Electro-Dermal Screening


For centuries, traditional doctors in the Orient used physical diagnosis in a very thorough way. Observing the patient’s coloring, tone of voice, odor, secretions, tongue coating, food preferences, emotional tendencies, etc., the physician got an idea of which organs were afflicted. Certain points on the skin would be tender, hot or cold, depending on which “electrical circuit” from an organ to the surface of the skin was not functioning well. The most difficult diagnostic skill of all was pulse reading: by feeling no less than twelve pulses and noting their individual rates and characteristics, an assessment could be made that would most often be accurate. Acupuncturists today are still required to learn this skill.

In the 1940s, Japanese researchers experimented with ways to read the energy going to and from the internal organs, using electronic equipment. By measuring the electrical flow along the skin pathways associated with a particular organ, they could assess the function of that “meridian”, or electrical circuit in the body. Meridians too high- or too low-functioning were then treated to bring them into balance with the others. This type of treatment came to be known as meridian balancing.

Electro Dermal ScreeningSeveral approaches to meridian reading with machines came into being, to replace the subjective pulse diagnosis and make treatment easier and more scientific. In the 1950s, German medical researchers did the most in-depth work on the subject and designed equipment that went beyond simple meridian measurement. They found many points unknown to classical acupuncture. These points, when measured electrically, revealed accurate information about internal organs and processes. Before this time, if one measured the colon one got only a general reading. Now however, specific information about each portion of the organ (the ascending colon, the transverse, the sigmoid, etc.) could be gained. This was the beginning of German electrodiagnostics, of which there are now several methods. Reading the points and meridians in this way is known today as Electro-Dermal Screening, or EDS.

One can balance the meridians by using EDS to find the poorly functioning ones, then the appropriate points are electrically stimulated to normalize the targeted meridians.

In this way, the body can be brought into balance more precisely.


This method can be used for health maintenance, for preventive reasons.  We have some patients who have been coming at the change of seasons for many years, to get a “human tune-up”.  Getting balanced in this way, they say, keeps them from getting sick during the coming season.  And in fact, this is a traditional use of acupuncture, going back hundreds of years, and is considered to be the best way to use it.

EDS is also very useful for testing the impact of various substances on the body’s internal balance. For example, if one’s health problems are caused by exposure or reaction to a chemical or food, introducing that substance during EDS will change the readings on the instrument. If there is no reaction, the readings remain the same. Allergy testing is done in this way in many European countries, but has yet to become popular in the U.S.  Nevertheless, its accuracy rate compares very favorably with blood tests and it is non-invasive.