Applying an electric current to the body is not new. Over the past 125 years, there has been a development of more sophisticated and safer devices from when currents were first applied.
Below is a timeline from the beginning of electric currents being applied to the body to modern-day treatment;
The French scientist d’Arsonval conducted the first research on physiological effects of an alternating current on the body. This research concluded that currents with a frequency over 5000Hz did not cause an electric shock but appeared to have beneficial effects.
Nikola Tesla noted that applying high frequency currents could produce heat in the body. Oudin was also contributing at this time.
Von Von Zaynek determined the rate of heat production in tissue as a function of frequency and current density, and first proposed using high-frequency currents for deep heating therapy.
The field of ‘Electrotherapy’ within Medicine was established with experimental treatments being conducted for many different pathologies including cancer.
German physician Karl Franz Nagelschmidt coined the term diathermy from Greek words therma meaning heat and dia meaning through. The first large experiments were started.
Nagelschmidt wrote the first textbook on diathermy, which revolutionized the field.
William Beaumont produced a first edition textbook advancing the science of ‘diathermy, short wave therapy Inductothermy, Epithermy, long wave therapy.’
William Beaumont had a second edition of the textbook in which he declared it as “completely re-written with the advances of knowledge and behaviour of high frequency energy.”
Jose Calbet Benach started to manufacture electric scalpels.
Jose Calbet Benach, developed their first device with the capacitive electrode being applied directly to the skin to induce ‘hyperthermia.’
Indiba was awarded the Gold Medal at the 14th International Exhibitions of Inventions and New Technology Brussels.
Indiba was awarded Gold Medal I Salon Internacional de Innovación “INVENTALIA” Madrid.
Jose Calbet Benach published the first edition of the textbook; Tratado de la Transferencia Eléctrica Capacitiva (T.E.C.) de INDIBA.
A resistive electrode was added to the device which started the name Transferencia Electrica capacitiva Resistiva (TECAR).
In Spain the name remained TECAR while the distributors of Indiba in Italy (Unibel) used the acronym; TECAR to describe the technology. In Italy, INDIBA technology was quickly adopted in therapy and remains one of the most widely used diathermy methods.
Health professionals in Italy referred to these early INDIBA devices as TECAR which became the name for the application in this country.
Companies such as HumanTecar, Capenergy, Globus, Lavatron, Quilmed started to try and copy the technology of INDIBA using other radiofrequencies and internal components.
Medimouv became the distributor of INDIBA in France.
Medimouv created Winback, manufactured in Korea.
INDIBA launched the first touch screen interface with constant monitoring software and superior radiofrequency stability.
INDIBA obtains the pelvic Health indication for internal treatment for both CAP and RES electrodes.
INDIBA obtains patent for the continuous modulation system. Biological research supports than the effects of the Capacitive Resistive Electric Transference (TECAR) on stem cell proliferation and differentiation (key elements to explain the regeneration effects of the technology) depends on the frequency and the signal modulation. Both key molecular biology actions have been discovered and published by the Bioelectromagnetism group of the Ramon y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, Spain under the support of INDIBA.
First IASTM + RF tools in the market. INDIBA, in collaboration with ERGON®, developed FASCIA Electrodes and created a new methodology based on the myofascial meridians theory as Thomas Myers and Ida Rolf first described. This new methodology is based in the application of FASCIA electrodes on specific points where there are tissue restrictions and fascial adhesions along the fascial meridians to improve the functionality thanks to the mechanic effect and the vascularization provided by the current.
Non-ablative radiofrequency diathermy treatments have gone by different names over time. Much like in other industries a brand name can become synonymous with the descriptor of the technology.
As described in the timeline the acronym TECAR came about from Indiba adding in a resistive electrode to the device.
Before TECAR was used, the early devices were called by different names, such as:
After this the main relevant used names were developed from concepts such as:
The first abbreviation to appear was TEC (from the Spanish acronym Transferencia Eléctrica Capacitiva: capacitive electric transfer) which appeared in the first edition of Calbet’s book “Tratado de la Transferencia Eléctrica Capacitiva (T.E.C.) de INDIBA”, Barcelona 1990. This name was created by the first brand to launch a monopolar non-ablative RF, INDIBA S.A. It has become a generic name for RF treatments in countries such as Italy. With the development of the resistive electrode TEC evolved to TECAR (Transferencia Eléctrica CApacitva Resistiva: capacitive resistive electric transfer). But this not the only name used in the literature and by brands, see list below;
Although TECAR has turned into a general name, another name was required when wanting to address the combined effects of hyperthermia and sub-thermal (only been proven for a 448 kHz current) and was called; Proionic® System.
Proionic® system defines the therapeutic strategy that is capable of causing a set of bio-effects or biological responses induced by RF currents applied at thermal and subthermal intensities, which are frequency dependent. At cellular level, subthermal application of 448 kHz currents promote cell functionality and normalization, bio-stimulation and other phenomena compatible with ionic interactions. At tissue level, it helps to restore altered tissues homeostasis. This concept was developed by INDIBA in order to characterize the set of bio-medical responses that result from the application of its technology.
First edition (1990) when for the first time TEC was used to refer to a non-ablative monopolar radiofrequency.