Frequency Specific Microcurrent — Dr. Rawls’ Ratings
Efficacy: 4 stars
Safety: 4 stars
Cost: 4 out of 5 dollar signs
Ways to Administer: Electrodes are placed on different locations on the skin
Bottom Line: A good device can cost a couple of thousand dollars, but if pain is a significant limiting factor for you, FSM may be a reasonable investment to consider making to help you feel better.


Developed in 1995, frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM) is a type of current applied through a device similar to a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit. Electrodes are placed on different parts of the skin, and low-level current is emitted through them. But unlike a traditional TENS unit, the current from an FSM device is so mild that many people don’t feel anything at all.

Targeted frequencies can be used to address pain, inflammation, tissue repair, and swelling in a variety of health conditions, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Some practitioners of FSM find the device useful for other purposes besides pain relief. I spoke with one patient who successfully used FSM to reduce the nerve pain associated with a shingles outbreak.


Though FSM hasn’t been researched for Lyme disease, specifically, numerous studies support its benefits for softening rigid or spastic tissues in the body, reducing pain, and decreasing inflammation. Research on wounded warriors found that FSM could be used alone or with acupuncture to mitigate pain.


Overall, FSM is a safe, non-pharmaceutical intervention for the management of pain. However, FSM is contraindicated in people who are pregnant, have a pacemaker, implanted medical pumps, or have uncontrolled seizures.


There’s a significant upfront cost from the device (about $2,000) however, a good device will last for several years. To help mitigate the risk of a substantial investment, many people first try some FSM sessions with a trained practitioner to see if it’s helpful before purchasing one on their own.

Dr. Bill Rawls Treatment Guide

Dr. Bill Rawls’ Treatment Guide

Want to see more Lyme disease treatment ratings? See What Dr. Rawls has to say about popular treatments and therapies in his Lyme Disease Treatment Guide.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. McMakin CR, Oschman JL. Visceral and somatic disorders: tissue softening with frequency-specific microcurrent. J Altern Complement Med. 2013;19(2):170-177. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0384
2. Sharp SJ, Huynh MT, Filart R. Frequency-Specific Microcurrent as Adjunctive Therapy for Three Wounded Warriors. Med Acupunct. 2019 Jun 1;31(3):189-192. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1366