A company called HealthSonix has registered their medical device, AquaSonix, with the FDA. Patients are to use the sound-wave generator in the pool, for arthritis pain relief and relaxation. The company doesn’t seem too sure how it works:
AquaSonix Therapy programs are held throughout the day and early evening in warm water pools (85 degrees to 94 degrees Fahrenheit) located in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, community centers, and retirement residences. The standard course of therapy is fifteen 45-minute sessions, ideally two to three times a week with a minimum of one day in between treatment sessions. All programs are led by certified AquaSonix Therapists.
The sound pressure waves generated by the AquaSonix device are believed to work by stimulating mechanoreceptors in the skin, which in turn communicate with the brain and block pain messages from getting through (gate control theory of pain); and by creating an exercise effect in the muscles, which encourages the production and release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
Usually these pages link to some studies, no matter how tangential, to support their claims. AquaSonix, however, resorts to this vaguely menacing insistence that “It Happens In the Water” — next to a picture of a senior citizens’ uprising, complete with pool noodles poised to strike.
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