Dr. Joel Rossen
An open letter from me and about me .
By Joel Rossen DVM, Ph.D.
(Here I am in 1986, teaching my 5 year old son, Brent, how to get a different perspective on the world.)
I had an interesting start in pain management. Immediately after graduating from the University of Missouri, School of Veterinary Medicine, in 1971, I began to study Veterinary Acupuncture with the Pain Management Group at UCLA. This was as part of a research group consisting of 5 veterinarians and several acupuncturists from the United States and from Asia, (mostly China and Korea).
Out purpose was to ascertain the value of acupuncture in animals. Prior to that time, none of us (the veterinarians) had done any acupuncture. Each of us allotted one afternoon each week to acupuncture practice and the experienced acupuncturists traveled to one of our clinics each day.
We chose our cases mostly from animals with painful or debilitating problems. The most common syndromes that we treated were hip dysplasia, spondylolysthesis, generalized or localized arthritis, and intervertebral disk syndrome (Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar.)
Unfortunately, for political reasons that I never fully understood, the study was never published, but the results were so good that all five of the veterinarians involved continued performing acupuncture long after the study ended.
I practiced in small animal medicine for 13 years, mostly in Beverly Hills, North Hollywood, and West Marin County, California.
During my first 7 years, a major part of my practice was Veterinary Acupuncture, mostly for the treatment of pain.
In 1979, I learned about a brand new technology called Microcurrent therapy . I started using it in veterinary practice immediately because I was suddenly able to obtain therapeutic results I had only dreamed of untill then. The number of Veterinary syndromes which responded to microcurrent electrical stimulation included, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk syndrome, cervical disk syndrome, spondylolysthesis, general pain secondary to aging, and quite a few seizure disorders .
During my years in practice, many animals (particularly German Shepherds) were brought to me to be put to sleep because they had become untrustworthy. These dogs had become prone to bite or attack, even family, with little or no provocation. I believed that what was going on was that as they became old, they had developed either arthritis (often not severe enough to see with x-rays) or myositis (muscular inflammation). Either of these two conditions could cause severe discomfort and could cause a dog to snap, just to keep anyone from touching it and accidentally inflicting pain.
I remember the first time that one of these old dogs came in. I don't remember his name, but I do remember that the whole family came with him, and some of them were crying. They said that their German Shepherd, which had been in the family for about 12 years, had become highly irritable and would snap at the kids when they came near him. They clearly loved the dog, but they were afraid to get near him now.
|My son, Brent, here 17, with my shepard, Woofie.
I told them that I suspected that their dog was in pain, probably from arthritis. Arthritis was easy to verify radiographically (on x-rays). Verifying that the arthritis was the cause of the irritability was another story. I asked if we could try microcurrent stimulation just to see if that would help and they were thrilled to have any alternative.
I treated him using a pattern of points I had developed for generalized arthritis and sent him home. We did several more treatments on that German Shepherd and then we followed up with treatments every six to twelve weeks. For as long as I remained in that practice, the irritability and the unpredictable behavior never returned.
It has been about 20 years since then and I have treated hundreds of animals for a large variety of problems, mostly neurological and pain related.
Around 1986, I decided to develop my own electrical stimulation device. Two years of planning and design created the first MicroStim® electronic stimulator which was then known as the IndicaTens. Three years later the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 4,989,605 to the IndicaTens technology and we are now celebrating nearly ten years of selling the IndicaTens and MicroStim® lines of electronic stimulators in the United States.
We are still a small company and most of the people who call, doctors and patients alike, will end up talking to me, Dr. Joel Rossen, and I will do everything I can to help you solve your pain management problems and bring relief to yourselves and to your patients.