or less compared with the outside of the cell. When the cell is activated, the resting potential may reverse suddenly in sign; as a result, the outside of the cell becomes negative and the inside positive. This condition lasts for a short time, after which the cell returns to its original resting state. This sequence, called depolarization and repolarization, is accompanied by a flow of substantial current through the active cell membrane, so that a “dipole-current source” exists for a short period. Small currents flow from this source through the aqueous medium containing the cell and are detectable at considerable distances from it. These currents, originating in active membrane, are functionally significant very close to their site of origin but must be considered incidental at any distance from it. In electric fish, however, adaptations have occurred, and this otherwise incidental electric current is actually utilized. In some species the external current is apparently used for sensing purposes, while in others it is used to stun or kill prey. In both cases, voltages from many cells add up in series, thus assuring that the specialized functions can be performed. Bioelectric potentials detected at some distance from the cells generating them may be as small as the 20 or 30 microvolts associated with certain components of the human electroencephalogramor the millivolt of the human electrocardiogram. On the other hand, electric eels can deliver electric shocks with voltages as large as 1,000 volts.
In addition to the potentials originating in nerve or muscle cells, relatively steady or slowly varying potentials (often designated dc) are known. These dc potentials occur in the following cases: in areas where cells have been damaged and where ionized potassium is leaking (as much as 50 millivolts); when one part of the brain is compared with another part (up to one millivolt); when different areas of the skin are compared (up to 10 millivolts); within pockets in active glands, e.g., follicles in the thyroid (as high as 60 millivolts); and in special structures in the inner ear (about 80 millivolts).
A small electric shock caused by static electricity during cold, dry weather is a familiar experience. While the sudden muscular reaction it engenders is sometimes unpleasant, it is usually harmless. Even though static potentials of several thousand volts are involved, a current exists for only a brief time and the total charge is very small. A steady current of two milliamperes through the body is barely noticeable. Severe electrical shock can occur above 10 milliamperes, however. Lethal current levels range from 100 to 200 milliamperes. Larger currents, which produce burns and unconsciousness, are not fatal if the victim is given prompt medical care. (Above 200 milliamperes, the heart is clamped during the shock and does not undergo ventricular fibrillation.) Prevention clearly includes avoiding contact with live electric wiring; risk of injury increases considerably if the skin is wet, as the electric resistance of wet skin may be hundreds of times smaller than that of dry skin.