The Tennant Biomodulator®, a hand-held biofeedback device, has its origins in the Russian Scenar (acronym for Self-Controlled Energo Neuro Adaptive Regulation). The Biomodulator's predecessor was developed by Russian scientists in the 1970s to address an unexpected problem with their space program: the forced feeding of antibiotics to all cosmonauts, whether they were ill or well. If one crew member got sick and took antibiotics, all the crew members would end up with the drug in their system, since urine is recycled into the shared drinking water. Creating an electromedical device to treat cosmonauts in space would eliminate the "need" to administer antibiotics. This device – about the size of a remote control – was aptly nicknamed the "Star Trek Device" by the press. According to Russian clinical studies, the Scenar proved effective in 80% of all cases. Of those, two-thirds enjoyed full recovery, and the remainder had significant healing. Over 50,000 successful outcomes were reported for circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological, muscular, skeletal, and genito-urinary problems.
In 2004, Texas-based Jerry Tennant, MD, developed an easier-to-use, more effective version of the Russian invention, powered by two AA batteries, called the Tennant Biomodulator. Whether moved across the body or sitting still on a particular area, its biofeedback feature operates by sending out a series of precisely modulated electrical current to the skin, measuring the body's response, and then emitting different signals in response to the changes recorded by the skin. This therapy is drug-free, non-invasive, safe, pain-free, and inexpensive (considering the number of conditions for which it can be used). In general, subjects not only feel positive effects after the first session, but the effects are long-lasting.
The Tennant Biomodulator, equipped with newly discovered frequencies, also has an assessment mode that allows the user to determine the approximate voltage of the cells. Knowing the amount of voltage and whether that voltage is plus or minus helps the practitioner or user determine whether the tissue is mildly or severely inflamed or mildly or severely degenerated. Based on the readings, the practitioner then knows which therapy mode to employ. The device also has a setting for "automatic," which is a combined biofeedback and signal input mode.
Dr. Tennant points out that trauma, pain, real or imagined danger, constant fear, an unbalanced pH, and food allergies turn on the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system and keep it turned on, so the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates digestion, sleep, hormone secretion, immune function, and so on, no longer works properly. Being "sympathetic-on 24 hours a day, seven days a week" creates conditions of "typical chronic disease and chronic fatigue," he says. Once the body starts to malfunction, it gets used to being in a pathological state, a trend that can be difficult to reverse. However, the Biomodulator© stimulates the healing process by normalizing the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. People have reported relief from swelling and inflammation, as well as faster and more complete healing of wounds, improvement in circulation and other functions, rapid pain relief, and easier recovery from infections. The device is most commonly used for treatment of muscle pain and injuries. However, it is also being clinically studied for the improvement or complete elimination of symptoms of arthritis, tendonitis, hypertension, hearing loss, and asthma.
The Tennant Biomodulator works primarily by stimulating the C-fibers. C-fibers, which comprise 85% of all nerves in the body, produce healing neuropeptides and other regulatory peptides that, in turn, reestablish the body's normal physiology and propel it to heal itself. Since the peptides last for several hours, the healing process continues after the treatment is over. "Once we balance the autonomic system," writes Tennant, "the gut will start absorbing nutrients, the endocrine glands will rest and recover, [and] the immune system will recover. A key to the success of these units is the restoration of voltage to the cells. A malfunctioning cell cannot metabolize properly. Once the voltage to organs and other bodily tissues is normalized, cellular toxins can be eliminated and water imbalances can be corrected.
To treat, the practitioner first asks the subject the location of the pain, discomfort, or dysfunction. If there is clear symptomatology, the practitioner goes to the problem area. However, the spine and abdomen are also key areas to address, even though they might not seem to relate directly to the stated symptoms. Problem areas are perceived by the practitioner as a difference in the sound emitted by the device and by a feeling of "stickiness," a magnetic-like pull that prevents the unit from easily moving across the area. The session is over when the "drag" is eliminated and the client relaxes. There is often a reddening of the skin as well.
The Biomodulator comes with optional attachments that can treat through hair and on smaller skin areas. The Biomodulator is a FDA-cleared Class II device for symptomatic relief and management of chronic, intractable pain, and adjunctive treatment in the management of post-surgical and post-traumatic pain. Health practitioners in the USA and Canada can use the Professional or Practitioner version of the device in their practice. The device is not yet approved by the TGA in Australia. There is a personal use version of the device available in the USA.